Sustainability in Development

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In order to select qualified employees for schülke and properly position them in the group, we share a common campus management with AIR LIQUIDE Germany. We select our employees based on performance, regardless of nationality, gender, age, ethnic background, and education. schülke strives to use diversity as an opportunity.

In the AIR LIQUIDE group, qualified employees are offered the opportunity to build a career in their area of specialty at any time. This path, which we call the “Technical Career Ladder”, is open to researchers, engineers, technicians, and other specialists.

Our particular goal is to be ranked as an employer in the TOP 50 at the universities in Germany.

Every 2 months the TQM News (TQM Aktuell) is issued by the HSE Management Department and sent to all employees. Below is information on current topics in the areas of occupational safety, environment, health, and quality management.

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Sustainability from the Perspective of the schülke Works Council

Comprehensive sustainability in a company can only be achieved if all departments and all employees appreciate, understand, and believe in the necessity of sustainable and environmentally conscious behavior and act accordingly.

This particularly applies to the Works Council of Schülke & Mayr GmbH, the elected voice of the entire workforce. The Council is obliged in its actions to keep aspects of sustainability and environment constantly in mind.

The fact that the main focus of the Works Council represents the interests of employees lies at the heart of the matter.

How does this work in practice? In addition to the fact that the idea of sustainability must be reflected in daily actions and behaviors, here are three concrete requirements.

An efficient workforce, a healthy workforce, and the long-term performance ability of the staff

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The Workforce

An Efficient Workforce

From the perspective of the Works Council, only a highly motivated and experienced workforce can meet current and future requirements.

When we look more closely at the three stated qualifications, it is immediately obvious that only permanently employed workers can meet these requirements.

The temporary workers who, in accordance with the Temporary Employment Act, are intended to help cover peaks in the production process, cannot meet these requirements.
Nevertheless, temporary workers are needed both now and in the future for exactly this special case.

We are lucky that both the Works Council and the management have recognized this need and have taken steps accordingly to reduce temporary workers and increase the permanent staff.

Thus, sustainability is sensible and enjoyable.

A Healthy Workforce

A company’s workforce is its most valuable asset. Surely everyone can and will agree to this unconditionally.

schülke is and will remain a chemical company. It does everything possible not to pollute the environment. The environment is one thing, and the worker is another. The workforce also needs to be protected from the effects of hazardous substances and the damages that may result. One indicator is the measurements performed directly at the workplaces of the employees. In particularly dangerous areas, protective clothing must be worn accordingly.
Because wearing protective clothing is a heavy burden, other solutions are constantly being sought. Some commonly used solutions are selectively placed suction units directly at the source of hazardous emissions and new ventilation systems for the entire hazardous area. For the sake of being thorough, it should be mentioned that this exhaust is only released into the environment after it has been filtered.

Long-Term Performance Ability of the Staff

Even the most ready and able employee cannot meet the high demands of work for an extended period of time, particularly with age. This dilemma can only lead us to a timely discharge of employees.
The introduction of the negotiated agreement, “Working Lifetime and Demographics,” agreed upon by the Employers’ Association and the Industrial Union for Mining, Chemistry, and Energy (Industriegewerkschaft Bergbau, Chemie, Energie, IG BCE), was a successful first step. With the Demographics II it is now possible,

  • for schülke’s shift workers aged 59 and over to reduce their workweek from five days to four.
  • for daytime employees aged 61 and over to reduce their workweek from five days to four.

This model is currently only scheduled to last through 2015, but can certainly be extended if it is met with a high level of approval. If we use all of our available resources and opportunities, as well as enough creativity when necessary, we can overcome current and future problems without leaving part of the workforce behind.

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Occupational Health Management

On January 23, 2013 the health officers of schülke met for the first time. Twenty-four employees from different departments volunteered to support the development of health management. One of their tasks is to present the health concerns of their colleagues to the health supervisor. At this meeting, we quickly realized that there are several core topic areas. In order to address them, we formed health circles that are supervised by several health officers. We have, for example, health circles for ergonomics, motivation/communication, nutrition, sports, etc. At the individual health circle meetings, topics introduced by employees and possible actions are discussed. In addition, a steering committee comprising members of the works council, HSE management and HR was formed.

All documents related to health management are available through the intranet to all employees at schülke. In addition, the TQM News and bulletin boards regularly provide information on the various activities of the health circles. In 2013 the health circles organized various events, including:

  • Workplace inspections in offices, office chair demonstrations, standing aids for lab workstations
  • Presentations for shift workers on “Healthy Food for Shift Work“
  • An introduction to different diets through presentations and information in the TQM News
  • 2-day diabetes screening in the cafeteria by the company doctor
  • Discussions with representatives of the cafeteria committee and the cafeteria administration
  • Hanging of ergonomics posters
  • Creation of an annual plan for 2014 through the initiatives for health management

Click here to find out more and get schülke's full Sustainability Report 2014.

Contact us to find out more about how we can help you make your products and profits more sustainable!

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