Safety, environment, technology, people
Our four Sustainability focus areas
We defined and adopted the focus areas when we joined the UN Global Compact (UNGC) in 2010. Since then, we report on our performance under each area in the non-financial section of our Annual Report and in the annual Communication on Progress to the UNGC.
Throughout the year, our colleagues share stories that reflect our activities within each of the focus areas. You can read some of them here.
Safety in the context of sustainability covers a wide range of elements. We believe that safety includes people, products, processes and even supply chain management. We care for the people and partners we interact with and manage our risks and impacts, always striving to improve. For a company with more than 8,000 employees worldwide, a big safety element is of course to ensure the well-being of our people, and to minimize their exposure to occupational hazards or strains. That is why we operate according to the strictest safety rules and procedures, often exceeding national requirements.
Safety also means having safe and reliable processes and supplier management to ensure a consistent high level of quality. The LM Production System based on LEAN principles helps provide safety in the workshops, keeping things in their proper place and organizing workflows to ensure quality production with the most efficient utilization of people and resources.
Our blades produce clean electricity every day on thousands of wind turbines all over the world. As such they are already contributing greatly to a more sustainable planet. However, manufacturing, assembling and transporting the blades requires resources and energy and produces waste. We want to reduce our environmental impact in all aspects of our blades' lifecycle and continuously introduce efficiencies and innovative solutions in our manufacturing processes.
We work internally and with our suppliers on optimizing our material consumption to cut waste and cost. All facilities continuously implement solutions to reduce their environmental footprint. We do travel as part of meeting our customers and partners, but we aim to keep travel at a minimum to keep the environmental impact and cost down.
Another important aspect of our environmental pillar is blade end of life. A wind turbine blade creates clean energy for more than 20 years. At the end of life of our blades, they can either be disposed of through combustion, turning the blade into fuel for power generation, or send them to landfill. However, we are exploring various initiatives to develop more environmentally-friendly disposal methods.
Our product is our biggest sustainability asset. Every day, we create longer and lighter blades that extract more energy from the wind and reduce the cost of energy. We develop add-ons, new materials and innovative solutions that increase blade reliability and performance, while reducing the environmental impact of our processes and activities. In every aspect of the blade life cycle, we carefully consider how we can protect them better and find new ways to enhance their performance. Our blades embody more than 35 years of knowledge and continuous research and development, and we are determined to remain the leader in this field for many years to come through further scrutiny of our technology platform and innovation.
We employ 44 different nationalities in our plants and offices around the world. We see this diversity as a great strength and an important aspect of our corporate culture which spans locations on four continents. People are at the heart of everything we do, from the employees in our plants to the families and citizens of the local communities in which we operate.
We want to be employer of choice and believe in promoting a culture of communication and value based leadership. Empowering our people is the best investment we can make. Their ingenuity and passion is what sets us apart from other great companies and we provide extensive training, development, and feedback to ensure the employees are equipped to contribute to the company’s goals. We also contribute to the communities we operate in. For instance, we support and uphold internationally proclaimed human rights, do not tolerate bribery or corruption and tackle child or forced labor in our direct operations as well as at the partners we interact with.
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