Winnen-Pfab-Service: Climate management and CO2 reduction in the logistics sector

Interview partner: Tim Hoffmann, Sustainability Manager at Winnen-Pfab-Service, for more than 10 years a cooperation company from the transport and logistics sector of the two German forwarders “Hubert Winnen” and “Hans Pfab”.

The company specializes in the transport of float glass in the B2B sector. More than 160 employees at two locations look after a regular customer base of glass producers in Germany and Europe and also work every day with a network of more than 25 transport partners operating throughout Europe.

Climate transformation is in full swing! How do you keep up with these developments?

We started setting up our sustainability management five years ago. The main focus from the start was our climate and environmental management.

“Our focus is on the professionalization of our climate management”

Tim Hoffmann, Sustainability Manager.

We proceeded as follows:

  1. The primary goal was initially a comprehensive analysis of our climate and ecological priorities. As a result, within the first two years we established a calculation and reporting methodology based on global standards such as the GHG Protocol or CDP. Because for us it was elementary from the start that we not only map our ecological footprint according to the highest standards, but also communicate openly and transparently to our colleagues, shareholders and stakeholders and create global comparability.
  2. Constant development and improvement. We quickly realized that over 80% of our total emissions can be traced back to our transport activities. As a result, we have further refined our calculation methodology and adapted it to international standards for transport emissions, such as EN 16258 or the GLEC framework of the Smart Freight Center. At the same time, this once again confirmed where the main lever for the climate transformation of our company lies.
  3. Taking first actions. Since then, we have launched several small projects in recent years in order to credibly embody the first signals for our intended goal of climate transformation. These include, for example, the complete procurement of green electricity for our two locations, an extensive modernization of the office building at the Weiherhammer location, as well as our warehouses and the resulting condition of the CO₂-neutral storage activities at the Gladbeck location, which has existed since 2022.
  4. Discover and address hotspots. Nevertheless, we are aware that we can only achieve a noticeable transformation process through our vehicle fleets. Unfortunately, the current business and vehicle technology framework does not offer an opportunity for the extensive implementation of alternative drive technologies in our truck fleets. For this purpose, we cannot agree with our guiding principles to instrumentalise the often used easy bridging path of climate compensation. However, the emission-related burden on our trucks due to adequate further development of alternative drives can definitely be avoided in the coming years.
  5. Implement and expand best practices. Our current focus is therefore increasingly on the professionalization of our climate management, the expansion of cooperation and the sensitization of our network in order to involve as many partners as possible in our transformation process in the coming years. This is the only way we believe that we can fully meet our social responsibility.

What climate strategy are you pursuing as a company, and what is your own role in it?

Our climate strategy is characterized by feasibility, seriousness and openness. We don’t want to stand for green marketing statements. As a logistics service provider, we are aware that our main business areas will not be able to be managed without a certain level of environmentally relevant emissions in the foreseeable future. An important part of our daily actions is therefore to meet our social responsibility and to reduce our ecological footprint as much as possible. Our central principle for responsible ecological action follows the triad:

CO2 vermeiden, vermindern und verwerten
  1. Avoid unnecessary emissions
  2. Reduce necessary emissions
  3. Utilize unavoidable emissions

Our long-term goal is to achieve the status of climate neutrality. However, we are realistic enough not to want to rush into this. Because in order to achieve this state, we still have to take development steps that are beyond our active reach in terms of vehicle and drive technology. That is why we are filling our current climate strategy with targets that are feasible for us to tackle in the foreseeable future.

We did the Climate Performance Assessment together via our platform, how did this help you?

For us, the Climate Performance Assessment is the ideal indicator for a professional assessment of the current status of our climate transformation. It also gives us extensive feedback on the strengths and potential for improvement of our previous approach. At the same time, the assessment also forms the basis for us to go forward as a pioneer. Because we not only want to promote climate transformation ourselves, but also encourage our partner network to fulfill your climate management with similar commitment.

Climate Readiness Check

What are the things you have learned for yourself?

On the one hand, the evaluation gave us a very good status quo. On the other hand, the evaluation will also be used internally to give our stakeholders a perfect overview of how we are positioned in our climate management. In addition, the assessment was able to give us very good confirmation of what we have identified as realistic starting points during the development of our climate management system in recent years, but also where we can still improve in the company.

What next steps would you like to take as part of your climate transformation?

It is of elementary importance for us to analyze the areas of improvement listed in the assessment and to check them for feasibility. Based on this, we then create a roadmap for short-, medium- and long-term implementation goals. Accordingly, the evaluation result and the feedback from The Climate Choice will act as a basis for the specification of our next goals. As part of future annual reviews by The Climate Choice, we will also analyze the extent to which we have been able to meet our targets.

“We are now creating a roadmap for short-, medium- and long-term implementation goals.”

Tim Hoffmann, Sustainability Manager.

In the coming weeks we will also work on the topic of supply chain management. Our aim is to gradually build up our supply chain management with the The Climate Choice portal as the basic structure. Although we are not directly affected by the legal regulations of the supply chain law at the moment, we are aware that this will also become mandatory for us in the coming years. Accordingly, we want to use the coming time proactively to structure supply chain management, to raise the awareness of our partners and to make progress here as well.

How do you assess your role in the market, in your customers’ supply chains?

In our supply chain we are part of many. We know that we alone cannot bring about major decisions or changes. But we can do our part to ensure that the partners in our supply chain who are in direct contact with us are made aware of the importance of this topic. If our commitment results in large partners or industrial companies collaborating with us on holistic supply chain management, then we have already taken a big step.

How are you working together with your business partners to reduce emissions?

Cooperation with our partners was of fundamental importance to us right from the start of setting up our climate management system. Because we can only make a noticeable contribution to change in terms of climate protection together. For example, we work together with the German company “Project Climate” to tackle our climate transformation together. At the same time, we are in regular contact with our major customer in particular, where we can reduce emissions in our sphere of influence.

What tips and best practices would you like to share with other companies?

We see three points as the greatest opportunity to make a difference in terms of climate transformation.

  1. An open exchange with each other. If you intend to drive climate transformation forward in your company, then as a first step you should try to involve as many parties as possible in this process, both internally and externally.
  2. We have also learned that you cannot always start with the largest building block at the beginning. Climate transformation is a process in which you are constantly learning and gaining new insights. That’s why we initially started with small factors and implemented projects to reduce paper, purchase green electricity or modernize the lighting systems, although these only made up a marginal part of our overall balance. Because these small projects have demonstrably increased the attention and acceptance of climate transformation and thus made a much larger contribution to the development of our climate management than can be measured in absolute emission reduction at all.
  3. After all, it is extremely important to deal with the topics yourself. Certainly, input from third parties can enhance understanding. But it is essential to actively deal with the topic of climate transformation and to integrate it into everyday business life.

We can recommend every company to exchange ideas with other companies that are already more advanced in their climate management. Because it often offers content that inspire your own ideas and approaches that can be transferred to your own company. Here, too, the key lies in exchange and communication.

Thank you for the honest and exciting interview, Tom Hoffmann. We are very pleased about the cooperation with Winnen-Pfab-Service and look forward to driving forward the climate transformation of the economy together.

Do you want to make your company a Climate Champion? Register now within 5 minutes on our Climate Intelligence Platform and complete your free Climate Readiness Check.

TRILUX: ” There is of course, also a great need for action in decarbonizing the supply chain.”

Katrin Kroese-Discher, Sustainability Manager at TRILUX
Katrin Kroese-Discher – Sustainability Director at TRILUX

Interview partner: “Katrin Kroese-Discher has been responsible for sustainability within the TRILUX Group since 2020. The German market leader for technical lighting solutions, TRILUX, has set ambitious goals for climate transformation and is now working intensively on their implementation.

To obtain a basic overview and a comparable assessment of their goals and corresponding measures, TRILUX has conducted the Climate Performance Assessment for the second time this year. We are talking to Katrin Kroese-Discher about her experiences, the key findings, and the next steps on their path of climate transformation.

We are pleased to have conducted the Climate Performance Assessment together with TRILUX. Can you introduce yourselves briefly?

TRILUX Simplify Your Light stands for the simplest and safest way to a customized, energy-efficient, and future-proof lighting solution. In the dynamic and increasingly complex lighting market, the customer receives the best advice, optimal orientation, and perfect light. To ensure this claim, TRILUX relies on a broad portfolio of technologies as well as powerful partners within the TRILUX Group, combining individual components into customized complete solutions – always perfectly tailored to customer needs and field of application. The TRILUX Group operates six production sites in Europe and Asia and serves international customers through 30 subsidiaries and numerous sales partners. The company employs approximately 5,000 people worldwide and contributes to global CO2 reduction with the use of energy-efficient products.

How does TRILUX position itself regarding climate transformation? What climate goals have you defined for yourselves?

“We want to contribute to a greener planet both as a company and with our product solutions, making it less carbon-intensive. To achieve this, we have aligned our climate goals with the Science Based Targets and aim to make a corresponding commitment every year. At the Arnsberg and Cologne locations, we plan to be carbon-neutral by 2025. Additionally, we are currently developing a transformation concept for the Arnsberg site that goes beyond 2025 and takes into account its historically grown architecture. As a next step, this year we will include the remaining sales locations in the EU in our climate strategy, in addition to BLX, UK, and Spain, which have already calculated their Corporate Carbon Footprint.

You carried out the assessment for the first time last year. What was different this time, what has changed for you since then?

It was important for us to carry out the Climate Performance Assessment again as an external assessment. The climate transformation is a long-term process and it is crucial to continuously check whether we are on the right track. We are pleased to have been working closely and successfully with THE CLIMATE CHOICE from the very beginning. Compared to last year, the assessment has become even more detailed and the depth of information has increased. As a result, the assessment offers improved opportunities to highlight the potential that we still have.

Which areas are already doing well and were rated positively?

TRILUX, Climate Actions in the Supply Chain with Suppliers

We have come a long way in terms of the transparency and quality of internal climate data. Our strategy was also rated positively for being action-driven and pursuing short-term climate goals. TRILUX is already implementing numerous measures for climate transformation, such as avoiding waste, optimizing packaging, having its own photovoltaic systems and using CO2-neutral hygienic paper (BlackSatino). A major focus is on projects and measures for resource conservation and a change to the circular economy. This includes a personnel development group and various research projects such as the project: SUMATRA.

What are the most important learnings you take with you? What are the next steps?

The most important finding from the assessment is the need for action to decarbonize our supply chain. We want to devote special attention to this topic in the coming years. In total, we have well over 1,000 supply partners and see it as a major challenge to take all suppliers with us. Above all, it will be about clearly conveying to them the need to work together on climate goals and at the same time counteracting any concerns about the sharing of sensitive data. We are already in a constant exchange here.

In order to take a first step here, we also want to carry out the Climate Performance Assessment as a pilot project together with one of our relevant suppliers. We want to see to what extent there is a willingness to cooperate, how the topic is accepted and in what form the data can be made available. Based on the results, we will then decide how to approach the full supply chain.

What tips and best practices would you like to pass on to other companies?

I think everyone is now aware of the need for climate transformation. The question is rather how to approach such a complex topic and where to start. The first step at TRILUX was to build up knowledge and skills internally. This primarily affects the departments involved, such as purchasing, but also HR, legal, sales and the environmental and energy team. Then it’s a matter of looking at where which data is stored and how it can be efficiently recorded and used. These fundamentals provide the first insights from which we were able to gradually develop our climate goals and strategy.

As a second tip, I recommend taking an impact-driven approach. For example, we quickly realized that we have by far the greatest impact at the German production site and should focus on this as a first step in order to take action quickly.

Last but not least, it is also important to take the entire workforce with you on the climate journey. At our location in Arnsberg, we already have to conduct a survey on climate-friendly alternatives for the way to work in order to be able to support and involve our employees even better. Ultimately, there are countless small but important steps that must be understandable for everyone in order to bring about a holistic rethinking.

Thank you for the interesting interview, Katrin Kroese-Discher. We are very pleased about the cooperation with TRILUX and look forward to driving forward the climate transformation of the economy together.

Do you want to make your company a Climate Champion? Register now within 5 minutes on our Climate Intelligence Platform and complete your free Climate Readiness Check.