Worldwide engagement

The KION Group is active around the world in a very wide variety of ways, with its employees often also providing active support – a commitment which the KION Group welcomes wholeheartedly as an employer. Here are some outstanding examples.

KION Americas: working together with the Red Cross

October 2016: Hurricane Matthew causes power cuts and leaves a trail of devastation in its wake in the Caribbean and south east of the USA, killing many people. As a precaution, work was also stopped for three days at KION North America. Following the storm, urgent assistance was called for to clear the damage left by it. KION North America supplied a Baoli KBG25 forklift truck to the American Red Cross to load urgently needed relief supplies and get them to those affected as quickly as possible.

KION APAC: tackling the reconstruction together

Typhoon Meranti caused serious damage in September 2016 in the Chinese province of Fujian, felling trees, ripping off roofs and causing water and power cuts. Besides many buildings in the city, its plant in Xiamen was also severely affected.

It was the worst hurricane since local records began in 1949, hitting the province of Fujian right in the middle of the holiday season marking the Chinese lunar festival. Despite this, many employees came to work after the storm had abated to help their colleagues with the clean-up. Together, they repaired the damage and managed to shift trees and branches using the forklifts.

The Chinese KION Group company also lent a hand with the clean-up efforts in the city, providing many forklift trucks to clear the roads. Colleagues also worked closely with local relief organisations.

Linde Material Handling Fenwick: helpers with a heart

Many people are dependent on the willingness of the community to provide help and support, especially in the cold winter months. This is why the French initiative ‘Restaurants du Coeur’ (Restaurants with a Heart) has been distributing food and essentials to the needy in France since 1985. Every year they are helped by ‘Volunteers for the Day’ who talk to supermarket customers outside stores, encouraging them to donate some of the items they have purchased such as food or hygiene products.

The Linde subsidiary Fenwick has been a partner of this initiative since 2014, actively supporting the collection campaigns. This includes giving Fenwick employees the opportunity to take half a working day off each year to assist the initiative – an offer that 367 employees took up in 2016.

To ensure the donations are also transported to as well as distributed and stored at the correct distribution centres, Fenwick also provides technical equipment. In addition, this company has audited the overall way in which goods are organised at one of the initiative’s warehouses in Lucé to identify solutions, including ways to optimise transportation, warehouse management and staff safety. After all, the logistical effort involved in this national initiative is quite considerable. On the two campaign days in March 2016 some 71,000 volunteers gathered 7.3 tonnes of food and hygiene products at over 6,600 supermarkets – enough for over 7 million extra meals for the needy.

On the 30th anniversary of the Fenwick Group in 2016 a solidarity run was also organised at every company location in France. The principle behind it was as simple as it was effective: for each kilometre run, one euro was donated for food. In the end over €12,000 was collected thanks to the huge sign-up. Going forward, Fenwick aims to further expand its community engagement by helping the needy reintegrate into working life.

Linde Material Handling EMEA: StaplerCup hilft e.V.

Competing for the ForkliftCup, which was initiated by employees of Linde Material Handling, has long since become an institution among forklift truck drivers. Forklift drivers gather from all four corners of the globe to show off their skills in regional and national competitions – on the hunt for the best of the best! For them, the supreme goal is the unofficial ‘world championship’ in forklift truck driving. Over the past 12 years over 20,000 people have participated in the national and international competitions, with each one drawing up to 15,000 spectators.

Alongside the competition, since 2008 community engagement has also been a focus area. The StaplerCup hilft e.V. association aims to support regional social institutions in particular. Since it was founded, it has already donated over €250,000 to organisations involved in looking after sick or disadvantaged children, as well as young people and the elderly in need. Alongside numerous prominent backers of the association, apprentices of Linde Material Handling’s PiA (Project-integrated Training) team collect donations every year, for instance through their charity raffle. This saw the donation of a further €8,000 to three relief organisations after the ForkliftCup 2016.

Linde Material Handling EMEA: a decade helping the needy

Linde Solidaria, the corporate volunteering programme of Linde Material Handling Ibérica, celebrated its tenth anniversary in January 2017. What began in the Madrid and Barcelona branches now includes other areas of Spain and even Portugal, with the programme supporting over 5,000 socially disadvantaged people.

The original idea is as simple as it is effective: instead of giving Christmas presents to customers, Linde Ibérica makes donations to selected non-profit organisations. Employees and their family members are also actively involved. During the annual Fiestas Solidarias campaign days at the Barcelona, Madrid, Seville and Lisbon branches, they help people with physical or mental disabilities, accompany them on activities and turn the day into a shared experience. The company contributes to the campaign with monetary and in-kind donations to the organisations.

And whenever special assistance is needed, Linde Solidaria is ready to lend a helping hand, such as with forklifts for surplus food collection and distribution projects, social grocery stores or the Red Cross. Other forms of help include food and hygiene products for people who are threatened by social exclusion, or food allowances for children suffering from rare diseases and who therefore need extended hospital stays.

Many of Linde Material Handling EMEA’s official distributors in Spain and Portugal have now also developed their own voluntary programmes and work regularly with a range of institutions. What started out as a local initiative became an international movement that brings together the involvement of employees, companies and customers – and has a real impact!

STILL EMEA: giving youngsters a chance – seizing opportunities

Giving young people a chance who really deserve one – at STILL EMEA, social responsibility also includes providing young people from difficult backgrounds with good vocational training. Every year, one or two training places are reserved for candidates seen as weaker. When awarding these places, the company works with the Nordchance project, an initiative of the German Nordmetall association. Nordchance supports young people who are difficult to place on professional development schemes, and smoothes the way for them into vocational training. A further programme was launched recently to support young refugees: it is called Norchance Plus and is also supported by STILL.

STILL EMEA: helping others to help

Supporting humanitarian relief organisations is an important cornerstone of STILL EMEA’s community engagement. The company’s Dortmund branch has now donated an EGV-S pedestrian high-lift pallet truck to the German doctors for children in need foundation ARCHEMED – Ärzte für Kinder in Not e.V. – to simplify warehouse management. ARCHIMED operates a modern surgical centre in Eritrea, and the foundation stores all the necessary equipment and materials close to Dortmund. The new truck makes warehouse organisation more efficient and faster, lightening the burden on the foundation’s work day in, day out.

STILL EMEA: long-standing integration assistance

STILL EMEA has pursued the ambitious aim for over a decade now of integrating people with disabilities into the workplace. To help with this, the company is assisted by the German association Elbe-Werkstätten, whose work focuses on helping people with disabilities to find a job and training placements. Both partners have worked together since the 1980s And it has done so with great success: at STILL, people with disabilities are now fully integrated into working processes. In short, this long period of collaboration has proven successful for both parties: STILL receives hard-working and highly motivated employees, while Elbe-Werkstätten has achieved its objective of seeing both those with disabilities and those without working together an integrated way as a matter of course.