Importance of sustainability
For EUROGATE, sustainability means, above all, ensuring the future viability of the corporate Group. Within the scope of its business activities and on the basis of internal processes, EUROGATE gives equal consideration to economic efficiency, environmental protection and social responsibility. Compliance with laws and internal policies and guidelines forms the natural basic prerequisite for day-to-day business operations. Efficient port operations are key to enabling the EUROGATE Group companies to ensure that their customers benefit from reliable goods transport. This is vital because the container terminals are the hubs of international trade. At the same time, EUROGATE strengthens the local economy and provides jobs. Business activities impact on both people and the environment, for example through the Group’s consumption of resources.
About this report
This report covers the principal operating companies. It does not report on minority interests that are not directly involved in the core business or on companies in which the EUROGATE Group has a stake through minority interests outside Germany, as these are not classified as material in relation to the non-financial impact of their activities and the potential for exerting influence.
This report focuses on topics that are necessary for an understanding of the business performance, the results of operations and the position of the Group, as well as the impact of its business activities on non-financial aspects. It follows the sustainability reporting standards of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI Standards 2016). The description of the concepts presented here was prepared in accordance with Standard 103 of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).
As part of the reporting process, EUROGATE examined whether risks exist that are linked to its own business activities, business relationships, or products and services and that have or can have a serious negative impact on the non-financial aspects defined by law and have a high probability of occurrence. Our conclusion is that no reportable net risks as defined in the German CSR Implementation Act (CSR-RUG) exist.
Process for determining materiality
The materiality analysis compiled in accordance with GRI standards served as the starting point for the process of assessing materiality. This materiality analysis provided the basic materiality threshold for the initial prioritization of the topics selected as important for this report. In the following, the material topics for the non-financial report were derived from this. These are on the one hand of high relevance for gaining an understanding of the business performance and position of the Group. At the same time, the business activities of the Group have a significant impact on the aspects specified in the CSR-RUG. The derivation of material topics is reviewed annually. Within the scope of this review, the topics CO2 emissions and IT security were identified as material for the first time in the reporting year.
The outcome of this process gives rise to the four material non-financial aspects energy consumption (environmental topics), occupational health and safety (employee topics), anti-corruption and anti-bribery and IT security.
Environmental topics – energy consumption and CO2 emissions
The Group’s business activities consume large amounts of energy. Energy consumption is a key performance indicator in resource management and has a direct impact on incurred costs, and hence on financial performance. It also substantially impacts on the environment because it uses natural resources and produces greenhouse gas emissions. Together with the costs from energy consumption, efforts to limit climate change and minimize the company's own carbon footprint are major aspects that drive EUROGATE's energy management activities.
Most of the energy consumption results from the use of diesel fuel, mainly for operating the straddle carriers used for container transport at the terminals. Other major energy consumers are gantry cranes, buildings and lighting. In these areas, electricity and gas are also used as power sources. As an applied due diligence process, the energy management system certified in accordance with DIN EN ISO 50001 plays a central role in steering and further developing energy management. As part of this energy management system, energy consumption is analyzed and evaluated in regular workshops. Both energy consumption and the completed as well as planned projects of all responsible stakeholders are summarized in an annual management review and presented to the managing directors of the individual companies. Here, the improvement is evaluated in energy utilization compared to the set targets.
Various large and smaller measures aim to achieve improvements by tackling the major energy consumers. Measures and projects are regularly implemented that focus on utilizing energy-savings potential, for example with in-depth capture and analysis of straddle carrier consumption data. Especially important here is achieving a continuous reduction in the consumption of fossil fuels. Energy efficiency measures have both a technical and an operational focus. EUROGATE remains committed to appealing to its employees' sense of responsibility regarding resource-saving behavior. The company systematically involves its employees in drives to cut energy consumption. One way of doing this is by training staff to operate straddle carriers in ways that use less fuel. EUROGATE regularly examines options for using more energy-efficient technologies. Thus in 2020 the conversion of the lighting systems to LED technology continued apace, investments were made in more energy-efficient equipment and a preliminary feasibility study was carried out into alternative drive technologies for the straddle carriers. Furthermore, 2020 saw the launch of a Group-wide transformation process, within the scope of which measures were defined that will have a positive impact on energy efficiency going forward.
Moreover, EUROGATE generates its own renewable energy from two wind turbines, four photovoltaic systems and one wood chip power plant. Also in the energy generation mix are three cogeneration plants.
The most important EUROGATE key performance indicator in this area is the energy intensity required to move containers. The energy consumption per container moved is regularly monitored. The following table shows the current status of target attainment:
||Lower energy consumption per container* handled by 20% up to 2020 (compared with 2008)
||Reduction of 17.8% per container handled
||Reduction of 15.8% per container handled
||The target was not met. The increase in energy consumption in 2020 is mainly attributable to changes in operational processes in connection with managing the COVID-19 pandemic, a decline in container throughput and the switch to a new IT system in Bremerhaven.
*The kWh/container figure was calculated based on the container-relevant consumption figures for the main companies (EUROGATE Container Terminals, EUROGATE Technical Services GmbH and EUROGATE Holding Company).
Employee welfare topics – Occupational health and safety management
Protecting all company and external employees from work-related injuries or diseases and safeguarding their health and well-being is a top priority. Most work is performed using heavy equipment at the terminals (mainly straddle carriers and container gantries) and is susceptible to prevailing weather conditions. Considering the manual nature of this work and the deployment of much of the workforce in a three-shift system, promoting and protecting their health is especially important.
Occupational health and safety concerns not just health and well-being of the employees, but also has a vital impact on their performance. Especially goods handling at the seaports requires a high level of safety awareness.
Various structural and organizational measures have been established. Management of occupational health and safety is the responsibility of the individual companies and their respective managing directors. They draw up and regularly update guidelines and operating instructions for occupational safety based on their specific workflows. As part of their duty of care, managers are tasked with assessing hazards and monitoring compliance with the guidelines and operating instructions in their area of responsibility. Each location has an occupational health physician, an occupational safety expert and a safety officer.
At EUROGATE, various technical and organizational measures have been put in place to lower risk exposure and reduce accidents. Ongoing measures include regular training and instruction about safety standards and accident prevention guidelines as well as monitoring whether these regulations are observed. Strict standards are in force governing compliance with occupational safety rules, for example mandatory wearing of personal protective clothing and equipment at the terminal site. Workplaces are regularly inspected to assess any hazards there and to advise on measures to minimize risk. Any injuries and accidents that occur are categorized and evaluated.
At the German locations, along with regular occupational health days, special safety days are also organized, where a day of workshops and training sessions is dedicated to the topic of safety. These are also attended by executive managers, since they bear particular responsibility to lead by example.
The key ratios for EUROGATE are the number of reportable work accidents (including during commutes) and the number of fatal accidents. The following table shows the current status of target attainment:
||Minimize the number of work-related accidents* and prevent accident-related fatalities
||Work-related accidents: 366
Accident-related fatalities: none
||Work-related accidents: 326
Accident-related fatalities: none
||The target was met. As part of the defined monitoring process in the area of occupational safety, measures to counter this development are developed based on the analysis of hazardous situations, accident severity and cause.
*In Germany, all accidents must be reported that result in death or injury that prevents a person from working for more than three days. The EUROGATE figure includes accidents involving not only the company's own employees, but also temporary contract workers. It does not record accidents involving employees of external contractors.
Anti-corruption and anti-bribery
To achieve long-term success, a company must conduct its activities in a legally compliant, fair and reliable way. Within the EUROGATE Group, compliance relates to adherence to the statutory standards as well as internal corporate guidelines and policies and working to ensure their observance in all Group companies. These include the relevant policies and principles on preventing bribery and corruption.
EUROGATE has established a compliance management system that comprises a Compliance Policy with several sections, a Code of Conduct, and an Anti-Corruption Policy. These regulations came into force on January 1, 2017. Cementing the Group’s commitment to free and fair competition, the guidelines and the Code of Conduct summarize the Group’s values and provide the basis for its understanding of entrepreneurial compliance. The documents state that EUROGATE neither tolerates corruption nor permits discrimination. All business decisions must comply with the law and meet EUROGATE’s standards of ethics and integrity as described in the policies and guidelines.
Technical competence for the compliance management system lies with the Legal department of the EUROGATE holding company and the compliance officer. Responsibility for compliance with the Anti-Corruption Policy lies with the Group Management Board and the management boards of the respective EUROGATE Group companies. On introduction of the compliance management system, EUROGATE also appointed a compliance officer. Furthermore, an external ombudsman was appointed to receive anonymous information. Once a year, the compliance officer presents an internal report to the Group management and supervisory bodies. Among other points, this contains the current status of the main compliance risks as well as suggestions for new measures or changes.
When the compliance regulations came into force, all employees received a copy of both the Anti-Corruption Policy and the Code of Conduct. The compliance officer explained this process at a large number of staff meetings. In 2019, following on from the basic in-person training courses conducted in 2017 when the compliance management system was introduced, workshops were held for employees in particularly sensitive areas of the company. The in-person training courses for sensitive areas planned for 2020 had to be postponed until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Compliance management at North Sea Terminal Bremerhaven GmbH & Co (NTB), which is operated as a joint venture between EUROGATE and APMT, is conducted separately. Regular compliance training courses take place in which the partners' guidelines are discussed with the relevant groups of employees. This means that the compliance regulations of both partners are also observed at NTB. Responsibility for this lies with the management of NTB. There is an internal manual that defines the company’s main principles for combating corruption and bribery. Training courses organized jointly with an external partner are generally held once a year. The main topics of the training courses are determined in advance in cooperation with the management. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, no training courses were held in 2020. An annual risk inventory, an annual fraud risk assessment and monthly evaluations of the internal control system identify any impacts associated with this issue.
The central key performance indicator for EUROGATE is the number of confirmed cases of corruption. The following table shows the current status of target attainment:
||No cases of corruption
||The target was met. There were no confirmed cases of corruption in the reporting year.
The ever-growing number of IT-based business processes that have emerged in recent years as well as the dovetailing of EUROGATE's systems with those of other providers along the logistics chain increase the demand for an absolutely secure IT infrastructure. Cyber threats are on the increase all the time and are constantly changing. At the same time, the EUROGATE Group’s reliance on IT systems is growing, especially in light of the planned automation projects. IT security is therefore crucial to enabling and ensuring efficient business processes across the companies in the EUROGATE Group.
Technical competence for the EUROGATE information security management system (ISMS) lies with the IT department of the EUROGATE holding company. Overall responsibility lies with the Group Management Board and the management boards of the respective companies in the EUROGATE Group. On introduction of the ISMS, EUROGATE also appointed an IT security officer.
The goals and targets are set on the basis of a general risk assessment for EUROGATE and concrete risk analyses for the respective projects. Various approaches based on NIST, IEC 62443 and alternative market approaches are being examined for modelling the measurability of the protection achieved through non-financial performance indicators. The EUROGATE ISMS was audited in the 2020 financial year in accordance with the guidelines of the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), since EUROGATE is classified as an operator of critical infrastructure pursuant to the IT Security Act (ITSG). The focus of the audit was to assess the status quo with respect to implementing the BSI guidelines. The deviations and recommendations resulting from the audit will be dealt with within the scope of targeted measures.