Involving our stakeholders

We consult our key stakeholders about material issues. These include Linde employees and our shareholders, customers and suppliers. Other relevant interest groups are politicians and the research and scientific community, non-governmental organisations, neighbours and the general public. The Group’s corporate responsibility department responded to over 3,600 questions from stakeholders on sustainability issues during the reporting year. The main issues raised concerned corporate governance topics, eco-efficiency, labour standards and sustainable products. At the end of 2013, Linde once again conducted an internal survey across all regions on sustainability topics. These included local focus areas, collaborations with stakeholders and corporate citizenship within communities.

3,600

questions from stakeholders about sustainability issues answered

We also engage in debate on specialist topics. During the reporting year, Linde participated in events which involved discussions with scientific experts in Germany and Italy on the use of renewable energy and of hydrogen as an environmentally friendly fuel.

Linde plays an active role in industry and business associations at national, European and international level. Among these are the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI), the German Engineering Federation (VDMA), the European Industrial Gases Association (EIGA) and the Asia Industrial Gases Association (AIGA). The Group is also a member of selected corporate responsibility networks. These include the UN Global Compact and econsense (Forum for Sustainable Development of German Business e.V.).

We collaborate with partners in science and with other companies to develop sustainable solutions for energy supply, mobility and other topics. For instance, Linde is one of the founding members of the Clean Energy Partnership (CEP), the largest demonstration project for hydrogen-based mobility in Europe. With the support of the German government, the CEP is testing fuel-cell vehicles and the systems for their refuelling. H2Mobility is the name of a joint initiative between Linde and five leading industrial companies. The aim is to set up a nationwide network of hydrogen filling stations in Germany. The initiative aims to expand the current network of 15 public hydrogen filling stations in Germany to around 400 filling stations by 2023. The H2Mobility initiative assumes that total investment in this infrastructure project will be around EUR 350 million.

Once again in 2013, our dialogue with politicians and society focused in particular on the need for a cost-effective and environmentally friendly energy supply. Germany, an industrial hub, is in the process of transforming its energy policy, creating opportunities for the use of new, efficient technologies but also exposing it to the risk of rising power costs. Linde added its voice to that of various industry associations and trade unions, emphasising the importance of competitive power prices to German industry. At the same time, with "Clean Technology by Linde", we are making a contribution towards more environmentally friendly mobility and energy supplies through our products and processes in the environmental and energy sectors. Sustainable solutions in the transport sector play an important role here. Our dialogue with politicians in 2013 focused on the terms of reference for the use of LNG (liquefied natural gas) in shipping and the shift towards emission-free electromobility using hydrogen and fuel cell energy. We also noticed growing interest in power-to-gas technology, which allows power to be stored in the form of hydrogen through electrolysis. The objective here is also to create a regulatory framework in a dialogue with politicians and society to help this technology achieve a breakthrough.

As a group, Linde does not make donations to political parties or to individuals. In the United States, employees of Linde North America have formed a political action committee. Under the umbrella of this independent registered committee, employees collect donations for politicians, political parties and associations.

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