Opportunities & risks
Strategy and governance
Sustainability is a vital component of our Group strategy. Linde has set itself the target of becoming the leading gases and engineering company in the world. This means becoming the leading company not only in terms of our financial key performance indicators (KPIs), such as revenue and operating profit, but also in terms of our reputation in the market and with our customers and all other stakeholders. We see our role as providing our customers with high-quality products and services and offering sustainable value added, as well as serving those customers in the best way possible. We are committed to behaving responsibly towards people and the environment and to conserving natural resources. We comply thereby with our foundational principle of sustainability, one of four principles underlying the Linde Spirit. The Linde Spirit defines the values of our Group and applies to all our employees around the world
The activities we adopt for sustainable development are based on established principles:
- Focus on our core business: When developing our sustainability measures, we consider our main business processes and the entire life-cycle of our products. Our sustainability activities are based on a materiality analysis.
- Continuous improvement: We continually analyse how sustainability enables us to exploit business opportunities and to minimise risks for the Group. We use key corporate responsibility indicators to measure our sustainability performance and to make comparisons around the world.
- Engagement with stakeholders: We adapt our corporate responsibility activities to reflect the needs of our stakeholders.
- Transparency: We report regularly and publicly on the progress we have made in our focus areas.
Opportunities and risks
We want to apply our foundational principle of sustainability to an even greater extent to drive our business operations. We are constantly analysing how our products help our customers develop more sustainable processes: for example, through increased energy efficiency or reduced emissions. In the field of energy and environmental technologies, we are continuing to expand our product portfolio. The range comprises processes and technologies required along the entire length of the value chain of renewable and fossil fuels: from production via conversion, transport and storage to their most efficient use. We have also focused our research funds on the continuing development of this market. An important growth market for us is the healthcare market. Our therapies for the treatment of respiratory disorders and our range of clinical and non-clinical care services contribute towards improving the lives of patients.
We record and evaluate risks systematically and reduce risks by adopting responsible business practices and making constant improvements in our operations. We use our global management systems, for example, to implement standards for sustainable business practices within our business processes worldwide. These include global guidelines on safety, environmental protection, compliance, supplier management and fair working conditions.
Materiality: Products (Energy and the environment, healthcare)
- Energy and the environment: revenue, Group operating profit, ROCE , research and development costs, research projects with an environmental benefit , emissions avoided in customer applications
- Healthcare: revenue from Linde Healthcare, number of patients, number of hospitals supplied
- EUR 3,059 million revenue at Linde Healthcare in 2014
- Contribution towards the target for Group operating profit in 2017 as a result of products in the energy and environmental sectors, gaining access to new markets and customer
- Customers: increased efficiency as a result of reduction in energy consumption