HARTING awarded Railsponsible Supplier Award

Logo-Zentriert PP RGBThis year’s Railsponsible CSR Award was awarded to HARTING, a Germany-based supplier of connectors and device connection technology. After the award ceremony at the Railway Forum in Berlin we spoke to Gisela Eickhoff, CSR Manager and Executive Advisor. Read the interview below.

Please, Gisela, tell us more about HARTING.

The HARTING Technology Group is a German, family owned and managed company – now in in the third-generation with Philip Harting as Chairman of the Board. For our company, intelligent high-performance connection technology forms the basis of industrial application and product technology. HARTING’s product range and solutions comprises connectors, device connection technology, network components and ready-to-use system cables. HARTING has 4,300 employees and operates 43 distribution centres and 13 production facilities throughout the world with generated sales of EUR 586 million in fiscal year 2015/16.

What do you see as the challenges in terms of CSR?

The regulatory requirements are rising, such as the UK Modern Slavery Act or the EU Non-financial Reporting Directive, for example. And – importantly – the European Parliament has given attention to the necessity for binding regulations. It is vital that we keep up to speed with these developments so that we can make the necessary changes and adaptations at an early stage. Our CSR Management System enables us to do this – we set it up in accordance with ISO 26000, the international guideline providing guidance on how businesses and organisations can operate in a socially responsible way. To keep customers and other stakeholders informed about our performance, we took the decision to have our sustainable system audited by an independent third party, with the first such audit happening as early as 2011.

From a supplier perspective, what are benefits and challenges in participating in the supplier assessment program through EcoVadis?

These days, customers are just as interested in sustainability as they are in quality and price. They send us surveys and approve audits to keep abreast of how we are implementing our ethical principles and goals. The EcoVadis platform offers a good solution for companies in the rail transport sector. The assessment brings two benefits I want to name: Firstly, it gives us an industry benchmark and secondly, we really value the recognition we receive for our CSR approach – especially when it comes in the shape of the CSR Supplier Award from Railsponsible.