Certified Environmental Management

As part of its HSE management, Linde MH aims to minimize its negative environmental impact. In particular, the company aims to use resources responsibly and consistently reduce its local environmental impact. To do this, Linde MH pursues an indicator-based approach, focusing on energy and greenhouse gas emissions, water, and waste.

Under the company’s integrated HSE management system – which covers health and safety in the workplace, the environment and energy – the Executive Board and all managers are required wherever possible to ensure processes and production operations are environmentally friendly and energy efficient, to avoid waste wherever possible, to use natural resources such as water, soil, and raw materials sparingly and responsibly, to avoid or reduce emissions released into the air, water, and ground, and to actively support the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions generated by business activities.

Linde MH sites are committed to implementing the Group-wide KION HSE standard. In addition, some Linde MH sites are developing specific strategies to take local conditions into account. To support these efforts, an HSE officer has been appointed for each national subsidiary.

A key sustainability target in the corporate strategy is for all sites to obtain ISO 14001 (environmental management) certification by 2024. Regular audits provide transparency regarding sustainability performance as well as the basis for continuous improvement in this area.

Sites certified in accordance with ISO 14001:
2022 2021 2020
84.8% 80.5% 75.2%


Since 2020, all Linde MH plants in Germany have been procuring their electricity from renewable sources. Linde MH’s switch to green electricity is not just beneficial for the environment—it also has the potential to generate significant cost savings. An electricity contract for the KION Group’s sites in Germany and the Czech Republic shows how the use of renewable energies can make both environmental and economic sense.

Linde MH’s production sites with the highest energy consumption are now certified according to ISO 50001 (energy management) and are regularly assessed as part of the current certification cycle. This also eliminates the need for the prescribed four-yearly energy audit because the certification requires the implementation of an energy management system, including the regular review of all key figures and the completion of internal audits. The certification enables energy efficiency to be continuously improved in accordance with certain rules. For example, at the warehouse technology plant in Châtellerault, the building technology enables the operating times to be determined based on the outside temperature or sunlight, which generates significant energy savings. The team in Châtellerault initiated the certification process back in 2013, and it was completed in 2015. This makes the plant a pioneer in the KION Group to this very day.

At new Linde MH sales and service locations, appropriate technical standards for construction and building technology help to save energy. These include—for example, at Willenbrock Fördertechnik in Burgwedel—energy-efficient façades and alternative heating systems (e.g., air source heat pumps), LED lighting with daylight control, green roofs, insect-friendly systems, and preparations for the installation of photovoltaic systems.

There are numerous other examples of energy savings achieved through process optimization in the company:

  • Thanks to a precise process analysis, significant energy savings have been achieved on the powder painting line at Linde MH’s largest plant in Aschaffenburg. Some 20 fans and 4 cooling towers were being used to provide the mast cooling for the paint shop. The process analysis showed that there was no need for this many resources and that the energy consumption was therefore too high. By optimizing the cooling zones, one cooling tower and four fans could be switched off, resulting in energy savings of approximately 25% for this process and reducing electricity consumption by approximately 210,000 kWh per year.
  • LED lighting instead of fluorescent tubes: By converting the hall lighting from neon tubes to LED lighting in Aschaffenburg, some 1211 tons of CO2e are saved every year.
  • Own renewable energy production at LMH Ibérica Spain: The installation of 252 solar panels (each 440 Wp) on the roof in conjunction with two inverters with remote control and monitoring has generated savings of 380,000 euros and around 10.5 tons of CO2e annually.
  • By switching from a mix of energy sources to 100% renewable energy, Jetschke Industrie in Germany has been able to achieve annual savings of 1100 euros and 19 tons of CO2e.
  • Reducing compressed air leaks cuts energy consumption: Leaks lead to higher energy consumption and higher costs, which should be avoided for economic and environmental reasons. A single one-millimeter leak costs around 500 euros per year in wasted energy. That is why the team at Linde MH Aschaffenburg meticulously searches for and eliminates leaks in the compressed air network, for example by replacing maintenance units, tools, shut-off valves, vents, or porous compressed air hoses. These optimization efforts generate annual savings of as much as 51 tons of CO2e at Aschaffenburg.
Energy consumption (GJ):
2022 2021 2020
Total energy consumption, direct and indirect 1,079,340 1,143,040 882,211
Direct energy consumption 812,178 871,715 705,359
Diesel, non-renewable 332,040 345,620 322,359
Gasoline, non-renewable 27,011 23,307 23,433
Ethanol, non-renewable 20 620 20
Heating oil, non-renewable 6,371 2,459 2,609
Hard coal, non-renewable 83 65 66
Coking coal, non-renewable 141,279 158,171 123,324
Natural gas, non-renewable 280,223 316,201 214,341
Compressed natural gas, non-renewable 7,124 7,889 8,124
LNG, non-renewable 18 0 0
LPG, non-renewable 14,074 12,775 11,083
Wood chips, renewable 3,455 5,166 0
Self-generated solar elect., renewable 477 0 0
Indirect energy consumption 267,162 271,325 176,853
Electricity purchased 258,485 262,359 168,686
Heating purchased 8,677 8,966 8,166


Linde MH and its production facilities are based in regions with sufficient water supplies and good local infrastructure. The company makes sure that all facilities on its premises comply with the applicable safety and environmental regulations and are regularly checked to ensure that they are in good working order.

Measures have been taken at the plants to reduce water consumption, such as the instruction to wash company vehicles only when necessary. Existing plants and equipment are updated whenever buildings are renovated or facilities are upgraded or installed:

  • The powder painting line at the Aschaffenburg plant has been at the cutting edge of technology since 2019. The process is fully automated and completely eliminates pollution, volatile organic compound emissions (VOCs), and the need for water treatment thanks to the technologies in place. Solvent emissions alone have fallen by almost 25 tons per year.
  • At the Weilbach production site, a special sweeper has been commissioned to effectively filter out the fine dust at the foundry. Equipped with state-of-the-art filter technology, the machine almost completely eliminates fine dust emissions—even particles smaller than 1 μm are removed, meaning that even bacteria get trapped in the filters. What’s more, the super quiet machine needs only 40% of the previous water volume and is more energy-efficient.
  • At the same site, closed cooling circuits are used for sand conditioning and in the cupola furnace to reduce water consumption. In these systems, the main aim of the coolant treatment is to prevent corrosion by means of softening or desalination and chemical dosing. This means that salted-out water is rejected only when the salt content reaches a certain level.
  • Willenbrock Fördertechnik conserves water by using a cistern to collect rainwater. With a capacity of 20,000 liters, it can collect a large amount of water during heavy rain, which is then used to flush toilets in the building and irrigate green outside spaces.
  • At the Barcelona site, a washing plant with water treatment has been installed to reuse water and keep water consumption to a minimum.

Linde MH’s business activities have only a very minor impact on water quality, so apart from the use of light liquid separators, there is no need for any further pretreatment of wastewater prior to disposal. Nevertheless, Linde MH has its wastewater regularly monitored by external analyses, which are in turn monitored through internal reporting processes (quantities, treatment methods). Water withdrawals and wastewater are regularly monitored by means of monthly sampling and analyses, for example.

Key figures on water withdrawal and wastewater can be found in the table.

Water withdrawal (m3):
2022 2021 2020
Total quantity of water withdrawal 140,942 153,409 105,818
Ground water 9,575 9,046 7,417
Municipal water supply 131,367 143,863 97,901
Water withdrawal from other sources 500 500

Climate Protection

The efforts being made worldwide to limit global warming and tackle the associated challenges require proactive, future-oriented action to protect the climate—including from Linde MH and its partners. In addition to its own direct activities, the KION Group works closely with its customers, suppliers, and business partners in various areas such as energy consumption, resource efficiency, the reduction of GHG emissions, and adaptation measures.

KION’s climate and energy management strategy is based on the agreement concluded at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris in 2015 (Paris Agreement). In 2017/2018, a science-based climate target was formulated to reduce the Group’s energy-related emissions (Scope 1, 2, and 3) by 30% by 2027 compared to 2017. In 2021, the company began a comprehensive review of its current climate strategy.

As a significant interim result, new strategic targets have been developed that are fully aligned with the current criteria of the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). As well as expanding the scope of the climate targets to include further Scope 3 emissions, the Net-Zero Standard for companies to limit global warming to 1.5°C compared to pre-industrial levels in accordance with the Paris Agreement is taken as a basis. The corresponding final resolution by the boards of the KION Group is expected in 2023.

Following these new targets, the company intends to achieve a clear reduction in GHG emissions in the value chain by 2030 (near-term) and to pursue a path toward net zero by 2050 at the latest (long-term; Scope 1, 2, and 3). The strategy takes into account carbon dioxide (CO2), which makes up the largest share by far, but also other greenhouse gases (GHG) such as methane, nitrogen oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, sulfur hexafluoride, and nitrogen trifluoride where possible and relevant. By setting these targets, the Group is also preparing for new regulations such as the European Green Deal and the EU Taxonomy.

To enable the effective and efficient control of its GHG emissions and energy use, the KION Group has set up a comprehensive climate management system that covers its own operations as well as other parts of the value chain, from production to use and reuse at the end of the current product life cycle. The internationally recognized rules of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol serve as the basis for the calculation and presentation of data on GHG emissions.

With regard to Scope 1 and 2, GHG emissions and energy consumption in the company are being reduced further by improving processes and using more energy-efficient technologies. Continuous measures initiated through the local energy or environmental management systems (for example, switching to energy-efficient motors and recovery of waste heat in production, optimization of heating systems and building infrastructure, LED technology, and transport optimization in sales and services) are combined with central initiatives, for example to convert the in-house vehicle fleet to low-carbon drive technologies or to promote the increased sourcing of energy from renewables and further options for self-generation based on renewables.

In Scope 3, relevant categories are taken into account based on a materiality analysis of GHG emissions. The largest category by far—the emissions of products in the use phase—is prioritized. In addition to product design, customers are encouraged to factor sustainability aspects into their decision when choosing a solution and to use the products in a more energy-efficient way and on the basis of energy from renewable sources. There is also a particular focus on the emissions of purchased goods and services, i.e., material and supplier-specific GHG emissions, as the second-largest emission category besides Scope 1 and 2. For both major Scope 3 categories, the gradual integration of insights from life cycle analyses and material, supplier, and customer data as well as measures to engage partners in the value chain are ongoing (for further information, see the KION Sustainability Report 2022).

Greenhouse gas emissions (kg COe):
2022 2021 2020
Scope 1, market-based 57,728,410 61,558,646 56,144,275
Scope 2, market-based 5,557,200 5,443,837 4,260,048
Scope 3.31, location-based 15,626,026 16,173,164 13,579,963
Total emissions 78,911,636 83,175,647 73,984,287

[1] Indirect (upstream) fuel and energy-related greenhouse gas emissions.

CO2 Compensation via Certificates

In addition to the company’s own emission reduction measures, compensating for unavoidable emissions with climate protection certificates is another way to effectively mitigate climate change. Thanks to this approach, Linde Material Handling (Schweiz) AG has been delivering equipment to customers in Switzerland in a carbon-neutral way since July 2022, making it one of the first intralogistics companies to offer climate-friendly transportation. The company works with Swiss Climate to purchase emission certificates and support selected climate protection projects.

Thanks to these efforts, Linde Material Handling (Schweiz) AG has successfully offset 32.4 tons of CO2 via a climate protection project. The supported project generates renewable energy from sawdust produced during the production of raw material for paper manufacture. The sawdust is reused as biomass to produce water vapor, which in turn serves as the energy source for the production of raw material. This regenerative system therefore enables fossil energy sources to be replaced as a heat source. The biomass project is one of the only climate protection projects in Europe to have been awarded the “Gold Standard.”

All German companies in the Group also offer their employees the opportunity to use a portion of their gross pay to lease a bicycle, which they can then also use privately. By offering this scheme, Linde MH is responding to the wishes of many colleagues while at the same time promoting sustainable mobility. Furthermore, new company car regulations were introduced at Linde MH Nordic Markets (Denmark, Sweden, Norway) in 2022 meaning that only hybrid and purely electric cars are now permitted.

Other Monitored Emissions

Linde MH buildings are usually located in industrial areas where no residents live. Ongoing checks and measurements have shown that noise barriers are not needed. However, the company does employ internal noise protection measures, such as enclosures for the relevant work areas, roller shutters in workshops, and personal protective equipment.

Linde MH has systems for filtering exhaust air (e.g., exhaust gases, paint, welding fumes) at many sites as well as dedusting systems in trucks. Highly effective filter systems are installed in the foundries in particular to minimize the release of fine dust into the atmosphere and the environment. Where emissions are generated by painting and heating systems, Linde MH uses highly effective combustion processes that minimize the gases emitted into the atmosphere and pump the heat generated back into the buildings.

Other monitored emissions into the air (kg):
2022 2021 2020
Total quantity of other significant air emissions 119,406 133,197 97,588
Carbon monoxide (air emissions, CO) 11,034 10,300 5,352
NOx 18,097 27,641 19,227
SOx 34,068 29,861 22,831
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) 36,836 41,699 38,448
Fine dust (PM) 3,389 2,504 1,528
Other emissions into the air 15,982 21,192 10,202

Resource Efficiency

To conserve resources, there are opportunities for truck refurbishment at almost all sales and service entities at Linde MH, as well as return systems for batteries and partnerships for the return and recycling of tires. The refurbishment process extends the service life of forklift trucks and improves material efficiency and the environmental balance (e.g., carbon footprint, energy consumption, VOC emissions). This significantly reduces the overall demand for energy and raw materials, as well as the amount of waste generated.

The mixed production line in Aschaffenburg, where several different truck models are assembled on the same line, is another way in which the company is using resources more efficiently. As well as offering economic advantages, this production method is also extremely beneficial from an environmental perspective: The smaller production area reduces the need for raw materials and energy for the construction, operation, and maintenance of the infrastructure. The forklift trucks built on the mixed model line have also increased the degree of automation in production, for example through the use of robot welding. This not only has environmental benefits, such as reducing power peaks, but also health benefits, as employees in many areas are no longer directly exposed to the hazards of the welding process, such as heat and smoke.

It is standard practice to make the most economical use of resources at the Weilbach site, too: Parts that are indispensable for all forklift trucks have been cast here since 1975. The team at the foundry produces counterbalances that are made of 100% melted scrap from all over Europe and are then assembled in Aschaffenburg. Depending on the product line, a counterbalance can weigh between 700 and 3300 kilograms.

Replacing critical or hazardous substances with less critical ones is also an important aspect of responsible resource management. This applies both to raw materials and to operating materials that are required for production but do not form part of the end product. For example, the dangerous substance methylene chloride, which was commonly used to clean paint spray guns, has been replaced with a less dangerous substance in the last few years. A less hazardous product has also been found to rinse painting facilities.

The careful use of resources also requires the careful disposal of waste. Linde Pohony in the Czech Republic, for example, uses waste compactors that are suitable for plastic and paper waste. They reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions because there is less waste to dispose of. They are also covered to prevent the contamination of rainwater.

In France, Fenwick-Linde stopped sending industrial waste to landfill in February 2023 and is working with the waste-to-energy plant in Limoges to recycle 100% of its waste. The industrial waste is recycled in a combustion plant, and the heat generated is converted into electricity via a turbine and fed into the grid.

At the headquarters in Aschaffenburg, waste is also being reduced in another specific area: RECUP and REBOWL is Germany’s largest reusable packaging system for takeout beverages and food and there are now more than 13,900 takeout and return points. This system is now also being implemented at Linde, saving 30 kg of waste per day and 30,000 euros per year.

Waste (t):
2022 2021 2020
Hazardous waste for disposal 1,996 1,672 1,554
Incinerated 961 734 650
Sent to landfill 543 482 406
Other disposal methods 492 456 488
Non-hazardous waste for disposal 2,018 2,963 3,125
Incinerated 360 419 662
Sent to landfill 1,048 1,886 2,065
Other disposal methods 611 658 397


2022 2021 2020
Hazardous waste for recovery 5,365 5,729 5,541
Recycled 4,519 5,023 4,875
Prepared for reuse 521 432 430
Other recovery methods 325 274 235
Non-hazardous waste for recovery 54,2851 23,773 18,952
Recycled 50,123 19,192 15,100
Prepared for reuse 3,810 4,383 3,407
Other recovery methods 353 198 445


2022 2021 2020
Hazardous waste 7,361 7,401 7,085
Non-hazardous waste 56,303 26,736 22,076
Total waste for disposal 4,014 4,635 4,669
Total waste for recovery 59,6491 29,502 24,492

[1] The increase in recovered waste is due to the dismantling of buildings at a German site.

Collective Effort

The mandatory annual HSE training also covers topics relating to the company’s environmental, climate, and energy management, such as energy and water consumption, waste separation, and climate risks.

Employees trained in environmental issues:
2022 2021 2020
92.9% 89.1% 84.6%

The numerous environmental protection campaigns organized over the years are a testament to the company’s success at raising employee awareness of environmental issues:

  • Every year around Easter time, the “Recycling Bunny” visits employees in Switzerland with ideas, tips, and suggestions relating to sustainability and health. How often do you hear people ask: “I’m just one person—what can I do about climate change?” The answer is: “We are stronger together! Every single one of us can make a difference just by consistently recycling our waste.” And the more that is recycled, the less that needs to be produced. As well as preventing huge amounts of emissions from being released into the atmosphere, this will also conserve a lot of natural resources. The Recycling Bunny is excited to hear what other ideas employees have to share.
  • In March 2023, employees at Linde MH Germany were called on to donate their old cell phones, tablets, and accessories as part of World Recycling Day. Some 80% of the components in a cell phone can be recycled and used to replace material that would otherwise have to be mined from nature. Linde MH is supporting the “Handys für Hummel, Biene & Co” (Cell Phones for Busy Bees and Friends) initiative of the German Nature And Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) with these efforts. Since 2006, NABU has been committed to ensuring that cell phones are recycled correctly and to returning the materials of electrical appliances to the material cycle. More than 500 devices (cell phones, tablets, headphones, and power adapters) were collected in the NABU boxes at the German sites. The campaign was aimed specifically at private cell phones, but Linde MH also takes a proactive approach in this area with regard to company cell phones and devices. For several years now, the on-site support team has been collecting outdated or faulty company cell phones at German sites. The phones are collected in boxes and, once these are full, they are sent to a service provider who recycles or refurbishes the devices.
  • Replacing critical or hazardous substances with less critical ones is an important aspect of responsible resource management. This applies both to raw materials and to operating materials that are required for production but do not form part of the end product. For example, the dangerous substance methylene chloride, which was commonly used to clean paint spray guns, has been replaced with a less dangerous substance in the last few years. A less hazardous product has even been found to rinse painting facilities.
  • A green roof has been installed at Willenbrock Fördertechnik GmbH specifically to protect bees and insects: The 1087 m2 roof of an office building on its premises has been planted with grass, shrubs, and flowers to provide a source of food for bees and other pollinators. Green roofs like this not only promote biodiversity in industrial areas, but also improve air quality, lower the ambient temperature, and serve as a buffer for rainwater. Going forward, the plan is to cover an economically viable part of the hall roof (total area of 9304 m²) with a PV system in order to produce renewable energy and reduce the company’s dependence on fossil fuels.
  • At Fenwick-Linde’s branches in France, information on the potential ways to reduce energy consumption has been posted in the buildings, generating savings of around 5100 euros and a reduction of 10 tons of CO2e in 2022.

Linde MH Idea Management

Linde MH Idea Management has been an established part of the company for many years now and supports the continuous development of the company through the suggestions provided by employees. The aim is to improve quality, productivity, and job satisfaction in the company by drawing on the knowledge and experience of all employees. The department strives to unlock untapped potential for improvement and incorporate it into the continuous improvement process for the entire product and service portfolio, production and work processes, and working conditions, including occupational health and safety and environmental protection—ultimately benefiting both the company and its employees. Ideas for improvement are assessed by an expert from the relevant department using defined evaluation criteria and rewarded based on the resulting score.

In 2022, Idea Management organized its first environmental sustainability campaign. Employees were invited to submit their ideas for how to make Linde MH more sustainable over a period of three weeks. Questions included: “How can we reduce our energy consumption, conserve raw materials and components, or reuse them more efficiently in a circular economy?” and “How can we optimize our supply chains and transport routes from an environmental standpoint and reduce waste or recycle it better?” A jury evaluated the ten best ideas and rewarded the three ideas with the biggest environmental impact. Linde MH has since implemented six ideas that came directly from employees.

One of these ideas is to use reusable packaging on short transport routes: Previously, products being transported from the warehouse to Aschaffenburg were all delivered in the same sized boxes with filling material. These have now been replaced by reusable crates in different sizes. Another employee idea to switch from disposable aerosol cans to reusable ones in quality assurance has also been implemented with positive effect. At the plant in Aschaffenburg, around 3000 to 4000 of these cans were consumed every year. This new measure reduces the amount of waste generated and minimizes the release of propellant gases such as CO2 and propane without any negative impact on quality. The media are now supplied in large canisters, allowing the aerosol cans to be refilled and reused several times. In addition, the reusable aerosol cans are now operated with compressed air generated by green electricity. This clean energy source improves the overall sustainability of processes and reduces dependency on conventional fossil fuels. After a successful trial phase at the plant in Aschaffenburg, Linde MH intends to roll out this environmentally friendly approach to other plants in the organization.

These changes have not only reduced the company’s environmental footprint, but also demonstrate its commitment to the responsible use of resources and changing management decisions in the area of sustainability. The positive impact of these initiatives provides an incentive to introduce similar sustainable practices at all plants—and, in doing so, make a significant contribution to a sustainable future for the company.


Hydrogen is expected to be an integral part of the energy mix of the future. Linde MH sees it as a promising alternative for use in large fleets working around the clock—particularly because the trucks can be refueled in a matter of minutes. The company has been producing green hydrogen using its own infrastructure on plant premises since spring 2023, and is using this hydrogen to power 21 fuel cell trucks in the plant fleet. At the heart of the system is an electrolyzer, which breaks down water (H2O) into its component parts of oxygen (O2) and hydrogen (H2) using electricity. To ensure that this endeavor also makes sense from a climate technology perspective, only green electricity obtained from wind, water, the sun, and other renewable energy sources is used for this purpose. Linde MH intends to have this green hydrogen certified accordingly in the near future.

Fleet and Transport Management

In terms of the switch to more environmentally friendly drives, the fleet and transport management strategy is to replace the company’s own combustion vehicles with electric models. Jetschke in Germany, for example, replaced two diesel vans with two electric vans in the second quarter of 2022, and in the third quarter it replaced two diesel vehicles with two purely electric vehicles plus a further eight diesel vehicles with eight plug-in gasoline hybrid vehicles.

In addition, the area management of service technicians has been restructured at all Fenwick-Linde branches in France in order to optimize the fleet and routes. Also in France, at Loire Océan Manutation, route planning has been optimized by better distributing the sectors of customer service technicians by forming groups of two according to customers and geographical areas. The use of the new software Area Reform also enabled Linde Magyarország Anyagmozgatási (Hungary) to reduce fuel consumption in 2022 by optimizing the routes and thus the emissions of service vehicles.

New EV charging stations were also installed in 2022—eight in Bremen and six in Großburgwedel—to promote e-mobility among employees. Willenbrock’s company vehicle fleet currently consists of 26 hybrid vehicles and 2 electric vehicles, and this trend is on the rise.