Implementation of Sustainability

The following examples of concrete measures and projects illustrate how Metall Zug’s sustainability strategy is being implemented.

Building with Wood

Metall Zug takes care to employ sustainable construction methods when erecting new-builds. Where possible, wood is used for building. Greenhouse gas emissions are much lower when building with wood, compared with steel or reinforced concrete. The framework and façade for extending the first building phase of V-ZUG’s vertical factory at the main site were made of wood. This decision meant that greenhouse gas emissions from the structural fabric will be cut by around 790 tonnes of CO2 over the assumed life of 60 years as compared with a steel construction. This corresponds to roughly 794 long-haul economy flights per person from Zurich to New York.

High-Rise Project for Low-Price Housing

Under Project Pi, V-ZUG Immobilien AG is planning an innovative residential high-rise with affordable apartments in the city of Zug. The winning project was presented in fall 2019. Ecological and social dimensions of sustainability are at the core of the project. The project explores the construction options for using wood in place of building materials with high CO2 emission levels in the support structure as well as in the interior space. Any potential for installing photovoltaic systems on the roof and façade is also exhausted as far as possible. The building’s energy supply is met with renewable heat and cold from the deep reaches of the Baar Basin and from Lake Zug. The high-rise provides attractive living at an urban location with a social mix of neighborhoods and promotes coexistence by means of meeting places and communal areas on each storey.

Extending Product Availability

The exceptionally long availability of spare parts at V-ZUG, Haag-Streit and Schleuniger contributes to the long life of the products. Haag-Streit Diagnostics has extended the guarantee on slit lamps to 10 years, which speaks for the outstanding quality of the product. Spare parts are also available for 10 years after discontinuation of sales activities for any product from the slit lamp range. In the case of electronic devices used in biometry and perimetry, spare parts are available for 7 years after products are discontinued. Haag-Streit thus protects its customers’ investments in addition to promoting the sustainable use of resources.

Supplier Assessment according to Sustainability Criteria

Schleuniger assesses suppliers on the basis of a questionnaire that extensively addresses the issue of sustainability and defines a minimum score. The questionnaire covers systematic environmental and health management, accident frequency, conformity with local and international laws and conventions, as well as business ethics policies. Supplier audits are conducted by Schleuniger personnel.

Diversity as a Factor of Success

Metall Zug regards diversity and equal opportunities as a crucial factor of success and is actively seeking to promote women into leadership functions. At the Annual General Meeting in May 2019 two new female Members have been elected to the Board of Directors of Metall Zug AG.

More Continuing Professional Development Options For Employees

All Business Units offer their staff training and continuing professional development opportunities. V-ZUG has redefined and expanded the curriculum of its in-house V-ZUGacademy. Tailored to their particular skillset model, employees can attend training in professional skills and self-competence, as well as social, methodology and leadership skills. In taking this systematic approach, V-ZUG ensures that a culture of lifelong learning is practiced, and employees develop their potential and can also be deployed to the benefit of customers.

Fit and Healthy for the Future

Work has a significant influence on well-being and performance. V-ZUG supports its employees in their efforts to remain fit and active, and thus successful in their jobs. V-ZUG’s occupational health management program “vitality” regularly explores physical and psychological health issues. V-ZUG is committed to prevention by reducing risk factors and strengthening protection factors as well as supporting the staff concerned, for instance with in-house yoga and massage sessions, or winter sports accident prevention programs.

Parents@work: Coaching for Young Parents

Initiated by the V-ZUG Women’s Network, the parents@work program is available to all working parents at V-ZUG who are either awaiting the birth of a baby or have small children at home. Parents@work helps fathers and mothers to cope with the challenging phase of starting a family and to coach one another. Not least, the aim of the program is to make it easier for parents to return to work when parental leave ends and for V-ZUG to be able to retain valuable employees. Participation in the program is free of charge, and the peer-to-peer coaching sessions are recorded in the time attendance system as in-house training. Coaching sessions are confidential.

Reducing and Recycling Waste

In order to reduce packaging waste, Haag Streit Diagnostics has introduced a system of returnable packaging together with a supplier from Germany. The supplier delivers assemblies in sets using returnable packaging. Inlays are redistributed at Haag Streit onto a kanban rack and fed to assembly at the given time. The empty packs are folded and returned to the supplier on the next journey back, which also saves on packaging costs.

Haag Streit uses a distillery plant for solvents at the Köniz site (Switzerland). Distillation apparatus permits the recovery and reuse of solvents used for cleaning and degreasing in the paint shop. By applying the simple principle of distillation, contaminants (resins, pigments, paints, inks, oils, etc.) can be separated from the solvent, which is collected in a container for subsequent reuse. Since distillation does not affect the solvent properties, the distillation process can be repeated any number of times. Haag Streit has been able to reduce the consumption of solvents by around 70 %.

V-ZUG pays an additional CHF 5 per tonne for the disposal of metal hydroxide sludge at the Zug site. This fee is earmarked for the charter of surface treatment specialists committed to eco-friendly disposal. V-ZUG in Zug has taken the decision to stop using single-use plastic cups and replace them with washable cups and drinking bottles.

Online Training on the Code of Conduct

Schleuniger’s S.University offers customers online training on the topic of wire processing, which in turn helps to save on costly travel. S.University has continually increased its range of programs over the years. In 2019, S.University developed an interactive online course (including Q&A) on the Metall Zug Code of Conduct. The online course is currently available in English, German and Chinese. In an initial phase, new employees in the US and Mexico are being trained with this tool. Training outcomes are documented.

Swiss Made as a Responsibility

V-ZUG has a long history in Switzerland going back more than 100 years. For V-ZUG this also means a responsibility toward the site, its employees and their families. V-ZUG has resolved to further scale up production activities in Switzerland by investing in new factories in Zug and Sulgen. Through its commitment to Switzerland as a location, V-ZUG undertakes to comply with the country’s sustainability standards, which are regarded as strict on an international comparison.