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Winfried Schulte, CEO Rothe Erde

"As a technology company, we see sustainability not as a mere task, but as an important part of our corporate DNA. We act in accordance with these principles worldwide, and make an important contribution to achieving the sustainability goals of our customers and partners with our products and services."

Sustainability is an integral part of our corporate strategy

As part of a global industrial group, Rothe Erde develops innovative product solutions that not only secure long-term success for our customers, but also make a positive contribution to the global development.

That's why we don't just base our decisions on economic considerations, but also take into account ecological and social concerns. We attach great importance to the satisfaction of our employees and the protection of the environment. Together, we want to develop sustainable products.

As a company, we firmly believe that responsibility and sustainability are not only a major challenge, but also an opportunity. As part of the global community, it is our duty to create a sustainable and livable future for future generations. The spectrum of topics in the area of sustainability ranges from growth to compliance and human rights to resource efficiency in production processes and sustainability of products in use. We use our engineering expertise to meet the global demand for "more" goods and services in a "better" way.

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We empower industries to break new ground and master the shift into a sustainable future.

Sustainability put into practice: Measures in our company for a sustainable future

Goals for a sustainable development: The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a collection of 17 goals that were adopted by the United Nations in 2015. They represent a universal agenda that addresses the most pressing challenges of our time and promotes a better and more sustainable future for people and our planet.

With the Agenda 2030, the international community wants to enable a decent life worldwide and at the same time permanently preserve the natural foundations of life. This includes economic, ecological and social aspects. All states are called upon to align their actions accordingly.

As a renowned manufacturer of seamless rolled rings and rolling bearings and as one of the world market leaders in the development and manufacturing of slewing bearings, we are aware of our role in society and firmly believe that we have a central role to play in achieving these goals as a company. The commitment of everyone involved is essential to achieving the SDGs. By working together, we can create a sustainable future for future generations and make the world a better place.

Sustainable development in action: Our corporate contributions to the SDGs

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In addition to the numerous measures for the health and well-being of our employees, our products also play an important role in the healthcare sector. Our high-quality product components are essential for the functionality of MRI and CT scanners, which play a key role in medical diagnostics. These devices can be used to make life-saving diagnoses and detect diseases early, which improves healthcare worldwide.

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Rothe Erde is aware of its role in society and wants to contribute. This also includes providing young people with a solid vocational or commercial education and a good start in their careers. To ensure the quality of the training, additional educational offers are made in the state-of-the-art training workshop with an attached training center in Germany. Rothe Erde has been one of the best training companies in the Lippe region for years, confirmed by the Hellweg-Sauerland Chamber of Industry and Commerce. Rothe Erde also supports academic education, for example with internships, thesis work, or in the context of practice-oriented student jobs.

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The thyssenkrupp Group has been pursuing a corporate-wide strategy to promote diversity since 2013 and is actively committed to gender equality in the workplace. For the thyssenkrupp rothe erde Germany GmbH, target values have been defined for the proportion of women on the supervisory board, management board, and their two subsequent management levels.We value our employees regardless of gender, nationality, ethnic and social origin, religion/belief, disability, age, or sexual orientation and identity. We speak out clearly against discrimination and for integration and tolerance, and we pursue a zero-tolerance policy in the event of non-compliance.

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With our solutions, we create the basis for a sustainable transformation of global energy production towards energy from renewable sources. The products of Rothe Erde are central components in onshore and offshore wind turbines, solar panels, or tidal power plants. We have been a reliable partner of all major wind turbine manufacturers since the early days of the industry. With our decades of expertise, we support the growth of environmentally friendly energy. Through our broad production and dense sales network, we thus create the basis for CO2 reduction and decarbonization worldwide.

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We offer all our employees at all locations a decent and ergonomically healthy workplace. In the strong association with thyssenkrupp, we also ensure our economic growth. In 2023, Rothe Erde was also assigned to the "Decarbon Technologies" segment, which deals with future-oriented solutions for CO2 reduction in general and decarbonization of industry in particular.

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For over 160 years, Rothe Erde has been developing and producing innovative solutions in the industrial environment. In doing so, it has always been possible to provide the answers to the challenges of the current time worldwide: from seamless wheel rims for railways to slewing bearings in wind turbines. In our 10,700 m² large research and development center for slewing bearings, we test future-oriented developments and test all key components and materials to their limits on 20 test benches.

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We create solutions for livable cities and landscapes of the future. Our solutions support, among other things, the climate-neutral transformation of energy generation or the CO2-neutral transformation of transport, and thus create the ecological change towards sustainable cities and communities. Our products also contribute to the sustainable transformation of our infrastructure systems, for example in tunnel boring machines, which are used in the expansion of both municipal and international rail traffic. Numerous public transport vehicles are also equipped with our products.

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Worldwide, Rothe Erde pays attention to the efficient use of resources and energy. In production, the regulations for the use of hazardous substances according to REACH and RoHS are adhered to: no acutely toxic, organ-toxic, carcinogenic, or germ-cell mutagenic substances of category 1 or 2 are used. With a recycling rate of over 95%, Rothe Erde is well above the industry-wide standard. The installation of a PV and carbonization plant, as well as the project for CO2-neutral ring production at our German location, is bringing us closer to our CO2 reduction goals step by step. All environmental aspects are regularly evaluated.

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Solutions from Rothe Erde are a central component in the efficient, reliable and safe generation of energy from renewable sources. The electricity generated can also be used to provide the energy required for the production of hydrogen or the climate-neutral energy supply of electric vehicles.

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The solutions from Rothe Erde are largely customer-specific. We therefore have long-standing, close partnerships when it comes to product development. We develop the solutions of tomorrow together with our customers. We also work closely with universities. We use this network to further advance current sustainability issues. Last but not least, our reliable networks have made Rothe Erde one of the world's leading manufacturers of slewing bearings.

For us, sustainability is not a burden, but rather a success factor for our company and our products.

Natallia Schönnagel
Head of Technical Coordination & Operational Excellence

Climate targets of thyssenkrupp until 2050


In practice: Successful projects in our company for a better future

Decarbonisation plant

Rothe Erde is taking new steps in climate protection

Germany's largest decarbonization plant

With the largest decarbonization plant at its Lippstadt site, Rothe Erde is making a significant contribution to CO2 storage. Plants absorb CO2 as part of the photosynthesis process. In the normal rotting or composting process, they release it back into the atmosphere. However, the biochar produced during pyrolysis stores the CO2 for several hundred years. In addition, so-called recuperators are in use at the Dortmund plant. These use the waste heat from the ovens to heat the preheaters. This significantly reduces gas consumption and thus reduces CO2 emissions at the very beginning of the processing process.

More sustainable production

Solar energy as a pioneer for sustainability and clean energy

Solar energy is an inexhaustible source of clean energy that helps Rothe Erde make an important contribution to the energy transition.

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New Standards for Sustainable Production

CO2-free production of seamless rolled rings

With this project, conducted in collaboration with RWTH Aachen, we have developed a transformation concept for decarbonization in our ring production. The focus was on the heating and heat treatment furnaces, for which the current CO2 footprint at the production site in Dortmund was assessed, the availability of carbon-neutral energy sources determined, and the technical possibilities of the facilities analyzed. The options derived from these insights will be compared in a scenario-based feasibility study. The results serve as a decision-making basis for the selection and implementation of future carbon-neutral technologies and form the foundation for deriving an action plan to achieve our goals.