Ecological design of products and services
For economic reasons alone, all Vossloh units have set a goal of using resources as sparingly as possible. Accordingly, sustainability criteria are already being incorporated into the development or design of new products and services in many areas within the Company. The aim now is to systematically link these approaches and harmonize them across the business units to create Group-wide operational principles that can be followed by all divisions. The first step along this path in the year under review was the development of Group-wide innovation guidelines (Innovation Playbook). It describes how development projects will be set up and implemented at Vossloh in the future, and defines the criteria and indicators to be used in the various phases of a project to assess whether it is successful or not and decide whether to continue with it. Sustainability aspects such as low energy consumption or the nonuse of problematic raw materials play a central role here. Likewise, the entire life cycle of a product, including recycling and/or disposal, is included from the outset, as are the long-term effects of a service in the form of life cycle assessments in accordance with international standards such as ISO 14040 or 14044.
In 2021, work began on identifying one suitable example from each of the four business units. In contrast to the previous development process, the focus is less on product or order-related work and more on holistic solutions to which experience from all business units contributes – so that new business models can be created at the same time. The viewpoint of the customer(s) and suppliers is also incorporated into the development process at an early stage in order to achieve a high level of compatibility at the interfaces.