Sustainability Strategy and Management

Sustainability has been a firm fixture and defined area of action within the ‘KION 2027’ strategy for many years. In implementing its sustainability strategy and underlying sustainability program, the KION Group has chosen to adopt a systematic Group-wide approach.

As part of the KION Group, STILL complies with the principles and policies for sustainable business practices in place across the group. Moreover, the company has implemented its own guidelines and procedures to ensure that sustainability criteria are firmly rooted at the heart of its business operations. These include guidelines for integrated HSE (health, safety, and environment) management and certification in line with labor and environmental standards (ISO 14001, ISO 45001, and ISO 50001).

STILL’s sustainability approach is based on the materiality analysis for the KION Group. This assessment, which was updated in 2022, identifies and evaluates the relevant material issues for the Group—including with respect to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals—and is based, among other information, on the findings from global surveys of key stakeholder groups. The importance of different issues for the KION Group is analyzed from three perspectives: business relevance (outside-in, opportunities and risks for the development of the Group’s business operations); organizational impact (inside-out, environmental and social impact of the group’s business activities); and stakeholder relevance (importance in terms of setting and shaping stakeholder expectations and decision-making). Based on this materiality analysis, in the 2022 reporting year, the KION Group redefined and developed eight closely related action fields on sustainability across its value chain.

Group-Wide Materiality Analysis

Approach and Action Fields

STILL’s sustainability approach is defined through overarching targets and initiatives under the three strategic dimensions of People, Products and Processes, as well as the overall principle of ‘taking responsibility’. These three dimensions provide the framework for the business’ eight targeted areas of action on sustainability. In line with the KION Group sustainability strategy and materiality analysis, STILL has implemented a specific program of targets, initiatives, and monitoring within each of these eight action fields, in order to meet stakeholder expectations and ensure compliance with political and legislative requirements.

Group-Wide Action Fields


STILL has decades of experience as a pioneering manufacturer of forklift trucks, warehouse trucks, and intralogistics systems, and as a full-service supplier of intralogistics solutions. The company was founded back in 1920 when Hans Still set up his repair company for electric motors in Hamburg, Germany. Just a short time later, he began developing his own products including his ‘Lichtstation Matador’ light generator and a series of small, portable generators. These early inventions were followed in 1946 by the EK2000 electric cart and in 1949 by the company’s first forklift trucks. Since then, the brand has developed a wide-ranging portfolio of trucks, safety devices, software and automation solutions and its products are now marketed in almost 90 countries worldwide. STILL has been part of the KION Group ever since the group was first established in 2006 and from its headquarters in Hamburg, Germany, the company continues to oversee its production sites in Germany, Italy, and the Czech Republic.

STILL specializes in the production of electric forklift trucks and warehouse trucks and is known for the efficiency of its product designs. In 2019, the company redefined the benchmark for electric forklift trucks with the launch of its RX60 truck. Plus, all STILL forklifts and trucks are equipped with digital controls, safety features, and assistance systems.

In addition, STILL provides a range of system services including intralogistics support, racking systems, logistics software, and system integration. The brand prides itself on delivering excellent customer service and a range of options that can be perfectly tailored to its customers’ operations and processes—from repairs to full-service packages.

In addition to selling new products, STILL also offers used trucks and rental options. With an extensive fleet of 35,000 rental trucks, the company has a solution for every customer requirement.

Sustainability Organization

In implementing its sustainability strategy, STILL follows the systematic approach defined by the KION Group. Specific strategic (and measurable) sustainability targets have been defined for each of the eight action fields and the most important levers and KPIs identified. Detailed action plans have also been devised to put the targets into practice (for more information, see the KION Sustainability Report 2022). The individual targets, sub-targets, and corresponding measures remain under constant review, including to ensure they are aligned with external requirements, across the different action fields, and with internal stakeholder requirements at Group level and within the Operating Units.

At KION Group level, a steering committee, comprising the sustainability action field leads, the regional sustainability coordinators, and the central sustainability management team, is tasked with ensuring a uniform approach across the Group and keeping the Group’s sustainability program on track and moving forward. The central KION Group sustainability management team is also responsible for managing and coordinating the sustainability program across the Group, defining sustainability KPIs, and tracking progress towards strategic targets and targets within the action fields. Moreover, the team is available to provide specialist support for both internal and external parties.

Progress is monitored regularly, both at Group level and within the Operating Units (e.g. as part of steering committee meetings), and reports are issued to the KION Group AG Executive Board. On May 1, 2023, a newly created Chief People and Sustainability Officer was appointed to the Executive Board, taking over the responsibilities of the Labor Director in addition to responsibility for sustainability matters.


In 2023, KION announced its official commitment to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), with a view to achieving the long-term climate target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across its value chain by 2050. The Group has also set itself key interim targets for 2030 (see targets outlined in the KION Sustainability Report 2022). These science-based targets provide STILL with a fundamental framework for its climate action and confirm its commitment to the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. After announcing the official commitment in 2023, the KION Group will update its climate targets in line with SBTi criteria, and hopes to achieve official SBTi validation in 2024.

As a supplier, STILL has undergone regular corporate responsibility assessments and certification from the independent and internationally recognized ratings provider EcoVadis since 2012. Having achieved an impressive ‘Gold’ rating from EcoVadis in recent years, the company went one better in 2022, achieving a ‘Platinum medal’—the highest possible sustainability rating—for the very first time. This outstanding result puts it among the top 1% of all EcoVadis rated companies. STILL’s scores are above average across all four categories on the EcoVadis scorecard. In the ‘Environment’ and ‘Labor and Human Rights’ categories in particular, STILL scores more than double the average for all rated companies, and its results in the ‘Ethics’ and ‘Sustainable Procurement’ categories are also excellent. The EcoVadis assessment is based on 21 criteria across the four categories and is calculated in line with international sustainability standards such as the Global Reporting Initiative, the ILO Conventions, the UN Global Compact, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and the ISO 26000 sustainability standards.

STILL is also part of the Blue Competence initiative organized by the German Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VDMA), which aims to promote sustainability in mechanical and plant engineering and inform the industry about sustainable solutions. As a partner to the initiative, STILL agrees to comply with the initiative’s 12 guiding principles for sustainability in the mechanical and plant engineering industry.

In addition, STILL is part of UmweltPartnerschaft Hamburg, a large network of companies committed to protecting our climate and environment in the long term. Faced with the realities of climate change, the network particularly wants to help advance the energy transition by reducing energy consumption and promoting new approaches to material flow management in order to make more efficient use of available resources. By 2030, the city of Hamburg aims to cut its CO2 emissions by 50% in comparison to 1990 levels; and by 2050 it plans to increase this figure to at least 80%. As an active member of UmweltPartnerschaft Hamburg, STILL is playing its part in combating climate change by implementing its energy policy in line with its DIN EN ISO 50001 certification.