ZF honors seven of its global suppliers for their excellent performance. The ZF Supplier Awards are presented as part of the Group-wide Global Supplier Summit, which this year focuses primarily on sustainability. At the virtual conference, around 1,000 participants from all over the world gain an insight into the technology group's corporate strategy, new technologies and the resulting new requirements and challenges relating to purchasing and logistics.
"With a purchasing volume of around €26 billion, more than 3,000 employees and a global network of 36,000 strong, innovative suppliers, ZF Materials Management is a key lever for our corporate success," says ZF Board of Management member Stephan von Schuckmann. The company's goal of being climate-neutral by 2040 affects the entire value chain. Sustainability and technology leadership are closely interlinked. "We record emissions from start to finish - from those of our suppliers and logistics through to the use phase of our products in vehicles and technical systems," emphasizes von Schuckmann. This is because indirect emissions from the supply chain account for almost a quarter of all relevant greenhouse gases.
Sustainability along the supply chain
To create transparency regarding working conditions and compliance with human rights at its suppliers, ZF joined the Responsible Supply Chain Initiative (RSCI) in 2022. The technology company is also involved in the First Mover Coalition, an association of companies that are committed to sourcing decarbonized raw materials. Together with strategic partners along the supply chain, ZF has already achieved important milestones. For example, a Swedish supplier provides the technology group with 250,000 tons of environmentally friendly steel per year, which is produced using hydrogen and green energy technology. This corresponds to 10 percent of the current steel requirement and saves almost half a million tons of CO2 annually. ZF is also converting its power supply across the board. By 2025 - five years earlier than initially planned - the company will obtain all of its energy requirements from sustainable sources. The recycling of materials also plays a decisive role at ZF. Remanufacturing is a good example. Products that are no longer functional are restored to as-new condition through industrial processing. This saves material, energy and costs. ZF also focuses on rare earths and participates in cross-company initiatives, such as the EU project SUSMAGPRO, which deals with the recycling and reuse of magnets from electric motors.
"Sustainable action is a task for society as a whole that concerns us all. We must pull together along the entire supply chain in order to achieve our ambitious goals," emphasizes Daniele Pontarollo, head of group-wide materials management at the technology company. "The winners of this year's Supplier Awards are impressive proof that we are on the right track with this strategy." ZF is presenting a total of seven Supplier Awards this year. The winner in the Sustainability category is Val Giovanni from Torino, Italy. The strategic supplier of gears and shafts for the ZF Commercial Vehicle Solutions division impressed the jury with its strong commitment to decarbonization, for example through the use of energy from renewable sources or the use of environmentally friendly electric systems. Val Giovanni is also committed to supporting and financing rehabilitation and social inclusion projects for children and young people with autism and disabilities.
The global logistics service provider JAS receives the Supplier Performance Award in the Digitalization category. JAS currently covers more than 100 countries with its offices and official representatives and is the most important sea freight forwarder for ZF. Among other things, the standardized process for digital container ordering received an award. The Taiwanese Lemtech Group, one of the leading metal stamping specialists and suppliers of precision pressing tools, received another Performance Award in the Operational and Functional Excellence category. The award recognizes, for example, the company's extensive technical expertise, global presence and cost leadership.
ZF is presenting a total of four Innovation Awards this year. The winner in the Vehicle Motion Control technology field is the German branch of the US simulation software provider Ansys. Its products help the ZF Electronics and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) division to reduce costs for product validation tests and optimize development performance by up to 40 percent, among other things. The Supplier Innovation Award in the Electromobility category goes to Magnet-Schultz, a specialist for electromagnetic solutions in the capital goods and automotive industry headquartered in Memmingen, Germany. For the jury, the safety-relevant and cost-efficient solution for a parking lock valve sensor unit that the company supplies to ZF has a benchmark character.
Minieye, a leading developer of solutions for autonomous driving from Shenzen, China, receives the Supplier Innovation Award in the Integrated Safety category. The supplier's camera- and radar-based assistance system increases the safety of commercial vehicles. The Swedish company Hexagon wins the Supplier Innovation Award in the Automated Driving category. The software company, headquartered in Stockholm, receives the award for its satellite-based technology to increase lane accuracy in vehicles with driver assistance systems.