As a partner for sustainable logistics, SSI SCHAEFER has been active on the market for years. The sustainability strategy approved in fall 2021 will be implemented step by step. It will be presented together with the Sustainability Report 2021, which will be published in summer 2022. An example is the Vertical Farming solution in cooperation with Infarm, which involves supplying sustainably for an increasingly urbanized society. This was presented for six months at the Expo in Dubai and exhibited at the LogiMAT 2022 trade fair in Stuttgart (Germany) in May.
Sustainability is an important topic that companies and individuals are currently dealing with. "For the SSI SCHAEFER Group, sustainability is important in two ways: We see ourselves as a service provider offering customers innovative and sustainable intralogistics solutions, but also as a globally active company that acts with responsibility towards society, customers and employees." says Steffen Bersch, CEO of the SSI SCHAEFER Group. Last fall, the company, which is based in Neunkirchen, Siegerland (Germany) with 10,000 employees worldwide and recorded incoming orders of almost two billion euros in 2021 (an increase of 17.5 percent compared to the previous year), adopted its own sustainability strategy. It covers all four Business Units – Logistics Solutions, Products & Equipment, Customer Services and Waste & Packaging – and is scheduled to be published this summer.
In the past few months, SSI SCHAEFER presented future-proof solutions at the Expo 2020 in Dubai. Being an official partner of the German Pavilion Consortium, SSI SCHAEFER presented an innovative solution for vertical farming for the cities of the future at the CAMPUS GERMANY, which attracted more than 2.5 million visitors from 180 countries. Together with Infarm, a fast growing, urban farming company with a worldwide presence, data-controlled, modular vertical farming units were built. They serve to grow herbs and vegetables under perfect conditions, using 95 percent less water and land compared to conventional farming. The use of chemical pesticides can be completely omitted. Thus, farming can be carried out up to 400 times more efficiently than in the conventional way, measured in terms of the cultivated area.
Other customer projects also prove that SSI SCHAEFER has helped to meet customer needs even more efficiently and sustainably over the past year thanks to intelligent intralogistics solutions. One example is the new warehouse of the Bertelsmann subsidiary Arvato Supply Chain Solutions, a leading international provider of e-commerce and supply chain management solutions. As a partner and service provider, Arvato Supply Chain Solutions a.o. supplies more than 200 publishers and bookstores worldwide. For the location in Gütersloh (Germany), a new, additional picking warehouse was required in the limited footprint of just 900 square meters, which is designed for a technical performance of around 16 million books per year. Existing intralogistics systems, processes, and material flows had to be maintained for sustainability reasons. Furthermore, great importance was attached to ergonomics and user-friendliness in the design of the new picking work stations.
The project, which was implemented during running operation, was implemented in three steps: First of all, the order start in the old system was transferred and modernized. Then, the fully automated high-bay warehouse was connected to the existing and future storage systems. The third and most important project phase was building the shuttle warehouse, a further automatic warehouse for small parts that efficiently stores and retrieves items by means of shuttles. In order to optimally use the available space of only 900 square meters, the newly developed, ergonomic work stations at which the orders are put together, were placed onto the storage cube. This means that future expansion is also possible without causing any problems. The central elements of innovation and sustainability are reflected in this solution: flexible, powerful, future-proof, space-saving, energy-efficient, and ergonomic – all these objectives were successfully combined.
Logistics software such as WAMAS® or SAP solutions by SSI SCHAEFER help to optimize the energy efficiency of warehouses and logistics centres. Sustainable storage strategies can, for example, lead to shorter walking distances and higher technical performance, while economical warehouse operation ensures reduced energy consumption and wear and tear through reconfiguration that is automatically controlled by the warehouse management software. When it comes to handling returns, modern software such as WAMAS® enables the transparent tracking of returned goods and the rapid reintegration of the goods into the staging process for new orders.
Predictive maintenance also contributes to a reduced carbon footprint. Forecasts relating to individually defined maintenance intervals can be made by recording, analysing and evaluating plant-specific data in real time. Thus, predictive maintenance eliminates unnecessary replacement of perfectly working products and components, reduces the number of service calls and makes a critical contribution towards protecting resources. The SSI SCHAEFER retrofit services get systems and installations up to date and thus extend the service life in favor of higher productivity, optimized flows of goods and energy savings.
A broad portfolio by SSI SCHAEFER that pays attention to sustainability. CEO Steffen Bersch promises: "In 2022, the SSI SCHAEFER Group will continue to focus on modular and scalable intralogistics solutions. The topic of sustainability plays a prominent role."