Strategy & Approach 

8 min

dormakaba defines sustainability as one of the key success factors to being recognized as the trusted industry leader. That is why sustainability is one of the two foundations of the company’s current business strategy.

dormakaba strives to promote sustainable development along the value chain as part of our economic, environmental, and social responsibility toward current and future generations. We commit to an open and transparent dialogue with stakeholders to define strategies and actions based on clear goals and continuous improvements. We adhere to the precautionary principle as the foundation of sustainability. Negative impacts on the environment and health should be avoided in advance to the greatest extent possible by all employees in all business activities. This approach is set out in our Code of Conduct, which outlines our values, principles, standards, and norms of behavior.


Our material topics were defined in the course of a comprehensive materiality assessment and are valid for the years 2017–2021. They have been aligned to the four focus areas of our sustainability strategy: Transparency, Process & Production, People, and Products. Full details on the materiality process are found in the Outro.

Our focus areas

Transparency – We are committed to being a socially responsible corporate citizen and to upholding the principles of international conventions, laws and internal rules and regulations. We also expect our suppliers and business partners to adhere to similar standards and rules.

Process & Production – We seek to reduce the environmental impact of production and adhere to environmental laws and regulations. We strive to ensure a healthy and safe workplace and to safeguard our customers’ rights to privacy and security.

People – We offer fair working conditions in which our employees can leverage their strengths and build their skills. We foster an engaged workforce where we have the right people in the right roles.

Products – We are dedicated to producing high-quality, reliable products and solutions, as well as supporting the health and safety of end users through good practice in product development. We aim to reduce our customers’ environmental impacts by designing material- and energy-efficient products.


Strategic targets

In line with this strategic approach, dormakaba has committed to achieving seven overarching sustainability goals in our current corporate strategy 2015–2021 as follows:





Financial year 2020/21



Meet target submission requirements as part of the commitment to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi)


September 2020


Operational and value chain targets submitted and approved by SBTi



Reduce Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions by 5% tCO2e (baseline 2017/18)


End of financial year 2020/21





Increase the share of ISO 14001 certified production sites to >50% (baseline 2017/18)


End of financial year 2020/21





All manufacturing sites maintain health & safety management systems based on ISO 45001


End of financial year 2021/22





All manufacturing sites maintain energy management systems based on ISO 50001


End of financial year 2022/23





Increase the revenue share of products with environmental and/or health product declarations to >30%


End of financial year 2020/21





Operationalize a supplier audit system based on sustainability criteria


End of financial year 2020/21


420 suppliers invited for EcoVadis assessment and 146 assessed; Procedures for non-participation and non-compliance rolled out



*Of which 17 percentage points are attributable to increased purchase of green electricity and energy efficiency projects, and the rest due to various factors including the business impact of Covid-19 primarily in the financial year 2019/20.

We have successfully achieved many of our expiring sustainability targets, particularly on our commitment to reduce carbon emissions, and succeeded in operationalizing a supplier sustainability audit system. For the latter, we have rolled-out escalation processes for non-compliance of the Supplier Code of Conduct and for non-participation in our supplier engagement program, as planned. In addition, we have submitted our Scope 1, 2 and 3 targets to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) for approval. These long-term targets have been approved, making us a pioneer in the access solutions market. The targets will be announced soon as part of our upcoming corporate strategy review. In addition, we have reduced our Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 20%, surpassing the –5% target we had set manyfold.

For the further targets set to expire at the end of the financial year 2020/21, namely the aim to increase the share of ISO 14001 certified production sites and the aim to increase revenue share of products with environmental and/or health product declarations, we have seen vast improvements. Indeed, with the launch of a company-wide life cycle assessment tool in the reporting period, we have over 70 Environmental Product Declarations in the pipeline. These are undergoing third-party assessment and verification processes and will be published on our corporate website soon. In total, we will have Environmental Product Declarations or Health Product Declarations covering products representing 32% of our revenues, which is in line with the originally set target of 30%.

For both remaining targets, we continue to share best practice and work towards achievement. Based on current planning, the target related to health and safety management systems will be achieved. We have already increased coverage by 9 percentage points versus the previous reporting year.

However, the target related to energy management systems is particularly challenging. This is due in part as many of our smaller manufacturing facilities such as local distribution centers or local assembly centers lack the technical know-how and resources for setting up such management systems. Therefore, the Executive Committee has agreed to extend this target for local assembly centers for one additional year, to be achieved until the end of the financial year 2022/23. Manufacturing plants will remain under the original target deadline. Despite the challenges, we are satisfied with the increase in coverage to 32% in the financial year 2020/21 (versus 21% in financial year 2019/20).

As part of the strategy review process dormakaba will soon be launching a new vision cementing the central role of sustainability in our company’s endeavors. As a consequence, we will expand our sustainability strategy, as a core part of our overall corporate strategy, with revised material topics, newly defined focus areas, and ambitious targets in 2021.

Sustainability governance

In the financial year 2019/20, the sustainability governance and organization were defined in a formal Sustainability Charter, with the aim to improve strategy and resource planning as well as monitoring of progress against targets and accountability across all levels of the company. The most fundamental changes include:

Below is an overview of the dormakaba sustainability organization. Further duties, authorities and reporting channels for the various bodies are set in the Sustainability Charter.

Sustainability organization

Sustainability_organization_2020 Group-levelSegment-levelStrategicTacticalOperational Segment Management TeamSegment Sustainability LeadRegions / SitesSegment Sustainability NetworkGroup Sustainability CouncilBoard of Directors Sustainability Working GroupExecutiveCommittee Corporate Sustainability
Board of Directors

Approves the overall sustainability governance framework. The Chairperson is responsible for monitoring strategic progress and evaluating sustainability risks and opportunities.

Executive Committee

Approves material topics and strategy. Monitors strategy implementation and ensures appropriate resource allocation.

Group Sustainability Council

Chaired by the CEO. Recommends strategic priorities, targets, and objectives to the Executive Committee. Reviews annual sustainability action plans from Group and segment level.

Corporate Sustainability

Monitors and coordinates the implementation of the sustainability strategy across the organization. Advises on appropriate measures based on international standards and external stakeholder expectations. Assesses the environmental and social risks in the value chain.

Sustainability Working Group

Develops concepts for sustainability initiatives and operationalizes them as appropriate. Consists of the Segment Sustainability Leads and representatives from other functions reflected in the Group Sustainability Council.

Segment Management Team

Develops and reviews the segment’s annual sustainability action plan. Ensures appropriate resource allocation. Sustainability is integrated in performance management.

Segment Sustainability Lead

Adjunct member of the segment management team. Monitors implementation of strategy at segment level. Advises on appropriate measures for achieving sustainability commitments.

Segment Sustainability Network

Acts as an advisory body that supports local implementation through the development of guidelines and knowledge sharing. Recommends and develops concepts for sustainability initiatives and operationalizes them as appropriate.


The so-called Site Head is responsible for local implementation of annual strategic plans and reports on progress to targets. Locations with over 100 employees have a local sustainability team.

Stakeholder dialogue and partnerships 

dormakaba attaches great importance to regular contact and ongoing dialogue with our stakeholders at both the local and global level. We consider the close involvement of our stakeholders to be an asset in our ongoing efforts and therefore pursue a goal of creating better mutual understanding, based on trust, to enhance our partnerships and collaboration.

In order to identify and select stakeholder groups for dialogue, we held workshops with internal experts in the financial year 2015/16. Specific target groups were selected depending on the aims of the stakeholder engagement. As an example, a high-level segmentation of customer stakeholder groups was validated based on input from country managers in the frame of our annual brand tracking survey. In another example, stakeholders for the human rights dialogues were selected based on relevance of the job function, such as health and safety managers or authors of related policies such as the Supplier Code of Conduct. In addition, external stakeholders, including NGOs and human rights experts, were invited to provide input to our analysis of salient human rights issues.

In the financial year 2020/21, sustainability stakeholder dialogues were held with representatives from the Group Sustainability Council and with external stakeholder groups including banking and investor partners, suppliers, customers, and governmental bodies as part of our materiality assessment process. In addition, all employees were invited to give their opinion on the most important sustainability challenges that we should address. Over 2,000 employees participated, and results form an integral part of the ongoing development of our sustainability strategy as part of the upcoming new strategic cycle.



Key topics and concerns




Grievance mechanisms



Employment practices and benefits, occupational health and safety, sustainable business practices, environmentally safe production processes


dormakaba dialogue survey, bilateral meetings with local Human Resources representative, employee works councils or trade unions, safety committees


Reporting channels defined in the Code of Conduct, open-door policies, grievance mechanisms in place as part of collective bargaining agreements, meetings with trade union representatives



Business performance and strategy, responsible business practices, ecoproducts, transparent reporting, as well as quantifiable objectives


Anchor Shareholders Events, Capital Market Day, roadshows, analyst conferences, bilateral meetings, ESG rating questionnaires


Interviews with Investor Relations and members of the Executive Committee upon request

Architects, specifiers


Product offering, product design and quality, trustworthiness and reliability, price level, innovation


Annual brand tracking survey, trade shows & associations, customer service hotlines


Customer complaint process

Partners, installers, distributors, customers and end users


Technical training and product specifications, product design and quality, trustworthiness and reliability, price level, sustainability demands for green building certifications


Partner Days (conferences), in-house product training, annual brand tracking survey, trade associations, direct e-mail requests


Customer complaint process



Qualification process


Bilateral meetings, surveys, on-site audits


Third party whistleblowing hotline

Local government


Employment, health, safety, and environmental compliance


Bilateral meetings


Direct contact



External acknowledgments

dormakaba has been awarded a gold medal for our sustainability management by the assessment firm EcoVadis, placing the company in the top 5% of all assessed companies in the assigned sector. Our company is especially strong in the areas of labor and human rights (top 7%) and ethics (top 7%) among other companies in our industry. The EcoVadis assessment for 2021 is currently ongoing and results will be published on our website soon.

dormakaba received an encouraging score of B for the 2020 Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) report. CDP requests thousands of companies to report on climate change on behalf of over 800 investors with assets of USD 100 trillion. The B rating reflects the strong progress dormakaba shows on climate change and carbon emissions management. Our 2020 CDP score is higher than the average score in our assigned sector (C) as well as the CDP worldwide average and the European program average (both C).

IntroductionLinking to UN Sustainable Development Goals

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