Conventional industrialized activities today far exceed the regenerative capacity of the planetary boundaries and thus cause changes of state that are accompanied by an impairment/endangerment of prosperity - often initially for vulnerable parts of the world's population, some of whom are already being deprived of their livelihood.
Consistent sustainable development counteracts this and helps to secure our future. In this context, corporate sustainability management stabilizes the company and makes it fit for the challenges of the future. It can increase the attractiveness for customers, employees and investors and respond to future regulations and stakeholder expectations.
We support the automotive industry, manufacturing industries and their suppliers consistently and end-to-end on the path to sustainable transformation, starting with an analysis from the company perspective, through products/services in current development, to future products/services with innovative business models.
The individual modules can be ordered separately.
The ARRK Corporate Sustainability Check is primarily aimed at small and medium-sized companies. The analysis is currently based on the 20 criteria of the German Sustainability Code, the VDI Guideline 4070 "Sustainable Management" as well as essential criteria of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). Priorities and, if necessary, additions are made in the company-specific context.
The company's sustainability performance is systematically analyzed and finally evaluated, including a materiality analysis of the topic areas (if a stakeholder analysis is available or anticipated). If there is a need for action, a roadmap for addressing the topics is developed and presented for discussion. Possible deficits or also identified opportunities can be the starting point for product modifications or also new development projects. The insights gained can also be used as a basis for reporting.
It is expected that from 2026 - with the reporting year already in 2025(!) - the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), Corporate sustainability reporting (europa.eu), will come into force for larger companies that are not yet subject to reporting requirements in the sense of the CSR-RUG and that meet at least two of the 3 criteria:
Part of the CSRD is to be uniform EU standards for sustainability information, the so-called European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS), a draft is already available, First Set of draft ESRS - EFRAG. The ARRK sustainability check can already be aligned with these preliminary criteria. This makes it clear at an early stage to what extent this legal requirement can be met and where there may still be a need for action. At the same time, the findings obtained form the content basis for the required reporting.
Extensive and complex ecological impacts of a product (or even a service) can be determined and communicated transparently at all by means of a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Progressive companies with a high level of sustainable self-image are already making use of this today.
Legislators have also recognized the advantages of an LCA. For example, the new EU Battery Regulation stipulates that a carbon footprint, an impact category of an LCA, must be reported for batteries for electric vehicles from 2024.
Figure 1: Production process
Figure 2: Life cycle phases
LCA follows a four-step process with mutual interactions (Fig. 3): First, the object of study as well as the system boundaries and the goal of the analysis are determined. To determine a life cycle inventory, a model is built and fed with data to calculate emissions and resource consumption. A so-called impact assessment is then determined automatically by means of classifications and, if necessary, weightings with a view to significant ecological impact categories. Greenhouse gas impact is only one of these categories - although it is highly relevant. In the course of interpreting the results, scenarios can be modeled, particularly in the development phase of a product, in order to provide a secure decision-making basis for ecological optimization of the impact.
Figure 3: Life cycle assessment steps
The life cycle assessment is prepared over the entire life cycle phases of the product/service along the balancing steps (1 to 4) in accordance with the ISO 14040ff series of standards.
ARRK Sustainable Innovation Consulting aims to optimize existing products and/or services in terms of sustainability or to generate ideas for new products/services and to set up and, if desired, accompany their development both technically and in terms of budget.
The basis is our technology scouting and networking, with visits to conferences and trade fairs, reading publications and interviews with selected experts. Trends in the sustainability scene, new regulations and opportunities to achieve a positive impact are also constantly monitored and evaluated. In addition to new players in the market, existing and potential competitors and their behavior are also analyzed.
Sustainability Innovation Consulting essentially follows the proven innovation process. First, as many innovation candidates as possible are identified using creativity techniques. Based on technical and business criteria, a selection of ideas is made from these candidates to be pursued further. In a planning phase, a development project is professionally set up, the technical process is planned, and the work packages with the required resources are defined. The expected profitability can be estimated in a business analysis. Before entering the market, it is advisable to pilot the product with paying pilot customers in order to identify any final product improvements prior to series production.
Within the framework of Sustainable Innovation Consulting, potential opportunities for the realization of circular business models in particular are also recorded and evaluated in the identification phase.
Because ARRK always flanks this process with its competencies in the areas of corporate sustainability, sustainable materials and, if necessary, explicitly an accompanying life cycle assessment, there is a high chance for a real lighthouse innovation with high charisma - and of course profitability.
Our parent company Mitsui Chemical is focusing on sustainability in its Vision 2023. As a chemical and materials supplier, it proactively promotes sustainable products and materials.