Recaro Aircraft Seating is the “Hidden Champion”

Aircraft seating supplier wins award by German news channel n-tv in the sustainability category

Schwaebisch Hall, Germany. For the third time, German news channel n-tv has selected the “Hidden Champion” from among Germany’s owner-managed companies. This year, the prize was awarded to Recaro Aircraft Seating as an example of a midsized enterprise which has made an outstanding contribution in sustainability. On April 25, 2013, the award was presented during the “Global Business Week” in Frankfurt.

“As a successful and innovative mid-sized enterprise, we are very pleased to be awarded first place in the sustainability category”, says Dr. Mark Hiller, Chief Executive Officer of Recaro Aircraft Seating. “We have made professional environmental protection and resource conservation an integral part of our company strategy. Thus, for example, we have dedicated ourselves to lightweight design. We have also introduced a comprehensive environmental management system at our company’s sites. In addition, we are systematically optimizing energy efficiency at our assembly plants. We are now taking the next logical step in this strategy with the environmental assessment of our seats.”

This strategy convinced the prestigious jury of the “Hidden Champion” award. In explaining its decision, the jury wrote: “Recaro Aircraft Seating is one of the world’s top three aircraft seat manufacturers and is the market leader in economy class seats. The company’s sustainability concept in research, development and production is especially impressive. Airlines are able to save considerable cost by using seats which are lighter than ever before. With its products, Recaro thus enables a significant reduction of CO2 emissions. The company is also sustainable in a business sense: it is profitable, it is experiencing above-average growth, and it tries to retain its employees for the long term.”

Sustainability at Recaro Aircraft Seating
“Recaro goes green”: Aircraft seats from Recaro Aircraft Seating are characterized by high quality, ergonomic comfort, light weight and innovative design. The focus is on the efficiency and cost effectiveness of the products – throughout the entire product life cycle of the seats. “By reducing the weight of the seats, using state-of-the-art materials and ingenious designs, the company supports airlines in their efforts to operate more economical, environmentally friendly flights,” explains René Dankwerth, Vice President Research and Development of Recaro Aircraft Seating. “Beyond that, we evaluate the effect of a product on the environment using the life cycle assessment. With this assessment process, we can objectively prove how environmentally friendly our products are.” The knowledge gained in the life cycle assessment influences product development at an early stage, with positive effects for the airlines – both in ecological and economic terms.

In addition to sustainable product development, Recaro Aircraft Seating’s employees, with their many years of experience at the company and their impressive expertise, are an important factor in its success. To ensure that this continues to be the case in the future, the family-owned company implemented the “Recaro model”, a supplementary, trendsetting labor agreement in 2012. In addition to guaranteeing job security and the continued operation of the German Recaro location, a flexible working hours model was at the core of the agreement: This makes an important, almost unique contribution to enabling employees to optimally combine work with family life.

“On this basis, we anticipate a positive business development: Recaro Aircraft Seating expects to have revenues of 500 million Euros and production capacity for more than 120,000 seats in 2017,” says Dr. Mark Hiller. „And the international workforce will grow to roughly 2,200.“

Press contact

RECARO Aircraft Seating GmbH & Co. KG
Daimlerstr. 21
74523 Schwäbisch Hall
Phone: +49 791 503-5500