Sortimo International GmbH has a clear roadmap for the future. At its heart is sustainable, climate-friendly production and an intelligent energy management system in conjunction with Europe's largest charging station, the Sortimo Innovation Park Zusmarshausen (SIZ). Sortimo is also currently building Europe's largest Service Feet Conversion Centre, a Training Centre for Electric Mobility and Energy Efficiency by the Swabian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Academy, and expanding smart products and services, including the Sortimo Platform as a service and administration tool for the trade sector.
Sortimo Innovation Park Zusmarshausen (SIZ) – Europe's largest charging park
This year, Sortimo International GmbH opened Europe's largest charging park, which enables users to conveniently charge their electric vehicles, at the same time experiencing a premium charging experience in the relaxing atmosphere of one of Germany's greenest industrial estates (incorporating 70% green space). However, there are also other leading-edge ideas behind the company's future-centric new building, apart from the entrepreneurial courage to significantly improve the electric mobility infrastructure in the region.
CO2-free production as part of the Sortimo Sustainability Plan
The Sortimo Innovation Park in Zusmarshausen creates a symbiosis between two business approaches, that will result in the establishment of an optimised energy management system, and have a positive impact on the sustainability principle of both companies. Among other things, the aim of the Sortimo energy management system is to steer Sortimo towards climate-neutral, CO2-free production at its Zusmarshausen site in the coming years, and thus develop a range of CO2-neutral products and services.
"We are staying true to our mission of creating products that simplify and improve our customers' mobile working life (whether roaming or point-to-point). At the same time, we feel an obligation to do so in a way that does not deplete the Earth's natural resources. This obligation acknowledges our responsibility for the entire value chain, which extends across all our sites, and throughout the life cycle of our products," continues Reinhold Braun, Managing Director of Sortimo International GmbH.
The roadmap towards CO2-neutrality is based on four pillars and an investment of over €40 million in the next ten years:
Low-carbon product design: We will configure our products and manufacturing processes in such a way that their well-thought-out material selection, greater material efficiency and improved product energy efficiency will lead to lower carbon intensity. Sortimo procures more and more valuable raw materials from circular supply chains fed by recycled components and renewable resources. This year Sortimo has already reduced the total volume of steel in its product lines and also improved steel efficiency in production. This is an example of the low-carbon design approach, which aims to increase the use of recycled materials and lower the total volume of materials required. As steel is largely recycled, the company's main focus is on obtaining the best possible form of steel. Sortimo is therefore continuing to work to ensure that high-purity steel is recovered from production scrap and from products at the end of their life cycle.
Energy efficiency: Energy efficiency is enhanced through intelligent energy management at the site and in the supply chain, by exploiting opportunities to reduce energy consumption through retrofitting.
Renewable power: Use of renewable electricity for the company's own facilities and services. We rely on renewable energy sources for energy production. Sortimo is continuously expanding the photovoltaic systems on the roofs of its factory buildings. A Sortimo-owned 20 kV DC loop has also been installed at the Sortimo site in recent years, which increases energy efficiency by approx. 20 percent. A 1,200 kWh lithium-ion storage battery will also store energy, making it available upon demand. The volumes of energy can thus be used strategically by utilising them for the company's own requirements or for charging fleet customers' electric vans.
Carbon reduction: At the same time as putting in place its own measures to reduce emissions, the company will increase its investment in carbon reduction projects, including mobility solutions - the sector coupling of production and mobility.
Further training on electric mobility
Sortimo is taking a stand and regards electric mobility as the future for road transport, as energy can be generated much more efficiently than with other alternative drives, such as hydrogen or synthetic fuels. However, the transformation of fuel-powered fleets into purely electric fleets raises questions that the fleet managers at the Sortimo Innovation Park in Zusmarshausen will need to answer. The company has therefore joined forces with the Swabian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Academy for this very purpose. The Swabian Chamber of Industry and Commerce Academy will offer training courses and certified advanced training courses in innovation and ideas management, as well as electric mobility for companies and fleet managers.
Europe's largest Service Fleet Conversion Center
Sortimo International GmbH has built Europe's largest Service Fleet Conversion Center with a new building at the Zusmarshausen factory site. Over 50 conversion bays for fleet vehicles are now available over an area spanning more than 5,000 m². The Conversion Centre houses a separate line for the conversion of Ford recreational vehicles and business models (Euroline and Business Line). The new Fleet Conversion Center is directly linked to Sortimo Logistics and Production, ensuring a flexible and CO2-neutral supply of materials. A further 1,400 enclosed, lit and CCTV-monitored parking places are also available directly adjacent to the Service Fleet Conversion Center. They are located on the A8 motorway with direct truck access, so that logistics can work efficiently 18 hours a day.
Fleet assessment for improved cost-effectiveness of the fleet
Sortimo's advice for fleet customers is unique, as its global approach means that fleet customers worldwide can be supplied with standardised Sortimo solutions optimised to their needs. No other manufacturer has this level of capacity, experience and conversion space. Customers obtain an integrated consulting approach from Sortimo that focuses primarily on downsizing and the CO2 reduction of light commercial vehicles. Solutions that use every last inch of the load space enable companies to downgrade fleets to the next smaller size of commercial vehicle – naturally with the same load volume. Sortimo is adopting the following approach: customer consultants will be analysing major customers' fleet, routes and material requirements, and be developing a new concept for the interior of the load space together with their fleet managers and drivers. The Sortimo product range offers plenty of options to meet all needs and requirements. For companies, downsizing means significantly reducing procurement or leasing costs and also the TCM – Total Cost of Mobility. Moreover, small commercial vehicles are significantly more efficient in road traffic, especially in city centres. This automatically saves time, among other things when looking for a parking space.
At Sortimo, fleet conversion also means one-stop shopping: major customers receive their vehicle from Sortimo turnkey-ready and fit-for-the-road. This means that the load spaces are equipped and that all other services, such as decals, electrical modifications, TÜV approvals, initial tank of fuel and delivery, are also included in the overall package.
mySortimo – new services for the trade sector
The Sortimo Ecosystem is now a well-known concept. The complementary load securing and mobile transport solutions product strategy – also in cooperation with partners such as Bosch – is a benefit that customers appreciate in their day-to-day work. Sortimo is also continuing this strategy digitally. Customers can use the mySortimo platform to place orders, configure decals, work clothing and even van racking systems. However, for Sortimo it is about more than just selling individual services to its customers, but rather about providing the customer with maximum benefits through the platform. For this reason, the Account area of the mySortimo platform offers decisive added value for every customer. This is where the customer can manage, organise and coordinate their vehicles, clothing and, in future, also their inventory free of charge. The Account area is a total Sortimo USP, giving its customers the free-of-charge option to organise their material and fleet management, and access it digitally at any time. Sortimo is adding a new section to the Account area, which will considerably simplify marketing for the trade sector. An advice service on vehicle decals and company clothing are already part of this area and are available to use. Other services will become available in the coming years.