- First place in “companies with 1,000+ employees” category
- Sustainability as an integral element of company strategy
- Poised to emerge as the global sanitary sector’s most sustainable company by 2020
Grohe AG, the world’s leading provider of sanitary fittings, received the CSR Award of the German Federal Government 2017 in the “companies with 1000+ employees” category on 24 January. The decision by the eleven expert judges expressly lauded the role taken by GROHE’s management team who have made sustainability a top management issue, acting as role models and trailblazers both for their own workforce and for other companies. Other nominees in this category included Unilever Deutschland GmbH, Flughafen München GmbH, Ford-Werke GmbH and FRoSTA AG. The award was presented by Professor Josef Wieland, juror and expert in business ethics at Zeppelin Universität in Friedrichshafen.
"Sustainability is our passion and remains deeply rooted in our DNA. We are delighted to see the world around us acknowledge our enthusiasm for, and commitment to, corporate social responsibility (CSR). Our 360-degree approach to sustainability embraces our employees, suppliers, factories, processes and our contribution to society in equal measure. Seeing our policies being accepted as a standard of reference for our industry and inspiring others as well, we feel vindicated and honoured at the same time,” said Grohe AG CEO Michael Rauterkus when receiving the award at the event in Berlin’s Humboldt Carré.
Products for a sustainable future – Championship ‘Made in Germany’
The sustainability strategy pursued by this global company is primarily reflected in its products. One example is the GROHE Blue Home water system, which transforms tap water into a filtered, chilled and great tasting – and even bubbly – refreshment. This system obviates the need for bottled mineral water and the associated processing, bottling and transport activities. According to a study conducted at Georg-August-Universität in Göttingen, GROHE Blue Home contributes approximately 60 percent less to a household’s carbon footprint compared to conventional bottled water.
Management Board member Thomas Fuhr explains: “Our understanding of quality and our advances in terms of sustainability are very much driven by our commitment to manufacturing in Germany. In order to secure our company’s competitiveness going forward, we continue to invest heavily in our German locations, which set the standards for our international factories. As of 2011, we have launched regularly our GROHE Sustainability Trophy as an internal competition between our manufacturing sites. This trophy acknowledges our employees’ efforts and incentivises them to continue working on their ideas and solutions for even more sustainable production processes and even more resource efficient manufacturing of a given product.”
Beyond day-to-day business
GROHE’s belief in corporate citizenship is encapsulated in GROHE Dual Tech, a programme jointly undertaken with Don Bosco Mondo e.V. The two partners have teamed up to offer professional training for disadvantaged youths in emerging economies. Three training workshops in India and the Philippines assist young people in improving their life chances by learning a trade in the sanitary sector. This makes them eligible for employment in an industry with great promise and will even enable some of them to set up their own businesses in the future.
Moving forward with clearly defined sustainability targets
GROHE has set itself the target of raising energy efficiency by 20% and shrinking its carbon footprint by 20% by the year 2020. Among other things, this will be achieved by two new cogeneration plants commissioned in Hemer and Lahr and by converting lighting equipment to LED operation. Another milestone on this journey was marked in December when the company’s energy management system was certified to ISO 50001; it will be instrumental in improving the overall energy efficiency on a sustained basis. Moreover, the company has committed itself to becoming the global sanitary industry’s sustainability leader by 2020.
GROHE’s stance and actions on sustainability are laid out in greater detail in the company’s sustainability brochure. Titled WATER ENJOYMENT - WITH A CLEAN CONSCIENCE”, it can be downloaded from grohe.com/sustainability