Questions on the environment
Yes. We see environmental protection as a responsible role, a contribution to the preservation and, in line with the Demeter philosophy, healing of the earth for the generations to come. All our environmental protection measures are based on four principles:
- Gentle use of resources and use of natural raw materials, from dynamic organic cultivation where possible
- Gentle processing of these raw materials with recycling in mind
- Use of substances and ingredients made from sustainable raw materials
- Minimisation of resource consumption and, where possible, use of renewable energy sources
We were first certified in accordance with DIN EN ISO 14001 and EMAS in 1999. The results of this audit are summarised every year in our environmental declaration to inform the public about the measures we are taking to protect nature and the environment.
We use 100% eco-power from the local energy supplier Bollwerk Energieversorgung Bad Boll GmbH (www.energie-bollwerk.de). Around 160,000 kilowatt hours are also provided from the 885 square metres of solar panels on our roofs.
One of our most important environmental targets is to reduce our CO2 emissions. We have been doing this for many years. We also think reducing greenhouse gases is important. We do not believe that the current increasing use of CO2 compensation is expedient. Between 2010 and 2015, our CO2 emissions totalling 1042 tons had apparently increased by 55 percent (employee growth 16% and turnover growth 26% over the same period). However, we included sources of emissions (e.g. business travel) as of 2014 which were not included in the 2010 figure. If you compare the development from 2014 to 2015, CO2 emissions fell 2% to 59 tons, with employees and turnover up 2.6% and 0.7% respectively over the same period.
Wherever possible and sensible, we default to using rainwater. We collect precipitation in cisterns. It is used for flushing toilets, watering garden areas and cooling technical systems..
The subject of procurement is an environmental consideration we take very seriously. For ongoing operations, we buy office materials and hardware (computers, printers, telephones), equipment (laboratory and analysis devices), production systems and advertising materials such as product displays. We consider quality in everything we buy. This means products and manufacturers must meet the following criteria.
- Economical: is the product long-lasting, good quality and economically sensible?
- Environmental: What resources were used during the production process? Ideally, the product should be regional (to avoid unnecessary transport), environmentally friendly, not genetically modified, made of sustainable raw materials and recyclable
- Social: Does the manufacturer pay its employees fairly, does it protect them from health risks and avoid discrimination and child labour?
One example: As well as our customer magazine viaWALA, there are now other brochures (WALA environmental declaration, employee newsletter QuintEssenz) bearing the “Blue Angel” logo. Our seminar folders have also been switched over. Print products with the Blue Angel logo protect resources using a high proportion of recycled paper. We have continuously reduced the quantities of advertising materials: from 535 tons in 2013 to 507 tons in 2014 and 499 tons in 2015.
All production creates a certain amount of waste. Our waste management system is based on the principles of the materials cycle. In the first instance, we aim to avoid waste in general. The second priority is to use waste sensibly. Traditional recycling is the best option: paper becomes paper and plastic is turned into new plastic. Heat recovery is also beneficial: Waste incineration plants burn suitable waste. This produces energy, which can be used, for example, for district heating. Plant and kitchen waste is taken to the Türkheim biogas plant in the Schwäbischen Alb. Some materials and waste which is not suitable for the disposal methods outlined above is disposed of in an environmentally-friendly way. We also employ a waste manager who is an expert on the issue. She is the central point of contact for all question of waste management for all employees.