With a fundamental rethink regarding structures, processes and the equipping of its group for tomorrow, Greiner has dedicated itself to the topic of sustainability and thus becoming fit for the future. Indeed, Greiner intends to lead the way as a “green champion” and hence an industrial pioneer.
Kremsmünster, 8 June 2021. “Who, if not us?” is the question raised by the whole of Greiner’s Sustainability Report, which will be presented today. With its comprehensive “Blue Plan”, roughly a year ago the company began a fundamental reassessment of its structures, processes and entire strategic orientation and thus moved the topic of sustainability into the middle-point of its operational areas. Cosmetic restyling is not involved, but instead partially profound, elemental change and hence the transformation of the entire group into a sustainable “green champion”. A radical approach for the new decade.
The objective of the self-imposed, ambitious “Blue Plan” strategy for sustainability is defined clearly and involves the consolidation of a circular economics approach and the attainment by 2030 of a market position as a company operating entirely on a closed-loop basis. For Greiner, the “Blue Plan” is what the “Green Deal” is to the European Commission, namely a timetable for a sustainable economy.
The Blue Plan: climate, circular economics & people
The Blue Plan encompasses every area of the Greiner group worldwide and is targeted on three issues, which Greiner has identified as being of central importance for the future. These points of emphasis are climate change, circular economics and people, which are both interwoven and interdependent. Without circular economics, climate neutrality will prove impossible and without motivated and well-trained personnel, no company can succeed in making the transition that this demands.
Greiner initiated this process during the months of the corona crisis. This exposed structural weaknesses, although in truth the pandemic merely exacerbated already existent problems and laid its finger in numerous systemic wounds. Moreover, even before these occurrences, Greiner had already determined that a sustainable approach constituted the only viable possibility for future business success.
CEO Axel Kühner is convinced of the pressing nature of this topic and has therefore placed it on the daily agenda. “The task that now confronts us could not be more daunting. We need an ecological modernization of both our economy and society, and time is short because the current decade will be decisive. Words must be followed by deeds and we wish to become a “green champion” and consider all our processes in terms of sustainability. This will not involve lip service, but rather systematic questioning in truly every company area. In fact, we have no choice, but to turn the coming years into the Roaring Twenties of sustainability and transformation.”
The first major steps on the path to greater sustainability have already been taken, as since July 2019 all of Greiner’s locations in Austria solely employ certified green electricity and others will follow worldwide. Energy efficiency in relation to production plays a significant role in the achievement of climate neutrality and therefore measures and projects in this connection are critical for the identification and eradication of inefficiencies and losses. In 2020, energy savings amounting to almost 6,500 MWh were attained and these corresponded with a reduction of approximately 3,000 CO2 equivalents.
It’s the circular economy, stupid!
The linchpin of the planned transition is a functioning, closed-loop economy, which represents the main challenge for the coming years. In a circular system, materials and products are reused, reprocessed, repaired and recycled for as long as possible. This facilitates the prolongation of product service life and waste minimization. Furthermore, global resources will no longer be subject to continual exploitation, but rather integrated into a cyclical pattern. As a result, the depletion of the natural world and reserves of raw materials will be slowed and our environment protected. A particular focus in this regard is on plastic packaging and the foam product portfolio. Both of these product groups remain subject to thermal use, or are even dumped in fragmentary form. In a circular system, precisely these activities will be avoided and the materials retained in a loop.
The transition from being a traditional industrial company into a market player based on sustainability will undoubtedly represent a tour de force, which can only be achieved through cooperation. For as CFO, Hannes Moser, explains, “In our opinion, the impetus required for this purpose cannot be generated by a few individuals. Instead, we are convinced that in order to resolutely pursue the objective of sustainability at Greiner and live up to our social responsibilities, we will need to activate the ideas and motivation of every one of our 11,494 employees. No one can relieve us of this duty.”
How do we intend to implement our sustainability strategy?
Read more in our Sustainability Report, “Who, if not us?” Leading by example!
Now read on! https://sustainability.greiner.com/report