Climate and energy crises, exploitation along the supply chain, plastic waste in the oceans and species extinction – one harbinger of disconcerting news follows the next. Ecological and social sustainability has become a matter of human and natural survival. It is clear that something needs to be done – it has been, at the very latest since the German government defined its guiding principle for the sustainable development of economic performance, along with the protection of natural resources, coupled with social responsibility.
Here, the economy is mentioned as an important actor and multiplier for more sustainability. Yes, exactly – that means all of us! After all, medium-sized and globally active companies bear a great deal of responsibility, as providers of goods and services, drivers of research, demanders of raw materials, employers in in-company training and further education, in the promotion of equality and the reconciliation of work and family life, and in their regional environments.
Therefore, PROMATIS joined the climate neutrality network of TechnologieRegion Karlsruhe (https://irees.de/knn-tr-karlsruhe/) in April 2022 and by doing so has laid an important foundation stone. The network and its 12 member companies agreed at their last meeting on November 17, 2022 to increase energy efficiency by 10% and reduce CO2 emissions by 20% over the next 3 years. This corresponds to annual savings of around 20 GWh and a reduction in annual CO2 emissions of around 6,000 metric tons. Each company contributes its individual savings potential and thus contributes to the shared goal.
But it wasn’t just our joining the climate neutrality network that provided the impetus for the sustainable spirit; it was precisely the raising of awareness within the company that turned out to be such a crucial head start. The first step was waste separation and the proactive reduction of room temperatures in winter. But in the meantime, we also rely on ecological alternatives made of renewable natural materials for the procurement of work materials: An onboarding folder made of felt, a mouse pad made of cork as well as the PROMATIS lunchbox make up the pole position here. In the meantime, work processes are being put to the test in order to sensitize the way we think when dealing with the daily volume of e-mails – in the sense of “think before sending” (for example, a short e-mail to an addressee without an attachment causes CO2 emissions of 0.4 g, an e-mail with an attachment of 10 MB already shows a value of 3.3 g CO2). Once the rethinking has begun, more and more adjusting screws become visible that can be turned. The conversion from neon tubes to LED panels in the entire PROMATIS office complex in Ettlingen now makes a decisive contribution to better environmental compatibility. Unbeatable – the pleasant luminosity combined with low energy consumption (up to 90% power savings!) speak for themselves.
When looking at the roads, we also cannot forget the impact of commuting; according to the Federal Statistical Office, for 68% of commuters, cars are still the first choice as a means of transportation. Those who actively support a switch to alternative means of transportation also create incentives for a better climate balance. PROMATIS consequently provides bicycle leasing contracts or discounted e-bikes that are used by employees – even in winter months. If a company wants to go even further, home office becomes an option. During the corona pandemic in particular, the lockdown, and thus the elimination of commutes, caused a sharp drop in traffic emissions. Of course, a corporate culture is not transformed in a matter of mere days – it is a process that involves the participation of everyoneBut one thing remains clear, only those who tackle a transformation towards sustainability will secure an important “license” in the green transition and thus the option for more growth. Ultimately, more sustainable business overall leads to greater resilience at all levels of business. And anyone who is taken seriously as a sustainable player can actively contribute to the discourse. This is when win-win becomes triple-win – a corporate culture that benefits the environment, society and the company itself.
Author: Marion Rosemann
Image: © pixabay.com