How to select between the vast collection of water saving taps and other sanitary ware on the market today? As they say, the proof is in the pudding. In this case in the green business story of the 111 years old Hansgrohe company. And if you want to make the most earth-friendly choices as a consumer nowadays you simply have to check out how serious the manufacturer is in taking responsibility in-house as well as upstream and downstream from their production plants.
Hailing from Schiltach in the Black Forest, Germany, the greenest country in the world, it makes sense that Hansgrohe has a long history of sustainability as one of their most important objectives. Hansgrohe holds a green star rating – the highest accolade for an Eco product. Working closely with design and product development in this industry is vital and the advances in Eco technology allow the consumer to simultaneously save money and water.
This not only refers to the handling of water and energy, the reduction of CO² emissions, but also to the sustainability of the company as a whole. Values like innovation, a high degree of staff and customer awareness, reliability, honesty and a flat hierarchy.
Sustainability is firmly anchored in the company culture as well as all other aspects of the business. Be it water-conserving products and relevant technologies, the quality of the materials and the manufacturing processes. Work and health protection as well as social responsibility – the training and development of staff form part of core sustainability credentials. Sustainability is more than a buzz word; the brand has put in place concrete objectives firmly rooted in the business plan.
Among them is the reduction of CO² emissions by 20% by 2014. Cutting back on the use of hazardous materials by 10% and significantly reducing the number of accidents in the workplace resulting in time loss due to injuries. In addition to this Hansgrohe aims to reduce the water consumption of products during production by 10% within five years. More importantly also improving the employability of its staff, which will always be its key objective.
Green implementation a priority
- In 2010 Hansgrohe launched a new standard of hand-basin mixers with its innovative aerator; it reduces the flow rate of water by a further 30% to about 5 litres per minute. With this the water flow of these fittings is about 65% less than conventional hand-basin mixers without an aerator.
- Hansgrohe produced educational materials with the title “Water = Future,” which were distributed in 14 000 schools in Germany. With fund-raising campaigns and events Hansgrohe also got involved in restocking the Kinzig with salmon.
- A joint project developed together with the University of Education in Freiburg is aimed at securing employability on a sustained basis. This is partly about comprehensive health management comprising training in ergonomics, nutrition, jogging or Nordic walking courses. Older members of staff especially can benefit from a further education programme tailored to their needs. The shared exchange of know-how between younger and older colleagues is a key aspect.
The local subsidiary has acquired a reputation in the sanitation sector as one of the innovative leaders in technology, design and sustainability. Hansgrohe Africa has a national footprint in South Africa and is a key player in Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Mauritius, Namibia and Tanzania. This comprises of two brands, Hansgrohe and Axor where its product ranges are manufactured at its six German plants, in France, Netherlands, United States and China.
Hansgrohe Africa is the global brand’s 29th subsidiary, headquartered in Johannesburg with showrooms and offices in Cape Town, Durban, George, Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth.