B.A.U.M. Environmental Award for Reinhard Schneider
With the B.A.U.M. Environmental Award, the German Association of Environmental Management e.V. (B.A.U.M.) honors individuals for their dedication to environmental management. The award recognizes the work of managers who are responsible for developing and promoting their companies' environmental and sustainability philosophy. Award winners are chosen by a jury of 25 members from politics, business and academia.
Werner & Mertz CEO Reinhard Schneider accepted the award from Federal Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks and the B.A.U.M. Advisory Board. The jury honored Schneider for his engagement and proof that companies can protect the environment and still achieve financial success.
Schneider sees sustainability not only as a firmly entrenched company tradition but also as the potential for continuous improvement. Beyond the company boundaries he starts new initiatives for a more sustainable economy. In his work Schneider relies on communication and credibility. "Our goal is to make sustainability perceptible to the consumer. In future it will be increasingly more important to share the general manufacturing philosophy behind the actual product and to document sustainability along the entire supply chain," he said. "A credible eco-product can come only from a company that consistently pursues sustainability in everything it does. A manager of a family-owned company with a longer planning period than a publicly listed corporation, for example, can certainly make different decisions, which, in best case, link ecological with economic concerns."
The CEO steadfastly pursues this conviction in his company. Since 1986 when it launched the Frosch brand, Werner & Mertz, the Mainz-based manufacturer of detergents, cleaning and care products, has become the leading supplier of ecological cleaners. In 1995 the packaging producer Alpla set up operations on W&M premises, a move that resulted in annual savings of 570 tons CO2 and the elimination of 1500 shipments by truck. Werner & Mertz has had its environmental performance validated by EMAS since 2013 and its energy management assessed against ISO 50001 criteria since 2013. For the new headquarters building, which was erected in compliance with the highest international standards for sustainable construction in 2010, Werner & Mertz received LEED Platinum certification.
Schneider established the open-innovation Recyclate Initiative within the scope of the Frosch Initiative in 2012. The objective of the initiative is to put PET packaging into a closed loop and to re-use PET waste from the Yellow Bag collection system in the manufacture of new packaging. Right now Werner & Mertz uses no new petroleum-based plastic and produces PET packaging exclusively from old plastic, up to 20% of which is based on plastic from the Yellow Bag. Several prizes and awards, including the international Cradle-to-Cradle Innovator Award, attest to the initiative's benefits and the strong signal it sends in favor of effective plastic recycling.
Without competing with foodstuff production, Werner & Mertz utilizes native plants as the raw material for surfactants in its formulas for Frosch brand products.
Outside the company too Schneider and his employees participate in nature conservation projects and continuously support social initiatives like the Deutsche Tafel e.V. with product donations.
Established in 1993, the B.A.U.M. Environmental Award is presented annually to individuals for their personal engagement. The patron for this year's award ceremony is Sigmar Gabriel, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy. Minister Hendricks delivered the ceremonial address.
Photo: B.A.U.M. e.V.
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