Sustainability and HARTMANN: The time is now

We spoke to Stefanie Meinzer, Vice President Real Estate & Business Services, and Michaela Sieger, Senior Manager Team Lead Sustainability about how the topic of sustainability is evolving at HARTMANN – and the years to come.
Stefanie Meinzer, Vice President Real Estate & Business Services (right) and Michaela Sieger, Senior Manager Team Lead Sustainability (left).

A shared integrated roadmap to sustainability

In the past, HARTMANN has pursued many stand-alone, independent projects focused on sustainability. Stefanie says, “Sustainability has always been in HARTMANN’s DNA, simply due to its product portfolio and the company’s mandate.” Now, HARTMANN is consolidating an integrated strategy, reaching across all divisions and levels. The goal is for all employees at HARTMANN to follow the same roadmap to sustainability and reach clearly defined, measurable targets for the whole company. Thus, everyone – from management and investors to employees and customers, as well as society in general – can benefit from deeply implemented, long-term sustainable business practices.

Bringing the pieces together

The first step in building a holistic approach to sustainability lies in bringing all the pieces together to reveal the bigger picture. This process began with speaking to all the divisions, the departments and countries about the measures that are already being carried out. The existing measures and planned actions will be used to inspire a future strategy for greater sustainability. Stefanie adds, “We have achieved a lot. Many, many initiatives have been carried out, and our task will be to illustrate each project’s benefits for sustainability and to share them better, both internally and externally.”

Transparency leads to transformation

As awareness grows for the role sustainability plays, so does the potential to transform individual efforts into a concerted approach. To this end, an Extended Sustainability Team has been formed, consisting of representatives from all divisions and selected departments with high topic-specific relevance. Regular jour fixes and consultations take place. “We want to guide divisions and relevant functions to identify and work on their own levers for more sustainability and also to share their challenges, initiatives and successes in order to learn from each other,” Michaela explains.

Shedding light on practice examples also illustrates just how embedded the topic of sustainability is. “Sometimes this comes from simply viewing a project or new development through a sustainability lens,” explains Michaela. A good example lies in the changes driven by the energy crisis. As HARTMANN switches to energy-saving technologies or seeks ways to reduce energy consumption, the company not only decreases costs, but also increases its sustainability scorecard. Michaela adds, “Sustainability at HARTMANN is so much more than the environment, it is also found in the economic aspects and the social aspects, like the health of our employees and the well-being of our community. It’s in everything we do.”

Sustainability is the anchor

Based on this emerging transparency, a transformation is leading the company to view sustainability as a crucial future topic in the minds of all employees at all levels. Stefanie states, “It’s more than governance and regulation – it’s about always thinking ahead with each decision, in terms of what the big picture is and what it affects. What long-term effects will my decisions today have on tomorrow.”

After the last few years of laying the groundwork for a comprehensive sustainability strategy, the team has achieved two important milestones: the publication of the first Sustainability Report and the first CO2 footprint for Scope 1 and 2. These two publications are important milestones to establishing sustainability as an anchor of the business and no longer an extra value add-on. Stefanie emphasizes, “our goal is to further merge our sustainability efforts with the company's general attitude of doing business. Thus, establishing an integrated business strategy.”

To read more about the new directions our sustainability strategy and goals are taking us, please visit our Sustainability Landing page and read our Sustainability Report 2021.

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