The Value of Water – Together for a Clean Future

Hansgrohe Water Symposium 2022: Precious Water

Experts, multipliers and interested parties met in the Black Forest on September 16, 2022 on the topic of "Precious Water". The presentations, workshops and discussions focused on water conservation, the sustainable use of this precious resource and the limitation of damage that has already occurred. Competent, exciting, solution-oriented: this is how visitors felt about the event at the Hansgrohe Aquademie.

Impressions of the Hansgrohe Water Symposium 2022.

How do we Solve the Water Crisis? Time to Rethink

With the European drought still on everyone’s minds, agreement among the attendees was quick: We  must immediately rethink our treatment of this precious resource. Together with the climate and energy crisis, the water crisis also shows that we cannot go on like this – neither in politics nor in business nor in society. Because it is simply a matter of the future of our blue planet. The tenor among the participants was that we do not have much time to find good answers to all the pressing water issues and to implement them. And so the presentations were peppered with wake-up calls.

Workshops around water protection

In the afternoon of the Hansgrohe Environmental Conference, the audience was able to immerse itself deeper into individual topics and, depending on their area of interest, participate in three workshops led by Prof. Dr. Claus Lang-Koetz, Nikolaus Geiler and Steffen Erath. The Hansgrohe Water Symposium 2022 was moderated by Susi Krauseneck, and the Magnus Mehl Trio provided the musical framework.

Saving, Protecting, Limiting Ourselves: Individual Actions Count

Keynote speaker Prof. Dr. Judith Walls reflected on what successful ways out of business as usual might look like. The professor of sustainability management at the University of St. Gallen took a close look at the executive floors of the business world. Are our leaders taking climate protection seriously enough, and how are they making their companies resilient? Walls brought compelling practical examples and outlined a forward-looking management picture that is fit for the future.

Walls emphasized how much more beneficial investments are that actively counteract climate problems. Entrepreneurs, she said, are better positioned to address sustainability challenges through innovation than politicians. They can act more quickly. Wall's positive outlook: "There are solutions, and each individual can have tremendous impact. What we need now is more leaders taking action."

Hansgrohe integrates water and energy-saving technologies into all products

Host Hans Juergen Kalmbach is also aware of this urgency. The Chairman of the Executive Board of Hansgrohe SE reported that all of the company's global sites are now climate-neutral with regard to their own emissions. He also presented the Hansgrohe Group's lighthouse project: the company is converting its entire portfolio of faucets and showerheads to ECO* by 2030.

And so, in the coming years, every shower and faucet from the company's brands AXOR and hansgrohe will be equipped with EcoSmart and/or CoolStart technology, reducing water consumption per product by up to 60 percent. This will enable customers around the world to save valuable water and expensive energy day after day – without compromising on function, comfort and wellness.

* The Hansgrohe Group defines "ECO" as the reduction of water and/or energy consumption of water-bearing products in use by at least 22 percent compared to the base year 2020

The Hansgrohe purpose is focused on the well-being of the planet. Water is life and our passion. We create inspiring moments with water while protecting this precious element. That's why we are integrating water and energy-saving technologies into our entire product portfolio by 2030, because the greatest carbon dioxide emissions occur in the usage phase of our products.

Hans Juergen Kalmbach, Chairman of the Executive Board Hansgrohe SE

"All for Water. Water for All."

The importance of education for water conservation was demonstrated by Gregor Anderhub, founder and executive director of the Swiss NGO Viva con Agua. He and his team raise awareness about water inequality on Earth and advocate for a lower water footprint in the first world. The non-profit organization's ambitious goal is to provide access to clean drinking water and hygienic sanitation for everyone in the world. The water conservationist and climate networker brought inspiring reports and pictures of projects in the global south. Viva con Agua received a donation check from Hansgrohe CEO Kalmbach for a Wash Bus in South Africa. During the event, the guests could increase the check's value with a green fingerprint on a canvas. For each fingerprint, the donation increased by 50 Euros, so that Hansgrohe is now donating 10,000 Euros.

"Microplastics are Everywhere, Including in our Blood."

He protects valuable water with full physical effort and once again became a swimming celebrity in the summer of 2022: Prof. Dr. Andreas Fath. His main topic is the plastic pollution of our waters. The chemist and current water ambassador spoke about his breathtaking trip along the Danube, which he had just completed over a length of approximately 2,700 kilometers.

With press conferences, training sessions and a knowledge workshop, the chemistry professor attracted a lot of attention along this most international river. Fath's photos proved: some sections he could only manage by boat, because mountains of plastic and the polluted Danube water would have been hazardous to his health. The depressing fact: Only nine percent of our plastic waste is recycled worldwide. This small percentage must be increased.

Read also our report on the environmental project cleandanube.

“Education is the key. You only love what you know – and you only protect what you love. We all still have a lot to learn for environmental protection. And: we have to change cherished habits. ”
Dr. Britta Böhr, Nationalpark Schwarzwald

Hansgrohe Headquarters are in a Blissful Valley of Water

Maik Zinser's presentation showed that Hansgrohe's corporate headquarters, as well as the surrounding communities, are downright blessed when it comes to drinking water quality and supply. Zinser spoke in his capacity as managing director for the "Little Kinzig" reservoir, which ensures the drinking water supply in the region. Compared to other parts of Germany, the northern Black Forest has high precipitation, numerous water protection zones, well-functioning filter systems and sufficient reserves for the time being. Flood damage has also decreased because of the dam. Zinser was able to present impressive results. But of course, this region must also protect itself against climate change.

Panel discussion

In lively round these guests spoke: 

From left to right: Steffen Erath (Head of Sustainability and Innovations at Hansgrohe SE), Gregor Anderhub (Viva con Agua), Susi Krauseneck (presenter), Dr. Britta Böhr (Black Forest National Park), Philippe Grohe (Syngroh Advisory GmbH) and Andreas Hendrickx (Freiburg Regional Council). The roundtable showed which initiatives, solutions and challenges exist among NGOs, companies and in state politics when it comes to "water conservation".
Hansgrohe Water Symposium: Prof. Dr. Claus Lang-Koetz.

Workshop with Prof. Dr. Claus Lang-Koetz

The professor from Pforzheim University discussed sustainable innovation management in companies and circled the topic scientifically and methodically.

Hansgrohe Water Symposium: Nikolaus Geiler.

Workshop with Nikolaus Geiler

The biologist, chemist, hydrologist and environmental activist (RegioWASSER e.V.) shared his valuable knowledge about water conservation in the region.

Hansgrohe Water Symposium: Steffen Erath.

Workshop with Steffen Erath

With interactive quiz, the sustainability and innovation manager planned the bathroom "with the planet in mind."

For People and the Environment
Company Management and Sustainability Strategy
Saving Water, Energy and CO2
Climate Crisis: A Demand for New Habits