“I’m always thinking about sustainability”

Turning it Green

Many people at Hansgrohe are  driving sustainability within the company. We present three of them here.

Manager of Buildings

All Hansgrohe locations should strive to be free of fossil fuels. Timo Bok, Head of Building Engineering, is currently developing a concept for this vision. “I’m always thinking about sustainability,” he says. The 46-year-old has been proving this for ten years at Hansgrohe, such as when working on the new faucet production facility in Valjevo, Serbia. “It’s negative 20 Celsius there in the winter and over 40 Celsius in the summer. The aim was to avoid high energy consumption for heating and air conditioning.” The solution of a photovoltaic system, 26 centimeters of roof insulation, a combined heat and power unit and triple-glazed windows led to grateful employees on site – and LEED* certification

Bok has even more ideas, such as using process heat from plastic injection molding and hydrogen as alternative energy sources, as well as designing buildings with a focus  on biodiversity. And photovoltaics? “We’ll soon have them on almost every roof,” he says with satisfaction.

* Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is a rating system for ecological building  that was developed in 1998 by the U.S. Green Building Council

Inventor of a World Novelty

Because only products of impeccable quality leave the factory, Hansgrohe produces up to 100 tons of chrome-plated plastic rejects every year. “How can we recycle these?” That’s the question David Zapf and team asked themselves in 2019. “There has never been a good recycling solution for such composite materials anywhere in the  world. Proposed solutions were too expensive and didn’t yield plastic of sufficient purity,” says Zapf. The process engineer for plastics and surface technology, who has been with Hansgrohe since 2013, launched a research project.

Many series of tests later, the now 30-year-old presented a world’s first: A process – one that has since won an award – that separates the metal from the plastic with only 0.05 to 0.2 percent impurity (previous solutions contained 0.6 to 1 percent)! Together with Impuls Tec, a German company specializing in shockwave fragmentation, Zapf designed a recycling machine that went into operation in Offenburg in February 2024. What a success! Zapf remains humble, stating, “The process still has to prove itself in series production.”

Driver of Digital Waste Disposal

Our work devices, the internet and supporting systems contribute to 3.7% of GHG emissions worldwide, with an expected doubling by 2025*. We often don't realize how much electricity large email attachments or old documents on the server use,” says Sabrina Klaussner.

The 31-year-old Customer Service expert and her team launched a digital clean-up challenge as part of the Green Expert Program 2023**: the data from two areas is evaluated, cleaned out and remeasured. “The challenge is to integrate this into day-to-day business,” says Klaussner. “Especially the longer you've been with the company.”

It is a fact that the “digital waste” has to be disposed of: Hansgrohe is switching to cloud-based solutions in many places. “We need to be aware of our digital footprint,” says Klaussner. “Climate protection also takes place digitally.” 2024 calls for a challenge in other departments.

* World Economic Forum, Energy Transition, 2021
** A program to build expertise in sustainability at Hansgrohe. 

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