It’s there in black and white: We are green through and through! CWS-boco has now published its 2016 sustainability report. This report provides an insight into the company’s environmental record and the measures it is taking to ensure and promote sustainability. For example, the product life cycle of hand towel dispensers has been optimised thanks to upcycling and recycling. What’s more, the increase in the average duration of customer relationships to more than 13 years is confirmation that CWS-boco’s customers value the company and its philosophy.
Sustainability is firmly anchored in the CWS-boco Group’s corporate strategy. “CWS-boco continues to grow. At the same time, we are including new sustainable approaches and strategies in our growth process. We want to be proactive and not reactive,” explained Detlef Kröpelin, member of the management board of the CWS-boco Group and Chief Divisional Officer Textile Care.
The success seen is proof that CWS-boco is on the right track. After all, the company has many long-term customers. The average duration of our customer relationships is 13.3 years. What’s more, this impressive figure represents an increase of 0.4 years from 2015 to 2016.
Repairs instead of disposal: Upcycling and recycling
The principle of reuse is central to CWS-boco’s rental service concept. The workwear and hand towel dispensers are washed, repaired and maintained in our laundries. And even the hand towel dispensers are designed to enjoy a long life. Last year, our dedicated Upcycling Centre repaired more than 44,500 defective dispensers, which meant they could be put back into use. This figure is around 17% higher than in 2015. And the journey is not over even for those which cannot be repaired. The plastic used in many old dispensers is turned into granules and used to make new dispensers. The company’s stated goal is to develop an upcycling strategy comprising all products and packaging by 2020.
Customer want to show their commitment to sustainability
The CWS-boco product range allows customers to fit out their washrooms in a sustainable manner. The company awards its ecoilet label for the use of cotton hand towel dispensers, foam soap dispensers and recycled toilet paper in order to distinguish its customers’ sustainable washrooms. A continuing success story: Just two years ago, only 439 washrooms bore this seal, in 2016 this figure had risen to 2,581.
CWS-boco attaches importance to concluding an agreement with all suppliers which is based on the principles of the ILO core labour standards. In addition to prohibiting forced and exploitative child labour and specifying environmental protection regulations, this Code of Conduct also includes an undertaking to implement the objectives in underlying value-added chains: In this way, CWS boco actively contributes to social change. More than 93% of the procurement volume comes from suppliers who have signed the Code of Conduct.
CWS-boco launched its first Fairtrade collection in 2016 and today there are now 4 Fairtrade workwear collections. This makes the company one of the largest provider of Fairtrade workwear in Germany and in Europe. In 2016 alone, more than 200 tonnes of Fairtrade cotton were procured. The cotton farmers benefit from guaranteed minimum wages and a Fairtrade bonus for community projects. In addition, the cotton is produced in an environmentally friendly manner.
Now and in the future
CWS-boco has great plans for the future and has set itself a number of ambitious goals to achieve by 2020. The average duration of customer relationships and the percentage of women in management are both to be increased. The share of green electricity is also to be expanded further. In 9 countries, 62% of the electricity for the laundries is produced in an environmentally friendly manner; this represents an increase of 11% compared to 2015. The German and Dutch laundries already procure all their electricity from green sources.
The complete CR report 2017 from CWS-boco can be downloaded as a PDF file from www.cws-boco.com/en-US/sustainability-report-2017.