Good Tomor­row:
Sus­taina­bi­li­ty at Kettelhack

Good Tomor­row stands for joint action for a sus­tainable future, wit­hout dis­re­gar­ding know­ledge and expe­ri­ence from the past.

We take respon­si­bi­li­ty for ensu­ring that tomorrow’s gene­ra­ti­ons also have a future worth living for. Working tog­e­ther for a “good tomor­row”: This is our mis­si­on, and we are com­mit­ted to it – at all levels and in all are­as of the company.

At Ket­tel­hack, we pro­du­ce and sell high-qua­li­ty and dura­ble tex­ti­les. As an inde­pen­dent fami­ly busi­ness in its fourth gene­ra­ti­on, we are very fami­li­ar with long-term plan­ning and respon­si­ble action. In doing so, we focus equal­ly on the envi­ron­men­tal per­for­mance of our com­pa­ny and on the qua­li­ty of our pro­ducts and pro­ces­ses. Our inte­rest in envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion, as well as our sen­se of respon­si­bi­li­ty towards the users of our pro­ducts, was the reason why we were one of the first com­pa­nies to have our pro­ducts cer­ti­fied accor­ding to the OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100 more than 25 years ago.

The estab­lish­ment of an inde­pen­dent staff posi­ti­on for sus­taina­bi­li­ty manage­ment in 2016 was an important step for us. This both pro­fes­sio­na­li­sed and stra­te­gi­cal­ly ali­gned the company’s com­mit­ment. The company’s manage­ment func­tion assu­mes both a role model- and a lea­der­ship posi­ti­on in the deve­lo­p­ment of its sus­taina­bi­li­ty stra­tegy. Tog­e­ther with the Sus­taina­bi­li­ty Mana­ger, mea­su­res are deve­lo­ped for the indi­vi­du­al com­pa­ny divi­si­ons, thus set­ting the cour­se for a sus­tainable future. Our Sus­taina­bi­li­ty Mana­ger acts as a hub for ever­yo­ne and ever­y­thing rela­ted to sus­taina­bi­li­ty. Never get tired of ques­tio­ning the old and initia­ting the new – that is the core func­tion of our sus­taina­bi­li­ty management.

Our sus­taina­bi­li­ty manage­ment approach

We don’t just talk the talk when it comes to sus­taina­bi­li­ty, we walk it too – ther­eby taking a genui­ne A‑Z approach on the issue. Our goal is to con­ti­nuous­ly redu­ce all direct and indi­rect sources of impact that our busi­ness acti­vi­ties have on the envi­ron­ment and socie­ty. We also include upstream and down­stream pro­ces­ses, all sup­pli­ers and customers.

Our pro­duc­tion is ener­gy- and resour­ce-inten­si­ve. Both through the con­sump­ti­on of natu­ral resour­ces and the use of various che­mi­cals, the topic of envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion enjoys a high prio­ri­ty for us. With our envi­ron­men­tal manage­ment sys­tem in accordance with the EMAS stan­dard, we pur­sue a holi­stic approach. In addi­ti­on, Ket­tel­hack has been cer­ti­fied accor­ding to the OEKO-TEX® STeP stan­dard sin­ce 2020. You can find infor­ma­ti­on on our envi­ron­men­tal manage­ment →here.

The most important com­pon­ents of our pro­ducts are raw fabrics, dyes and auxi­lia­ries. The sup­p­ly chains of the­se two com­pon­ents pose a wide ran­ge of sus­taina­bi­li­ty chal­lenges for us. This includes, among other things, com­pli­ance with human rights due dili­gence or the avo­id­ance of nega­ti­ve sources of envi­ron­men­tal impact along the sup­p­ly chain. You can find out how we deal with the­se chal­lenges here.

Both the pro­tec­tion and impro­ve­ment of health and safe­ty for all employees and the avoidance/minimisation of hazards and risks are top prio­ri­ties for us. You can find out which mea­su­res we want to use to achie­ve this goal here.

Sus­taina­bi­li­ty manage­ment is not just about ques­tio­ning the use of resour­ces, tech­no­lo­gy and pro­ces­ses. It is also essen­ti­al to invol­ve and inte­gra­te the staff in the pro­cess. In addi­ti­on to many small mea­su­res, our sus­taina­bi­li­ty ambassa­dors are an important fac­tor in deve­lo­ping a sus­tainable cor­po­ra­te cul­tu­re. You can find more infor­ma­ti­on here.

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Good Tomor­row

Hea­ding into a Good Tomor­row, together

The inter­ac­tion bet­ween the Smi­ley and Sus­taina­bi­li­ty Ambassa­dor pro­ject groups led to a gre­at syn­er­gy effect in 2018: The sus­taina­bi­li­ty ambassa­dors pro­po­sed the aboli­ti­on of dis­posable cof­fee cups, which had been com­mon in many are­as of the com­pa­ny up to that point. At the same time, the Smi­ley pro­ject group deve­lo­ped the idea of reno­vat­ing the out­da­ted break rooms. The result is impres­si­ve: Aes­the­ti­cal­ly plea­sing break rooms with a modern look, whe­re ful­ly auto­ma­tic cof­fee machi­nes with por­ce­lain cof­fee cups and car­bo­na­ted water taps are available to all staff and visitors.

Ever­y­thing on the right side of the law!

Legal con­for­mi­ty and com­pli­ance are important com­pon­ents of sus­taina­bi­li­ty manage­ment. The rele­vant legal obli­ga­ti­ons in the disci­pli­ne of envi­ron­men­tal manage­ment include requi­re­ments stem­ming from che­mi­cal law, water, was­te and immis­si­on con­trol law, as well as requi­re­ments from muni­ci­pal bylaws. In par­ti­cu­lar, the EU Che­mi­cals Regu­la­ti­on, the Water Resour­ces Act, the Sta­te Water Act, the Fede­ral Immis­si­on Con­trol Act and the Self-Moni­to­ring Ordi­nan­ce on Was­te­wa­ter are high­ly rele­vant in this regard. In addi­ti­on, due dili­gence requi­re­ments rela­ting to inter­na­tio­nal sup­p­ly chains and busi­ness rela­ti­onships are important.

Our legal regis­ter ser­ves to ensu­re legal cer­tain­ty at all times. In addi­ti­on, we are invol­ved in various, rele­vant indus­try asso­cia­ti­ons. The envi­ron­men­tal manage­ment sys­tem accor­ding to EMAS and mem­ber­ship in the Part­ner­ship for Sus­tainable Tex­ti­les also sup­port us in mee­ting the various requi­re­ments under the umbrel­la of compliance.

We’re on board!

The deve­lo­p­ment of the tex­ti­le indus­try and, with that, our mar­ket, in a para­digm shift towards sus­taina­bi­li­ty and envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion is an important con­cern for us. The joint advance­ment of the afo­re­men­tio­ned topics is par­ti­cu­lar­ly cru­cial here, in order to achie­ve a com­mon “level play­ing field”. Ket­tel­hack is a mem­ber of (and invol­ved in) various asso­cia­ti­ons and organisations.

Fur­ther artic­les on the topic