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.

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Fur­ther artic­les on the topic

OEKO-TEX® Standard 100

The OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 is a form of product certification that ensures that "every component of this article […] has been tested for harmful substances and the article therefore is harmless to human health." […] In the test they take into account numerous regulated and non-regulated substances, which may be harmful to human health. In many cases the limit values for the STANDARD 100 go beyond national and international requirements." (Source:


Compliance is the business and legal term for adherence to rules by companies, i.e. adherence to laws, guidelines and voluntary codes. (Source: Wikipedia)

Due Diligence

Due diligence is the process that companies should undertake, according to the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, to identify, avoid and mitigate the actual (and potential) negative effects arising from their operations, supply chains and other business relationships, and to account for how they address these effects. (Source: 2018, OECD, OECD Due Diligence Guide for Responsible Business)


Development of water consumption in m3

The high level of water consumption in production brings with it a corresponding volume of waste water. Compliance with the limit values from the Waste Water Ordinance is ensured by the indirect discharge permit. The daily control of the mixing and equalisation basin by our employees, as well as through the regular inspections by the responsible monitoring authorities, give us the necessary security. 

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