The “Stop Wasting – Start Caring!” initiative launched by CEO Timotheus Höttges provides a new platform for the Group’s long-standing commitment to greater resource efficiency. The aim is to either avoid using resources such as plastic, paper, and packaging, or replace them with environmentally friendly alternatives. If that is not possible, these materials should be used as efficiently as possible and then recycled. In doing so, we are helping support the circular economy.
The starting shot for the initiative was fired in September 2018, and we now have close to 100 Group employees in Germany acting as “Green Pioneers” as well as a large number of other supporters.
“Stop Wasting – Start Caring!” has already seen multiple specialist working groups form that focus on relevant subject areas such as “sustainable device design”, “sustainable packaging”, “logistics”, “catering”, and “green points of sale”.
Besides these working groups, the “Stop Wasting – Start Caring!” campaign also involves the in-house “Green Pioneers” ambassador program. Within this framework, environmentally minded employees discuss and present existing and new, innovative ways to boost resource efficiency, including on the “you and me” (YAM) in-house social platform. These “Green Pioneers” share their experiences, organize activities, come together with colleagues from other disciplines to work on projects, or join pre-existing specialist working groups. The aim behind this in-house ambassador program is to promote a fundamental change in perspective with regard to responsible management and conduct in all Group areas.
Examples of initial activities
Together with our canteen operator Sodexo, the “Catering” specialist group has already secured its first success by banning straws and plastic spoons in our canteens throughout Germany. Instead, employees now use metal spoons to stir their hot drinks. In addition, special dispensers have been installed to reduce the number of napkins used. We will provide kitchenettes with water dispensers at our largest German sites by June 2019, before progressing to other locations. Since the end of 2018, we have also been trialing reusable cups from RECUP at two sites’ canteens in a bid to do away with disposable cups. In terms of “logistics”, we are making a dedicated effort to reduce, among other things, the plastic used in protective packaging, the number of returns, and paper consumption by deploying print-on-demand solutions and using more digital documents, for instance. Product and packaging design experts are endeavoring to use more recycled plastic in products such as routers and telephones. Our Speedport Pro router, which we manufacture using recycled plastic, is just one example of how we are already making good progress in this respect. Another example is how we now dispatch our media receivers in protective packaging that contains less plastic. You can find out more about this in the Customers and Products section.
We are keen to gradually launch more projects, and increase the outreach of existing ones, as part of “Stop Wasting – Start Caring!” in the future. The initiative has also been presented to the national companies so it can be established outside of Germany with the relevant regional focus.
The “Stop Wasting – Start Caring!” initiative in our national companies