Ambitious targets will direct Gerresheimer’s sustainability strategy in the coming years. Among other things, the company wants to cut its CO2 emissions by half by 2030. The number of occupational accidents is to be significantly reduced by 2028. By 2023, ecodesign criteria are to become a fixed component of product development at Gerresheimer.
“For us, thinking and acting sustainably means taking a long-term view on our impact as a company. Sustainability has thus become an important pillar of our corporate strategy. It will be an important driver of innovation and growth for us,” says Dietmar Siemssen, CEO of Gerresheimer AG.
Gerresheimer’s new sustainability strategy is based on three pillars. GxPure, GxCircular and GxCare. Ambitious measurable individual targets have been set for these three areas, which are to be achieved within a specified tight timeframe.
GxPure – Commitment to the environment and climate
As a manufacturing company, Gerresheimer attaches great importance to the environment. Energy is required for the production of plastic and glass packaging, and the melting processes in high-temperature furnaces are particularly energy-intensive. In this context, it is important for Gerresheimer to improve energy efficiency in its processes and also to avoid the associated greenhouse gas emissions. The company has set itself the goal of reducing its Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 50% by 2030 (base year 2019) in absolute terms, while at the same time achieving ambitious growth targets.
CDP Carbon Disclosure Project – B rating achieved
Gerresheimer has been participating in the CDP, the non-profit Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), since 2008 and publishes the successes of its initiatives and measures to protect the climate. In the CDP Climate Change Report 2019, the company has again achieved a good B rating (on a scale from A to D-), which is above the industry average.
Furnace of the Future
As a member of the European Container Glass Federation FEVE, Gerresheimer is involved in the “Furnace of the Future” project to pilot hybrid technologies for the decarbonization of glass production together with other glass manufacturers.
Water – Alliance for Water stewardship (AWS)
In the production of plastic and glass packaging, water is mainly used for cooling and cleaning. Gerresheimer recently joined the AWS and aims to use water responsibly and sparingly. At all production sites affected by high water stress, the company will introduce sustainable water management systems which will be certified against the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) standard by 2030. At the same time, Gerresheimer aims to reduce overall water intake by 10% by 2030 compared to 2019.
Gx Circular – Commitment to sustainable products and resource conservation
In the production of pharmaceutical primary packaging and drug delivery systems, diagnostic systems and packaging for the cosmetics industry made of glass and plastic, Gerresheimer aims to make a contribution to the circular economy by designing its products and processes to reduce their environmental impact and close the loop.
The term eco-design describes the inclusion of environmental aspects as early as the product design process, with the aim of improving the environmental impact of the product throughout its life cycle – including production, transport, use and disposal. Gerresheimer has set itself the goal of integrating eco-design principles into 100% of the new products developments as early as 2023. In doing so, the requirements for product quality as well as patient safety and the fulfilment of regulatory requirements must be harmonized with the eco-design principles from the very beginning. Already in the existing product portfolio, for example, recycled glass and plastic or reusable parts and dematerialization strategies are used. Renewable raw materials are also used.
Commitment to people – GxCare
As a manufacturing company, responsibility for the safety and health of all employees is a top priority for Gerresheimer. Therefore, it is a key objective to reduce the lost time accident frequency at the sites by 80% by 2028. The introduction of an occupational safety management system in accordance with ISO 45001 at all production sites by 2023 provides the appropriate framework.
EcoVadis – Silver Rating achieved
Numerous international pharma and cosmetics customers regularly review with regard to sustainable business practices. In 2018, Gerresheimer achieved a score of 46 points in the annual EcoVadis assessment, thus making the leap from bronze to silver rating. In 2020, the company improved its score within this rating to 58 out of a maximum of 100 points and is therefore currently among the top 6% of the companies assessed in the comparative industry of pharmaceutical suppliers and medical technology.