Planet – The environment we depend on
To reduce our impact on the environment wherever possible, we need to engage our employees, partners and customers in our efforts to use resources sustainably and reduce waste.
Overview of measures
- To improve efficiency and reduce energy consumption, we collect and analyse data from our production sites
- Zero waste from our production sites is sent to landfill.
- At one of our production sites, we have switched to 100 percent green energy.
- We have carried out a full environmental impact assessment and greenhouse gas inventory for all our operational activities and across our supplier base.
- On this basis, we are building a roadmap to become more sustainable. This involves engaging all our employees to take responsibility for our impact on the environment, use resources sustainably and avoid waste.
Flagship initiative: Driving Environmental Sustainability
A sustainable business is a business that takes care to minimise its impact on the environment.
- Together with our employees and partners we are increasing sustainability in our operations, procurement and products across the whole value chain.
- We are reducing CO2 emissions, water consumption and waste generation from all our operations
- By establishing projects to reduce packaging and minimize the end-of-life environmental impact of our products we are taking responsibility for the impact of our products at the consumer and post-consumer stage.
The world’s limited resources are becoming increasingly depleted, and the environmental footprint of humankind is already more than the planet can sustain. That is why we take responsibility for our impact on the environment. We follow leading international standards for environment, health and safety. We collect and analyse data from our production sites to improve efficiency and reduce energy consumption, and we send zero waste to landfill. We also maintain the environmental management standard ISO 14001 at all operational sites and the energy. We have made progress, but we want to do more. We have therefore carried out a full environmental impact assessment and greenhouse gas inventory for our sites and across our full value chain and are building a roadmap to become more sustainable. This includes, for example, targets to reduce waste by 3 percent year on year through promoting reuse and recycling. To achieve these aims, we are engaging all our employees to take responsibility for our impact on the environment, use resources sustainably and avoid waste.
Read our policy on occupational safety health and environmental protection and energy
Taking responsibility for our impact on the environment
Zero waste to landfill
In 2020, we set ourselves the ambitious goal of sending zero waste from our manufacturing facilities to landfill. Just one year later, we achieved that goal. By separating waste in the production area, raising awareness and exploring new ideas, we now reduce, reuse and recycle more waste. The remaining waste which cannot practically be recycled is sent for incineration.Find out more: Grünenthal’s manufacturing sites now send zero waste to landfill
Switching to green energy
Our production site in Mitlödi, Switzerland, is powered by 100 percent renewable energy from a local hydropower plant. Built underground, the state-of-the-art facility generates and stores renewable energy by pumping water from Lake Limmern to Lake Muttsee. As a next step, we are exploring the possibility of installing a heat pump powered by green electricity. This would enable us to meet our heating needs while cutting our use of natural gas.Discover more: Grünenthal’s site in Mitlödi is powered by green energy
As well as improving the environmental impact of our own operations, we have launched our #TreesForOurPlanet initiative to support reforestation. It aimed to mark our 75-year anniversary by planting 7,500 trees worldwide in 2021. Our teams planted more than 10,000 trees – and we have set new targets for 2022 and beyond. #TreesForOurPlanet is a step towards protecting the planet for future generations. Forests can play a vital role in tackling climate change by capturing and storing carbon. A growing woodland of mixed native species can store 400+ tonnes of carbon per hectare. (Source: Woodlandtrust.org)Discover more: "Trees For Our Planet" project in 2022
Lighting the way to sustainability
It is a simple step, but one with a big impact - by swapping thousands of traditional incandescent light bulbs for LED bulbs at our sites, we are cutting our annual energy use and reducing emissions. At our headquarters in Aachen, Germany, for example, this will save approximately 205,000 kilowatt-hours a year. Many of our manufacturing sites are now lit with LED bulbs, and we will continue until we have replaced 100 percent of the traditional bulbs across our business.Discover more: LED bulbs as a shining example
Energy consumption is the dominant contributor to climate change, accounting for around 60 percent of total global greenhouse gas emissions. To minimise our emissions, we collect and regularly analyse data from our production sites so that we can continuously improve resource efficiency and reduce our energy consumption.
Reducing our impact on the environment by improving the way we use energy
Energy use at our sites
|Actual 2020||YTD 2021||Percentage Change|
|API site (Aachen)||228||125||-45%|
|API site (Mitlodi)||53,967||51,426||-5%|
Managing water and waste
The reduction and safe handling of wastewater and solid waste are part of our company’s daily operations. Each production site has personnel dedicated to these processes. Through our environmental management systems, we ensure that waste is sorted to maximise recycling and disposal routes comply with national legislation. For example, our site in Switzerland achieves a recycling rate of over 80% for the solvent tetrahydrofuran.