At the same time as the UN Sustainability Summit in New York, laboratory measuring instrument manufacturer KNAUER launched this year's Sustainability Week on September 18, 2023.
Since February 2018, the Berlin-based family business has also been a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact, the world's largest and most important initiative for responsible corporate governance. In 2015, this initiative formulated seventeen sustainable development goals in the areas of human rights, labor standards, environmental protection, and corruption prevention, to which the company, with 190 employees, is committed. More than at the political level at the UN, KNAUER is about putting these goals into practice.
Resource-saving use of energy and raw materials, fair trade, biodiversity, regional supply chains and much more generally attract a great deal of attention from entrepreneur Alexandra Knauer and the workforce. So, what is the role of a campaign week on this topic?
Even though we place great emphasis on sustainability throughout the year, we use our Sustainability Week to deal with individual topics much more intensively or even with new topics. An important aspect of this are actions that have a lasting motivating effect on our employees, because every individual counts.
Alexandra Knauer, Managing Director
On the first day, four colleagues from different departments presented current projects. The focus was on reducing packaging and avoiding disposable components. For the first time, KNAUER held a supplier day with workshops with facilitators from the Jaro e.V. association, which focused on ways to further conserve resources and promote circularity. A pleasing preliminary result was that both suppliers and KNAUER expect additional cost savings as a result of the measures discussed.
On Wednesday, a "Social Day" to promote regional biodiversity was on the agenda. A group of 20 employees planted a 5500-square-meter flowering meadow southwest of Berlin at Lake Schwielow with the help of the startup Artenglück. Everyone had fun sowing, raking and rolling the large area together. KNAUER finances the maintenance of the flowering meadow on this previously fallow land and thus actively promotes biodiversity, especially for insects.
An in-house cooking course, "organic & vegan," under professional guidance by nutrition expert Kerstin Dobberstein, inspired the participants on Wednesday. What the hobby cooks did not eat themselves when they enjoyed the food together afterward, they shared with the staff to everyone's delight.
Under the motto "Zero Waste Event," Daniel Affelt from the environmental association "BUND Berlin" was a guest at KNAUER on Thursday and informed about effective possibilities and initiatives to avoid waste in the company and in everyday life. He directly addressed the many concrete questions of the participants and presented, for example, the initiative remap-berlin.de. This offers an interactive map that makes it easy to find addresses and projects for waste avoidance in the neighborhood.
In line with the international car-free day, the last day of the action week was dedicated to the topic of mobility and was also a symbolic car-free day at KNAUER. There was a small reward for all those who came to work in a climate-neutral way and took advantage of the free use of public transport on this day. In addition, the new company bicycle was presented, which all employees can use free of charge from now on for small errands and trips.
I am pleased to see the enthusiasm with which our large team participated in the actions. We learned a lot this week, raised awareness and biodiversity, and agreed on new projects with our suppliers, for example, for more commute packaging. It was a great week.
Dr. Kate Monks , Head of Quality and Regulatory