KNAUER: Berlin Lab Instrument Maker Goes Green
Simultaneously with the UN Sustainability Summit taking place in New York, KNAUER, a leading manufacturer of laboratory measuring instruments, ushered in its annual Sustainability Week.
Since February 2018, this Berlin-based family business has proudly been a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact, the world's most significant initiative promoting responsible corporate governance.
In 2015, the Compact formulated seventeen sustainable development goals spanning human rights, labour standards, environmental preservation, and corruption prevention, to which the company, comprising 190 dedicated employees, remains unwaveringly committed. KNAUER's focus transcends mere political rhetoric; it's all about translating these goals into tangible action.
Responsible energy and resource utilisation, fair trade practices, biodiversity conservation, fostering regional supply chains, and more have become key areas of concern for Alexandra Knauer, the company's entrepreneur, and its dedicated workforce. So, what's the role of a dedicated campaign week in addressing these crucial issues?
"Even though we place a significant emphasis on sustainability throughout the year, our Sustainability Week provides a dedicated platform for delving deeper into specific topics or exploring new ones. An essential facet of this is the long-term motivation it instills in our employees because each individual's contributions matter," emphasises Alexandra Knauer, the Managing Director.
The week commenced with presentations from colleagues representing various departments, with a particular focus on reducing packaging and eliminating disposable components. For the first time, KNAUER hosted a supplier day with workshops conducted by Jaro e.V. facilitators, concentrating on further resource conservation and the promotion of circularity. Encouragingly, both suppliers and KNAUER anticipate additional cost savings stemming from the discussed measures.
Wednesday witnessed a "Social Day" aimed at bolstering regional biodiversity. A group of 20 employees collaborated with the startup Artenglück to sow a 5500-square-meter flowering meadow southwest of Berlin, near Lake Schwielow. The entire process of sowing, raking, and rolling this vast area was a collaborative and enjoyable effort. KNAUER commits to the upkeep of this previously fallow land, actively fostering biodiversity, especially for insects.
The week also featured an in-house cooking course, "organic & vegan," guided by nutrition expert Kerstin Dobberstein. The culinary delights created were not only savoured by the participants but also shared with the staff, spreading delight all around.
Under the banner of "Zero Waste Event," Daniel Affelt from the environmental association "BUND Berlin" graced KNAUER with his presence, educating everyone about effective strategies and initiatives to reduce waste both within the company and in daily life.
He addressed numerous practical queries and introduced initiatives like remap-berlin.de, an interactive map that simplifies locating waste avoidance resources and projects in the neighbourhood.
In harmony with the international car-free day, the final day of the action-packed week was dedicated to mobility and symbolised a car-free day at KNAUER. All employees who opted for a climate-neutral commute on this day enjoyed a small reward, including free access to public transport. Additionally, the unveiling of the company's new bicycles, available for all employees for short errands and trips at no cost, was a highlight of the day.
"I'm delighted to witness the enthusiasm with which our extensive team embraced these initiatives. This week fostered learning, heightened awareness about biodiversity, and paved the way for new collaborative projects with our suppliers, such as reduced packaging for commutes. It was indeed a remarkable week," summarises Dr. Kate Monks, Head of Quality and Regulatory, expressing satisfaction.
KNAUER Wissenschaftliche Geräte GmbH, a family-owned enterprise, specialises in the development and manufacturing of cutting-edge laboratory instruments, including HPLC systems, used for a variety of analytical and purification purposes, such as active pharmaceutical ingredients. With a sales network spanning over 70 countries, Alexandra Knauer, who co-manages the company alongside Carsten Losch, remains deeply committed to corporate responsibility, both toward their employees and the environment and society at large. For more information about KNAUER, visit their website at www.knauer.net.
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