Environment before turnover
„In case of doubt, the ecological aspect has priority over quick profit.“ Mission Statement of the Administrative Board,1989
In 1992 we developed Picto, the first completely recyclable office swivel chair, and proved innovative products can be designed and produced ecologically. Environmental responsibility does, after all, start with product design. As a proactive thinker, we demonstrate our innovative strength in ecological matters too: with environmentally favourable product processes, in the utilization of environmentally compatible materials, with a sophisticated value-added packaging system, in waste disposal or in the utilization of low-solvent lacquer.
The fire-extinguishing pool, created along ecological criteria at the Bad Münder headquarters, has developed into a valuable biotope over the course of three decades. The water and the banks are an important habitat for wild animals and are a protected area today.
„No orders without explanations“
This phrase of Fritz Hahne's became the guideline for internal communication very early on. Decisions at Wilkhahn must always be legitimized by means of arguments and not hierarchies. Such a corporate culture produces strong, self-confident individuals who can identity with their work and who are totally committed.
Responsibility from the very start
In the design and development process, ecological impact is also taken into consideration in addition to design, functional and business-related aspects. For this is where the most important factors are already determined that set the course for selection of materials, the manufacturing process, options for assembly, logistics and transport, repairability and recyclability. This overview shows the key aspects for the entire product life cycle that are currently applicable at Wilkhahn.
The materials used are subject to stringent control. Prohibited chemicals are not used in the products at all. All manufacturing supplies are contained in a register of hazardous substances that forms a basis for further minimization or substitution in the case of potential problematic substances. With the goal being to achieve maximum durability and quality, some recycled materials are used in the production of Wilkhahn ranges. This applies in particular to metals like steel and aluminium.
Water conservation, waste management and sustainable energy production Water is becoming an increasingly important resource. Wilkhahn spares no effort in minimizing water consumption in all areas. By treating process water, recycling and using state-of-the-art varnishing machinery, no waste water is produced that requires monitoring. The Wilkhahn waste management concept includes sorting waste according to one-type materials, as well as recycling and disposing of all waste fractions resulting from production and admin. The continual decrease in energy consumption is an important goal of the environmental management system. A combined heat and power plant and connection to a biogas plant at the Bad Münder site have more than doubled energy efficiency. As a result, heating at the headquarters and production facilities is CO2 neutral.