In 1989, Wilkhahn’s supervisory board made the ground-breaking resolution that, if in doubt, ecology and social responsibility were to be valued more highly than a quick profit. Since then Wilkhahn, has been developing office furniture that stands apart for practical innovations, appealing and sustainable design. We define sustainability as preventing any negative impact on the environment and society as far as possible and if financially feasible. Wilkhahn summarizes this integral component of corporate culture in its vision of “design that improves lives sustainably”.
Wilkhahn’s top ecological priority is help protect the environment sustainably. As a result, we ensure that future generations have a planet worth living in and create the basis for healthy economic growth. Consequently, these objectives are included in our company agreements on environmental protection. In our opinion, health and safety, environmental and quality management are linked. Which is why we’ve established an integrated sustainability management system.
All Wilkhahn sites comply with one standard environmental management system, which has EMAS validation and ISO 14001 certification at our headquarters in Bad Münder (Germany). Our main production site and all European sales sites have ISO 9001 certification. Regarding our suppliers, we expect them to have comprehensive and proper quality management systems. And due to FSC® product-chain certification since 2013, we can ensure transparency when sourcing wood from responsible forest management.
Sustainability action plan
For many years, sustainability at Wilkhahn has meant much more than developing innovative, durable and well designed office furniture by using low-emission materials and production methods. Consequently, our Sustainability Action Plan defines specific sustainability aspects and consistently implements measurable improvements. The rationale is that long-term commercial success is only possible by being fair toward people and the environment.
We collaborate with all members of the workforce to systematically develop and discuss specific ideas for each department. The process really helps us to identify the key environmental and social goals and synergy we can harness.
The ongoing action plan applies to 2020 – 2022. Its objective is to make further strides on climate protection, energy and material efficiencies, supply chain sustainability and workplace health promotion. Because there’s always room for improvement.
One example of positive changes includes fully climate-neutral electricity consumption since 2021. We’ve also halved our carbon footprint from 4,000 to 2,000 metric tons annually over the last 15 years. Our goal for 2022 goes one step further. Two of every three kilowatt hours of energy we require at the site will be generated in a climate-neutral manner in the future.