Committed to sustainability – from the beginning
The term corporate social responsibility (CSR for short) has become a buzzword around the globe. But what is a buzzword today has in principle been a building block of our company from the day it was founded.
At the time of the company’s founding in 1928, our founder Walter Rau already put huge importance on running his family-run business fairly, responsibly and with heart and soul. Buzzwords aside, leading the company in a truly sustainable way was always a matter close to Walter Rau’s heart. In this respect, he was certainly ahead of his time compared to contemporaries. And this commitment to a sustainable way of thinking and acting still hasn’t changed today, with the fourth generation of company management picking up right where he left off.
Sustainability has many facets
What does “sustainability” mean today? It goes without saying that it means more than just avoiding certain ingredients in the production of natural cosmetics. Indeed, it goes beyond this to mean a general commitment to the environment, society and social causes. It refers to all activities which are done voluntarily, above and beyond the legal minimum and which serve to implement sustainability in practice – in all three of its dimensions: ecology, economy and society.
Let’s look at these in more detail. Click on the individual facets of sustainability to find out what Speick Naturkosmetik is doing for each. A sustainable mindset and sustainable practices form a key basis for all our corporate activities. We have already been commended for our commitment with multiple awards – including the German Sustainability Award 2013 and the CSR Award of the German Federal Government 2014. You can find out more about our prizes and awards under “Awards”.
The social responsibility of Speick Naturkosmetik spans the entire production and supply chain – which starts with the acquisition of raw materials. Using the Speick plant in the UNESCO Nockberge Biosphere Park as an example, it becomes clear just how careful and fair raw material acquisition can be: the small, protected plant is carefully harvested by hand every year by selected alpine farmers. Economy and environmental protection really do go hand in hand: the families of the farmers are given financial security while a contribution is made to protecting the biodiversity of the Nock Mountains.
Fair trade is of course a prerequisite when purchasing all other raw materials, as well. As is attention to good quality and in most cases – that is, where possible – to organic certification.
The topic of packaging is gaining more and more relevance in the wider topic of sustainable business practices. You can find out more about the different ways we are tackling this issue under “Packaging”.
In general, our motto is “As much as necessary, as sustainable as possible!” The best example of particularly sustainable packaging are our recyclable products in the Organic 3.0 series. In 2015, they set a new benchmark for environmentally friendly cosmetics packaging: Bio-polyethylene made of renewable sugar cane offers a sensible alternative to conventional packaging. Plant residue produced during the manufacture of BIO PE is used to generate green power – which can in turn be used to produce more BIO PE. An ingenious, future-proof system!
Meanwhile, another aspect of sustainability also comes into play – which goes for both raw material selection and packaging. We aim to principally work with partners from the region to avoid long transport distances, as well as to strengthen the local economic system.
Let there be no doubt: the “human factor” is decisive when it comes to achieving and maintaining sustainable, socially responsible practices. One of our motto’s at Speick Naturkosmetik is “Being human, always growing and developing”. We know how to show our human side, something that is reflected in our employee turnover rate, which is usually around the zero mark. If anyone leaves the company, it is usually only to retire.
The building blocks which Walter Rau laid for an appreciative management culture are still present to this day: contracts regulated by collective agreements and a works council (with employee representation beginning as early as 1952) are not to be taken for granted in a comparatively small company such as Speick Naturkosmetik. This is also backed by the understanding that every individual employee of the company is vital for its overall success. As such, our efforts towards holistic company management put the focus of business on social cooperation.
At Speick Naturkosmetik, we aim for long-term results over short-lived successes. This is not just reflected in our long-term, fair partnerships with the alpine farmers in the Nock Mountains and our suppliers, it also becomes apparent in our product range: we retain products long term, and short-lived limited editions are nowhere to be found. Alongside this, we also put a lot of importance on fair pricing: we want make our products available to the greatest possible number of people with by offering fair value for money.
Sustainability is also an integral part of life in our company headquarters in Leinfelden-Echterdingen – and is reflected in the smallest details. Organic coffee and organic fruit keep the employees topped up and healthy throughout the week. Research & Development, Production, Logistics and Administration are all together in one central location. This ensures short distances between department to save resources.
On the site itself we use the available resources with the greatest possible care. We generate the majority of the electricity we use with a photovoltaic system. An invisible but equally important detail: we cover the rest of our energy requirements with 100% green power and 100% biogas – and we do our banking activities in cooperation with social ecological partners.
The fact that we also try to keep our emissions and waste to a minimum in everything that we do is of course a given.