20 Jul /17

Sustainability Management for SMEs – Waste Separation, Local Engagement and Environmental Protection

Whether for small or medium-sized companies or large corporations, the time when sustainable measures were implemented internally and did not cover the entire value creation chain is over. Recycled printer and toilet paper is a good start but the measures that are the most sustainable are those that also take suppliers into account – because companies are also consumers and their purchasing decisions have an effect on the market.

Ms. Cornelia Schambeck, Sustainability Manager at our partner for office supplies, KAUT-BULLINGER & CO GmbH & CO KG, explains how else companies can tackle the issue of sustainability:

Sustainability Management for SMEs – an interview with Ms. Cornelia Schambeck, Sustainability Manager at our partner for office supplies, KAUT-BULLINGER & CO GmbH & CO KG Sustainability Management for SMEs – an interview with Ms. Cornelia Schambeck, Sustainability Manager at our partner for office supplies, KAUT-BULLINGER & CO GmbH & CO KG

As a long-established company from Munich, we see it as a logical extension to dedicate ourselves to long-term and, therefore, sustainable issues and objectives. As part of the certification for the standard for environmental management, ISO 14001, and our membership of the Global Compact since November 2016, we are working on very specific – sometimes everyday, sometimes unusual – sustainability measures.

Waste separation and recycling

The easiest way to start is with classic waste separation and efficient recycling. Considerable savings have been achieved as a result of the changes made to the sorting and separation of waste and recyclable materials. That employees think about making savings in the company, not just when it comes to waste separation, is now established as standard behavior.

Addressing problems on our doorstep – land rehabilitation of Deininger Moor

Since 2010, we have been involved in the land rehabilitation of Deininger Moor, with the aim of restoring the natural water level across the 17-hectare area. A group of energetic volunteers from the company regularly works with the BUND Naturschutz in Bayern e.V. (Association for Nature Protection in Bavaria) to build dams, erect wildlife protection fences to protect rare plants from damage caused by game and carry out other clearance work. Today, although we can see we are on the right path, nature still needs our help. All participants take away a lot from this assignment – both from a social and environmental point of view. What’s more, it’s always great fun because you never know what you will come across in the marshland.

Providing customers with guidance – KAUT-BULLINGER “Eco Indicator”

KAUT-BULLINGER “Eco Indicator” KAUT-BULLINGER “Eco Indicator”

The “Eco Indicator” came about as a response to the “logo jungle” created by our manufacturers – a development that remains uncurbed to this day. As a result of an overview for users falling by the wayside, meaning that it was no longer possible to make an informed purchase decision, I developed the “Eco Indicator” and specified the criteria. These include longevity of a product, timeless design, renunciation of polystyrene and problem materials, short transportation distances and CO2 neutrality. What is important is that I award the “Eco Indicator” per product and that it is not provided as standard for a manufacturer or similar. This designation is free of charge.

Win-win situation for the environment, customers and businesses

  • Environmental: Sparing use of resources to protect the environment
  • Financial: Specific cost reductions in waste, energy consumption and transport fleets
  • Social: Knowledge transfer and the promotion of a sense of community

My conclusion: It’s important to demonstrate a commitment to the overarching issue of sustainability and be prepared to broaden one’s horizons. It doesn’t matter how you initially get involved because once you have an understanding of the issue, only the continuous path of further development and improvement remains – for the good of the company, its employees and society as a whole.

EVS Translations is also constantly developing new measures for the sustainable use of resources. For example, electronic invoicing was recently introduced – this involves a “qualified electronic signature” and is sent in PDF format. Translation orders are also processed digitally thanks to the Internet, telephones and electronic dictionaries as well as word processing and translation software. When every company fulfills its environmental responsibility, achieving the objective of sustainability moves that bit closer.