sustain abilitY report REHaU gROUP

sustain abilitY report REHaU gROUP
Legal notice
This report is available in German and
English and can be downloaded from our
Otto-Hahn-Str. 2, 95111 Rehau
Project management
Lydia Haupt (Sustainability Officer)
Editorial team
Core team of the Sustainability
Committee: Dr. Stefan Girschik,
Alexander Friton, Klaus Gollwitzer,
Lydia Haupt, Dr. Martin Watzlawek
Text and design
Serviceplan Corporate Reputation, Berlin
Thomas Leichsenring, Jörg Gulden,
Christian Grund (p. 3), Qilai Shen
(p. 41, 14)
Veit Larisch
Brief portrait
Report profile
Strategy in a time of transformation
REHAU is prepared for the challenges of the future:
sustainability and customer service are the foundation of our
activities and the focus of our strategy, structures and processes.
Product responsibility as an opportunity
The heart of REHAU is our innovative products. We place the
greatest importance on ensuring that they meet our demanding
standards and fulfil the needs of our customers.
Focus on environmental responsibility
For REHAU, the environment is more than just a source of raw
materials. It is our responsibility to find the best solutions for
the environment and our customers.
Social responsibility with a long-term view
REHAU’s focus is always on people. Whether it’s our employees,
customers or society at large – we demonstrate every day that
sustainability also always applies to people.
Transformation with a sustainable impact
Our path to long-term success
Dear Readers,
Transformation requires courage, good ideas and
a solid foundation. REHAU has laid that foundation
over the past two years. What prompted the move?
Our role as a family-run company with a long-term
view and our commitment to conduct business in
an environmentally friendly, socially responsible
and efficient manner. Our thinking and our actions
are based on long-term objectives that ensure a
successful future for ourselves and our partners.
We’re faced with the challenge of succeeding in
a global market that moves ever faster. Our aim
is not simply to keep pace with these changes and
meet the requirements of the market, but to break
new ground.
We have therefore laid the foundation for the longterm success of the company with a comprehensive internal transformation process. Over the past
two years, we have built on our traditional strengths
of independence, flexibility and innovative power
together with our employees and business partners
in order to ready ourselves for the challenges of
tomorrow. Thanks to simplified decision-making
structures, we are now working closer to the market and are making strides through newly created
and reinforced structures in our business fields.
This enables us to work even more closely with
our customers and help them become more
sustainable. After all, sustainability is not only the
key to the success of our company, but also a
critical factor for our customers. We are making
our processes more efficient, becoming more
competitive and creating new opportunities.
With our second sustainability report in succession,
REHAU is demonstrating its commitment to
transparency, now and in the future. Throughout
the report, we provide an overview of the areas of
corporate strategy, product responsibility, environmental protection, and employees and society. We
discuss visionary pilot projects and resource-saving
forward-looking technologies, interviews with
internal and external experts, and shed light on
the innovative training and continuing education
opportunities that we provide for our workforce.
Together with our partners and staff, we are forging
ahead with a transformation for long-term success.
Jobst Wagner Dr. Veit Wagner
President of the REHAU Group
Vice President of the REHAU Group
DYnamiC anD sustainable
on intermediate goals, objectives and plans for the future
Dear Readers,
One thing has always been clear to us: only by
acting in an economically sound manner can we
advance the cause of resource-saving processes
and make a contribution to the sustainability of
society. That’s why we have re-oriented our group
structure and are actively shaping our future.
This report describes which of our sustainability
goals we have already achieved, where we have
made important strides and where we are just
getting started. Our advancements in the field of
product development are a good example of the
success of our efforts. For instance, we have
developed the SyNEGO window profile in line with
our latest resource-saving criteria. The result is a
product that not only provides outstanding thermal
insulation and was developed in a particularly
environmentally friendly manner, but is also
completely recyclable. This and similar measures
to protect the environment have helped us improve
across the entire value creation chain – in terms
of energy and water consumption as well as the
amount of waste we produce, to name a few
We also assume our corporate responsibility by
joining with our partners in living according to
the sustainability principles that we espouse.
For instance, we’ve been able to persuade many
of our suppliers to commit to the same environmental and social principles. By the end of 2014,
37% had already signed the corresponding
sustainability agreement, and we hope to have
everyone on board by the end of 2015. We also
foster responsible conduct on the part of our
employees. For example, we have launched an
expanded range of e-learning courses that enable
employees worldwide to inform themselves about
applicable laws and regulations and make it easier
to achieve compliance. Our e-learning programs
also offer employees the opportunity to participate
in ongoing education and training on a range of
current topics. This fosters personal development
and strengthens our company.
The re-orientation of the group structure and other
joint projects to secure the future of the company
have required a lot of resources. We have thus had
to postpone some important planned activities,
including the employee survey. This will now take
place in 2015, which has the benefit of allowing us
to carry out even more thorough preparations and
detailed implementation. The satisfaction of our
employees is a crucial component in ensuring the
future of our company. Their ideas are the source
of our innovation and a critical factor in
our common success.
Dr. Stefan girschik
Rainer Schulz
Deputy CEO of the
REHAU Group, Chairman
of the Sustainability
CEO of the REHAU Group
Brief portrait
Values, vision, growth
A brief portrait of the REHAU Group
Sustainable, passionate, innovative: REHAU stands
for the future. As a family-run business, we think
and act with a view to future generations – and in
keeping with the principle of sustainability. The
result is over six decades of business success,
always accompanied by healthy growth. Today,
over 19,000 employees work for the REHAU Group
at over 170 locations worldwide. Over 2,000 of
them work in the town of Rehau in the southern
German region of Upper Franconia, the headquarters of our company and the place where
it was founded.
efficiency, renewable energy, water management,
the mobility of the future and living and working
spaces. Sustainable development in these five
areas will have a major impact on the future of
humanity – and we want to play an active role in
that process. Technological advancements in the
fields of digitalisation and networking help us in
these areas. They enable us to create innovative,
smart products and services and create production
conditions that use less resources and are even
more specifically tailored to the needs of our
Our guiding principles have remained the same:
now, as before, we stand for long-term partnerships with employees, suppliers and customers,
healthy growth, independence, innovative drive
and environmental responsibility. As a specialist
for plastic and polymer solutions, that makes us
one of the top providers in the market. What
else distinguishes us? We focus on medium
and long-term objectives instead of aiming for
short-term profits. Our activities are primarily
focussed on five so-called megatrends: energy
The ever-increasing global demand for energy,
clean water and quality of life makes it absolutely
necessary to treat natural resources with greater
care and to think about tomorrow in the decisions
we make today. With our services and products,
we make a significant contribution to driving this
process forward. REHAU develops system solutions
of outstanding technological capabilities and
long-term value. In doing, we are following the
principles of our corporate culture: we always act
with a long-term view and a sense of responsibility.
Report profile
Report profile
This sustainability report documents the activities
of the REHAU Group in the years 2013 and 2014.
We are showing our commitment to transparency
in this form for the second time following our
2011/2012 report. In keeping with our sustainability standards, we intend to document and analyse
our future activities with a sustainability report
every two years. The topics and figures we present
are based on the guidelines of the Global Reporting
Initiative (GRI). Our focus is on environmental and
social aspects.
The report addresses the activities of the REHAU
Group. The primary focus is on REHAU AG + Co as
it has the highest sales and the greatest number of
employees. It is referred to in the report as REHAU
Germany. But we also cover all subsidiaries in
the group that fall under the aegis of the Group
Executive Board. As a manufacturing company,
all environmental figures presented here refer
exclusively to REHAU production facilities unless
otherwise indicated. Not included to date are the
plants in Santiago de Chile and Rosario.
The report and the data presented in it are
primarily based on internal surveys. In selected
areas, the figures were also examined by external
auditors and found to be accurate. This includes
the indicators relating to occupational safety and
health. Environmental data such as energy
consumption and emissions were also subjected
to external checks. We have defined our objectives
to take account of the current legal requirements
and regulatory framework.
Gaining trust through performance
Status 2014
Environmentally friendly products and solutions
Focus on an environmentally
friendly product portfolio
Compile an environmentally friendly product
portfolio geared towards an energy and
resource-saving contribution throughout the
entire product life cycle by 2016
Environmentally friendly criteria such as energy
efficiency, materials and waste were defined that
are now being systematically integrated in relevant
decision-making processes through an evaluation
matrix. Further approaches in this area are being
Reduce primary energy
consumption per tonne of production
- 30% by 2020 based on 2009 figures
- 7.4%
Reduce CO2 emissions per tonne
of production
- 25% by 2020 based on 2009 figures
+ 5.1% - We’ve experienced a slight increase due
to the changed electricity mix. In 2015 we expect
an improvement of more than 15%.
Reduce water consumption per
tonne of production
- 40% by 2020 based on 2009 figures
- 17.2%
Reduce waste in the production
process (EMEA)
- 2% annually relative to the quantity produced
- 7% relative to 2012
Occupational safety and health:
Vision Zero
Reduce workplace accidents through
improved orientation and training
concepts in the plants
While the number of reportable workplace accidents
improved slightly in 2013, the number rose again in
2014. To ensure a sustained reduction in accident
rates, an extensive programme was developed that
includes a range of measures to promote a robust
safety culture.
Improve health management
Create a concept for group-wide health
management by 2014
The foundation was laid for a group-wide concept
that will be fleshed out by 2016 and adapted in
the various countries thereafter.
Promote the employability of
older staff
Create a concept and measures by 2014
Due to the restructuring of the group organisation,
the concept will be created in 2016.
Increase employee satisfaction
Conduct the Great Place to Work employee survey in Due to restructuring, the employee survey will be
conducted in December 2015. The 360° feedback
2014 (worldwide), 360° feedback up to the middle
programme was introduced in 2014.
management level (Germany)
Resource conservation
Employee satisfaction
Long-term company objectives
Supplier management: strong
commitment to the requirements of
sustainability in relationships with
business partners
Sustainability agreement for suppliers: 100% of
our suppliers of production materials, investment
goods and transport services will commit to REHAU
sustainability principles by 2015
37% of all defined suppliers signed the sustainability
agreement for suppliers by the end of 2014.
Further reinforce compliance within
the company
Revise the REHAU Compliance Management
System; implement further e-learning options
The Legal and Compliance unit was created and
a Chief Compliance Officer appointed. Internal
regulations with regard to corruption were revised
and reconstituted and refined in separate anticorruption guidelines.
strategy in a time
of transformation
The new lightweight construction centre at the plant in Viechtach, Bavaria, where
hydrogen pressure tanks are produced, REHAU also demonstrates innovative power
and dedication to a sustainable society in other areas. Like the threads on a radial
braider, our divisions may point in different directions, but they share a common core:
success, sustainability and customer proximity.
Sustainable transformation for a secure future
Our strategy
We define ourselves primarily through our responsibility towards customers, partners and employees. We think in terms of future generations and
keep our focus trained on sustainability. A high
equity ratio and our commitment to creating a
sustainable future enable us to pursue our
dedication to the highest quality with passion.
That’s why today, we are already working on
the answers to the questions of tomorrow.
If you want to shape the future, you can’t stand
still. For our strategy, that means continuity and
renewal. Continuity because we continue to live our
values in the modern world and renewal because
we are actively shaping the future and always
striving to improve. We have therefore initiated a
comprehensive transformation process to ensure
a more flexible and diverse structure that keeps
us close to our customers and makes it easier
for us to respond dynamically to challenges.
This dynamism is also evident in the fact that
our employees are now becoming even more
active and have greater opportunities to take
on responsibility, and good ideas do not become
bogged down in long approval processes. We
don’t have a standard template for every situation,
but benefit from fast processes that enable us to
adapt to individual situations and unbureaucratic
One of the instruments for clear and fast processes
is the revised Compliance Management System in
place worldwide. It combines all of the previous
guidelines for REHAU employees and provides
greater detail on many internal regulations. It’s one
of the many areas in which our employees play a
major role. We can only muster the strength to
transform ourselves with the dedication of all
involved. This transformation has required us to
concentrate our capabilities and has been very
demanding at times – but it was an effort of great
significance for our company that will continue to
yield benefits for our employees and partners well
into the future.
Group Executive Board
REHAU Sustainability Committee
Operations and Supply
Chain Management
Competence Centre
Human Resources
Division Representatives
Sustainability is a top-level priority at REHAU: our Sustainability Committee is directly attached to the Group Executive Board.
This means that strategic decisions are made and directly integrated into target agreements and processes.
A robust structure with great promise
The change process and its opportunities
REHAU has grown rapidly. Since its founding in 1948, three employees have become over 19,000.
At this size, structures develop that can inhibit the further development of the company. Internally, the speed
of decision-making and the cooperation of different departments can be optimised. Our customers also
benefit from more flexible and effective processes. This is precisely why we have carried out a comprehensive
change process. Since December 2014, we have been pursuing the following objectives with simplified
and re-organised decision-making structures.
Structure of the REHAU Group organisation
Supervisory Board
Supervisory Board
Group Executive
Group Executive Board
EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa)
Ready for the future: following the change process, our new structure is better suited to the requirements of our customers and markets.
The more efficient structure is manifested in pared-down decision-making structures in just three regions instead of the previous eight.
1.A stronger market presence
Product-relevance, supply chain, sales concepts: every market is
different and requires customised approaches – particularly in times
of growing social, environmental and economic challenges. The old
organisational structure at REHAU frequently made it difficult to adapt
to the different conditions in individual industries, countries and
regions. That’s why we have opted for structures better suited to
our customers and markets.
2.Closer to customers
REHAU stands for variety and offers individualised services in the
field of plastics processing in many industries. Our competitors, by
contrast, are often specialists that concentrate on a single industry.
To ensure that we can also be successful against competitors in the
future, we have accommodated our customers and their need for a
high degree of specialisation, further deepening our expertise in the
individual fields. We now handle the different fields of activity in a
more focussed fashion in five divisions and are able to react more
quickly and precisely to our customers’ needs thanks to fewer
layers in the decision-making process.
3. More efficient services and processes
Customers choose a product based not only on the price and quality
of the product. To be successful against their own competitors, they
also require efficient services and processes. Thanks to the
change process, REHAU is now even better positioned to fulfil
these requirements: customer-specific services and faster, smoother
and reliable processes are the aim.
4. Faster response to market and customer requirements
Transparency and clear hierarchies form the basis of effective work
processes. Our Rules & Procedures define clear instructions and
responsibilities for particular situations. Nevertheless, we frequently
faced time-consuming and complex coordination procedures in the
past: all parties that shared responsibility took part in the decisionmaking process; less important matters went through the entire chain
of command up to the top, and many non-experts made use of their
extensive rights to be involved in the process. As a result, some
decision-making bodies have been dissolved to speed up processes
and make them more transparent.
The intensive change process has already enabled us to achieve
some important goals. Other challenges still lie ahead, but we’re
on the right track. Progress requires the courage to change. We’ve
demonstrated our courage in close collaboration with our employees
and partners, and will continue to build on that foundation. Variety and
flexibility have always been our strengths – and will continue to be in
the future.
Quintet for the future
Overview of the five divisions
Our markets are as diverse as our range of products. So we’ve decided to
move towards greater specialisation thematically and restructure our divisions.
In the five divisions we now have, our core competencies are brought to bear
precisely where they are needed – quickly, without unnecessary complexity
and with a high degree of efficiency.
Window Solutions
Scarcer resources, rising energy prices: if you want to protect the
environment and save money over the long term, you have to use
energy effectively. Windows and curtain walling technology from
REHAU make an important contribution to support sustainability and
unite function with elegant design. Around the world, we develop
groundbreaking technologies together with our partners that minimise
energy loss in private and commercial buildings. For example, our
multi windows helped Germany’s first passive house in Freiburg
achieve 80% lower heating energy consumption.
Building Solutions
The chief characteristic of modern buildings is complexity. They
are composed of an interdependent multitude of elements that
must all be finely coordinated. REHAU knows how to create a
flawless, functional system using a variety of different components.
REHAU creates forward-looking solutions for building technology
and infrastructure. This division approaches global trends with new
ideas and innovative materials – and meets the challenge of using
natural resources more efficiently head on. REHAU helps cultivate
the development of alternative energy sources for heating and
cooling. Our diverse range of products also includes sustainable
systems for stormwater management and efficient drainage
systems for roads.
Furniture Solutions
Open-plan offices are loud, modern apartments are not age-appropriate and residential living in tight spaces is uncomfortable? It doesn’t
have to be that way. In the Furniture Solutions division, REHAU
identifies the needs of different types of living spaces and designs
individual system solutions. As a development partner and provider
of new ideas for the furniture industry, REHAU continuously advances
the development of products, design and processes. We offer more
than 18,000 designs for furniture surfaces and develop a wide array
of innovations. For example, our product range includes tambour
doors that absorb sound and are primarily used in office spaces.
Industrial Solutions
Hoses, profiles, seals: what sounds like small products can take on
large dimensions. As the leading system manufacturer of polymerbased solutions, REHAU is the right partner for industrial service
packages of practically any type. In the Industrial Solutions division,
we offer both mass production series as well as customised system
developments. Our customers come from a wide variety of different
industries and benefit from products such as our reliable high
pressure hose, safe and standard-compliant drinking water pipes as
well as our exceptionally robust seals. REHAU silicone sealing tape,
for example, protects the largest clock in the world against environmental factors and stormwater. A total of 18km of the tape is found
in the 612-metre Tower of Mecca.
The results of our work are not always visible at first glance, but they
have a major impact. From bumper systems to the ventilation concept
and window frame profiles: our products from the Automotive division
meet the highest standards in terms of design, comfort, safety, economy and functionality. Our employees develop intelligent solutions
with passion and creativity. This has enabled us to establish ourselves
as a development partner and series production supplier for many
domestic and international automobile manufacturers. Intelligent
solutions from REHAU can be found in every third vehicle manufactured in Europe and practically all automobiles from renowned
Sustainability as a guiding principle
Conserving resources according to plan
Growth demands strong roots. That’s why we’ve made sustainability an integral
part of our corporate thinking. A dedicated steering committee founded in 2011
has made a major contribution in shaping our environmental, economic and
social values. It breathes life into our goal of sustained success in all our divisions,
continues to develop our guiding principles in the field of sustainability and
identifies the most important areas for further action. A structural reform that is
paying dividends. We have made significant progress in key areas in recent years.
Long-term corporate strategy
Sustainability is an important component of our
corporate philosophy. We bear a special responsibility towards our 19,000 employees, thousands of
customers and partners as well as the environment
and society. For this and other reasons, the reorientation of the Group structure was a milestone
for the future of our company. It helps us live up to
our responsibility and chart a very promising path
into the future thanks to more flexible and diverse
structures. We can thus do an even better job of
achieving our aims in our five strategic fields of
activity worldwide: energy efficiency, renewable
energy, water management, the mobility of the
future and living and working spaces. Among the
successes made possible by the restructuring are
major strides in the fields of compliance and
supplier management in 2014. For example, a
bevy of new e-learning seminars have made a
significant contribution to helping our employees
around the world ensure compliance with standards and guidelines. Moreover, many of our
suppliers have already committed to our sustainability agreement – and thus to sharing our values
in terms of human rights, labour law, integrity,
compliance and environmental standards.
Environmentally friendly and energyefficient products
Products that cause undue stress on the environment are of no benefit to anyone. We know that,
and our customers and suppliers do too. We create
sustainable products and solutions along the entire
value creation chain and work together with our
business partners to tap the potential of sustainable technology. Our goal is to use materials to
create products and solutions that are long-lasting,
low-maintenance and characterised by exceptional
cost-effectiveness. We have been able to put this
principle into practice in a wide variety of areas.
For example, we made a critical contribution to a
showcase project in the Berlin district of Prenzlauer
Berg. An elaborately renovated former textile plant
has been transformed into one of the most modern
buildings in the German capital – not least thanks
to 200 windows from the REHAU GENEO profile
system. The window profile system utilises an
innovative glass-fibre composite that replaces
conventional steel reinforcement, resulting in a
considerably improved ecobalance. Another
practical example is found at the Victoria Docks
harbour basin in London. REHAU fitted out two
conference rooms at the new Siemens Centre
with high-performance chilled ceiling elements
that enable highly effective cooling.
Diversification (products / regions)
Supplier management
Economic stability
Growth markets
Waste and waste water
Material savings
Energy efficiency
Hazardous substances
Recycled materials
Environmentally friendly,
Customer satisfaction
Product responsibility
Product development (megatrends)
Work-life balance
Education & training
Diversity / equal opportunity
Occupational safety / health
Social involvement
For us, sustainability is clearly defined: with precisely defined fields of action and key issues, we can focus our efforts exactly where improvements are needed.
Resource conservation
As a manufacturing company with a resourcesaving approach, we have a lot of experience with
efficient processes. This pays dividends in all of our
fields of activity and, together with fresh ideas,
continually leads to sustainable innovations. We
work so efficiently that our German locations are
now all certified according to ISO 50001 for their
energy performance. At the Bioenergiezentrum
Hochfranken, we help ensure that a majority of
the local demand for heat and electricity can be
covered by renewable sources. We also use an
increasing amount of high-quality recycled
materials to ensure that the greatest possible
amount of residual material can be reprocessed
and put to use. What does that mean in practice?
From recycled cable ducts to reprocessed PVC
window systems: we employ sophisticated
enhancement processes that combine product
quality with an outstanding ecobalance. This
resource efficiency is a long-standing tradition at
REHAU. Back in the 1980s, we had already begun
accepting and recycling old windows. With our
sustainability principles, we intend to continue this
tradition, use raw materials responsibly, reduce
emissions and minimise our impact on the
Employee satisfaction
We are a globally active company renowned for
an employee-friendly HR policy around the world.
People are at the centre of everything we do. Our
employees are the source of our innovation. Our
growth depends on them. So we nurture their
skills, intensively prepare them for coming
challenges and help them achieve their professional goals. A safe, productive and friendly working
environment creates the foundation for high
employee satisfaction and long-term success.
To identify the areas in which we can make further
improvements to the working environment and
which of our numerous initiatives, course offerings
and programmes are especially well received, we
will be conducting our latest employee survey in
November 2015. Just how seriously we take the
results of these surveys is shown by the new
organisation of our group structure. The results of
the last employee survey provided a critical impetus
for implementing flatter hierarchies and clearer
decision-making structures. Thus, in spite of our
success, we always remain attentive to the desires
and needs of our employees – and ensure that we
can create the conditions for successful cooperation based on mutual trust in the future.
Fast and reliable
Optimised processes thanks to RPS²
What started small is starting to
make waves internationally: the
REHAU Performance System (RPS2).
The principle behind it is simple:lean,
efficient processes that simplify workflows, improve delivery performance,
avoid wasting resources and
ultimately promote our growth
and competitiveness.
“We look at the entire process
– from the customer to the
supplier. The goal is not simply
to enact short-term changes,
but to establish a new corporate
philosophy that underpins our
activities across the board.”
Stephan May
Senior Consultant RPS²
New system in Triptis for shorter distances
and times
One good example of what improvements through
RPS2 can look like in practice is the logistics centre
at our pilot plant in Triptis, Germany. Changes
instituted there have led to shorter walking and
transport distances. Previously, employees had to
walk a distance of some 12km to pick a shipment
with 60 items. Thanks to an optimised warehousing arrangement based on RPS² principles, that
distance has been cut in half. Other benefits: the
use of ergonomically optimised low-lift platform
trucks simplifies work for employees in the picking
department. In addition, most products are now
accessible at reaching height and are closer
together if they are to be shipped together. That
accelerates the processes and benefits everyone:
partners, the company and the employees.
New ideas from outside, strong drive
from within
In addition to our efforts to coordinate internal
processes optimally, external influences have
played a major role in the development of RPS2.
For example, customers are demanding many
products in an increasingly large number of
variants. In the automotive industry, 50,000
different bumper types for just one vehicle model
are no longer out of the ordinary. Developments like
this present major challenges for planning and
production. RPS2 plays a significant role in helping
us handle these increasingly complex customer
desires efficiently and precisely. The RPS2 team has
a three-step process. It observes and analyses the
processes at the respective location and creates a
plan for improving the existing processes. The team
develops the optimisation approaches together with
the employees at the location.
A promising project
We started the Lean Management Initiative in
Triptis in autumn 2013; in the meantime, the
project has spread to locations throughout the
world. The results of the REHAU Performance
System speak for themselves. In the future, the
project will therefore be expanded to areas beyond
the optimisation of distances, warehouse organisation and production processes. The underlying
approaches and principles will be applied step-bystep to the entire value creation chain. Moreover,
business processes in administration are the
subject of increasing attention. Many processes
can also be improved here to help us secure our
success over the long term.
Fairness is a duty
Expansion of supplier responsibility
Thinking sustainably means buying sustainably. In 2012, we developed a sustainability agreement with
minimum requirements for suppliers based on international standards such as the UN Global Compact.
The thought behind the move is that we can achieve more together – we live our commitment to
sustainability and pursue our environmental, economic and social objective with a long-term vision
throughout the entire value creation chain.
One for all and all for one
To ensure that we live up to this principle, we
engage in open dialogue with our partners and
work together every day to achieve continuous
improvement. As part of that process, some 40%
of suppliers had already signed our sustainability
agreement by the end of 2014. Our goal is for
100% of suppliers of production materials, investment goods and transports to commit to fulfilling
the sustainable principles set forth by REHAU by
the end of 2015. We have been instructing our
purchasers worldwide in this important area since
2014. Among other issues, the e-learning seminar
on sustainable sourcing addresses the four pillars
of the agreement: human rights, labour standards
and regulations, integrity and compliance, as well
as environmental standards. What do those four
core areas includes in detail?
Human rights
REHAU suppliers are called on to protect and respect human rights within their sphere of influence.
This means prohibiting any form of discrimination
in keeping with the applicable rights and laws.
Labour standards and regulations
Fair working conditions have many aspects. For
REHAU suppliers, these include a prohibition on
child, forced and compulsory labour. Moreover,
wages, compensation, social benefits and working
hours must be in line with the respective applicable
laws and industry standards. No less important is
safety and a culture of dialogue. Employers must
ensure safety and health protection in the workplace and enable their employees to speak
openly about their working conditions.
Integrity and compliance
Trust must be earned – for example by refraining
from paying bribes, price fixing and illegal resource
extraction practices. REHAU suppliers are thus
committed to fighting corruption. They agree not to
act in an anti-competitive manner, and they agree
not to allow the use of conflict minerals – raw
materials illegally extracted from conflict regions.
Environmental standards
A sense of responsibility for people and the
environment is important not only to REHAU. Our
suppliers also demonstrate their commitment to the
environment. As part of the sustainability agreement, they commit to promoting environmentally
friendly technologies and manufacturing processes,
enacting measures to assume greater environmental responsibility, and complying with all environmental standards relating to their products.
Good relationships depend on a mutual willingness
to help each other. So we support our suppliers in
implementing the sustainability agreement.
We have also developed a three-step process that
enables us to strengthen responsible relationships.
In addition to the sustainability agreement, it
involves an initial assessment of new suppliers, a
Supplier Life Cycle System to be implemented in
2016, and a continuous improvement process for
existing suppliers. At the same time, the process
enables us to suspend suppliers who fail to comply
with the regulations. This is our approach to
implementing social and environmental standards
worldwide together with our suppliers.
Old markets, new paths
Proximity to customers: Györ
In 2013 and 2014, REHAU expanded the Argentinian location in Rosario, further expanded the
construction unit in Prague and opened a new plant in Györ, Hungary. Three examples that show
how seriously we take our international growth strategy.
From Pasig City to Rosario:
investment in the future
The Future project at REHAU has many facets.
The Philippine market was previously handled by
our Singapore location, but our customers have
had a local representative since February 2014.
With our sales office in Pasig City, we’re able to
support the growth of our customers in the construction and real estate sectors more effectively.
In the Argentinian city of Rosario, we are investing
some $7 million in a production facility for rigid
PVC profiles, window systems and refrigerator
seals to meet the rising demand. We have been
producing a new profile system for sliding doors
since April 2014. Its stability makes it especially
suitable for high doors, enabling us to serve the
trend of modern South American architecture.
This shows how we are concentrating on our
markets with targeted developments. Innovation,
market presence and proximity to customers
have always been among our strengths.
Greater progress through technology
The location in Györ, Hungary, is a particularly
good example of what efficient, sustainable and
customer-oriented work looks like at REHAU.
Construction of the plant in the international industrial park took 279 days. A period during which
3,800 tonnes of steel were heaved, 24,000m3 of
concrete were poured and 75,000m3 of earth
were moved to construct the new location. REHAU
invested more than €50 million in the production
facility adjacent to the plant gates of our partner
Audi, built a 24,000m2 production facility and
created some 300 new jobs. We have assembled
bumper variants for various Audi models at our
logistics centre in Györ since 2005. In the newly
constructed plant, the bumpers for three models
are injection-moulded, coated and delivered on
time to the customer. The exterior body parts were
previously produced in our Viechtach plant in Lower
Bavaria. The advantages of local production are
numerous: we save costs, reduce transport times,
save resources and deepen our customer relationship with an innovative partner.
A new plant with heart
For REHAU, business success and environmental
responsibility are closely linked. Groundbreaking
technologies make Györ an exemplary location.
The heart of the plant is the painting line. Once
the machines have been started up, the system
functions in an extremely environmentally friendly
manner. For example, the bumpers are cleaned
with CO2 instead of water. To increase paint
adhesion prior to the coating process, robots apply
a flame to the components. This enables us to
apply paint in just two coats instead of three, as
was previously the case. As soon as the bumpers
are painted, we dry them with infrared radiators
instead of hot air. We also have around 50 of our
own geothermal probes integrated in the earth of
the grounds in order to heat the plant in winter and
cool it in the summer. Thanks to such innovations,
the plant is among the most energy-efficient
“This is an exemplary plant”
An interview on the challenges and opportunities of progress
REHAU established the plant in Györ to work more closely with Audi.
Why is it so important to be so close the customer?
The automotive industry in particular is driven by cost-consciousness.
As a supplier, transport costs are among the most effective means of
reducing our own costs and enabling us to adapt individually to the
customer. That also improves our potential to grow with the customer.
It reinforces the relationship with the customer and allows us to build
trust with them.
What technologies in the plant do you find especially fascinating?
That’s most definitely the painting line – the heart of our plant. It
features extremely complex technology that can only be operated with
a great deal of technical expertise. As REHAU developed the system
together with the Dürr company, it is perfectly suited to our requirements. The variety in the product ranges of our automotive customers
is increasingly complex, which also increases the demands on our
painting expertise. After some initial growing pains, today we’ve
reached a level of quality that enables the new plant to deliver
2,200 bumpers daily for the A3, the Audi TT and the Q7.
How does the REHAU corporate culture manifest itself in the
new plant?
Alexander Ziehr runs a production facility in Györ, Hungary, that is
as large as three-and-a-half football pitches. In this interview, the
REHAU plant director talks about the heart of the new facility at the
Györ industrial park, the new proximity to Audi and moments that
bring people together.
What were the biggest initial challenges you faced with a new and
modern plant like the one in Györ?
A completely new building, a new production start for the Audi A3
and the start-up of the plant – all of those things presented us with
challenges that required a great deal of time and effort. To master
those challenges, we planned for a staggered time line and started
with the assembly of bumpers. Later, we started producing the
bumpers with the injection moulding method on site. In the final
step, the painting line was added.
Do you think that such a modern plant provides an example?
As at all of our locations, we maintain direct contact with line
managers, going all the way up to the executive board. I myself am
present in the plant several times daily. We also have a breakfast
meeting with the plant director every two weeks: each time ten
employees from different areas talk with me about what is going
well and what we can improve. That open communication is very
important to me – especially because the Hungarian culture is
different. Hierarchical thinking is very pronounced here and the
employees first have to learn that they can come directly to me
and the management team.
What do you remember especially about the set-up period of
the plant?
There are a lot of moving moments when you set up a new plant –
as well as a lot of problems and challenges that arise along the way.
I remember very well, for example, how in the middle of the night we
stood in front of the painting line with great excitement as the first
perfectly painted bumpers came out of the shop. Those are moments
that bring people together and that you don’t quickly forget.
Absolutely. REHAU has learned a lot over recent decades and knows
what is required for an energy-efficient, modern plant. We’re able to
avoid mistakes and continuously improve. The equipment and the
energy monitoring system are definitely setting new standards in the
REHAU world.
product responsibility
as an opportunity
REHAU is confronting global environmental, social and economic challenges with
innovative products. We assume responsibility worldwide in every stage of production
while ensuring the highest quality. Like this employee in the quality control lab at the
Taicang plant in China.
Product responsibility
Innovation as an engine of growth
Our product responsibility
For us, innovation is more than just technology. It is the result of passion
and a pioneering spirit – and emerges from the tireless drive to find the most
intelligent solution. One of our greatest strengths has always been the ability
to combine innovation with sustainability. We identify developments at an early
stage and adapt to new realities. We’ve demonstrated that with the restructuring
of the group organisation and also day after day through our efforts to create
the ideal system solution.
We file more than 100 patents every year, making
us one of the chief innovators in the industry.
Dedication that has brought us a long way, and will
bring us even further in the future. The global
social, environmental and economic challenges call
for innovative products – above all in the fields of
energy efficiency, renewable energy, water
management, the mobility of the future and living
and working spaces. The development of these
megatrends will shape everyday life and determine
how sustainably we live. Products that are
produced in a resource-saving manner and can be
recycled in environmentally friendly ways are
playing an increasingly important role. We long ago
understood that environmentally valuable goods are
also economically valuable and continually check
our internal processes to ensure that we have the
right balance between those two success factors.
We regard innovations as being associated with the
greatest possible utility for all involved. They stand
for sustainable products that are consistent with
our environmental and social responsibility and at
the same time ensure our business success – both
for us and for our customers. The demand for
resource-saving products is growing worldwide.
So we work together with our partners to develop
concepts that provide intelligent solutions for the
great tasks of the future.
REHAU’s innovative spirit is in demand in the
automotive, aviation, construction, furniture and
household appliance industries, to name a few.
What that means in concrete terms: we develop
products that are so light they reduce the CO2
emissions of vehicles and aircraft. We do pioneering work by advancing promising alternatives to
fossil fuels, as well as conduct research into what
opportunities renewable primary products such as
bamboo offer for modern architecture. We work at
the cutting edge and transform future visions into
real opportunities – for everyone.
Product responsibility
Paving the way to the future
The promise of hydrogen technology
Hydrogen is regarded as a highly promising source of energy. It is light, versatile
and packs a huge amount of energy. Great hopes are therefore attached to the
properties of this gas. In the future, it could establish itself as a clean fuel technology
and relegate fossil fuels to the back burner. We’ve been examining the potential of
this technology for years: for example, we’re developing hydrogen pressure tanks
for the mobility of the future, as well as piping systems for transporting hydrogen.
The tank makes all the difference
Our research stands for progress. With our new
lightweight construction lab in Viechtach, Bavaria,
which opened in 2014, we’ve created the basis
for continuing to do pioneering work and tap new
markets. Among other things, it is intended to
strengthen our position as an innovative supplier
for the automotive industry and significantly
advance one of our forward-looking projects:
the development of hydrogen pressure tanks.
Why are they so important for the mobility of the
future? Hydrogen is considered one of the few
resource-saving energy sources that could compete
with fossil fuels. It can not only be converted into
heat or electricity in fuel cells, but is also a
compelling alternative when filled directly into
vehicle fuel tanks. A comparison illustrates the
potential of the gas: 1kg of hydrogen contains as
much energy as 2.8kg of petrol. That corresponds
to roughly 3.7 litres of petrol, so roughly one tenth
of a full tank for a small car. However, safe storage
and transport systems are required to exploit the
advantages of hydrogen – for example the special
tank solution from REHAU.
New technology for a special solution
The pressure tank developed by us for hydrogenpowered vehicles is cost-effective, environmentally
friendly and particularly robust. One figure amply
illustrates its strength: it stores hydrogen at
700 bar – pressure conditions equivalent to an
ocean depth of 7,000m. The tank was designed
to be so robust because it needs to be able to
withstand traffic accidents without the gas
escaping. To further develop these characteristics
with a special production method and prepare the
tank for future series production, we invested a
total of €3.4 million in specialised production
technology in 2014. The innovative production
method of the system relies on an extremely robust
plastic. It is shaped under high pressure and
encased in a cocoon-like structure made of carbon
fibre. In combination with another specially
developed plastic, the result is exceptionally stable.
Moreover, the efficient use of materials will reduce
production costs over the long term. In this way,
we are underscoring our commitment to being a
reliable partner for our customers who breaks new
ground with fresh ideas and intelligent solutions –
and opens new opportunities that are both environmentally and economically sound. As an innovator,
we are thus making a positive contribution to
shaping future mobility together with our
REHAU in the lead: with our partner Hychico, we turn hydrogen into electrical energy and heat. We provide our RAUHy gas pipe for this,
which can safely transport hydrogen and be laid without extensive welding.
Pioneering work in Patagonia
We are also breaking new ground in hydrogen
research in Patagonia, Argentina, where we have
been involved in a pilot project for several years.
Storing renewable energy in large quantities
remains a major challenge. The park in Argentina
is paving the way to the future: on the east coast
of Patagonia, the operators of a wind farm convert
the energy from the air into hydrogen and store it
in caverns underground in the order of hundreds
of thousands of cubic metres – over a period of
several years and without losses. To produce
energy, the hydrogen, along with air, passes
through the fuel cell, which inverts the electrolysis
process. Hydrogen and oxygen are recombined
to form water, which in turn produces electricity
– valuable electrical energy that can be used for
industrial purposes, buildings or even mobility.
The foundation for this, in addition to the intelligent
conversion process, is also provided by the ingenuity of REHAU. For example, our multilayer hybrid
piping system ensures that the hydrogen can
be safely transported and stored. The Patagonia
project thus also underscores the relevance of
hydrogen as one of the most promising energy
sources – and we know how to deal with it.
Product responsibility
Innovative materials, sustainable standards
How lightweight products are conquering the market
We have long understood how important lightweight components are for the future of
mobility and have established ourselves at the leading edge of the industry with intelligent
and innovative polymer products. Our customers include major national and international
players in the aviation and automotive industries. We develop solutions for them in the
awareness that every gram counts.
by the Airbus A320. For an A320, AIRBUS estimates annual fuel
savings of 1,970 litres per 10kg of empty weight reduction. The fuel
savings result through weight savings of up to 10% in the existing
plastic parts, which altogether weigh some 100kg per plane.
The lightness of being: lightweight elements are used in automotive structural elements
and are not only extremely thin, but also extremely strong and robust.
Fly lighter with REHAU
With several thousand recipes, we have one of the largest material
portfolios in the world. One of the major beneficiaries of that is the
aviation industry. Products such as our handle strip systems, cable
management systems and floor end strips for aircraft unite a variety
of advantages: they not only provide exceptional quality and modern
design, but are also cost-effective and sustainable. REHAU designed
the RAU-FLIGHT material family specifically for use in the aviation
industry. RAU-FLIGHT makes it possible to reduce the weight of some
components by over 10%, which also results in lower fuel consumption. How does it work? RAU-FLIGHT is a material in which we have
embedded glass bubbles. This reduces the weight while maintaining
optimal robustness. The advantage of this is demonstrated
New technology for the automotive industry
Advanced vehicles are economical. As a reliable and recognised
partner of the automotive industry, we were among the early actors
shaping and driving this trend. For example, our portfolio can also
yield weight savings of up to 30% in vehicle manufacturing. Thus,
together with our customers, we achieve lower CO2 emissions for
the respective model and increase the range per tank of fuel. One
example: for the Mercedes GLE, REHAU produces the front-end
carrier – a high-tech element whose advantages flow from a new
composite material. The carrier is constructed of sheet steel
overmoulded with a special composite that does more than just
reduce the weight. The production process also makes it possible
to integrate a multitude of additional functions, such as headlamp
modules or wiper fluid containers. Even the running board of the
GLE contains intelligence from REHAU. An impressive development
achievement made it possible to reduce the total weight of the
component to 4.5kg. That’s half the weight of its predecessor.
Another striking example of lightweight construction is the REHAU
technology of foam blow moulding. Using this method, chemically
foamed extrusion blow mould components are produced for the
automotive industry which can achieve weight reductions of up to
50% thanks to their low density. The technology is already in use
in series production with our customer the Volkswagen Group. The
advantage is clear: in addition to material savings, better insulating
properties improve noise performance, and the installation process
is considerably simplified as the components demonstrate excellent
resilience. What that means in practice is that any deformation during
installation is forgiveable as the foam blow moulded material returns
to its original shape without being damaged. Moreover, 100% of the
flash waste generated in the production process can be directly
fed back into the foam blow moulding process, thus eliminating
waste entirely.
Product responsibility
Growth through renewable primary products
Promising plants
The trend is clear: in light of limited raw materials, polymers will become biopolymers in many areas.
Researchers around the world are working on product solutions made of biodegradable materials.
Plant-based materials such as wood and bamboo play a central role. Thanks to our research project
that started in Singapore in 2013, a REHAU product could soon contribute to making the plant a
significant component of environmentally friendly architecture.
Brilliant bamboo: bamboo is more than just a plant. It is a fascinating material with
reinforcing and protective properties.
The green steel of the future
Worldwide, bamboo is becoming increasingly popular as a raw
material and has long since established itself in the international
product world. There are bicycles made of bamboo, scaffolds made of
bamboo and carpets made of bamboo – for good reason. The wonder
grass is not only incredibly robust and strong, but also has an unparallelled ecobalance. Bamboo is considered the fastest-growing raw
material in the world, at some 30cm per day. A team of researchers
at the Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore has been working on a
formula for a revolutionary procedure since 2012. Using bamboo
fibres, they want to replace the reinforcing steel that is used in pillars
and load-bearing structures in buildings. The underlying idea: the
bamboo fibre is roughly two to three times as strong as steel when
pulled. Researchers want to use fibres from the plant and a plastic
adhesive specially developed by REHAU to create an extremely robust
composite material, a so-called fibre composite. The adhesive makes
the fibres not only extremely strong, but also water-resistant and
resistant to environmental factors such insects and fungal growth.
Moreover, the adhesion promoter itself has notably environmentally
friendly properties. One of its advantages, for example, is its
composition. It is based on plant-based raw materials and fibres
– renewable resources – instead of crude oil.
Three continents with major location advantages
Resource-saving processes have a long tradition at REHAU. As a
manufacturing company, there are many good economic and
environmental reasons for us to produce as environmentally friendly
as we can – for example with renewable primary products like
bamboo. Especially in regions in which renewable primary products
are found in large quantities, it pays to use the plant in production.
Continents such as South America, Africa and Asia, for example, are
perfectly suited for establishing bamboo as a replacement for wood or
steel. In those places, it could be used to avoid expensive imports of
building materials from other regions. Plant-based raw materials thus
have many advantages: they grow back, reduce waste problems
and can replace certain resource-intensive products. That’s why
many experts consider them to be the materials of the future.
The materials of the future
Plant-based composites are based on renewable primary products.
These include materials such as starch or cellulose and increasingly plants like
bamboo, maize or potatoes. Above all, they are characterised by their positive
ecobalance. The objective is for fibre composites to attain even better material
properties than more resource-intensive products.
limitless energY from the earth
rehau wants to help geothermal systems achieve a breakthrough
Their potential is great, and their use ever more in demand: geothermal energy
is environmentally friendly, safe and economical – not to mention limitless.
With our innovative system solutions, we’re helping to establish geothermal
energy as one of the most important renewable energy sources of the future.
Energy source with a boost
Planet earth is not exactly too cold. On the
contrary: according to current research, temperatures in the earth’s core are up to 6,000°C. Some
of that heat rises to the surface in a permanent
flow of energy. Planet earth emits roughly four
times as much energy into space each day as we
humans consume. With our innovative system
solutions, we can convert that energy for use in
heating and cooling – for example in multi-family
dwellings, industrial premises and office buildings.
Compared to conventional heating, this would
allow massive savings in operating costs and CO2
emissions. Up to 75% of heating energy can be
extracted from the ground, with the remainder
being covered by electrical energy. To make that
possible, we employ ground source heat pumps
that function something like a refrigerator. A refrigerator extracts heat from food and emits it into
the environment through its rear side. Ground
source heat pumps extract excess heat and feed
it into the heating system. They conduct the heat
upwards from underground through pipes with a
circulating fluid. Using the same principle, geothermal systems can also cool – by discharging
high temperatures from the building into the
ground. REHAU has been working on this technology for years. We offer numerous intelligent
system solutions for heating and cooling with
geothermal energy.
For example ground-air heat exchanger systems:
these are not conventional heating and cooling
systems, but they regulate the temperature of
the fresh air fed into the living space. They are
positioned upstream from the ventilation system
and utilise the storage capability of the ground
through a pipe system. Ground-air heat exchanger
systems utilise the almost constant temperature
of 10°C at a depth of 1.5m to 2m beneath the
surface to warm fresh air in the winter and cool it
in the summer. REHAU is at the leading edge of the
development in this field: we developed the first
anti-microbial ground-air heat exchanger, which
utilises a special coating to substantially reduce
microbial growth in the pipes.
Whether with geothermal probes, collectors, energy
piles or ground-air heat exchangers: we strive for
resource conservation, safety and cost-effectiveness – and want to help energy from the depths
reach a permanent high.
Exchange is the magic word: with our ground-air heat exchanger, we can warm air in the winter and cool it to a comfortable
temperature in the summer – for an optimal indoor climate.
“We have broken new ground”
An interview discussing a unique incentive program in the UK
Andy Davey works for the Department of
Energy & Climate Change (DECC) in the UK.
He was involved in developing the Renewable
Heat Incentive (RHI), a unique incentive program
for renewable heat in the UK. He sees the project
as a milestone in the shift away from fossil fuels
towards renewable heating, with opportunity to
share learning with other countries. In an interview,
he discussed the challenges, and successes for
the initiative.
Why did the Government decide to start the Renewable Heat Incentive
(RHI) program?
46% of UK energy use is in respect of heat. So, there were three
reasons for introducing the RHI. Firstly, to help meet the UK’s binding
commitment under the EU Renewable Energy Directive 2009 to
increase renewable energy use to 15% of our overall energy use by
2020. Secondly, to help meet the UK’s binding commitment under
the Climate Change Act 2008 to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions
by 34% by 2020 and 80% by 2050. Thirdly, to start building the
supply-chains that would be needed for the transition to a lowcarbon economy.
Who benefits from the Renewable Heat Incentive?
The program is aimed at everyone who uses heat as an energy source.
Our aim is to promote the transition from fossil fuels to renewable heat
systems. We need to make it easier to choose renewable energy
sources. We launched the initial program for the non-domestic sector
back in 2011; the domestic sector followed in 2014. In simple terms,
the beneficiaries of the non-domestic scheme receive 20 years of
support from the RHI; private homeowners receive seven years of
support, based on the expected cost of renewable heat generation
over 20 years.
What technologies does the program incentivize?
For the domestic sector, the RHI covers biomass, ground- and airsource heat pumps and solar thermal collectors. The non-domestic
program incentivises those technologies as well, and also biogas,
biomethane injection, combined heat and power (CHP) plants using
biomass, deep geothermal energy and energy generated from waste.
How successful has the program been up to now?
We’ve enjoyed several successes. For example, we’ve seen an
increase in the use of biomass boilers and biomethane. Some
technologies such as ground- source heat pumps and solar thermal,
however, have not reached the levels we had expected when the
tariffs were set. Overall, the average cost of the renewable heat
generated by the technologies installed under the scheme is about
5p/kWh or around seven (euro) cents, which we think is costeffective renewable heat.
What challenges did this exceptional project present and to
what extent might this become a model for other European
There were many unknowns leading up to the project. We didn’t
know how the market would respond and what results we would be
able to achieve. Gathering the evidence needed to inform the policy
design took longer than envisaged. We worked closely with industry
to build our understanding of the technologies and markets. It was a
constant learning process. And we’re still doing that today. Each day,
we collect new data and evidence and learn a great deal about how
people use new heating systems, how the market reacts to signals
and regulations. I hope our learning can help other countries get
similar projects off the ground.
Product responsibility
Innovation with a push
Moving glass covers enable major energy savings
Our products are found in private households, supermarkets and even bakeries.
They are products and system solutions that seem unassuming at first, but deliver
huge performance. They include, for example, our patented glass sliding cover
for chest freezers, or our sealing frame with a magnetic insert. These products
enable our customers to achieve significant energy savings and thus substantially
improve the environmental impact of their products.
A promising partnership
Refrigeration units are the biggest energy consumers in supermarkets. It is therefore important to
start there and find ways to use the valuable resource more economically. BEHR are a long-standing partner for innovative glass covers with a great
deal of expertise in the energy efficiency of
refrigeration units. So the solution was clear: join
forces by acquiring the majority holding in the
owner-operated Danish company. Until that time,
we had supplied BEHR with high-quality profile and
sealing systems. We are now development partners
and are working together to develop new, energy-efficient innovations. What can customers
expect going forward? Innovative system solutions
for commercial refrigeration systems through
unified expertise for the best possible product. One
example: the patented glass sliding cover. Among
other options, it is available with aluminium or PVC
frames, with curved or flat glass, and double or
triple glazing. Its advantages range from consumerfriendly operation to enormous energy savings and
increased food safety. The three-section cover
system for horizontal freezer cabinets is the only
one on the market that can be opened two-thirds
of the way – making shopping easier for the
customer. The fixed middle section also ensures
stability, enabling customers to access the
products from both sides and preventing waits
even during peak shopping hours. The cover also
reduces the thawing process for the freezer cabinet
by up to 87%. That lowers the energy demand and
CO2 emissions of the supermarket. The cover also
contributes to hygiene as it protects food against
soiling and guarantees consistently cool temperatures – which also reduces bacterial growth in
frozen products.
Robust and impervious: seals from REHAU
Whether for commercial refrigerators or household appliances: REHAU offers numerous system
solutions that meet the highest requirements in
terms of function, design and energy efficiency.
Our wide range of products also includes gaskets,
hoses and profiles for washing machines, dryers
and ovens. Our gaskets for wet appliances, for
example, demonstrate extreme robustness – for
example against high temperatures and suds.
With a special noise barrier, they also reduce
the noise of appliances such as dishwashers. In
refrigerators, our sealing frames have magnetic
inserts to ensure that less cold escapes. Our seals
are also the right choice for ovens. They are
characterised by high material quality, are easy to
install and withstand temperatures of up to 300°C.
That makes us a recognised and reliable partner –
for the manufacturers of commercial refrigerators
and household appliances. They appreciate our
material expertise, innovative spirit and flexibility.
We share a common goal: we want to make
products as environmentally friendly and
economical as possible.
“The European market is the driving force”
In this interview, the founders of BEHR talk about energy-efficient glass covers
In supermarkets, refrigeration systems
consume a major share of the energy used.
How much is it exactly?
That depends on the size of the supermarket
and its energy concept. But on average,
refrigeration systems in supermarkets
consume between 50-66% of the
total energy used.
What options do retailers have to reduce
their energy consumption?
The answer is quite simple for such a
weighty question: retailers should use more
energy-efficient refrigeration systems. In the
past, supermarkets used simple polystyrene
plates to save energy overnight – but that is
an old-fashioned method. Today, glass
sliding doors and vertical glass doors are
the most efficient way to reduce energy
consumption day and night.
What makes your glass an innovative
Transparent innovation: since acquiring the
majority interest in the Danish company BEHR,
REHAU has also offered energy-saving glass
cover systems for industrial chest freezers
as a full-range supplier. Their push-pull
functionality of glass lids from both sides is
patented and ensures the highest efficiency.
In the interview, Peter Behr, Director of
Sales and Development, and Kristian Behr,
Sales Manager, talk about a rethinking in
supermarkets, a surprising system solution
and a widespread misconception in the US.
To make them as user-friendly as possible,
we divided our standard covers into three
different glass elements. This makes it
possible to open the panes on both sides of
the freezer at the same time. We were very
surprised that no one other than us was
taking such a close look at the issue.
That’s why we also have the patent for
this innovative solution. The conventional
option is a cover that only opens on one side
of the freezer. With that choice, end consumers need twice the space and time that is
actually necessary, while other customers
are forced to wait.
Whether in supermarkets in Berlin, London
or Barcelona: milk and sausage products are
not always displayed behind glass covers.
Why is that not a standard?
The European market is definitely the driving
force in this regard. The first countries that
used energy-saving solutions were Scandinavia, Germany and the Netherlands. Actually
the energy-saving potential is more or less
the same everywhere, but the implementation of resource-saving measures has a lot to
do with the openness of the people towards
those solutions. The southern countries,
which are going through an economic crisis,
have other priorities. The US is also at least
10 years behind European developments.
There are two reasons for this: the first
energy prices in the US are much lower, and
the second reason is US retailers assume
that a glass cover between the customer and
the product would negatively impact sales
figures. The argument is questionable,
however, as data from Europe has shown
that glass covers have no impact on sales.
What role does sustainability play at BEHR?
Sustainability is an important part of our
corporate philosophy. We were one of the
first providers of energy-saving solutions.
We can demonstrate the advantages of our
products with a simple calculation: our glass
covers enable savings of 4kw hours per
square metre of freezer per day.
If you could describe REHAU in three words,
what would they be?
Reliable, competent and sustainable. REHAU
has been a reliable partner and supplier for
us for over 10 years. We have always had a
constructive and honest exchange. The
company has outstanding expertise in many
different areas. Moreover, REHAU is constantly growing and developing further
– and organically, with a focus on medium
and long-term objectives.
focus on environmental
Sustainable and efficient: at our automotive plant in Cullman, Alabama, we’ve been
able to reduce energy consumption by 45% over the past four years through a
variety of measures.
Environmental responsibility
Systematic resource conservation
Our environmental responsibility
Global business, global responsibility: as a globally active manufacturer with
more than 170 locations and over 19,000 employees, we have the opportunity
to do a lot for environmental protection. Environmentally friendly conduct is one
of our core values. In our own buildings, in our materials research, in production
and in the use of our products, we insist on adhering to sustainable standards.
We also encourage the environmental consciousness of our employees and
select our suppliers based on criteria related to their sustainable conduct.
Thanks to our numerous programmes and
individual measures, we conserve resources in
production, administration and sales. In many
cases, REHAU even exceeds the legal requirements. Why do we do that? Because everyone
involved profits from it: the environment, us as
a company, our employees and our business
partners. Environmental improvements also
yield economic benefits. As an environmentally
conscious company, we save costs, help our
customers act in a more environmentally friendly
way and increase our competitiveness.
For us, environmental consciousness always means
the systematic conservation of resources. That’s
why we apply an environmental management
system certified according to ISO 14001. It defines
clear responsibilities, explains processes and
provides implementation options. This enables
us to identify and avoid environmental impacts as
early as the planning phase and determine the best
ways of reducing emissions as well as water, gas
and energy consumption. Forward-looking conduct
is a long-standing tradition at REHAU.
Just how seriously we take resource-saving
conduct is demonstrated by our special budget
for energy efficiency. In recent years, we have
repeatedly made large investments to save energy
and again set aside a special allocation of €2.5
million for this purpose in 2014. This instrument is
one of the most important means of financing
expensive measures that will only pay off in the
future. It supports our guiding principle of longterm thinking and action: we do not think in short
periods, but act in a forward-looking manner. We
place great importance on long-term working and
business relationships – and sustainable processes
that will have as small an impact as possible on the
environment in the future.
Environmental responsibility
Plastics in circulation
Recycling at REHAU
Recycling plastic products is nothing new for us. We have been promoting
qualified recycling concepts for decades – and have made particular strides in the
window division in the reporting period. With new facilities and the introduction of
an innovative window profile, we aim to further solidify our position in the industry.
Use of recyclates 2014 [tonnes]
Application area
Pipes, civil engineering
Window profiles
Furniture profiles
equipment construction
Automotive exterior parts
New window profiles:
exterior elegance, interior brilliance
REHAU began taking back profile sections and old
windows and recycling the raw materials back in
the 1980s. An approach that we still follow today.
We always analyse our products to identify other
applications and development opportunities to
make them useful beyond their first life cycle. Our
recycling team plays a major role in making that
happen. It helps us identify the best recycling
technologies, include new products in the recycling
cycle and decide whether we need to procure
particular materials for the recycling process. Just
how far we’ve come in recycling materials is
demonstrated by the introduction of our SYNEGO
window profile on the European market. It contains
a recyclate core – i.e. the non-visible parts are
composed of a material that was the product of a
recycling process. How is this product produced?
We recycle old profile sections and feed the
re-processed raw materials into a new production
process. Within this process, we employ various
measures to reduce energy consumption and use
resource-saving technologies. The result is
environmentally friendly and highly valuable. We
produce recyclates without any loss in quality.
SYNEGO stands for long-lasting, resource-saving
window profiles with outstanding noise protection
and excellent thermal insulation properties.
REHAU invests in recycling technology
Two branch expansions, one message: for recycled
products, we’re the right partner. As the demand
for recycled materials continues to rise and this
market presents great opportunities for us, we have
invested in projects in the UK and Poland, among
others. Through the acquisition of the facility in the
UK, we are able to separate, shred, clean and
recycle old windows by material – and thus
produce some 5,000 tonnes of recyclate material
annually that we can then integrate back into our
production processes. In addition, we have
constructed a new facility for recycling technology
at our plant in Srem, Poland. Put into operation in
June 2015, plans are in place to further expand
capacities there. In Srem, we have been working
on the sustainable recycling of the plastic waste
of our window customers since 2013. Examples
like this show how important recycling is for us.
With our highly developed recycling concepts,
we conserve resources and make ourselves less
dependent on volatile raw materials markets.
The three different ways we use recyclate material
- Closed loop: we use excess material from our own plants
- Post-industrial recycling material: we use recyclate material from the production processes
of other manufacturers that has not been used by end consumers
- Post-consumer: we recycle materials such as old windows that are replaced in renovations
“The important things are in the work”
PVC expert Stefan Eingärtner on recycling plastic
resource, and it can be recycled relatively easily and with a high level
of quality. That gives us the opportunity to organise recycling and reuse. That adds up to a good placement on the sustainability scale.
One of your objectives is to recycle 800,000 tonnes of PVC annually
by 2020. How can you achieve that ambitious goal?
To achieve that goal, Vinyl 2010 formed the European network
Recovinyl back in 2005. It is comprised of 150 registered and audited
recyclers and brings them together with our processing companies.
We encourage the processors to use more recycled material and
help them in their search for suitable material. Of course, it wouldn’t
work without political support. We could make even faster progress if landfills in the current form were no longer allowed or were
accordingly expensive. Policy has to create regulations and the right
incentives that would enable Europe to become a recycling society.
We don’t have major oil deposits and comparatively few of our own
raw materials.
Sustainable, robust, versatile: PVC is better than its reputation. To
highlight that point, the VinylPlus initiative emphasises the strengths
of the plastic, supports PVC recycling efforts and works to advance
new, more efficient forms of recycling. In this interview, Stefan
Eingärtner, Deputy General Manager at VinylPlus, talks about
ambitious goals and the path to a recycling society.
VinylPlus is a voluntary programme by the European PVC industry.
What is the idea behind it?
PVC continues to have a poor reputation in some discussions – albeit
unfairly so. Because of that, the industry got together 15 years ago to
remind people of the sustainable aspects of the material and to work
on sustainable solutions. This led to the development of Vinyl 2010,
and later VinylPlus. Leading companies in Europe that produce or
process PVC joined the movement, including REHAU at a very early
stage in the process. If we don’t demonstrate our credibility, unity and
expertise as a group, we don’t have a very strong voice. That strong
voice is needed again and again to position ourselves in sometimes
ambiguous political and legislative contexts, both nationally and
in Brussels. With our successes, the programme documents how
serious we are about this and has gained a lot of stature, especially
on the EU level.
PVC is not generally regarded as very sustainable in Germany.
How do sustainability and PVC go together?
What’s the biggest challenge in this context?
At present it is definitely the legislation in Europe. We have to
convince the political bodies that waste and product legislation are a
good fit with the desire for recycling. Recycling naturally also brings
substances back into circulation that today, thanks to improved
processes and knowledge, we no longer use. We can define safe
applications for these materials. Thanks to its high proportion of
construction applications, PVC has an excellent chance of finding
solutions. Our industry, and in particular the processors, have made
enormous efforts to prepare themselves better technologically for
recycling. VinylPlus creates transparency and complete traceability of
the material flows and their efficiency. We want to know: where does
the material come from? And where is it going? Therefore, we have
the recycling processes audited by independent auditors and collect
performance indicators.
How would you describe the partnership with REHAU?
REHAU and VinylPlus have the same agenda, so that makes us a good
team. Like other leading providers, REHAU recognised the importance
of sustainability for its corporate policy at a very early stage, and also
as a marketing instrument. REHAU lives the basic principles and the
objectives of our programme on a daily basis – through its active
engagement in the association, inwardly towards its employees and
outwardly towards customers.
With its particular properties, PVC makes it possible to manufacture
products with very long lifetimes, in some cases up to 100 years and
more. PVC is composed of more than 50% salt, a practically limitless
Environmental responsibility
Model with a future
Bioenergiezentrum Hochfranken
The small city of Rehau in Upper Franconia, Germany is proving today just how efficiently
renewable energy can be used in the future. Using state-of-the-art technology, 40% of local
demand for electricity and heat is covered by renewable sources. The model project is the result
of a collaboration between the city, municipality and locally based companies such as REHAU.
With a new organic waste fermentation plant, we made a major contribution to the city’s energy
transformation in 2014. How did we achieve it?
With a vision
By 2020, the German federal government aims to
generate 35% of electricity needs with renewable
energy sources. The Bioenergiezentrum Hochfranken had even more ambitious goals. The conglomeration of political and commercial stakeholders planned to exceed this goal before 2020 on a
small scale by conserving resources and generating alternative energy on a massive scale. Rehau
presented the ideal location for this. Relative to its
population, the small city is considered one of the
industrial powerhouses of Bavaria. The underlying
idea: what works there can serve as a model for
the industrial centres of Germany. The plan worked.
Thanks to its rapid pace of expansion of renewable
energy, Rehau is considered a leader in the field.
In addition to a block heating station, a geothermal
field, a bioenergy facility and a biogas plant, it
has also had an organic waste fermentation plant
since 2014.
With an innovative spirit
Thanks to a process developed by REHAU Energy
Solutions GmbH, the new organic waste fermentation plant is one of the most innovative energy producers of its kind. The REHAU subsidiary developed
a way of resolving the problems that have previously hampered the fermentation of organic waste.
The process separates impurities from the actual
organic substances – i.e. plastic, glass, stones
and metal from food and garden waste. At the end
of the process, the fermentation waste achieves
a purity of over 99.9%. That simplifies the further
processing and increases the gas yield compared
to previous methods by 25-30%. Thus, 75% of the
energy produced in Rehau is generated from waste.
In total the combined system of renewable energy
sources produces 76,000 megawatt hours per year
following the final expansion. By comparison: a private household with two people consumes roughly
3.1 megawatt hours annually.
Biomass as a core element of the energy transformation
Whether food waste, green waste or straw – biomass is a renewable energy source. Its greatest
advantage: it is climate-neutral. The process of converting biomass into electricity and heat only
releases the pollutants that were previously bound up in the organic waste. Plants, for example,
only release the quantity of carbon dioxide that they absorbed during the growth process. Thus,
the importance of biomass as a source of energy continues to grow.
“The Bioenergiezentrum is a unique project for the production of
renewable energy. The technology is absolutely competitive.
The facility is designed so that the delivery and processing takes
placed within a closed system. This means that the facility conforms
to the highest standards in terms of odour and hygiene.”
Eric Priller
Managing Director of REHAU Energy Solutions GmbH
With local value creation
The organic waste fermentation plant can convert
some 30,000 tonnes of waste into biogas and
compost. The contents of the organic waste bins
come from the local constituencies. The remarkable thing about the process: the biogas is sent to
decentralised block heating stations and converted
into electricity and heat there. With a REHAU local
heating network, the heat is then directly distributed to consumers such as the school centre and the
indoor pool. The generated electricity can also be
used up to 100% locally by private households and
commercial firms. So we produce energy for the
region using organic waste from the region and
protect the environment along the way.
Waste with added value: with the organic waste fermentation facility, we use what industry and individuals throw away to supply an entire city with electricity
Environmental responsibility
Outstanding energy efficiency
German locations certified for efficiency
We have high standards for our partners, and even higher ones for ourselves.
By 2020, we want to cut our energy consumption by 30% based on the
figures for 2009. But we will only fulfil this ambition if we continue to pursue
our objectives as passionately and systematically as we do now.
Our steps to ISO 50001 certification
- We trained energy management officers and internal auditors at our locations
- Our energy management officers then analysed energy consumption data in the plants
and administration
- This data was used as a basis for establishing and implementing energy-saving objectives
- The final step: the implementation of an energy management system in accordance with ISO 50001.
We now check the specified processes at regular intervals
Success according to plan
Energy management plays an increasingly large
role in the success of a company. Rising global
consumption and dwindling resources will continue
to exert upward pressure on energy prices. Just
how much we can achieve with the right strategy is
demonstrated by our current approach. All 23
REHAU locations in Germany have been certified for
their energy efficiency through the globally valid
standard ISO 50001 since 2014. The first locations
in other European countries are due to follow in
2015. With our ISO 50001-certified energy
management system, we are pursuing multiple
objectives: we want to continuously improve energy
use, consumption and efficiency as well as reduce
costs. The certification is not just a satisfying
confirmation of our tireless efforts. It also demonstrates to our business partners and employees
how responsibly we conduct ourselves with respect
to the environment.
A task for the future
We manage our use of water, gas and electricity
so systematically that we want to set even more
demanding sustainability goals in the future. “We
view the certification as a duty to work continuously
in this area and analyse the potential for further
savings”, says REHAU employee Frank Stegemann,
Director of Building and Energy Services. To date,
we pursue this aim mainly by illuminating and
evaluating internal energy flows. Important
facilities, equipment, processes and activities
are the focus of our analysis. To that purpose,
our systematic energy management develops
new strategic and organisational optimisation
Greater efficiency through more
flexible measures
It’s no coincidence that our motto is Unlimited
Polymer Solutions. After all, REHAU stands for
passion and an innovative spirit. Day in and day
out, we give our utmost, apply our expertise for
the optimal solution and strive for continuous
improvement. A corporate culture that is reflected
not only in our systematic energy management,
but also in measures such as the special budget
for energy efficiency. With this, we finance
innovative and extraordinary projects and methods
that do not entirely correspond with the criteria of
ordinary investment decisions. In 2013, the special
budget was used to finance 25 measures aimed at
improving energy efficiency. Last year, the figure
was 60 measures. In practice, we regularly assess
the areas in which we can expand such rules –
always bearing in mind our guiding principle
of unlimited possibilities.
oVerView of enVironmental inDiCators
our objectives by 2020
cumulative water savings
Water usage per quantity produced
based on 2009 figures
in m3
in m3/tonnes quantity produced
Water consumption has been reduced by 17.2% compared to 2009.
We have therefore already made huge strides, but will continue to work on using
water even more efficiently.
cumulative cO2 savings
Water is a precious resource that is not available in equal quantities everywhere.
Switching from open-circuit cooling to closed-circuit cooling is one of the ways we
can achieve significant savings.
Specific cO2 consumption
based on 2009 figures
by 2020
based on 2009 figures
in kg CO2/kg quantity produced
CO2 in tonnes
We conserve resources and protect the environment. That’s why we attempt to reduce
emissions and save as much CO2 as possible – for example, through highly efficient
cooling units in combination with free cooling via dry coolers.
Energy usage per quantity produced
To achieve our objective by 2020, we have initiated several measures. Among other
things, we will focus more on renewable energy in the future. In 2015, we expect a
reduction of up to 0.373kg, which would amount to roughly 70% of the goal.
Waste disposal EMEa (without the györ plant)
23,992 22,932 23,248
Electricity [kWh/kg quantity produced]
-2% per year/tonnes
by 2020
based on 2009 figures
quantity produced
Gas [kWh/kg quantity produced]
As a resource-saving company, energy efficiency is one of the most important
objectives for REHAU: within the past five years, we have reduced energy consumption
by 7.6% and are working hard to improve this value even further in the years to come.
Hazardous waste [tonnes]
Non-hazardous waste [tonnes]
We take waste prevention seriously. Since 2012, we have reduced waste in our
European plants by 7% relative to the quantity produced. With that, we’re actually
above our objective.
social responsibility with
a long-term view
People drive REHAU: our employees are dedicated and an essential part of our long-term
success as a company. So it’s important for us to be there for our employees and provide
training and continuing education opportunities.
Social responsibility
The importance of employee satisfaction
Our social responsibility
REHAU drives people and people drive REHAU. We place great importance
on long-term customer and employee relationships, take responsibility for our
employees, and understand that a good working environment is the key to
success. Satisfied employees are the best employees. They feel good, are
more engaged, please customers with their work and thereby shape the
future prospects of the company.
We want to create an attractive working environment for our employees. One of the ways we do
this is through our customised working time
solutions: because we recognise the great
importance of ensuring a good work-life balance,
we offer options ranging from reduced full-time
hours to variable working hours and mobile work.
We also place great importance on training and
continuing education. We analyse and support the
capabilities of our employees so that they can
continue to develop throughout their working lives.
But the highest priority with regard to providing a
good working environment is this: the safety of our
employees. We believe in Vision Zero – accidentfree operations – and work with our safety
programme to make accidents in the workplace
all but impossible.
Whether it’s our family-friendly conditions,
development opportunities or safety in the
workplace: these are the things that distinguish
REHAU as an employer. For us, the satisfaction of
our employees is extremely important. As a
polymer specialist and innovative partner, we rely
heavily on the creative ideas and initiatives brought
forth by our employees. This dedication can also
be seen in our suggestion scheme, in which any
employee can submit ideas for improving processes, procedures or products and thus advance their
own prospects as well as those of the company. In
other words: our employees are the engine of our
success. Their passion and attention to detail have
earned us a reputation of being able to achieve the
impossible through intelligent system solutions.
We aim to continue on this path and lay the
groundwork for a promising future.
Staff HC (headcount)
North America
South America
Turnover rate
REHAU enjoys stable growth. Our workforce expands from
year to year – especially in the automotive sector in ambitious
countries in southern Europe and Asia. The staff turnover rate
continues to go down.
Importance of the suggestion scheme
Idea rate in %
Number of ideas
Savings [in million EUR]
Our employees are highly engaged around the globe. This can
be seen in the numerous ideas that have been devised and
submitted to us regarding the optimisation of processes and
products, and which have saved us millions of euros.
Social responsibility
Promoting diversity
Focus on diversity management
The new group structure presents many opportunities – and a few challenges.
Our diversity management is in demand like never before. Our teams are
becoming increasingly intercultural and our activities ever more global.
This makes it especially important to manage diversity and exploit its
potential to the greatest degree possible.
Four experts, twelve time zones, one goal
A good example of the success of diverse teams is the construction
of the new plant in Rosario, Argentina. To carry out the project, four
REHAU experts from four countries worked together intercontinentally:
the former Spanish plant director Josep Cid, the Argentinian chemist
and engineer Martin Yoma, the German business unit director
Matthias Trager and the Chinese process engineer Jeffrey Guo. Their
task was as exciting as it was demanding. They were charged with
building a plant in just 12 months that would, in the medium term,
produce window profiles for all of South America. But it wasn’t just
the schedule that presented a challenge. Twelve time zones separated
the four experts, not to mention many cultural differences. Moreover,
they only seldom had the chance to see each other personally, and
frequently had to coordinate by way of video conferences. But none
of that stopped them from achieving their objective. They worked
exceptionally well together as a team, with each one bringing their
own particular strengths – from creative problem-solving approaches
to outstanding organisational talent. For Jeffrey Guo it’s clear: “This
mix was one of the reasons for our success.”
Graduates on exchange
Effective diversity is decided in the heads of those involved. To
execute projects like Rosario with the same success in the future, we
think beyond generations and national borders. We promote sensitivity
for intercultural collaboration with special programmes, campaigns
and initiatives – and we start with our youngest employees. We offer
our trainees the opportunity to engage in technical exchanges with
colleagues at numerous locations abroad. In the ’International REHAU
Trainee Program’, we train university graduates around the world in
joint training weeks as well as in project and foreign assignments for
their professional activities with REHAU. And we encourage the
development of international networks through events like the Alumni
Conference in 2013. For the first time, some 50 graduates of the
International REHAU Trainee Programme met with graduates of the
Management Development Programme to discuss technical presentations, receive training on various leadership issues and take advantage of the opportunity to speak with high-level executives. This
represented an important step towards an even more open corporate
culture that supports regular exchange between all levels of the
hierarchy and all divisions of the company.
Total proportion of women
2013 2014
Women in leadership positions
2013 2014
Diversity at REHAU is more than just having an international team. For us, gender
equality is also a matter very close to our hearts. Although we have increased the
share of females across the entire company and particularly on the executive level,
we still haven’t reached our objective: even greater integration of women throughout
the company.
Managers support diversity
Successful diversity requires good leadership. To promote this,
we offer numerous diversity management seminars in addition to
numerous language courses and other training opportunities – for
example “Managing a Multigenerational Team” internationally, or
“Managing Diversity – Diversity Training for Managers” in Germany.
The objectives include identifying the individual strengths of each
employee, making the best possible use of those strengths and
enabling successful teamwork. This also depends on how well we are
able to bridge large distances. After all, the employees in a team are
often deployed at different locations. In workshops like “Leading from
a Distance”, managers therefore learn how to work cooperatively and
effectively with their employees across national borders and time
zones. Going forward, this will help make success stories like the
one in Rosario the rule rather than the exception.
Social responsibility
Safe and sound
Working conditions for employees
The safety and health of our employees is a precious asset that we are committed to protecting at
all times. Our employees benefit from uniform guidelines for health and occupational safety. With our
accident prevention programme, we have consciously exceeded minimum standards and achieved great
successes over recent years. Although we were not able to prevent all accidents in 2014, we remain
among the very best in the industry in terms of occupational safety. A new, comprehensive programme
is intended to help us become even better.
Aiming for Zero
Vision Zero – zero accidents and no work-related illnesses. We at
REHAU are pursuing this objective together with our employees. To
this end, we developed the Safety Culture programme with the slogan
“Safety begins in your head” in 2014. The core of the project: we live
our safety culture every moment of every day. The aim is to increase
our employees’ awareness of potentially unsafe situations and
promote a culture of looking out not only for our own safety, but also
that of our colleagues. After all, seemingly small issues can often
result in major damage – from missing protective equipment and
potential trip hazards to damaged tools. We also address the safety
of work processes in production meetings and pay closer attention
to potential hazards during regular inspections. We then examine the
results of these measures through analysis, monthly management
meetings and action plans. We draw conclusions not only from
accidents, but also from potential hazards, carry out intensive
prevention work and continuously refine our accident prevention
Certified management and outstanding ideas
Highest standards with a seal of approval: our administration office
in Rehau has been certified according to OHSAS 18001 since 2008,
with the certification extended again for 3 years in 2014. The plant
for industrial products in Feuchtwangen became the first production
location to receive certification in 2013. From 2015 onwards, we
plan to have a further plant certified each year in order to make our
working environment continuously safer. Our internal safety contests
are another helpful instrument in the prevention of accidents. The
contests offer our plant locations the opportunity to compete against
each other annually, as well as in a ten-year comparison. In 2014,
the tool factory in Rehau took the top honours – without accidents
and with no downtime. Second and third went to the plants in
Bangkok and Winnipeg, Canada. The Safety Award in the long-term
competition also went to the tool factory. The ’Your safety is valuable
to us’ campaign that started in 2015 as part of the Safety Culture
programme offers an incentive to promote safety in creative ways.
When an employee notices hazard situations, submits an idea for
an improvement and the idea is implemented, a financial bonus is
awarded. The campaign thus rewards our employees for their
dedication while making an important contribution towards an
accident-free working environment.
The importance of health
Our engagement goes beyond ensuring safe machinery and safe work
processes. From regular occupational medical consultations to bonus
programmes and age-appropriate information for our trainees – we
offer a range of services to promote and protect the health of our
employees. We also help in dealing with mental health issues: for
example, seminars on resolving psychosocial problems have been
included in the REHAU ACADEMY programme since 2012. We work
hard to improve safety and maintain the health of our employees
– and we will continue to expand our efforts in the future.
Accident frequency 1
Locations in Germany
REHAU locations worldwide
Accident frequency: number of reportable accidents
per 1 million working hours with > lost working days
eDuCation aCross the boarD
new offerings for employees
Training and continuing education options are a priority for us in these times of
transformation and internationalisation. For this reason, the REHAU ACADEMY
added numerous interesting courses to its programme in 2013 and 2014.
number of training courses at the
administrative locations worldwide
number of trainees in germany
Number of training courses
Number of participants
The lower number of training courses in the years 2013/14 compared to previous years can be explained by restructuring measures
and personnel changes, which resulted in not all training courses
being offered, reported or recorded
Total number of trainees
of which are new hires
of which are completing dual-study programmes
In 2014, we employed more trainees than ever before. The number
of young people completing their studies during the time of their
traineeship rose significantly.
individualised advancement – open for all
Life-long learning is a principle that REHAU has
supported and promoted since its founding. Our
philosophy includes a commitment to enabling our
employees to continuously improve their personal
and professional skills and capabilities. With the
assistance of the REHAU ACADEMy, line managers
take responsibility for identifying and supporting
the personal capabilities and potential of their
employees. Through instruments such as the
REHAU competence model, change management
courses, leadership workshops or individual
business coaching, we support our employees and
managers in their efforts to master growing
challenges and enhance their skills. Standardised
compulsory courses in all plants also help to
ensure that we achieve our globally applicable
product quality standards. Here we aim to redouble our efforts in the future: our development
programmes for our young employees will be even
more international in the near future and expanded
to include specialist career paths as an alternative
career path.
This helps us create an environment from which
everyone benefits: our employees are more
satisfied and even better qualified – and we build
expertise in a targeted fashion. This enables us to
react flexibly to changing conditions, learn more
quickly as a community and find the right,
innovative solutions.
Diversity for managers
New structure, new courses: To ensure that the
objectives of the re-oriented group structure have
their intended effects as quickly as possible and
changed processes proceed as smoothly as
possible, we expanded the course offerings of the
REHAU ACADEMY in 2013 and 2014 to meet those
needs. For managers, a global set of courses and
an educational landscape adapted to local requirements is available. The programme offers training
courses and workshops on current and REHAUrelevant management competences. New and
experienced managers can select from a series
of topics and modules that build on each other
systematically. For example, the new course
“Managing Diversity – Diversity Training for
Managers” also covers dealing successfully with
the changed structures as many teams are working
in a new, global composition. In this training
course, managers learn to identify diversity and
potential in their teams and to make the best
possible use of them for the success of the group.
Other seminars that deal with the group structure
include “Change Management” and “Intercultural
Sensitivity”. In the future, we will train our managers even better: in 2015 and 2016, they will be
trained to conduct regular, standardised competence and potential assessments with employees
in order to determine what they need and how
they can continue to develop. This benefits all
employees as well our company.
New ideas from outside
As part of the restructuring, the REHAU ACADEMY
also re-oriented itself and founded the Shared
Learning Services team in 2013. Among other
things, the team introduced the practice of having
external education partners carry out part of
internal training courses. This applies primarily to
seminars in which no special REHAU themes are
the focus, such as time management, communication or presentation courses. The advantage of
these courses: the combination of external and
internal instructors increases the diversity and
attractiveness of the highly professional seminars.
The education partners also bring in fresh ideas
from the outside.
E-learning: digital path to success
As a constantly growing company, we benefit
greatly from the opportunities offered by electronic
learning – and expanded it significantly in 2013
and 2014. Thanks to e-learning materials, we
can qualify and efficiently educate many people
in different locations at the same time. In recent
years, thousands of employees have participated
in our digital courses. In 2014 alone, more than
15,000 e-learning course were completed. We
offered a total of 34 e-learning subjects in up to
11 languages. As if that weren’t enough, we want
to offer an even broader range of subjects and
make our educational offerings even more diverse
and flexible in the coming years. Whether electronically or in classroom courses: the variety of
programmes for training and continuing education
are an example of how important our employees
and their life-long learning is to us.
Feedback among equals
We can all learn from each other. That’s why, in
2013, we introduced the 360° feedback worldwide
for 171 managers. The managers received feedback on their leadership and managerial conduct
through systematic discussions with colleagues,
employees, internal customers and line managers.
This constructive exchange enables targeted
further development and improved cooperation.
Feedback therefore takes place between equals –
good for the employees and REHAU.
Social responsibility
Successful involvement
Employees show their dedication
Together with our employees, we
take action to ensure a sustainable
future. Every day, we work to make
progress on issues not only through
state-of-the-art technology, but above
all through the personal engagement
of individuals. Everyone has the
opportunity to grow and do something
good. What does that mean in
practice? On World Water Day and
during the REHAU Energy Days, for
example, we carried out surprising
measures to promote resource-saving
Orange is the new red
For many of our employees, the workday on
20 May 2014 began with a surprise. 8,500 orange
stickers were found in many offices on printers,
light switches, monitors, windows, heaters and
doors. Orange, in this case, is the new red.
Because the signal colour transmits a clear
message: stop – namely unnecessary energy
consumption. The stickers were the result of a
trainee project that sensitises the young people for
sustainable topics right at the beginning of their
REHAU careers. In a workshop, the trainees
developed ideas for saving energy. Their suggestions are as simple as they are effective. For
example, they propose allowing as few devices as
possible to run on standby, or avoiding printing out
digital documents if at all possible. The stickers
were a perfect fit for the REHAU Energy Days 2014
programme. In our auditorium, experts gave
numerous presentations on the subject of energy
efficiency. In addition, exhibitions and product
presentations highlighted major challenges and
intelligent solutions in the field of energy
Water is the future
After agriculture, industry and companies are the
biggest water consumers. The production of a car,
for example, uses 250,000 litres. In light of
increasingly scarce water reserves, this is a
challenge that we must confront and want to
confront – personal engagement for good water
management is just one example. In the context of
World Water Day in 2013, we drew attention to the
issue at various locations worldwide, focusing on
the poor water quality in many regions and
presenting some of our own product solutions. Our
employees at the Rehau and Erlangen locations, for
example, got involved by buying water bottles with
the REHAU product branding RAUTITAN – an idea
that also came from REHAU employees. All
proceeds from the campaign were donated to the
organisation Viva con Agua, which works on
drinking water and sanitation projects in developing
countries. RAUTITAN is the name of the reliable
universal pipes from our product portfolio that
provide hygienic technology and long-term
reliability in drinking water installations worldwide.
This cannot be taken for granted everywhere. Some
1.2 billion people lack access to clean water. What
can we do about it? Get involved – through
personal effort, our innovative ideas and with all
our passion.
Social responsibility
Maximum benefits with a microproduct
Award-winning biogas plant helps against air pollution
Developed in Germany, created for the world: our microbiogas system
is strongly oriented towards the needs of people in developing countries.
It features a multitude of characteristics that are especially advantageous
in such regions.
Using cow dung for a better climate
Home is not always the ideal place to be.
The air in many households is so polluted
that it can pose health risks. Worldwide,
more than one in three people breathe air in
their own homes that is dangerous for their
health. This applies especially to developing
and emerging countries in Asia and Africa.
In these regions, many people burn coal or
wood in open fires in order to cook or provide
heat and light. To solve this problem and
improve living conditions sustainably in these
areas, REHAU has developed a microbiogas
system that won the German Idea Prize in
2014. The reason: the plant impressed the
panel with its socio-cultural, environmental
and economic added value. “In Africa several
families are already cooking successfully with
the first REHAU-HomeGas trial systems.
The result is less CO2 and methane released
into the atmosphere. Cooking without wood
reduces the amount of smoke in the home
and prevents respiratory illnesses”, explains
Ingo von Ramdohr, Director of the REHAU
Sales Office for International Business
Development. The cost-effective and
powerful microbiogas system is fired with
cow dung, which also yields other benefits:
the acquisition of cows also promotes milk
sales. It therefore not only provides an
additional source of income, but also helps
rural regions regain some of their attractiveness. Children and young people no longer
have to spend their time gathering scarce
wood for fires, thus leaving more time for
schooling and other activities. By replacing
the wood used for daily cooking needs,
REHAU HomeGas also contributes towards
reducing deforestation, which can lead to
extreme drought conditions and devastating
floods. So it all benefits the environment
– worldwide.
Second-generation development
We got started in East Africa in 2012 by
installing the first microbiogas systems in
Kenya. Our engineers assisted in the
operation of the HomeGas systems on site
until mid-2013. They evaluated the effects
of direct sunlight and the gas requirements
of local families in order to further improve
the system. Meanwhile, we have made
improvements to the microbiogas system
together with our German partner AgroScience in a second generation of the system
and now aim to spread it throughout Kenya.
We are supported in this endeavour by the
Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation
and Development and the German Investment Corporation. We have also engaged the
University of Nairobi as a local manufacturing
partner, which helps us expand production in
Africa. We were able to sign the fabricator
contract in 2014 and plan a workshop for the
university with our engineers. Further steps
will follow in 2015 to establish the university
as a partner for series production: a REHAU
expert will train the employees in Kenya, the
workshop will be opened and production of
the systems will begin. We want to promote
distribution of the systems with a microfinancing concept with local partners, first in
Kenya, followed by Ghana and ultimately
other African countries. The microbiogas
system unites the welfare of people with
that of the environment – a technology for
the future.
95111 Rehau
AV0700 EN 10.2015
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