METRO wished to compare the externalities – the hidden costs and benefits – of its Food Service Distribution (FSD) business model with those of its traditional cash & carry stores by quantifying and monetising their impacts on society and the environment.
denkstatt proposed to respond to this challenge with the help of sustainability accounting using the Natural Capital and Social Capital Protocol. This approach allows the use of monetary value as a single metric, integrating natural and social impacts with a company’s overall financial result.
This project came to the following conclusion: FSD offers additional positive impacts for customers, society and the environment versus the traditional cash & carry operations, equal to €68 per €1,000 of sales. Thus, METRO’s business model is becoming inherently more sustainable by expanding its FSD business.
METRO used this project for its Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) delivery and denkstatt supported it in producing a white paper on the topic of impact measurement. METRO became the 2017 DJSI Industry Leader for Food & Staples Retailing for the third year in a row with this project having a significant contribution, as it was the only impact measurement project in our industry accepted by RobecoSam.
Industry: Food & Beverage
“Please let me thank all of you once more for your support in making this project as well as the white paper a great success and thus for your contribution to our great DJSI result in 2017!”
Director of Corporate Responsibility Strategy & Reporting
When we identified our needs, our primary vision was to obtain stable, functional and transparent software which simplifies the company’s environmental tasks and processes. Record keeping should be practical, and preparation of the analyses should be carried out only with “a few clicks”.
Due to the diversity of environmental data, we needed a package covering almost all branches of our environmental issues (waste management, water protection, air protection and groundwater). In addition, it supports our Environmental Management System. After a selection among market participants, we chose the E-Toolbox which was developed and operated by denkstatt Hungary.
E.ON Hungária and its subsidiary is active in most parts of the country. In its operational area 19 big units operate as well as a large number of smaller sites. Before having been introduced to the software it was a huge challenge to record environmental data and to perform a variety of data services. In most cases our processes are multi-stakeholder processes, so there was a need for a system that could handle a variety of situations in order to simplify the duties of the environmental staff.
The introduction of the E-Toolbox software was carried out in several stages in our company. First, the application data from previous years was implemented in order to create a database which we were already able to build up in the year of introduction. The data were provided by the Environmental Department to the staff of Denkstatt Hungary, who filled in our database. After the development of the databases, we started by making the Waste Management module compulsory for the relevant staff. Subsequently, this has been followed by the introduction of other modules of the software.
Industry: IT Solutions
One world leader said:
“Leadership and learning are indispensable to one another.” (John F. Kennedy).
The general objective of the project was to transfer and integrate sustainability leadership skills at the level of European industry and institutions.
The main project aim of LeadSUS was to support organizational leaders and employees in understanding the strategic implications of sustainability by using innovative and creative approaches. The training drove leadership understanding, strategic business approaches, enthusiasm, innovation and the consideration of environment and social aspects as key issues toward sustainable development.
The project target group were managers and employees, representatives of private organizations (industry-related) and public organizations with environmental, social or business development-related responsibilities, and employed Master’s degree students.
During the project lifetime, the new Sustainability Managers developed new competences and skills on the following topics:
All participating trainees had the opportunity to certify their newly acquired skills and competences within the ECQA (European Certification and Qualification Association) framework, on two performance levels: foundation and/or advanced. The training platform is linked to the ECQA organization, and can be reached via http://leadsus.bicero.com/trainings/online-training.
LeadSUS was funded by the EU as part of the Leonardo da Vinci program and was deployed in 2013-2015. The project has generated new perspectives on sustainability issues and created a new qualification, namely the EU Sustainability Manager, an EU-certified qualification within the ECQA body. More than 200 participants (online and in class) from across Europe were trained with the help of 20 trainers in Romania, France and Slovenia.
denkstatt advised MAM, a manufacturer of baby products, during the construction phase of their sustainability report. In the course of the definition of the most important topics within the range of sustainability relevant for MAM, the carbon footprint of their most significant products was calculated at the customer’s request. In this process, the whole emergence of CO2 during the product’s lifetime cycle is examined, and it is also determined during which stages (primary production, production, transport, utilisation or disposal) the largest amount incurs.
In the course of this analysis and through detailed observation of a single product during its lifetime, it was discovered that the biggest energy expenditure and thereby onset of CO2 in connection with typical MAM products like comforters and baby bottles does not lie in the production or transport, as originally believed, but in the utilisation stage.
So it is not about how laboriously the products are manufactured (it is about this as well of course, but not primarily), but more about how they are used. Therefore, the biggest wastage lies with the consumer and not the manufacturer. Of course this does not apply to every product, but in this case it did. Especially while heating, cleaning and sterilising MAM baby bottles, 98 percent of CO2 emissions incur. (Find more details here.)
The basis of calculations (database) and their accompanying realisations made it possible for our customer MAM to work determinedly on the optimisation of energy consumption in the utilisation stage. With the achievement of an incremental product innovation. Due to the relevant data the different processes along the life cycle were evaluated and an interesting item of information was discovered: the box used for transport and sterilization of the comforter not only provides a good way to transport the comforter; it also leads to huge energy and CO2 savings (up to 77%). If you fill the box with water, put the comforter in and heat it in the microwave you have a perfect and sustainable sterilization method.
MAM was not only able to use this knowledge and the necessary data and facts for the development of a new add-on which makes a considerable difference to the efficiency of the existing product, but also for communication with its consumers. A CO2 data processor that can calculate their energy and CO2 efficiency is available for parents. (www.mambaby.com/at/co2-rechner) With the aid of concrete data it could be shown that not the production itself, but the utilisation stage is energy intensive. With this, MAM not only demonstrated where the biggest impact lies, but also made use of the chance to develop and provide a solution.
Because MAM’s main target group are young parents, this action as well as the increased transparency led to a great increase in trust and thus benefits for the image of the brand.
Industry: Manufacturing Industry
Using lignified biomass as raw material for the production of new materials.
The three projects Lignorefinery I and II and ITACON were intended to develop strategies for the complete use of lignified biomass as a raw material. This work was conducted by the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) Vienna, denkstatt GmbH, Österreichische Bundesforste, the TDZ Ennstal and the technology partner Fermtech.
The focus is on utilizing lignocellulose biomass in a modular way and on making various products that, in the past, could only be manufactured from petroleum. For instance, it is possible to make dimensionally stable aerogels based entirely on lignin. Aerogels are ultra-light, highly porous materials with a growing number of technical applications, such as high-performance thermal and acoustic insulation, substrate for catalysts and filter systems, and electrode material for electrochemical applications.
The second major stream was the production of lactic acid and itaconic acid from biomass sources. Itaconic acid, another precursor for polymers, could until now only be produced under very specialized conditions. Itaconic acid and its derivatives can be employed as building blocks in chemical synthesis. For instance, it can be decarboxylated and then esterified to make methyl methacrylate, which is then turned into plexiglass.
denkstatt’s task in this 5-year long series of projects was overall project management and the development of the business plan as well as the ecological assessment of a theoretical lignorefinery.
The final goal was to attract investors for the idea and find a production site for actually producing these new materials.
Our worked showed that the production is economically competitive on an industrial level and has better ecological performance than the compared product based on petroleum.
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