CWS Corporate Sustainability 3 Pillars

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CR Report 2018/19

In the third quarter of 2019, we published our Sustainability Report for the 2018 reporting period.

Jürgen Höfling

Dear reader,

our company has undergone a whole host of changes in recent years as a result of the joint venture with Initial and the restructuring to evolve into a system provider as well as the introduction of the international brand CWS. This has ultimately resulted in a player which is both brand new and already well established on the market at the same time.

We take our inspiration when further developing our business model from our history. What is nowadays referred to as the “sharing economy” has been our approach since the very beginning: our rental customers don’t pay for the product, but rather for the service they receive. The essence of our business activities is performing these services in a way that additionally saves resources and is sustainable overall. That is also becoming ever more important to our customers. We are in no doubt that it is our responsibility to develop our concept, our technology and our service further continuously – the same applies for our sustainability strategy, where we have implemented a new basis and completely revised the overall approach.

The comprehensive relaunch of these processes is also reflected in our sustainability report of course – both with regards to its appearance and its contents. Our reporting is still in accordance with the international reporting standard GRI, as transparency is of great importance to us. What is new is that our reporting covers all the companies in the CWS Group. The previous reporting structures have been replaced with three new reporting fields, which are preceded by a detailed description of our strategic ideas and measures. And it is always important to remember: corporate responsibility is a learning curve. That’s what makes CR so powerful and so important.

Please view this report as an invitation to join us and share the journey with us!


Jürgen Höfling
CEO CWS Gruppe


Our commitment

Here at CWS, we believe in a tomorrow which is even healthier and safer than today. We are working towards achieving this goal every day with our solutions and products. And we have reimagined ourselves – preserving our strengths all the while. Our most important strength is our circular business model which to us is the determinant factor of our success. After all, we’ve always been renewable – and we keep pushing forward in our sustainable way of doing business.

The reorganisation of our company is also evident in the further development of our sustainability activities. Processes and ideas were put under the microscope – the result was a complete relaunch with new structures, new topics, a new baseline and an expanded reporting system incorporating the entire CWS Group for the first time. What hasn’t changed though is our passion for corporate sustainability.


The future orientation of our sustainable business model is based on three columns:

Putting People First!  Optimise Cycles!  Sustain Business!


CWS Corporate Sustainability Employees

Putting People First!

What does that mean?

CWS’ focus is always on people and our staff are our most valuable asset. It goes without saying that their health and safety in the workplace are two of our utmost priorities. Our aim is to ensure that each and every one of them makes it home safe and sound at the end of his or her working day.

We also assume responsibility for those people working not directly in our company but indirectly for us around the world, as we implement measures to ensure safety along the entire length of our supply chain.

What does our commitment look like?

We have set ourselves the goal of reducing the number of accidents in the workplace in our company to an impressive 0. And the first successes have already been seen: across the Group, we managed to cut the accident rate by 0.6 in 2018 and almost halve it in comparison with 2017.

We support our cooperation partners right along the value creation chain with our Code of Conduct, which defines our social and environmental standards and compliance with which is verified by external auditors.


We were able to cut our accident rate by 0.6 from 2017 to 2018



CWS Corporate Sustainability Economic Efficiency

Optimise Cycles! 

What does this mean?

The success of our business is driven by our sustainable thinking. Thanks to the CWS rental model, we have always thought in cycles. By rendering our process cycles even more efficient, we are doing our best to ensure a healthier and safer tomorrow. We are working to achieve our goal of greater safety and satisfaction for all our customers by means of innovative, digital rental solutions through an enhanced approach to reuse which is evident throughout our service cycle: we focus our efforts on the start and end of product life cycles and also aim to optimise our processes in order to save resources.

What does our commitment look like?

We require resources to perform our business activities. Emissions are unfortunately also a necessary evil in this respect. As such, one of our goals is to reduce the CO2 emissions associated with our laundries and logistics by 15% respectively. In our laundries, we also want to save water, detergent and chemicals, which is why we are testing alternative technologies for washing our mats and our workwear.


We procured around 121,000 GJ of green electricity in 2018




CWS Corporate Sustainability Circular EconomySystem

Sustain Business!

What does that mean?


The future starts afresh every day: We are continuously entering into promising partnerships which help us to perform even better and with a higher degree of innovation in our core competences.

For CWS, staying one step ahead of the competition at all times also means taking important shareholders’ needs and interests into account. We do this by asking our customers and employees about their experiences with our company. After all, the most promising partnerships are those with our most important stakeholders.

What does our commitment look like?

As a service company, we want our customers and our employees to be happy with us: we want to achieve a recommendation rate of 70 in each group. As a learning organisation, we want to learn continuously with and from our most important stakeholder groups, which is why we ask all of our employees and customers for their feedback twice a year. The results help us to develop further as a company and derive specific measures. For the sustainable growth of our company.


Our employees attended a total of 47,057 hours of training altogether in 2018







For further questions and suggestions regarding our CR activities please contact

Dr. Maren Otte

Group Director Corporate Communications & Responsibility

CWS International GmbH

Dreieich Plaza 1A