Becoming enkelfähig is the key to success

Being sustainable is key to CWS, as CEO Jürgen Höfling says. You can read more about the reasons and what is happening in terms of sustainability at CWS here.

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19 September 2022
Sustainable questions to Jürgen Höfling

The UN General Assembly, the annual meeting of the Member States’ heads of government, is held in September in New York, with the anniversary of the Global Goals and the 2030 Agenda being celebrated each year. Taking this as the perfect opportunity to raise awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals across Europe, the organising countries decided to hold the European Sustainable Development Week (ESDW) in September again. In line with its motto “Think global, act local”, the ESDW highlights local sustainability projects and brings awareness of sustainability issues to many people across Europe.

CWS supports the SDGs and takes this month as well as the German Sustainability Days (DAN) as an opportunity to showcase its sustainability measures per division. Today, CEO Jürgen Höfling explains why sustainability is so important for CWS's business.

Why is sustainability so important, especially now?

We are living in turbulent times. COVID-19 has changed the world. The war in Ukraine and its consequences are a reality for everyone in Europe. We have a lot to deal with right now, but we cannot forget our very own footprint that we are leaving on the Earth. Facing climate and environmental changes and protecting our planet together is essential. Therefore, uniting and pursuing the European Sustainable Development Goals is important. Here at CWS, we employ measures in all of our divisions for four of the SDGs: Clean Water and Sanitation, Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action and Partnerships for the Goals.

How do we participate?

As part of our parent company Haniel’s enkelfähig initiative, we contribute to a healthier and safer tomorrow with our circular business model. We create value for generations by coupling economic success and value-oriented action. For us, sustainability and profitability are closely linked. We do business in a way that is generation-friendly and thus enkelfähig.

What exactly does enkelfähig mean for CWS?

Sustainability is the CWS Group’s business model. As a full-service provider in the fields of Hygiene, Workwear, Fire Safety and Cleanrooms, we offer our services and products in a service model. CWS rents, washes and delivers the ordered items back to the customer. In addition, we think in cycles and try our best to reduce, reuse and recycle used materials for as long as possible. All the projects, cooperations, measures and products relating to the circular concept are united under our guiding principle of Think Circular. Think Circular is our approach to becoming and being an enkelfähig company.

However, I want to be honest: sustainability is a marathon rather than a sprint. We are making decisions for a healthier and safer tomorrow today. One big step forward that we are deciding on right now is our decarbonisation strategy. Our sustainability team is working hard on guidelines and an action plan to reduce emissions and our environmental impact.

Speaking of reducing emissions, what is CWS doing?

We are committed to reducing our emissions by 50% by 2030. This is a major pillar of our sustainability strategy. We are currently working on a clearly designed roadmap for how to proceed and decarbonise our operations in order to enable the Group to achieve this ambitious goal. Together with external experts, we conducted a bottom-up analysis of all emission profiles and hotspots per division. A number of reduction levers have consequently been quantified in terms of CO2 reduction potential. The technical feasibility and rollout potential have also been estimated and validated. The next step will be our CWS Climate Strategy, which is due to be published later this year. This strategy will guide us in the right direction. We need to work together as a company to do our part to protect the environment. Everyone must take action. Today, for a healthier and safer tomorrow!

Thank you for the interview!

Enkelfähig – tomorrow now

Here at CWS, we adopt an enkelfähig approach. As part of our parent company Haniel’s Enkelfähig intiative, we contribute to a healthier and safer tomorrow with our circular business model. 

At CWS, we integrate the enkelfähig concept into our overarching sustainability strategy Think Circular and create value for generations by coupling economic success and value-based action. For us, sustainability and profitability go hand in hand. We work in a way that is generation-friendly and thus enkelfähig.

For a healthier and safer tomorrow. Starting today.