As of today, we have used up all of nature's resources for this year. This means that we are now living at the expense of future generations for the rest of the year – and have once again failed to achieve the goal of pushing Earth Overshoot Day back as far as possible. Our society is using up the resources that nature provides us with for a year at an ever faster rate: in 2012, World Overshoot Day still fell on 22 August, in 2021 it was already 29 July. The fact that resources are now already being used up on 4 May shows how urgently we need to act.
As part of society, we are aware of our responsibility and have set ourselves the goal of using as few resources as possible. Our approach: Think Circular!
The idea is to keep products and their materials in a cycle for as long as possible. To do this, they are serviced, maintained and repaired. When a product has reached the end of its life cycle, we aim to recycle the materials as much as possible. For example, we use discarded cotton towel rolls to make mops or cleaning cloths from the fabric. We go even further with individual pilot projects: for example, we cooperate with the Swedish textile recycling company Södra, where textiles are broken down into their individual components and further processed. With this special process, ingredients such as cotton fibres are reused in textile production to close the loop.
We also think and act in cycles when it comes to servicing our products: with the help of our waste water treatment plants, we can reuse water that we use for cleaning cotton towel rolls and reuse it to wash our dust-trapping mats with it in the first washing cycle. Afterwards we clean the water once again and the cycle begins anew.
Through the circular model, we also contribute to reducing greenhouse emissions, as an example from the workwear sector shows: an internal analysis confirms that the CO2 emissions of rented workwear, including transport, are more than 50% lower than those of purchased alternatives. In addition, in the rental model for workwear, worn and broken parts are repaired or replaced with second-hand goods, thus making the value chain more sustainable. With more than 2.5 million repaired parts per year in Germany alone, we actively contribute to a better climate every day – also on today's Earth Overshoot Day. Read more about what we are doing to contribute to a healthier and safer future in our Sustainability Report and Circular Advantage Study.