Tomorrow now – CWS publishes 2021/22 Sustainability Report with measures and targets

- CWS contributes to an “enkelfähig” (sustainable for generations to come) future with its circular business model  

- True to the Think Circular principle, products remain in circulation as long as possible in order to conserve resources. 

- The company's target: 90 per cent of new business by 2025 only with sustainable products and 50 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030 

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12 July 2022

Duisburg/Dreieich, 12 July 2022 – Circular economy is the core of the CWS Group’s business model. As a leading expert in the areas of hygiene, mats, workwear, fire protection, cleanrooms, and healthcare, the company controls its materials and products along their entire life cycle. CWS follows its own guiding principle Think Circular and is thus part of the Haniel Group's overarching “enkelfähig” initiative. The basis of this initiative is the conviction that sustainability and economic success are closely connected. 

“As a service provider for health and safety, the CWS Group works on sustainable solutions for a safer and healthier future. For us, sustainability is the prerequisite for economic success. Because economic success today as well as in the future is closely linked to value-oriented and sustainable action," says Jürgen Höfling, CEO of the CWS Group. "This involves striking a balance between economy, ecology and social responsibility. We see the principles of the circular economy anchored in our service model and want to use this strength to offer our customers sustainable products and services in every respect. After all, “enkelfähig” is all about excellent products and sustainable business at the same time.” 

Sustainable products are the lever for a good future 

At CWS, the entire product range is checked for sustainability in a multi-stage process and subjected to what is known as the "enkelfähig" rating. In addition to the supply chain, raw materials, and recycling concepts, this also takes into account how long a product or raw material can be kept in circulation. The findings from the internal scoring are reflected and considered accordingly in new product lines such as CWS PureLine for washrooms or the Scandic Line workwear collection. CWS lists further projects and details on the rating in its report. 

“We want to realise more than 90 percent of our new business with sustainable products by 2025. A long product life is at the core of our business model. That's why we check in advance how sustainable the products we include in our cycles are,” adds Jürgen Höfling

Efficient cycles through durable materials  

As part of its service model, CWS relies on particularly sustainable and durable products and materials to be able to keep them in the service cycle for as long as possible and thus save resources. In this context, sustainability not only counts in the finished product, but also affects the supply chains. Accordingly, CWS carefully selects its partners and suppliers to ensure that all sustainability criteria are met.  

“Our entire understanding of sustainability is based on the idea of circularity. That's why we design our products to be durable, repairable and, in the best case, easily recyclable. In the long term, this enables us to optimise our material cycles and close them wherever possible. In this way, we minimise the environmental and climate impact of our products over their entire life cycle,” says Dr. Maren Otte, Group Director Corporate Communications & Corporate Responsibility

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – Think Circular! 

Products are professionally repaired where possible to maximise their lifespan. For example, in 2021, over 21,000 mats, over 26,000 towel roll dispensers and over 5 million garments were repaired by CWS. This clearly shows how many products can remain in use longer as a result. 

Sustainable materials and recycling concepts play a key role in CWS' cycles. For example, the company’s GreenMats are made of recycled polyester and dry up to 25 per cent faster, which in turn reduces energy consumption. CWS is currently involved in a European research project called Circular Sustainable Flooring (CISUFLO) to make flooring materials recyclable.   

Decarbonisation important topic for the future  

Reducing CO2 emissions also plays a major role for CWS. In this year's report, CWS presents its full Corporate Carbon Footprint for the first time, providing complete transparency on emissions generated within its own business as well as the upstream supply chain (scopes 1-3). Based on these findings, CWS is now developing a company-wide climate strategy. The goal is to reduce the current footprint by 50 per cent by 2030. A climate management system is also being developed that dynamically incorporates the best measures into ongoing processes and responds to current regulatory changes. 


>>> You can find the new Sustainability Report here


About CWS

With innovative, sustainable, and digital rental solutions, CWS contributes to a healthier and safer future. The range is divided into products and services from the areas of hygiene, mats, workwear, fire protection, cleanroom, and health and care. With its service model, the company pursues the basic idea of a circular economy in all areas: Materials are reduced, reused several times, and reprocessed in a resource-saving manner. CWS summarizes this understanding of sustainability and all related activities under one central guiding principle: Think Circular!

CWS is part of the parent company Haniel's "Enkelfähig" initiative and creates value for generations by linking economic success to value-oriented action. For CWS, sustainability and profitability are closely linked. CWS does business in a way that is generation-friendly and therefore enkelfähig.

CWS is a brand of CWS International GmbH and its subsidiaries. The group currently employs around 11,000 people in 15 countries. In 2021, the company generated sales of 1.249 billion euros. CWS International GmbH and its subsidiaries are a 100 percent holding of Franz Haniel & Cie. GmbH.


Laura Plischke

CWS International GmbH

Dreieich Plaza 1A