GELITA AG has presented its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report for the year 2019. The report provides information on the company’s achievements, gives examples about projects for resourcesaving production, describes social initiatives and assesses the progress made. The report is now available in English at www.gelita.com/de/gelita-csr.
As a globally active company, GELITA develops solutions at all levels to fulfill its social responsibility. Last year, the position of Global Coordinator for the areas of environment, energy and corporate social responsibility was created specifically for this task. Samuel Najafi has headed the new staff team since May 2019 and, in this position, coordinates all the company’s sustainability activities worldwide. As an expert for biological processes in wastewater treatment, the environmental and process engineer devotes a major part of his work to the topic of water.
16 percent energy reduction The recently published sustainability report documents the progress made by GELITA AG in implementing its sustainability strategy for 2019. Dr. Franz Josef Konert, CEO of the company, sums up as follows: “2019 was another very successful year for GELITA. In particular, we succeeded in increasing the production volume while simultaneously operating in a measurably more sustainable way. The energy consumption was reduced by 16 percent over the last 3 years.” This was achieved by investing in modern, energy-efficient facilities, environmentally optimized processes, an increased awareness of sustainable action throughout the Group, and continuous communication within the company as well as with external influence groups.
Innovative production processes Last year, GELITA invested 36 million euros in its locations. New, energy-efficient plant technology was taken into commission in Sweden, the USA and Germany. The company also continues to expand its spray tower capacities in order to reduce energy consumption and the environmental impact of transportation. Other projects that were successfully implemented in 2019 included measures to avoid waste, reduce air pollution, cut water consumption and treat wastewater. Another milestone was the opening of the plant in Pingyang, China. After years of conversion and expansion, the production facility for gelatine was inaugurated last year. Today it is the most modern in the Chinese gelatine industry and even sets standards within the company in some areas.
5.6 percent water reduction Access to clean water is one of the greatest global challenges. On the one hand, GELITA uses state-of-the-art facilities to keep water consumption as low as possible in production. In the last 3 years improvements lead to a reduction of 5.6 percent water use per kilogram product. On the other hand, the company is strongly committed to clean wastewater and makes targeted investments in its purification plants. “Thanks to the use of new technologies, the Eberbach plant, for example, has succeeded in increasing both the quality and energy efficiency of the water treatment process,” says Samuel Najafi.
Positive development continues In 2019, GELITA succeeded in improving all environmental performance indicators relating to a specific production volume in terms of sustainability. Despite this progress, the company is working intensively on further improvements – including improvements in work safety. As a manufacturing company, the health of all employees is a top priority for GELITA. Although the payroll increased slightly, the number of industrial accidents once again fell last year.
The producer of collagen proteins continues to drive innovation in all areas of business. This is particularly true for product development. Michael Teppner, Head of Marketing and Communication at GELITA AG, comments: “The best example is the world’s first vegan gelling agent in sheet form, which enjoyed outstanding market acceptance in 2019. In the future, too, we aim to maintain a high level of innovation in the area of sustainability, particularly through our new ‘Biotechnology’ initiative.”
Social responsibility Supporting people and ensuring their well-being is firmly anchored in GELITA’s corporate DNA. To promote social cooperation, the Group provides neighborhood assistance in the vicinity of its sites, helps people in need with cash and product donations, and supports selected institutions. In addition, GELITA is also involved in the education of young people and is active as a sponsor in recreational and professional sports. In 2019, the company supported more than 100 projects and initiatives worldwide. Many of these have been subsidized for several years