Biological Diversity on Mainz Company Grounds Small biotopes can be created for animals and plants in home gardens or on company premises. As part of the project "Upper Rhine lifeline – wet to dry natural diversity," Werner & Mertz, together with NABU, worked out measures to increase biodiversity on our property.
Those measures in detail:
The flowering areas on the Mainz site had developed very well by 2019, according to observation reports.
Design for Recycling considers the recycling of a product from the very beginning. Here are the most important properties of packaging optimized in accordance with Design for Recycling:
Whether or how well a product can be recycled after its useful life is determined in the early design phases. The product's shape, purity of materials, types of connection (screwed, inserted, glued, etc.), labeling and other details have far-reaching consequences for its recyclability. In general, the more complex the packaging is, the greater the recycling effort.
It is not possible to recycle used products economically if they consist of a large material mix of inseparable types of plastics, if their caps and similar parts have been welded, or if their labels are not completely removable. Therefore, the Recyclate Initiative from Werner & Mertz promotes the development of recycling-friendly designs for packaging materials and product packaging.
Unfortunately, only a few companies follow the Design for Recycling when designing their packaging. But that’s the only way we can recycle plastic at a high quality level and keep it in a closed loop long-term. By doing so, we conserve fossil sources and need no new crude oil.
The patented stand-up pouch is the first packaging that complies with the three Rs -- reduce, reuse and recycle. The pouch can be recycled completely, so the plastic remains in the closed material loop (recycle). Compared to a bottle, the pouch saves 70 percent on packaging material for the same amount of product (reduce).
Finally, thanks to the refill packaging, a product bottle can be refilled repeatedly (reuse).
Since 2010 the Werner & Mertz office building has been a prominent landmark in Rheinallee in Mainz. The headquarters, crowned by striking wind turbine rotors on the roof, meets the highest international standards for sustainable and environmentally friendly construction. In recognition of this achievement, Werner & Mertz was awarded the LEED Platinum, the most demanding sustainability certification for buildings, in 2012. The office building is Germany's only industrial headquarters in the highest LEED award class.
LEED, which stands for Leadership in Environmental & Energy Design, classifies top-quality ecological buidlings. The LEED certification system was developed in the USA by the non-profit organization U.S. Green Building Council.
The building has an outstanding energy concept. By means of wind power, photovoltaic cells and geothermal groundwater usage, the building generates 20 percent more energy than required for its current operation. Furthermore, solar panels on the building's roof power two electric Smarts in the company's fleet.
The company's own well water is used in the heating/cooling system. From there the water flows through the demineralization system and then into Production for a resource-friendly second use. In June 2010, prior to the official dedication, the new headquarters received the renowned Rhineland-Palatinate Environmental Award. The building is a highly visible sign of the way Werner & Mertz lives in keeping with its sustainability philosophy.
Environmental Management Validated by EMAS For nearly 20 years Werner & Mertz has had a holistic environmental managment system with the objectives of conserving raw materisls, relieving the environment, optimizing resource use and lowering costs. Since 2003 we regularly have an independent auditor validate the managment system and our progress in resource conservation against EMAS criteria.
EMAS, the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme of the European Union is a combination of environmental managment and environmental audit. Participation is open to all companies, agencies and associations interested in improving their environmental performance, regardless of their size or industry.
The EMAS organizations are examined by state-approved, independent environmental auditors. Organizations participate voluntarily and at their own expense. EMAS is considered to be the world's most demanding system for sustainable environmental management currently on the market.
What makes EMAS so special?
Responsible, environmentally aware companies like Werner & Mertz put this instrument to use. Although they work to promote a sustainable and legally compliant economy, the companies cannot enjoy all the EMAS benefits due to EU restrictions.
Because EMAS is a production and site-related certification, the EU Commission forbids use of the logo on products and their packaging as products are not always manufactured on one site. The advertising ban involving EMAS on product labels affects companies like Werner & Mertz that are completely EMAS certified.
Particularly in times of consumer uncertainty, we contend that it is necessary to make product and production-related information more accessible to the public. We therefore work to make EMAS known as the seal of an environmentally aware value chain for production and product.
Energy-efficient Production Center With the construction of the new Production Center in 2019, the world’s largest recyclate bottle production was created. Two-thirds of the 4,000-square-meter rooftop area is covered by 455 photovoltaic modules which supply power for the cooling units. Heat recovery and district heating, among other things, are used to heat the building.
The entire building is equipped with LED lighting. Continuous, high volumes of fresh air ensure good air quality in the rooms.
Employees can make use of the 26 new parking spaces for e-autos with charging stations right next to the building. A Japanese garden in the rooftop courtyard, ground cover on the roof and greenery on the north wall provide a green view and contribute to biodiversity.
In order to monitor and manage all meaningful environmental parameters, all the companies at the Mainz site have identified, analyzed and assessed the direct and indirect environmental impact of their activities. The assessment provides information about the environmental impact on the site and serves as the basis for defining environmental goals.
So that we can better adjust to the always changing conditions, we regularly update the assessment of the environmental impact and rigorously follow up with suitable solutions.
The highly significant topics from the assessment involve energy consumption in our vehicular fleet, finished goods logistics, employee mobility, employee awareness of energy use and product-related effects. Some specifics follow:
Finished Goods Logistics
In keeping with our integral approach, we select our service providers on the basis of their sustainability philosophy. For our major partners, sustainability is a core element in corporate decision-making. Consequently, since 2008 CO2 emissions per ton-km have been reduced significantly (2008 vs. 2018 = -40.2%) through the use of modern vehicles and rigorous fleet management. In the same 10-year period the share of low-emission vehicles increased from 21% to more than 94%.
Vehicles in the fleet for sales companies' field representatives are replaced after 150,000 km per vehicle with vehicles equipped with the latest technology. We use vehicles with particularly environmentally friendly technologies which have lower CO2 emissions than conventional models. Furthermore, fuel consumption of our vehicles is regularly monitored to allow for quick reaction to unusual changes in consumption patterns.
The modern Water Center at the Mainz site draws water from the company‘s own 70-meter-deep well. The water flows through a geothermal system for heating and cooling the headquarters building. Afterwards, the water is treated in an environmentally friendly reverse osmosis process.
In that physical process, water is forced through a semi-permeable membrane at a flow of about 12,000 liters per hour per system. Minerals are collected in a liquid concentrate on the membrane. The high-quality demineralized water serves as raw material for our products and also for cleaning and rinsing cycles in Production.
Wastewater from Production is treated in a special system that filters out minerals. The resulting filter sludge is reused as a supplemental material in the manufacturing of Poroton bricks. Circularity!
The availability of water at the site is ensured by our own wells and the municipal water pipeline system. A major portion of treated water goes into the manufacture of our products.
From the well on company premises, we have drawn up to 80 cubic meters of water daily since the beginning of 2006 and, after treatment, supply completely demineralized water to the production lines. We also draw 15 cubic meters of water daily from the well for cooling purposes. That water does not come into contact with products or other supplies and, completely uncontaminated, is redirected into the Salzach river. Groundwater extraction contributes to lowering the already high water table in the Neualm section of Hallein.