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Sustainability – model for the future

Continuous and transparent communication with our stakeholders is firmly anchored in ASSMANN’s corporate philosophy. The same also applies for the topic of sustainability, which has become a guiding principle in our day-to-day work.

One of the greatest challenges of our time is the transformation towards a sustainable society. Accordingly, the topic plays a key role in ASSMANN’s corporate policy, both in terms of the strategic direction and operational implementation. Sustainability is – alongside product development, quality, innovative manufacturing technology and cost-efficiency – one of the company’s key success factors. In our sustainability model, we acknowledge our economic, environmental and social responsibility. We understand sustainability as a dynamic process that is influenced by a variety of factors. In line with this, we set great store by the continuous exchange and partnership-based cooperation with our reference groups, with whom we establish, develop and, where necessary, redefine concrete and assessable sustainability targets together.

Our Sustainability Model

ECONOMICAL BUSINESS PRACTICE

ASSMANN is an autonomous business enterprise – our goal is sustainable, economically viable growth. This allows us to remain financially independent. As a family-run company with a tradition going back more than 80 years, business success also means taking responsibility. We do this in a number of ways.

 

ETHICAL BUSINESS PRACTICE

At ASSMANN we are committed to observing and fully complying with the applicable laws and regulations. For us, this is a non-negotiable issue. We comply with all relevant location- and product-specific requirements arising from legal and administrative provisions on the European, federal, state and municipal levels. We refuse to accept bribery and corruption, taking or granting advantages, and insider trading, and we expect a similar stance from our customers, suppliers and service providers. Data protection is a high priority at our company. The fundamental principles and rights at work of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) form an immutable basis for our operations. We respect human rights; we protect the rights of employees on a local, national and global level; and we condemn all forms of child labour, forced labour and involuntary labour. We respect the dignity of every individual and we take our responsibility for employees, customers, suppliers, companies and the environment seriously. We expect the same from our customers, suppliers and service providers.

 

SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

Change can only come about if everyone plays their part. In this regard, innovative and dedicated people and companies who identify and address challenges early on, and who share their experiences with others, are very important. ASSMANN wants to be a model: we want to motivate others to take responsibility in a way that goes beyond the minimum legal requirements. As a responsible company within society, we are committed to operating as a model employer and tax-payer, and to actively leading the way with our social and sustainability efforts. The company has ruled out the exploitation of legal grey areas and tax-saving models for avoiding our tax and social-security liabilities. We encourage everyone at ASSMANN to do their best every day for the company, for society and for the environment.

 

PEOPLE AS A SUCCESS FACTOR

The people at ASSMANN are our most important capital, and business success is only possible because of them. We offer our employees secure, attractive and motivating working conditions and a friendly atmosphere. Varied initiatives are implemented to boost employee motivation and performance. To ensure that they identify fully with the company and its values, we rely on team orientation, individual responsibility and decision-making freedom. We see the collaboration with our colleagues as an active partnership. Dialogue as equals is the rule – not the exception. We expect our employees to be prepared to change in order to further develop the company and to adapt it to market requirements. We achieve the company’s goals together through junior development and employee development programmes, open exchange of communication, and a corporate culture that is visible both internally and externally. Respectful and collegial behaviour is an essential part of the corporate culture, and senior managers set an example in this regard. We go beyond the minimum legal requirements in our occupational safety and health protection work. To minimise dangerous situations, regular inspections are conducted to check, evaluate and continuously improve workplace safety and ergonomics. External training sessions help to prevent negative, psychologically stressful experiences. We engage in fair and responsible recruitment practices. Everyone at ASSMANN enjoys the same opportunities – discrimination is not tolerated here.

 

PRODUCT RESPONSIBILITY

Our furniture systems and furnishing solutions accompany people in their day-to-day work over many years. All areas in our process chain – from product development and purchasing to sales and customer services – are set up to ensure that these products are produced, purchased and used sustainably. A long useful life, a replacement parts guarantee, safe design principles (e.g. GS mark), low-emission base materials (Blue Angel – RAL-UZ 38 and RAL-UZ 117) and the use of reusable materials make buying our products an environmentally friendly and financially responsible decision. That is guaranteed by the FEMB-level certification.

 

CUSTOMER FOCUS

Only if we know and understand the needs of our customers and the requirements of the market, and integrate them into our day-to-day work, can we be successful. We are always a reliable and predictable partner. We fulfil customer needs through a consistent market orientation, innovative and forward-looking developments, and the highest quality standards across the entire process chain. We train our retail partners and customers to use our products in the optimal way, and we provide information about developments in our company as openly and transparently as possible.

 

RESPONSIBILITY IN THE SUPPLY CHAIN

Our suppliers are closely integrated into our processes in order reconcile demand-oriented deliveries and optimised transport capacity utilisation. This results in customised delivery concepts that cover the entire spectrum from just-in-time deliveries to stocking solutions managed through Kanban. Where possible, we work with regional or German suppliers, with an emphasis on developing a culture of partnership. We engage in a close and regular dialogue with you about the origin of the resources used and how they are processed. In an effort to raise awareness of the assumption of responsibility in the environmental and social area in the supply chain, we have developed a code of conduct for suppliers on the basis of the ILO Rights at Work, to which our partners sign up. With our annual Suppliers Award, we provide active incentives to encourage suppliers to orient towards our standards when it comes to reliability, quality, price level, environmental sustainability and social responsibility.

 

RESOURCE PRODUCTIVITY AND CLIMATE CHANGE

As raw materials become more scarce, the responsible use of resources and energy is particularly important. We pledge to continuously improve our resource productivity and energy efficiency across the entire value cycle, and at the same time to avoid polluting the environment, for example through air contamination or hazardous chemicals. To this end, we are defining an ASSMANN environmental programme with concrete, measurable goals, and are implementing it rigorously. We measure our use of resources and energy, and we publish the results together with our environmental report. We evaluate procurements of products and services across the entire expected lifecycle, and we give preference to the most energy-efficient and environmentally friendly solutions. Our system- and process-oriented management approach is based on quality management in accordance with ISO 9001, environmental management in accordance with ISO 14001:2015, and the European regulation on environmental management (Regulation [EC] No. 1221/2009, EMAS III). In our efforts at continuously improving energy efficiency, we are guided by the ISO 50001 energy management standards.

 

CONSTANT IMPROVEMENT

We aren’t content to stay where we are – we want to get better every day. To achieve that, we have been following the KAIZEN philosophy in all company processes for more than 20 years, from product realisation to quality assurance, which we implement systematically with the help of shopfloor management. Through our company suggestion scheme, we identify improvement potential in all areas and we reward innovative thinking by giving our employees a financial share in ideas that are implemented. We also embrace innovative and cutting-edge work systems, technologies and methods such as “New Work Environments 4.0” and “Industry 4.0” in order to capitalise on and successfully implement these for the benefit of our employees and customers.