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Sustainability

Enjoy with Confidence

Sustainability at Wollenhaupt

 

You know our credo: "Enjoy with Confidence”. Over the past 130 years, we have learned and experienced a lot, and have always remained strong and stable during all the changes - and we have consistently lived, operated and acted according to our principles: respect and reliability. At Wollenhaupt, respect for nature and her gifts are just as important as respect for the people who work in the tea gardens and plantations. Respect for the people who sell, purchase and enjoy our products. Respect for the needs of everyone directly and indirectly associated with our teas, ingredients and accessories. How do we express our respect? Well, first and foremost in our reliability, because trust is not possible without consistently reliable work, business operations and actions. Reliability is a foundation of our traditions. For us, a family-run company now in the 4th generation, sustainable business is a matter of course.

What does that exactly mean and what does it specifically mean for you - our customers, partners and employees? For a start: We are responsible for our actions. Each of us, every single day.In the following, we are pleased to present and describe the fields of action we use as a basis for guiding and managing our sustainable activities and operations.

Products

Our basis for safe and sustainable products

Management System and Company Guidelines

With our management system and company policies as a basis, our goal is to develop and expand our product range in a sustainable manner - from the cooperation with our suppliers and comprehensive quality management up to sustainability along the entire supply chain. 

Our company’s control and monitoring systems and our strict compliance with all requirements are audited by external auditors on a regular basis, and in conjunction with our own audits enable us to achieve a high degree of control, transparency and engagement in our processes and operations. What does that have to do with sustainability? Well, we are convinced that only people who know what they are doing and how and why can also effectively align their actions, indeed down to every detail, in a way which ensures they are consistently sustainable, considerate, and environmentally-friendly.

And even more: The Code of Conduct commits us as individuals to act with particular care and attention, and completely of our own accord. Furthermore, each of our suppliers is urged to act and do business in line with this commitment to quality, environmental protection, respect and appreciation.  

Market and Demand

Customers shape and determine the success of our company. Demand-based and sustainability-oriented business and actions harmonise perfectly together. Our customers are very interested in sustainably produced products, gentle and eco-friendly methods and processes, and a partner who plans for the long term and acts proactively and with foresight. The market and business requirements are virtually congruent here.

What does that mean specifically? Our central elements:

Wollenhaupt on-site – development and qualification of suppliers

Being reliable and showing respect means going local, travelling. Getting our own impression of the people, the production conditions, the situation in the country. How is sustainable agriculture actually implemented in practice? What are the conditions, what are the options? Our experts are out in the field, in discussions, building relationships and providing support, advice and assistance. 

Important Wollenhaupt values:

  • Reliability: We visit suppliers regularly and establish long-term partnerships.
  • Respect: We promote and develop local structures; we help empower the people, in partnership with them.

Smallholder farms, local cooperatives - it is the people involved who are vital here. Together, we develop strategies to produce the best qualities, to even exceed the legal requirements in cases of doubt, and to enable truly profitable and environmentally-friendly generations of revenues on a sustained basis.

At Wollenhaupt, implementing sustainability is lifelong work

Classic certifications

What seemed unusual 15 or 20 years is now one of the standards of a truly sustainability-oriented company, and has long been a familiar, indispensable guide for many consumers: product labels, logos and seals. Wollenhaupt offers certified products from various organizations and programmes that address the issue of sustainability in different ways and forms. Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance, UTZ, ETP and organic certifications – the diverse wishes and preferences of consumers warrant various standards, and Wollenhaupt accommodates them all.

Our central elements:

Wollenhaupt on-site – development and qualification of suppliers

Being reliable and showing respect means going local, travelling. Getting our own impression of the people, the production conditions, the situation in the country. How is sustainable agriculture actually implemented in practice? What are the conditions, what are the options? Our experts are out in the field, in discussions, building relationships and providing support, advice and assistance. 

Important Wollenhaupt values:

  • Reliability: We visit suppliers regularly and establish long-term partnerships.
  • Respect: We promote and develop local structures; we help empower the people, in partnership with them.

Smallholder farms, local cooperatives - it is the people involved who are vital here. Together, we develop strategies to produce the best qualities, to even exceed the legal requirements in cases of doubt, and to enable truly profitable and environmentally-friendly generations of revenues on a sustained basis.
At Wollenhaupt, implementing sustainability is lifelong work.

Classic certifications

What seemed unusual 15 or 20 years is now one of the standards of a truly sustainability-oriented company, and has long been a familiar, indispensable guide for many consumers: product labels, logos and seals. Wollenhaupt offers certified products from various organizations and programmes that address the issue of sustainability in different ways and forms. Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance, UTZ, ETP and organic certifications – the diverse wishes and preferences of consumers warrant various standards, and Wollenhaupt accommodates them all.

Certifications at Wollenhaupt: At a Glance

Employees

Responsibility and sustainability for our employees

We work together, we work with each other. What motivates us, what makes us strong, productive and efficient? Health benefits, career development and training opportunities, and satisfaction surveys are just some of the external incentives; what’s crucial is a company culture that allows passion, encourages independent thinking and initiative, and has effective communication channels and short decision-making paths.

The fact that more than 170 employees contribute their know-how, their ideas and their commitment to our company every day is not something we take for granted. Their passion is a great gift and is essential for positive business development. Respect and reliability, our values, also form the foundation here. Because sustainable business not only means providing health-promoting workplaces or a range of social benefits, but also authenticity, dependability, reliability when it comes to interpersonal interactions. Our understanding of corporate, sustainability-oriented responsibility for the people who significantly help shape and contribute to Wollenhaupt success every day guides our professional life and our shared working Environment: 

  • Open communication: “Open doors”, regular feedback meetings and employee satisfaction Surveys 
  • Promotion of junior staff and young talent: An average of 10 trainees as well as interns on a regular basis, participation in events such as Girls’ & Boys’ Day
  • Continuing professional development: Job-related training, further education and development opportunities
  • Management development
  • Regular salary reviews
  • Occupational safety and health: Ergonomic optimisation of workstations, especially for physical tasks, e. g. through height adjustments, lifting aids, etc. in the production Areas
  • Job flexibility for employees: Flexible working hours for the commercial section
  • Social benefits:
    Company pension scheme, free tea bar, subsidised "HVV ProfiCard" public transport pass as well as "JobRad", company discounts on personal purchases, canteen with employer-subsidised meals
  • Sports, fitness and health programmes (GW-Fit): Football, badminton, ergonomic workplaces, flu vaccines

One thing about this list is particularly important, however: It is not complete it is open to ideas, suggestions and requests. And it will continue to be “under construction” because our management is open to continuous improvement and actively ensures its implementation.

Environment

Environmental protection at Wollenhaupt

An active commitment to environmental protection is the best basis for sustainable and consistently safe products. Nevertheless, environmental protection can only be really good and effective if it is not half-hearted, not just empty talk. We started getting seriously involved in environmental protection and resource conservation years ago. We are on the path and sticking with it. Among other achievements, we reduced our electricity consumption by 50,000 kWh in 2015 – a figure that is equivalent to the annual consumption of more than ten single-family houses. Since 2016, all the electricity we use comes from 100 % wind power.

We are taking the following steps, along with others, with the goal of meeting the requirements of environmentally responsible business operations:

  • Optimised logistics processes: We avoid unnecessary deliveries and returns of teas and ingredients by adopting a strategy that goes beyond the standard processes used in our industry: Independent inspectors take samples of the goods right at the place of origin and transport the sample to Germany for analysis. We do not release the goods for transport until this quality inspection has been passed.
  • E-mobility: Vehicle fleet running on electricity and in-house charging stations
  • Heat recovery from compressed air: We save energy, because we do not let the exhaust air from the compressors used in production simply go to waste, but use it for heating instead.
  • Waste management: We have implemented our own management system for waste as well, in order to improve the quality of our waste for recycling purposes. We make a significant contribution to climate protection by participating in the DSD dual system for the recycling of sales packaging (“Der Grüne Punkt”). 
  • Conservation of resources through continous building modernisation: e. g. switching from neon lights to longer-lasting and energy-saving illuminants, replacing windows
  • Raising the sustainability awareness of all stakeholders in the company

 

Taken all together, these measures comprise Wollenhaupt triad of success: increase energy efficiency, conserve resources, reduce climate-relevant emissions. By monitoring and controlling via our energy management system, we have a constant overview of our consumption levels and can already derive and implement various measures to conserve resources.

Responsibility

Social Engagement and Responsibility – Making the World More Fair

In Germany, there are more than one million people who are socially and economically disadvantaged. Across the world, people are threatened by environmental disasters such as earthquakes and droughts, are starving, homeless. We cannot change the world all alone. But we contribute to alleviating the suffering and to creating sustainable, fairer structures.

The fourth element of our sustainability philosophy is social engagement and responsibility: the earnest, sincere and ongoing assumption of responsibility for improving the living and working conditions of people.

Simply by importing teas and ingredients, we secure jobs in the tea growing regions in the world. But secure jobs do not guarantee good working conditions. And good working conditions do not guarantee good living conditions.

We can influence a lot directly. Whether through agricultural production knowledge that we are happy to pass on, through clear codes of conduct that we define and strictly monitor compliance with, through long-term contracts and ongoing dialogue, or simply by providing spontaneous and straightforward assistance in emergency situations.

The devastating earthquake in Nepal in April 2015 is a good example of what we mean. Natural disasters like those affect the people of the region, but also us, even though we are continents apart. We know the local people they are our suppliers, our partners, and our friends. We know their jobs, workplaces, working methods, processes and commutes. When the news first reports on the suffering of the people, we already know about it, mostly through direct contact, and are already planning initial actions to take.

But apart from that: We are philanthropic merchants and are committed to being the role model of an “honourable businessman”, a reputable company. That is why we provide help during natural disasters and regularly support projects by Plan International.

Project with Plan

For many years now, we have been supporting aid organizations and their projects in developing countries. And for more than twenty years, we have been partnering with Plan, an independent humanitarian and aid organisation dedicated to advancing and safeguarding the chances and rights of children worldwide. For almost 80 years, Plan has been committed to helping girls and boys live a life free of poverty, violence and injustice.

The Project: “Protect Girls and Boys from Child Labour”

We are currently working together with Plan in Tanzania. We are involved in the “Protect Girls and Boys from Child Labour” project. For the first time, we are taking on our own separate project component. “Create career prospects and income” – that is the specific goal of our 3-year project.

More on the project…

Regionale und internationale Spenden

Konkret. Vor Ort. Spürbar. So entsteht Bewusstsein für nachhaltiges Handeln. Das fördern wir sowohl regional als auch international.

In unserer Heimatregion (Reinbek, Hamburg) helfen wir Erziehungs- und Bildungseinrichtungen, fördern Vereine und Initiativen, die sich für Ressourcenschutz, nachhaltige Bildung und Umweltschutz engagieren. Auch für „Die Tafel“ tun wir Gutes. Unsere Auszubildenden spenden jährlich den Erlös des Weihnachts-Basars dem Kinderhospiz Sternenbrücke.

International sind wir natürlich in den Teeanbaugebieten und den Herkunftsländern unserer Zutaten aktiv. Wir unterstützen Projekte und Organisationen, die sich für Gerechtigkeit und bessere Lebensbedingungen vor Ort stark machen. Wir helfen dabei nicht nur bestehenden Initiativen, sondern sind im Rahmen von eigenen Großprojekten in den Regionen selbst aktiv.

Darüber hinaus sind wir spontan und helfen schnell. Sammelten die Mitarbeiter nach dem Erdbeben in der Himalaya Region Geld für die Menschen in Nepal, stockte die Geschäftsführung den Betrag noch auf.