The 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow marked a new impetus for tackling the climate crisis. With the primary goal of specifying emission reduction plans to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees, the summit once again made clear that, now more than ever, industry role models are needed to drive profound change and real transformation. For more than 20 years, global sanitary brand GROHE has anchored this goal in its strategy and pursues a CO2-neutral and resource-saving value chain. The brand has achieved important milestones, such as introducing its first circular products, and gathered valuable insights in the field of sustainability transformation in the past year – also through intensive exchange with other companies, as at the Vision 2045 Summit. As the culmination of this year’s sustainability achievements, GROHE is this year's Lead Partner at the German Sustainability Award 2022 for the Transformation Field “Resources” and is already setting new goals for the upcoming year.
Reflecting on annual successes while gearing up for new challenges in 2022
The annual status of the brand’s implementations for the year 2019/2020 was put on transparent record in GROHE’s third sustainability report, which celebrated the surpassing of numerous sustainability benchmarks. For example, the brand was able to reduce its water consumption in production by 38.7 percent and thus significantly exceeded its target of 20 percent set in 2014. Simultaneously, GROHE took its actions to a new level with a decisive step: Confirming its commitment to circular value creation and resource conservation, the brand launched its four first Cradle to Cradle Certified® products. While GROHE has already been producing CO2-neutral since 2020, which at COP26 was argued as a fundamental principle for companies, the brand has continuously optimized products and production processes in terms of their footprint in the past year and will continue so in the future. One example: Beginning November breaking ground at the new solar park in Hemer, Germany took place. This solar park will be a 20,000 m2 ground-mounted photovoltaic plant and is an important contribution to further reducing carbon footprint through the brand´s own measures, as it will increase on-site electricity generation to up to 20 percent. As another accomplishment in the field of sustainability in 2021, GROHE contributed 1.2 million Euros raised through its dedicated ‘Energy for Life’ campaign to support the ‘Make a Splash!’ partnership of LIXIL and UNICEF to help ensure more children from underserved communities gain access to basic sanitation and hygiene.
In addition to these achievements, the sanitary brand made some valuable learnings in the past year: Eliminating plastic from all product packaging was a goal set up in 2018 and turned out to be a great challenge that involves many different departments, while needing to account for the safe transportation of GROHE’s diversified product range. It will therefore set a precedent case in the industry. However, the milestone of becoming completely plastic free is stretched to next year. Nevertheless, GROHE was able to eliminate 34 million pieces of plastic packaging and is now on track to reach its goal in spring 2022. Thomas Fuhr, Leader Fittings, LIXIL International and Co-CEO Grohe AG explains: “To us, becoming plastic free is mandatory, but it was a huge challenge, and the creation of plastic free packaging took us longer than expected. We acknowledged with our Plastic Free Initiative that real transformation takes time, but at the same time, great new, own packaging solutions were set up by our project teams in the factories with the result that, for example, a change within one product packaging resulted in a saving of 26 tonnes of polybags per year.”
Putting sustainable transformation first
As a crowning finale to the year, GROHE is manifesting its commitment to a sustainable future in partnership with the German Sustainability Award (DNP). As a two-time awardee of DNP 2021, GROHE is now official Lead Partner for the Transformation Field “Resources” at this year’s award ceremony and congress, held on December 2nd and 3rd 2021 in Dusseldorf. With Thomas Fuhr delivering a keynote on the opportunities and potentials of ‘Green Building’ in the plenary session of the German Sustainability Day’s congress, as well as the broadcast of several webcasts showing interesting GROHE interviews on the online platform DNP.tv, the brand’s lead partnership puts a spotlight on resource efficient and carbon reducing management and the shift to renewable energies – and is therefore closely linked to the Corporate Responsibility Strategy of LIXIL, of which GROHE has been part of the brand portfolio since 2014.
This year’s success is no reason for GROHE to stand still, as Jonas Brennwald, Leader, LIXIL EMENA and Co-CEO Grohe AG concludes: “Sustainability is firmly anchored in LIXIL’s and GROHE’s DNA. Current events around the world, such as extreme weather and the scarcity of resources clearly show us how urgent it is to do even more and how important it is to look at the crisis in its entirety. For our brand strategy, it is therefore essential that we take our customers along and offer them solutions with which they too can contribute, such as energy- and water-saving products”. With COP26’s outcome in mind, the brand is already in the process of tackling the next challenges, such as expanding carbon neutrality to its own supply chain and eliminating all single-use plastic.
Learn more about GROHE’s sustainability actions on GROHE X.
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GROHE is a leading global brand for complete bathroom solutions and kitchen fittings and has a total of over 7,000 employees in 150 countries – 2,600 of them are based in Germany. Since 2014 GROHE has been part of the strong brand portfolio of the Japanese manufacturer of pioneering water and housing products LIXIL. In order to offer "Pure Freude an Wasser", every GROHE product is based on the brand values of quality, technology, design and sustainability. Renowned highlights such as GROHE Eurosmart or the GROHE thermostat series as well as groundbreaking innovations such as the GROHE Blue water system underline the brand's profound expertise. Focused on customer needs, GROHE thus creates intelligent, life-enhancing and sustainable product solutions that offer relevant added value – and bear the "Made in Germany" seal of quality: R&D and design are firmly anchored as an integrated process in Germany. GROHE takes its corporate responsibility very seriously and focuses on a resource-saving value chain. Since April 2020, the sanitary brand has been producing CO2-neutral* worldwide. GROHE has also set itself the goal of using plastic-free product packaging by 2021.
In the past ten years alone, more than 490 design and innovation awards as well as several sustainability awards confirmed GROHE's success. GROHE was the first in its industry to win the CSR Award of the German Federal Government and the German Sustainability Award 2021 in the categories “Resources” and “Design”. As part of the sustainability and climate campaign “50 Sustainability & Climate Leaders“ GROHE is also driving sustainable transformation.
*includes CO2 compensation projects, more on www.green.grohe.com
LIXIL (TSE Code 5938) makes pioneering water and housing products that solve every day, real-life challenges, making better homes a reality for everyone, everywhere. Drawing on our Japanese heritage, we create world-leading technology and innovate to make high quality products that transform homes. But the LIXIL difference is how we do this; through meaningful design, an entrepreneurial spirit, a dedication to improving accessibility for all and responsible business growth. Our approach comes to life through industry leading brands, including INAX, GROHE, American Standard and TOSTEM. Approximately 55,000 colleagues operating in more than 150 countries are proud to make products that touch the lives of more than a billion people every day. Learn more at www.lixil.com
 See GROHE's recap of the Vision 2045 Summit here: https://bit.ly/30VvosT
 includes CO2 compensation projects, more on www.green.grohe.com