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elobau receives the 'Environmental Award for Companies 2020' from the state of Baden-Württemberg

14 January 2021

For over ten years, elobau has been dedicated to sustainability and is now being honoured in the category 'Industrial company with more than 250 employees'.

The company elobau based in Leutkirch, a global manufacturer of contactless sensor technology, level measurement, and operator controls for machinery, system, and commercial vehicle construction, has consistently committed itself to climate-neutral production and sustainable working since 2010 as a pioneer in its sector. In this process, the Allgäu-based company are pursuing a holistic approach to reduce CO2 emissions as much as possible, to switch over to renewable energy sources, and to compensate for unavoidable emissions. For example, when producing the carbon footprint according to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG), both direct emissions and also indirect emissions from upstream and downstream processes (scope 3) are taken into account. To this end, production occurs solely in Germany, with 96 per cent of purchased parts originating from the EU.

With seven photovoltaic systems, two micro gas turbines, and a solar park, the company generates more electricity than it consumes. Furthermore, environmental protection is an integral component of the company philosophy. For example, elobau develops products with bio-based plastics, amongst other things, evaluates its suppliers according to various sustainability criteria, has built several energy-plus buildings, has signed up to the EU's premium environment management system EMAS, and is involved in the movement for an economy for the common good (ECG). This profound dedication is now being officially recognized: elobau is receiving the 'Environmental Award for Companies 2020' from the state of Baden-Württemberg in the category 'Industrial company with more than 250 employees'.

Pioneer spirit to encourage imitation
This year was the 19th time since 1993 that the Baden-Württemberg Environment Ministry had awarded the environmental award to companies and the self-employed from industry, trade, handicrafts, and services. The awards ceremony took place on December 9, 2020, due to Covid-19 as part of a virtual celebration with Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann (Alliance 90/The Greens) and Environment Minister Franz Untersteller (Alliance 90/The Greens). The prize money of €10,000 is to be used each year for environmental protection measures.

The award honours ecologically exceptional and highly skilled work for the promotion of environmental protection within operations and environmentally focused company management. When selecting a winner, the criteria is that the company can be classified as exemplary and pioneering in terms of environmental and climate protection, resource conservation, and energy efficiency. This year, the jury had to evaluate 54 participants in four categories. In doing so, they assessed criteria ranging from corporate management and environmental management to product development, through to operational processes, and employee integration. With the help of the environmental award, it is hoped that awareness of the ideas and innovative approaches of the companies honoured will be raised in the business world, thus encouraging imitation.

Sustainability as a business strategy
"We are a concerned company and, with the economy for common good, we see a suitable means of being able to quantify our contribution", states Michael Hetzer, Executive Director at elobau. "We are convinced that a healthy environment and a well-balanced society are the basis for long-term economic success." In 2016, elobau became a foundation company, whereby the elobau foundation receives a fixed portion of the profit from elobau GmbH & Co. KG, promoting the aims of education and community. Since assuming an ECG (economy for the common good) business model, elobau is the first company in the electronics and machine building sector to produce an externally audited 'common good balance sheet'.

To ensure a comprehensive understanding of sustainability in a strategic sense, the company set up a sustainability steering committee five years ago, in which the various company departments (management, purchasing, operations, marketing, development, quality, sales, personnel, sustainability) weigh up economic, ecological, and social interests against each other and decide upon strategic projects every quarter basis.

elobau won the 'Energy Excellence' jury prize of the environmental award as early as in 2014. Since then, the company has, amongst other things, completed two new construction phases and the tool shop in Probstzella (Thuringia) as energy-plus buildings and significantly raised awareness of sustainability projects. Furthermore, the company has succeeded in particular in reducing direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions (scope 1 to 3) by around 34 per cent since 2009 by switching over to green electricity and biogas. The current focus is on product sustainability. Here, elobau plans to introduce an ecological footprint for products in the future, taking into account materials, longevity, repairability, and energy efficiency. Additionally, the proportion of bio-based and recycled plastics in the product should be increased.

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