18.08.21 | Corporate
Zschimmer & Schwarz: social and environmental responsibility
Family-owned company based in Germany helps victims of the flood disaster and commits to climate protection
The flooding disaster in mid-July hit Western Germany particularly hard – the extent and damage of the floods are still clearly visible. The Zschimmer & Schwarz Group, global supplier of chemical specialities and auxiliaries with headquarters in Lahnstein, Germany, is helping affected residents from the state of Rhineland-Palatinate by providing supplies, logistics, expertise and qualified personnel. The company was in contact with the technical experts of the emergency response team in the disaster area right from the beginning and contributed 50 new IBC containers on short notice. These special containers are part of the equipment used in the chemical industry and could therefore quickly be provided by Zschimmer & Schwarz. They are extremely important for rapidly supplying disaster areas with non-potable water for cleaning and for transporting contaminated water out of the area – important measures for epidemic prevention. In collaboration with the VCI (German chemical industry association), the factory fire brigade also provided advice regarding the classification and disposal of hazardous substances.
Not only the company but also its staff did not hesitate to join the rescue efforts and assisted as voluntary helpers, as part of the voluntary fire brigades and in providing support and advice to the local crisis management teams. Harnessing the company’s reach within the region, appeals for help and offers for assistance were published internally at Zschimmer & Schwarz. The workforce came together and set up a donation box for affected colleagues and their families, with all donations being matched by the company.
The shareholder families of the company with headquarters in the Rhein-Lahn district have donated 100,000 euros to the German disaster relief organisation Aktionsbündnis Katastrophenhilfe. “Our company has been rooted in the region for many decades, owes a lot to it and the people here. This is our home and the home of our employees. It is therefore very important for us to be an active member of the community, stick up for our neighbours and offer our help where we can”, says Gisela Rochow, shareholder of Zschimmer & Schwarz. Dietmar Clausen, General Manager Finance, agrees and adds: “Right now, we are helping wherever we can. We are providing direct support. But we want to do more than just help in the current situation – we also want to prepare for the future. For us as a company and player in the industry, this includes tackling the challenges of climate change.”
Acting today for the world of tomorrow
Most scientists consider it an undisputed fact that extreme weather events like heat waves, wildfires, storms and torrential rain are the result of progressing climate change. This is also the conclusion of the World Climate Report published by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on 9 August.
“The United Nations Report confirms that climate change and its consequences are threatening all of us. Only if we all make a contribution and cooperate can we still counteract. We are a global company with employees, families and business partners on almost all continents. We strive for a world that is worth living in, for everyone. These are only some of the reasons why our company has joined the UN Global Compact in 2021”, explains Dr Martin Haberl, General Manager Sales & Marketing of Zschimmer & Schwarz. The United Nations Global Compact is the most important initiative worldwide for conscientious corporate governance and obliges all participating companies to commit to ten binding principles for human rights, labour rights, environmental protection and corruption prevention.
Joining the Global Compact is a further step in the long endeavour of Zschimmer & Schwarz to make the company, its sites and production processes environmentally friendly. Among others, the company and its processes are certified according to the international standards ISO 14001 for environmental protection and ISO 50001 for resource preservation. Zschimmer & Schwarz has also been a member of Responsible Care for 20 years. This global initiative of the chemical industry calls on companies to initiate improvements in the areas of environment, safety and health on a voluntary basis, irrespective of statutory requirements.
While all of these measures have effects on a global scale and impact the globally active company, environmental action also takes place directly on site. Wolfgang Nowak, General Manager Operations of the company group, explains: “This is the first year that we are sourcing 100% of our energy demand in Germany from renewable energy sources. The electricity in our corporate headquarters in Lahnstein is generated by our own in-house cogeneration unit. And the exhaust air from the manufacturing processes is used to heat the production machines, buildings and non-potable water. Every little step makes a difference.”
In addition to being aware of the big picture, it is also important to pay attention to the details. This becomes evident, among others, on the Zschimmer & Schwarz company grounds in Lahnstein: a wildflower meadow surrounds the new administration building and supports plant and insect biodiversity. Additional wildflower meadows spanning over 20,000 square metres are planned. In all the places that are currently unused, nature is given a home. Wolfgang Nowak concludes by saying: “Environmental protection and fighting climate change are very important for Zschimmer & Schwarz. As a family-owned company, we plan and act for the long term – that is, with future generations in mind.”
Head of Corporate Communications
Zschimmer & Schwarz
56112 Lahnstein | DE
T +49 2621 12-201
F +49 2621 12-507