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Warsteiner’s Commitment to Sustainability is a Model for Us All

This mid-size, family-owned business combines its growth goals with a commitment to having a positive impact on society and the environment.

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BY James Kerr - 27 Mar 2018

Warsteiner International Hot Air Balloon Show

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

In 1753, the farmer Antonius Cramer from the town of Warstein, Germany lays the foundation for a German beer dynasty. Today, Catharina Cramer is managing the family enterprise now in the 9th generation. With more than 2,200 employees, the Warsteiner Group continues to be committed to the German brew art. As important, the company is committed to its sustainability strategy, having earned the distinction of being the German brewery to fulfill the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) international reporting standard on sustainability.

The backbone of Warsteiner's sustainability program contains these important elements:

Resource Efficiency
In the past few years, Warsteiner has succeeded in lowering its specific water and energy consumption, placing it among the lowest consumers of water and energy in the industry.

Greenhouse Emissions Reduction
By updating ventilation and lighting systems and employing a proprietary block heating power plant, (which produces electricity from natural gas and uses the generated exhaust heat directly in the brewing process), Warsteiner has been able to reduce greenhouse emissions by up to 5,000 tons of CO2-equivalents per year.

Proprietary Container Terminal
Warsteiner began operating a proprietary rail siding with container terminal in 2005. This effort has shifted truck traffic from the road to the rails. According to company estimates, about 5,500 truckloads, or up to 1,700 tons of CO2 and 5,300 tons of nitrogen (Nox), are saved through the use of this container terminal.

Supplier Standards
The Warsteiner Brewery expects its suppliers to abide by the appropriate regulations concerning environmental protection and humane work conditions. It's written into their procurement guidelines, and serve as benchmarks for all suppliers and employees participating in the procurement process.

Responsible Marketing
The Brewer strictly follows legal regulations and ethical standards in its advertising. Moreover, as a member of the Central Association of the German Advertising Industry (Zentralverband der deutschen Werbewirtschaft [ZAW]), the Warsteiner Brewery presents its advertising material for advisory pre-evaluation to ensure compliance.

And, Warsteiner's effort to contribute to the greater good of society doesn't end here. The Paul Cramer Foundation (Paul-Cramer-Stiftung), launched with financial backing from the company, provides funding for cultural events, youth and senior citizen initiatives, charitable work, and sports projects in the town of Warstein. The Warsteiner Partner Funds (Warsteiner Partnerfonds e.V.) is a non-profit organization that supports projects focusing on children and development aid. Its promotional strategy includes the support of preeminent events in hot air ballooning, equestrian sports, soccer and handball - all intended to contribute to the betterment of society.

To close, if the loyalty of the Warsteiner team is any indication (i.e., The average length of employment at the brewery is 17 years and about 10 % of its staff are second, third and fourth generation Warsteiner team members), the company is doing a lot of things right. Clearly, its commitment to sustainability and making things better in the world is a model that we can all learn from.

If you would like some help in tying your company's sustainability strategy with its business strategy, please be sure to reach out to me, perhaps, I can help.

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