On the manufacturing side, the environmental focus is on energy and resource efficiency, waste avoidance and high recycling rates, low water consumption and climate protection. Already back in 2007 GROHE started to compute its carbon footprint. This effort initially covered all production sites but was extended to the logistics processes in 2010; in 2011 GROHE started to calculate the carbon footprints of its worldwide distribution companies as well.
For many years the GROHE Group has successfully increased its recycling ratios. This is true, in particular, at the international manufacturing sites. Scrap produced in the faucet casting processes is almost completely reused or melted down and recycled internally. Almost all scrap, shavings, sprues and risers can be melted down and recycled into the process immediately. Plastic parts which occur as waste in the casting process are usually broken down into granules and fed back into the same machine.
The procurement units at GROHE place great importance on sustainability. Their efforts centre on the GROHE Supplier Code of Conduct as well as a variety of supplier rating and auditing schemes, backed up by compliance commitments to be signed by suppliers and service providers. These documents oblige suppliers to comply with GROHE standards on environmental protection as well as health and safety.
Energy and resource efficiency are important features of GROHE products not only in daily use but also at the manufacturing stage. New processes and technologies adopted throughout the company have led to substantial reductions in resource usage. Investments in ecology frequently deliver economic benefits, too. This is evident, for example, at the GROHE plant in Hemer where annual gas consumption has been cut by approximately 20 percent following the installation of heat recuperation systems as well as a new degreasing unit. At the same time, annual electricity consumption has also been reduced by approximately 20 percent through the installation of an overall compressor control system as well as through the modernisation of the factory hall lighting system.
Die casting remains an essential part of faucet production and the energy required to melt the metals is an important environmental consideration. GROHE has substantially lowered the energy intensity of this process through effective waste heat recuperation. GROHE has also implemented several programmes aimed at reducing the brass content of faucets; as a result, the weight of a single-lever wash basin mixer has been slashed by 30 percent.