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GROHE Scales up Efforts to Tackle Climate Crisis

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The 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) ended in Glasgow last month and marks 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 gathering valuable insights in the field of sustainability transformation in the past year, including through engagements with other companies at the Vision 2045 Summit1. 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 were put on transparent record inGROHE’s third sustainability report2, 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, which was first set in 2014.3 Simultaneously, GROHE took its actions to a new level by confirming its commitment to circular value creation and resource conservation. The brand launched its first four Cradle to Cradle Certified® products.4 While GROHE has already been producing CO2-neutral since 20205, which at COP26 was argued as a fundamental principle for companies, the brand has continuously optimised products and production processes in terms of their footprint in the past year and will continue to do so in the future. For example, at the beginning of November 2021, work commenced on the new solar park in Hemer, Germany. 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, GROHE has made some valuable learnings in the past year. Eliminating plastic from all product packaging was a goal the brand established in 2018 which turned out to be a great challenge involving many different departments, while needing to account for the safe transportation of GROHE’s diversified product range. Once achieved, it will set a precedent case in the industry and the brand’s milestone of becoming completely plastic free is expected to be achieved next year. To date, GROHE has already been 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 winner 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. Thomas Fuhr will deliver 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 GROHE interviews on the online platform 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.

Source: Insight Team & GROHE

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03 December 2021

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