Sustainable growth

We regard sustainability as both an expression of our corporate values and as an opportunity to expand new market potential.

Our sustainability report 2020

In our sustainability report, we present the initiatives and activities related to the integration of sustainability into our business strategies. We describe the ethos that underpins our commitment, what we have achieved in recent years, the direction we want to go in, the goals we have set ourselves and the steps we intend to take along the way. We see this communication not only as a means of presenting information to our stakeholders, but also as an important lever for accomplishing our sustainability goals. With our reporting, we aim to raise awareness, invite dialogue and motivate people to take action.

The report builds on our ‘Sustainability Statement’ published at the end of 2019, which outlines our medium-term goals and strategies for the future. 

The structure and content of the report are based on the requirements of the German Sustainability Code (DNK). A declaration of conformity with this code has also been issued.

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To the online report

Sustainability strategy

We strive to reconcile economic, ecological and social interests in the best-possible way and aim to give our customers, partners and employees the possibility to make sustainability an everyday decision with the aid of our products and know-how.

Our sustainability strategy is based on four pillars:

Highest-possible standards

As a manufacturing company, we are responsible for our products, our manufacturing process and our procurement activities. We therefore set the highest-possible standards for our quality, production and supplier management systems. Many of these processes have been certified or are based on accepted industry standards. As a manufacturer of branded goods, we obviously want our customers to identify with our products in every way.

Sustainably manufactured products

Melitta has been offering a wide variety of products which meet strict sustainability criteria for many years now. These include, for example, Melitta® filter papers manufactured using FSC®-certified pulp (Forest Stewardship Council®). In addition, we use bamboo as a raw material for our Melitta® Natura filter papers (fast-growing bamboo accounts for 40 percent of the total raw materials used in their production). A large proportion of our filter paper range is also certified according to other sustainability labels, such as “The Blue Angel” in Germany, “NF Environnement“ in France”, and “Nordic Swan” in Scandinavia.

A growing number of our B2B, coffee and HORECA products are also produced using sustainable resources and the development of many items in the Swirl® range takes account of sustainability criteria. These include our bio garbage bags and bio decalcifier series which are all fully bio-degradable, or our Swirl® dust filter bags with the Pro Nature seal (recycled and renewable materials account for 40 percent of raw materials used in production).

The MISSION eco & care label we introduced in 2013 indicates the sustainability of our electrical appliances and coffee filters. The label informs consumers about the extent to which ecological and social aspects were considered during the manufacturing of the respective product. The assessment process is conducted by an external institute and takes a wide variety of criteria into account: from the use of environmentally compatible resources, to energy consumption, and the working conditions at our suppliers’ facilities. At the same time, the underlying rating system serves to benchmark the sustainability of the products and to show the scope for improving the sustainability of future new products.

We have been supporting internationally recognized sustainability organizations and initiatives, such as Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade, UTZ Certified and the 4C Association, for many years now. All these organizations are committed to improving working conditions and environmental standards in the coffee-growing countries, provide assistance for people to help themselves, and have specified a catalogue of minimum standards for sustainable coffee growing.

Our Code of Conduct: expression of our standards

Our aim is to always focus on the long-term development of the company. We assume responsibility for the protection of mankind and the environment and strive to reconcile economic, ecological and social interests in the best-possible way. This commitment is firmly anchored in our corporate values.

Our Group-wide Code of Conduct is based on these values and sets clear guidelines on behavior for our employees and suppliers. We take strict measures against any violations of our Code of Conduct in the same way as we combat unlawful behavior. We are committed to respecting human rights in accordance with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Furthermore, we have decided to comply with the German Sustainability Code in future by issuing an annual declaration.

We combat unlawful behavior with the aid of our compliance guidelines. These guidelines place particular emphasis on the topics of corruption and anti-competitive behavior. Our Internal Audit department randomly selects and analyzes all our business locations with regard to corruption and other risks. In addition, it reviews our organizational structures and processes in the case of abnormalities. Action is taken under labor law if any of the compliance guidelines are violated.

Modern Slavery Act

Code of Conduct


Offering new perspectives

Corporate social responsibility is in our DNA. We see ourselves as part of society and benefit from an intact environment in numerous ways. We therefore regard it as our duty to cooperate and play an active role in the solution of various social issues.

We provide support above all in those areas where our facilities are located, where we can directly monitor the progress of projects, and where we can integrate an aspect of personal commitment. This is illustrated, for example, by staff participation in our Volunteering Days, in local initiatives, and in presentations and lectures which employees give at schools and universities.

We take part in relief efforts for charitable organizations and for people in need and collect donations within the Group. In addition, we generally participate in medium- to long-term corporate citizenship projects. These include, in particular, the safeguarding of school and vocational education, the provision of sufficient places in kindergartens, schools and apprenticeship programs, and cooperation with initiatives and foundations aimed at providing support for children, adolescents and young families.

Examples of our social commitment:

  • Partnerships with educational institutions in Brazil (for example with the Ayrton Senna Institute) to support underprivileged children

  • Implementing various projects in those coffee-growing regions where the Melitta Selection of the Year originates

  • Cooperation with the Child Protection League and various kindergartens and schools in the region around our base in Minden

  • Support for the education initiative against food waste “Don't throw me away!”

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