Our definition of sustainability is based on the view that our today's actions should not cause problems in the future. At best, we go one step further and solve future problems today.
In nature, a balance has developed between the various forms of life and the substances they need to live. Thus we inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide, plants absorb CO2 and emit oxygen - in simple terms a perfect "cycle of life". If one of the two sides changes, this cycle gets out of balance. In recent years, the number of people on Earth has increased dramatically. At the same time, forest areas are cleared and soils are sealed. In addition, the energy requirements of our way of life are increasing. We actively release CO2 through burning at various points that would otherwise be bound for decades, centuries or milleniums.
Where the "cycle of life" once ran smoothly, it is now wobbling and threatens to derail completely in the medium or long term. Where this enters the global consciousness, ecological action becomes more important.
With this realization in mind, we as a company and personally are working to reduce our CO2 emissions and to keep our (negative) impact on the environment as low as possible at various points. Because it is important for the future how we act today. Here we have summarised what is meant by the term sustainable action for us and in which corporate divisions it plays a role.
For us, this is a long road, or rather a development, in which every small contribution is a step in the right direction.
For our company
With our product we can help to replace chemical solutions for water treatment. This means that with every installation of ours we reduce the use of chemicals in the water a little bit. We also increase the efficiency of heat exchangers and cooling systems, for example, which reduces energy consumption in the long term. Both are both economically and ecologically meaningful.
As for that, we are on the right path right from the start. Now we are working to ensure that economic decisions are also made in line with the principle of sustainability. All employees are involved in this. It is about questioning habits and replacing them with environmentally friendly alternatives where necessary.
Installations in agriculture reduce the use of fertilizers and save resources.
Offshore projects ensure that the use of biocides in seawater is no longer necessary.
Working from home, support with train tickets and solar-powered electric cars ensure that our CO2 emissions from travel to work have fallen compared to the previous year.
Our headquarters in Sindelfingen obtains 100% of its electricity from hydroelectric power.
For the product and the supply chain
We produce "regionally", i.e. within a radius of <40km. This means that our CO2 emissions are relatively low anyway. For the production of the Merus Rings, however, electricity is of course still consumed and the way to the customer worldwide releases CO2.
Our goal is to switch to CO2 neutral production by 2021. So we make sure, for example, that the electricity for the production is generated from renewable energies. In 2019 we had CO2 emissions of 45.48 tCO2 due to the product life cycle. This value of the CO2 balance should be reduced as much as possible over a period of 2 years.
We also use electricity from hydropower at our suppliers.
Production as regional as possible for short delivery routes.
We ensure the proper recycling of aluminium by taking back damaged Merus rings.
For our packaging
The packaging should protect the Merus Ring from damage in transit and provide information about its contents. To save resources, we have significantly optimized our packaging design from an ecological point of view. We use recycled paper and do without high gloss, paint and plastic tape.
For worldwide deliveries, used cardboard boxes are used as filling material, so that each box is used several times before it gets discarded.
The new Merus tape has been made of paper since 2019, so the entire packaging is plastic-free.
In 2020, we will start a series of tests with new materials, such as grass paper, to protect forests and reduce the overall size of the packaging.
For our trips and business appointments
We love the personal contact to our partners and customers. For mutual understanding, this can make the difference between success and failure. Nevertheless, we try to maintain contact whenever possible by phone or email.
If a trip cannot be avoided, we always try to arrange several appointments in one region. The first choice of means of transport is always the train.
If we visit our long-standing partner in France, we stay several nights. So we can visit several end customers together with him. The best way to exchange experiences is directly on site and we learn from each other. Compared to several individual visits, we save CO2, time and money by travelling only once.
For our retailers and partners
We want to involve our dealers and partners all over the world in our projects. This also means that we have been drawing attention to abuses for many years and clearly communicating our position on climate protection.
We are always talking about opportunities and obstacles on the road to climate neutrality and have already been able to make a difference. Maybe we get on the nerves of one or the other but sometimes this is the first step to move ;).
In the run-up to the project, we spoke with various dealers and partners and met with great interest and approval. In China and Canada we were immediately offered areas to plant trees.
Other dealers are asking if we can give them their personal CO2 balance, which is caused by their purchase at Merus. This data can then be used to save CO2 themselves and launch other sustainability projects.
Never enough. - Our projects and compensation
Some of the ideas we have are still not very concrete. We would prefer to achieve a CO2 emission of 0. However, this is impossible if you really factor in everything from raw materials to recycling. Our PCs and servers will always need electricity, we will always send packages by land, air or water and we can't do without paper. "Sustainable" also means keeping the company in order to be an ecological alternative to chemical water treatment in the long term.
For this reason, compensation is an important issue for us. This means to convert the CO2 emissions that we cause into biomass elsewhere. This prevents it from being released into the atmosphere. Our goal until 2021 is to find a project that makes this possible for us. You can choose between reforestation projects and initiatives to protect moors. They are huge reservoirs of CO2 and other climate-changing gases that are released when they are drained.
We slowly approached the topic of "environmental protection" in the form of donations and cooperation. In 2016 and 2017 we supported Viva con Agua as an official "supporter". We have also been working with a beekeeper from the region for about two years to promote biodiversity. The honey tastes excellent, we were allowed to accompany the work for one morning and since then, in addition to a bee sponsorship, we have been giving away honey on various occasions.
Our current project is a cooperation with the FAZ: "Klimawandel macht Schule". Here, pupils are to be made aware of the topic "sustainable companies" in the form of their own contributions. The best contribution will be awarded at the end.