Responsibility for humanity and environment
Growth is in the interests of every business. Not at any price, though: the term sustainability refers to a development that fulfils today’s needs while also taking into account the needs of generations to come – in other parts of the world as well. At neubourg skin care we are convinced that every single person deserves a healthy and productive life, and this should not be a luxury enjoyed by a privileged few.
In September 2015 the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York ratified the Sustainable Development Goals: These are 17 ambitious goals for sustainable development worldwide. As a medium-sized family company with around 50 employees, we may only have a limited influence on global development, but we strongly believe that we can make our own contribution on a small scale – to improving individual circumstances and also to ensuring that our planet remains fit to live in.
Firstly, the health of our employees is naturally paramount. They are not only our greatest asset, but a company can only grow if each individual person is able to contribute their interests and aptitudes, and also to develop. Consequently, a holistically oriented working environment not only boosts the well-being of an individual, but also promotes lasting, sustainable economic growth.
And so on the one hand, quite specifically, we keep an eye on the physical health of our team: Occupational safety is our highest priority. But we also promote healthy eating by supplying fresh fruit and vegetables free of charge every day and providing drinking water as well, and we enable free physiotherapy treatments during working hours. Vaccinations (such as influenza) and other check-ups are handled by an external company physician, and we subsidize supplementary health insurance. In addition, we work to prevent accidents and minimize strain on employee health by providing state-of-the-art working environments, including ergonomic workplaces, two computer monitors and optimized room acoustics. Last but not least, our annual survey on psychological stress ensures that bullying remains outlawed at our company.
On the other hand, we also invest in quality training for our young employees and ensure that the whole team benefits from training opportunities that promote their individual talents and professional development within the context of lifelong learning. For instance, the company participates in on-the-job training and study programmes, and also supports new methods of working and learning.
You can depend on us to pay above-average salaries and help you achieve a healthy balance between work and leisure. Our company minimum wage is much higher than statutory provisions and we also pay a voluntary holiday bonus – with 30 days’ annual leave (for a 5-day week). Our company pension helps our employees to enjoy their retirement, and flexible working hours, part-time positions and generous mobile-office arrangements allow our younger staff to coordinate their work and family life without too many problems. We show our employees that we value their contribution to the company, with annual excursions and celebrations, plus small gifts on special occasions.
In particular, we care about maintaining an open relationship with our employees. Flat hierarchies, regular employee meetings on all important topics, and also communication and teamwork on a level playing field help us to achieve this. Even dogs – as known contributors to a good atmosphere at work – are allowed to accompany their owners if arranged beforehand! We always encourage our staff to be proactive, for example in the form of cross-functional project teams. In annual evaluation and development meetings with their superiors, each individual employee receives support and stimulus via personal targets.
Our team is diverse and varied – and that’s such an asset! Gender equity and equal opportunities are issues that concern us all. We supply the relevant evidence: At our company women are equally represented in leadership positions. Nobody is allowed to experience discrimination here – whether because of their gender, religion, skin colour, sexual orientation or physical/mental circumstances. This coexistence of different nationalities, cultures and generations – or in other words: people – translates into a huge opportunity. After all, it makes our everyday life diverse and varied as well; different perspectives strengthen our innovative energy and competitiveness. And this benefits us all.
There is hardly any other area (apart from foods) that affects us as profoundly as skin and body care. This is why, when it comes to the quality of our products, only the highest standards are good enough. In an ongoing process of development, we strive to use raw materials sustainably and consciously based on social, ecological and economic considerations.
Of course, this applies to more than just our foam creams, but also their containers and propellant: According to the Institute for Physical and Theoretical Chemistry in Essen: “the impact of propellants […] on environmental effects is […] insignificant.” None of the propellants used in our products harm the climate. Our foam cream bottles are made of recycled aluminium and are free of microplastics. With correct disposal, our bottles can be 100% recycled, and the long lifespan of aluminium reduces the consumption of resources.
However, we go a step further than that: We are already checking to see where we can eliminate product packaging – aiming to achieve a radical reduction in collapsible boxes and package leaflets by the second half of 2021.
Every day hundreds of orders are packed and sent out from our in-house logistics centre. This is a good enough reason to pay some thought to packaging and shipping as well. With immediate effect, we will only use cardboard boxes and packing tape made of 100% recycling material for all new orders. We also make sure that the manufacturer of the cardboard boxes is FSC-certified, which guarantees sustainability of the entire production chain. The letters “RESY” are printed on them, which shows that the boxes are reusable. Incidentally, for some time now our void fill material has been air cushion packaging that consists of 99% air and is 100% recyclable.
We also take a responsible approach to shipping: In cooperation with the Deutsche Post DHL Group using its environmental protection programme GoGreen, we offset all the emissions produced during shipping of goods and information. This has enabled us to compensate for the eight tonnes of CO2 produced by transport and logistics in 2019 by means of climate protection projects (as you can see from our certificate). Further information can be found on the Deutsche Post website: www.dhl.de/en/privatkunden/kampagnenseiten/gogreen.html
Sending information to our partners and remaining in contact with them are important parts of our work. And in our digital age it is necessary to also devote some thought to finding alternatives to traditional letters and postal advertising, with the aim of gradually reducing their volume. We already advocate digital channels of communication, and wish to intensify this in order to eliminate postal mailings entirely, wherever possible, by 2024.
Incidentally, our shipping of goods and also letters has been climate-neutral for many years, using the Deutsche Post GoGreen programme. In addition to this, we offset all printing of materials using climate partners – further information is available at www.climatepartner.com/en
A small percentage of our products cannot be sold and would therefore have to be destroyed. These are, for example, products whose best before date is soon approaching, discontinued stock, or “rejects”: The content is fine, but the bottle has minor external flaws. In order to prevent such goods from being thrown away, we work with innatura, an organization that collects these items and forwards them to various social institutions ranging from projects for the homeless to refugee camps in Syria. Further information (in German) can be found on the following website: www.innatura.org
Our administration building already conforms to the highest energy standards. Nevertheless, it is always possible to do more: The whole company has therefore switched to green electricity. Several years ago, a gas-driven heat pump was installed for the heating in our logistics centre, which is kinder to the environment than traditional gas heating. We clean the logistics warehouse using floor wipers that are impregnated with various oils and used without any use of water. These also contribute to saving an important resource.
The times are long gone in which all documents and contracts were printed and sent by post. It is our goal to create all outgoing documents digitally before the middle of 2021, which will save paper and envelopes, and also take some pressure off the environment in the process. Sending digital documents to customers also means that they arrive at their destination sooner. Besides this, we are aiming to introduce digital contracts before the end of 2021 with the aim of using less paper. One prerequisite of this is a digital signature, which we will be introducing at the same time. As soon as we are able to align our defined goals with the legal data security specifications relating to the technical documentation for medical devices according to ISO 13485 and those in the area of our quality management system, we will realize further savings potential – regarding the usage of paper.
Travelling to work and the occasional business trip are still necessary in our everyday working lives – or at least that is the way we have been used to doing things. In the near future, though, we intend to take a critical look at these practices. Our goal is to achieve more telephone and video conferences instead of having to drive to the office every day. Good technical equipment will make this possible. If fewer employees drive to work, this will reduce greenhouse gas emissions (CO2). People are already beginning to rethink their behaviour, and we are encouraging our staff to work at home beyond the current pandemic situation, for example with an official mobile office day: Today, mobile working is already customary throughout our company on Fridays – work-permitting. And business travel? Well, we already consider it important for our company cars to be put to optimum use, therefore using as little fuel as possible. In future, we will reduce domestic flights and instead take the train wherever possible, powered 100% by green electricity.
It is our goal to draw up a list of criteria by the end of 2021 that can serve as a guideline for how to select our suppliers and sales partners. These criteria include overlaps in company philosophy, such as adherence to shared values and standards for customer satisfaction, trading ethics and working conditions, plus other social, economic and ecological principles. Our aim here is naturally primarily to supply users with a product of flawless quality, and also the conviction that corporate responsibility also means a responsibility towards human beings and the environment.