Since ORTLIEB’s foundation in 1982 we produced in Germany and we will maintain our German production site also for the future. More than 70% of the materials used for our products derive from Germany. This is beneficial for humans and the environment, since Germany’s social and environmental standards are quite high in comparison to international standards. Our direct, trustworthy and long term relations to our suppliers are advantageous for us.
90% of all processes take place “in-house” in the ORTLIEB company in Heilsbronn. This allows us to continuously optimize our quality manufacturing and to guarantee that each production step is as environmentally friendly as possible.
The climate change caused by humans is today one of the main global threats for all of us. ORTLIEB is aware of its responsibility, and we want to contribute to protecting the environment. Our advantage: most of our products help our customers managing their commute by bicycle or on foot thus protecting the environment.
As producers we want and have to reduce our environmentally damaging emissions as much as possible. In the beginning of 2015 we have set up the first ORTLIEB climate balance (2011-2013) in cooperation with B.A.U.M. Consult that we are continuously updating. Currently we have data available up to the beginning of the year 2016. It assesses all major flows of materials, energies and emissions. This forms a basis for systematically finding and realizing the right measures for effectively reducing our impact on the climate..
The ORTLIEB climate balance includes all three scopes, not only our own emissions:
• Emissions caused directly at ORTLIEB in Heilsbronn (scope 1)
• Emissions caused by production energy (scope 2), e.g. emissions caused by a power plant supplying us with energy
• Emissions prior and subsequent to production (scope 3), e.g. emissions caused by the transport of our products
According to the greenhouse gas protocol (GHG-P) consideration of scope 3 emissions is optional. However, evaluating the entire emissions is far more realistic than just considering the in-house emissions at the production site Heilsbronn: approximately one third of our emissions are caused by transport and dispatch of our products. In total we achieved reducing our impact on the climate by 20% absolut 2011 and 2015 despite an increase in production by reducing air freights in 2011 and choosing sea shipments which are far lower regarding emissions.
Best is avoiding CO2 emissions; however, if this is impossible, e.g. regarding emissions caused by the production of our workbook or catalogue, we compensate such emissions. We still include such issues into our climate balance in order to communicate transparent values.
The following chart shows the development from 2011 and 2015, divided into scope 1 to scope 3 in absolute tons of CO2 equivalents. The CO2 equivalents indicate the contribution to the greenhouse effect by a determined amount of greenhouse gases (greenhouse potential, global warming potential GWP).
The following pie chart breaks down the total emissions for 2015 into percentages (scope 1-3)
The following bar chart shows total emissions for 2015 according to emission sources absolute in tons CO2 equivalents.
Besides transport and dispatch of products, consumption of electricity has a high share in ORTLIEB’s CO2 emissions. The installation of a company owned photovoltaic plant with 3900 panels on the roof of our building in July 2012 resulted in a decrease of emissions of more than 8% absolute, between 2011 and 2015 despite an increase in production. Further installation of solar panels, however, is impossible due to the static construction of the buildings. Therefore, we will, in addition to our solar energy generated by ourselves, obtain our electric energy from water plants produced by our local energy supplier. As a result our energy consumption at the Heilsbronn production site will be 100% climate neutral from 2017 on.
Due to the building statics further installation of solar panels is not possible. In addition to our self-produced solar power, we have been exclusively using electricity from hydropower from our local energy supplier since 2017. Thus our electricity consumption at the Heilsbronn site is 100% climatically neutral from 2017 onward.
Another source creating relatively high emissions is the production and dispatch of ORTLIEB catalogues with a continuously increasing circulation. We reduce these emissions by printing our catalogues on FSC mix paper in a climate neutral manner, same the dispatch of the catalogues. In addition we compensate the caused emissions accounting more than 10% of our total emissions. Dispatch of products from our factory in Heilsbronn to specialized retailers in Germany is 100% climate neutral.
The first ORTLIEB sustainability report according to the criteria of the German Sustainability Code (DNK) was published in 2017 and clarifies the central role played by climate balance.
In comparison to our CO2 footprint, our water footprint is considerably lower, because we hardly use any water in our production. However, considerate and economic use of water is extremely important to us. Despite increasing staff and production we managed to maintain our fresh water consumption at the same level since 2012.