The Wilo Group was awarded the renowned 2018 National German Sustainability Award in Düsseldorf as one of the top three of "Germany’s most sustainable large companies 2018."
In making the award, the high-profile jury — under the patronage of the President Frank-Walter Steinmeier — stated the emphasis Wilo puts on resource-saving high-efficiency products and the holistic approach of the globally active group.
“Future-oriented company management means sustainably maintaining the balance between the economy, the environment and social issues," Wilo SE CEO Oliver Hermes said about the prize, which was awarded at the gala event hosted at the Düsseldorf Maritim Hotel and attended by approximately 2,000 guests, including representatives from research, politics and business. "We see this as our obligation and our responsibility, also for the sake of future generations."
This obligation and responsibility is true for both the company’s digital transformation as well as its making of inroads into new markets. Within this context, Hermes made explicit mention of intelligently networked conurbations, the so-called ‘smart urban areas.’
“These are the future markets, in which urban infrastructures and many spheres of life will be interconnected, both digitally and smartly,” Hermes said. “Already, half of mankind is living in urban areas with this trend rapidly on the rise.”
All the challenges of current mega trends are therefore concentrated in these areas, e.g. digitalization, water shortages, power shortages or urbanization. As a digital pioneer of the pump industry, Wilo will also be developing resource-efficient smart solutions to meet these demands.
Wilo Group Chief Technology and Strategy Advisor Dr. Markus Beukenberg, who is responsible for sustainability management at the company, warmly welcomed this outlook.
“Only when you know the direction in which you are heading can each and every employee contribute on a daily basis," Beukenberg said. "Wilo has a clear heading; the sustainability commitment of our colleagues is exemplary and continues to grow.”
The prize was awarded for the tenth time in 2017 and is one of the most renowned prizes of its type in Europe. Wilo has been able to compete with companies such as IKEA and now ranks in terms of sustainability with companies such as Deutsche Telekom and TUI.
“The field of entrants shows how the bar has been raised this year,” said Prof. Günther Bachmann, chairman of the jury of experts and general secretary of the German Council for Sustainable Development.
"Nobody should think they can 'rest on their laurels,'” Bachmann said. “Commitment and competence meet at the German Sustainability Awards. Because, when talking about sustainability, it is the benchmarks and yardsticks of the best that are important.”
Wilo won over the jury with factors ranging from its product portfolio to the building of a new company headquarters. In 2001, the innovation leader in the pump sector had already invented the first high-efficiency pump in the world, which to this day still meets the ever-higher EU benchmark. Further innovations have followed — more recently, Wilo presented the Wilo-Stratos MAXO (in 2017).
Wilo’s high-efficiency product portfolio was a decisive factor for the jury in awarding the prize to the Ruhr-based technology company. Another aspect was the building of a new headquarters under the project name Campus 2020, where Wilo also internally focused on energy efficiencies by using particularly efficient building equipment.
In addition, the Smart Factory production site, which belongs to the campus, will be powered entirely by ‘green’ electricity from a captive photovoltaic system. At the Dortmund production site, resource efficiency is also on the increase. It is already possible to remove the permanent magnets from pumps and recycle valuable raw materials in this way, such as rare earth elements.