Interview with Ralf W. Dieter, CEO Dürr AG
Sustainability as a value driver
What does sustainability mean for Dürr?
Our endeavour is to reconcile successful business activity with responsibility for the environment, employees, and society.
Will sustainability be a value driver?
We already focused early on with our products and systems on ways to substantially reduce our customers’ consumption of energy and materials and the amounts of waste. Customers not only look at the price of a product but increasingly also consider its environmental impact. The total cost per unit and the total cost of ownership are becoming more and more important criteria. We have achieved a significant competitive edge with our environment-friendly solutions. Our Eco+Paintshop is a prime example. With this energy-optimized paintshop OEMs can now paint an automobile with less than 500 kW/h of energy – a level inconceivable just a few years ago.
Can you give a few examples of how Dürr operates sustainably?
We systematically monitor parameters such as energy and water consumption and volumes of waste at our locations. We have been able to achieve significant savings just through cross comparisons, control accounts, and the resulting optimization measures. You will find the exact numbers in our factsheet.
With new building projects and renovations we place great importance on sustainability and energy efficiency. The Dürr-Campus in Bietigheim is a prime example. With the innovative “Campus Energy 21” concept we are exploiting a variety of energy technologies such as deep geothermics, shallow ground heat exchangers, and photovoltaics. “Campus Energy 21” also stands for an energy-saving design with effective insulation, concrete core activation for temperature control, and lighting controlled by daylight and movement sensors. The Dürr Campus played an important part in reducing the group’s fuel consumption by 12% and power consumption by 19% in 2010.
Why is sustainability becoming more and more important?
It is an issue that few talked about just a few years ago. Sustainable business operation has meanwhile become a central issue. Resources are becoming depleted; CO² emissions are harming the environment. Government regulations are therefore becoming ever stricter. And investors are paying more heed to companies’ sustainability performance.
In the Carbon Disclosure Project, which was launched by international investors, we have already been disclosing details of our energy consumption and waste for four years. Our customers, too, want to know more and more what we are doing in this regard.