Graphic grey cyan white Icons Sustainability

Sustainability at REFLECTS®

As a dutiful company, REFLECTS® sees itself as shouldering a responsibility when it comes to sustainability. This is because it is an essential building block for the company’s continuity, and it includes the duty of care for our approximately 80 employees and customers, our participation within the region, and the collaborative spirit of partnership with our suppliers. Therefore, our top priority is: We always want to work on achieving the optimal symbiosis between economic efficiency, social compatibility and environmental compatibility.

New corporate and brand guidelines

In 2019, we focused on restructuring our company and developed a new corporate and brand guideline that laid the foundation for a sustainable company. For the analysis of a viable concept, we used the support of the German Institute for Marketing. Under the guidance of the experienced DIM team, we conducted workshops, surveys and analyses with staff and customers. We reviewed results and established a communication concept that always included all stakeholders in the processes. Thus ensuring a continuous improvement process to this day.

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Graphic 3 pillars of sustainability

The three-pillar principle of sustainability

In 2019, we started to complement and build on the basic framework to design a roadmap that will allow our company to be sustainable, economically strong and socially just in equal measure. We are as committed to the three-pillar principle of sustainability as we are to the 17 global Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda.

Ökoprofit Cologne certificate in front of Reflects company building

Award as an “Ökoprofit” company

By joining the “Ökoprofit” programme run by the state of NRW at the beginning of 2020, we took an important step towards monitoring our activities with regard to balanced action in terms of environmental awareness, economic responsibility and social justice, as well as legal and competitive conformity. The system also involved us in the municipality’s sustainability efforts and made a significant contribution to environmental protection in the region.

Many measures have been implemented since then. A green roof, infiltration paving, green electricity, conversion to LED, waste and hazardous materials management, the reuse of packaging materials and thinking of new product and packaging concepts and much more have greatly improved our environmental footprint.

What does Ökoprofit® stand for?

Ökoprofit® stands for 'Ecological Project for Integrated Environmental Technology'. It is a cooperation project between municipalities and local businesses that is intended to reduce operating costs while saving natural resources such as water and energy.

The project was developed in Graz in the early 1990s and quickly spread to other countries. In Germany, more than 2000 businesses have now taken part in Ökoprofit® and afterwards formed active networks that maintain a dialogue even beyond the Ökoprofit® certification year.

Award as Ökoprofit® company

The Ökoprofit year at REFLECTS®, which ended with an audit by a team of experts and the successful award as an Ökoprofit company, included numerous individual consultations by an expert, the determination of the status quo and all relevant KPIs, the formation of an environmental team, as well as workshops on the topics:

  • anchoring the idea of environmental precaution in the company.
  • employee motivation and stakeholder involvement
  • energy supply
  • green IT
  • biodiversity
  • purchasing
  • change processes in operations
  • use of the Ecocockpit of the NRW Efficiency Agency to draw up CO2e balances
  • climate change
  • mobility

The centrepiece here was an environmental programme that documented all changes within the company. Of 63 measures, a large part have already been successfully implemented. And that's just the beginning.

CO2e balance and compensation for location and highlight products

Building on this, REFLECTS GmbH began in 2021 to evaluate its CO2e at local level retrospectively for a whole year and within defined system limits, and to compensate for the values determined. Reflects GmbH integrates all transport operations into the calculation: from the supplier to REFLECTS, and also from there to the customer. For UPS shipments, a supplementary contract was concluded for the UPS carbon neutral shipping programme. 

More about UPS carbon neutral shipping

For our Highlight products, REFLECTS also calculates a carbon footprint via, the carbon footprint database brought to you by Nature Office, according to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and the principles of “cradle to gate” or “cradle to grave”, and successively adds to the entire product range. The goal: to have all articles recorded by 2023. This includes emissions from raw materials, packaging, inbound and outbound logistics, electricity and heat consumption, disposal and common emissions. Up to now, Climate Partner has calculated on the basis of “cradle-to-customer plus end of life”. In order to determine the CO2e figures for the location, the company uses the “Ökoprofit” qualification programme and the “Ecocockpit” offered by EnergieeffizienzagenturNRW, which calculates on the basis of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and according to the “cradle to gate” approach. As a follow-up project to the “Roaring 40s Wind Farm (Khandke) Private Limited – Phase II”, the “Kemphole Mini Hydel Scheme” hydropower project is now being supported for both footprint calculations (CCF and PCF).

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Our selected project to offset CO2e:
Electricity generated by the natural water flow of the Kemphole River in Karnataka, India.

The project in Karnataka generates sustainable electrical energy by using horizontal Francis turbines. Using renewable energy sources to generate electricity thus helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions by avoiding the burning of fossil fuels such as coal or petroleum to generate power. The project has introduced numerous technical and structural innovations, such as the use of an automatic cleaning system for the rake.

The location of the project is in the dense forests of the Kemphole Reserve and the natural gradient present there proved to be very advantageous for the project. There are no residential areas in the immediate vicinity, so there was no need to resettle the local population. The hydropower plant contributes to meeting the electricity needs of the southern region's grid.

Project start: 2010

Project standard: CDM - Clean Development Mechanism (Link)

Hydropower project - Kemphole Mini Hydel Scheme

Quality: The be-all and end-all

We have maintained a professional quality and risk management system for several years and test according to AQL Level II 2.5/4.0. With our quality and risk management:

  • we ensure the quality of our products in terms of workmanship and materials.
  • we ensure all relevant business processes and improve them
  • we comply with the laws, directives, standards, and regulations regarding the ingredients of our products in terms of marketability. As part of the REACH regulation, we carry out regular tests on our products.

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Socially competent -
onboarding, vocational training and development, stakeholder care

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The health and well-being of our employees, customers and suppliers are important to us. We support employees with onboarding, vocational training and development programmes, as well as with health measures in the workplace. Fair wages and equal opportunities go without saying. We also pay close attention to the greatest possible flexibility for parents. We are also involved within the region and make our contribution to the common good by helping the less fortunate through donations. Our mission statement on sustainability serves as a supporting source of orientation and starting point for our employees’ actions in all areas of the company. At a regular jour fixe within the company, employees are always kept up to date on all REFLECTS matters. With environmental questions, they can contact the environmental team directly via an internal e-mail address.

Amfori and Sedex logos

As a family-run, globally active company, we also think globally. For example, we explicitly include employees in Asia in our efforts. This means that we pay attention to the working conditions of our long-term partners. We have been very fortunate to work in partnership with our partner REFLECTS® Hong Kong for over 20 years. This allows us to take a close look at the working conditions of our production partners. We are also members of amfori BSCI and SEDEX.

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Transparency vis-a-vis our customers is important to us. We always include feedback from the market in our considerations. Regular publications in industry publications, on social media channels and on the website, as well as expert news, ensure the highest level of information.

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Our goals:
Better every day – control, resource management and transparency

Sustainable action is a process. That is why we always set ourselves new short- and medium-term goals. With “Ökoprofit”, we have anchored this in our constantly growing, changing environmental programme. We want to stay on the ball and live up to our responsibility. That is why there are other items on our agenda for the near future: among many other small- and large-scale projects, these include further certifications and assessments or the recording of the CO2e footprints for all our products by the end of 2023.

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Level 1:
Is the product high quality? Can my advertising message be transported without losses and in a value-added manner? 
Level 2:
Is the product marketable? Are all legal framework conditions, to which the product is subject, complied with and can the distributor prove this? 
Level 3:
Does the article possibly replace single-use products with constant usage, which are thrown away after one use, e.g. carrier bags vs. plastic bag? Can product packaging possibly be avoided? Can the product be handled as CO2-neutrally as possible (for instance in regards to transport and distribution)? 
Level 4:
Have organisational or natural materials been used or can they be integrated? ATTENTION: Don’t believe everything you are told. Is the manufacturer or importer a company that operates in a demonstrably trustworthy manner and perhaps even maintains certified system? 
Level 5:
Is the material used or are certain parts thereof recycled or easily recyclable? What is the situation with the possible further life cycle of the product?