Social responsibility

The social responsibility of companies is critically discussed in public more and more frequently.

Ralf Pollmeier, owner and managing director of the Pollmeier group of companies explains, what social responsibility means for him.

Why is it, that the social and sociocultural responsibility of companies is a topic so widely discussed?

One one hand, this is the direct consequence of globalization. The problems and fears associated with it result in people being more interested in whether and how a company copes with its responsibility towards society. On the other hand, a growing concern for the environment gives rise to consumers occupying themselves more and more with the question of how companies are dealing with environmental protection.

 

Pollmeier Mitarbeiter

How does the Pollmeier-group define its responsibility towards society?

 

In my opinion, responsibility towards society means, that a company acts in a socially responsible way at every step of its value creation. Apart from environmental protection and the way a company treats its employees, this also includes, that companies have to be successful. For only successful companies will be able to meet the expectations they are confronted with: to develop sustainable products, to create long term employment, to promote and encourage employees, to train apprentices and to contribute actively to environmental protection.

How does the Pollmeier group live up to its social responsibility towards its own employees?

We are constantly striving for offering our employees secure jobs, a pleasant working environment and opportunities for futher professional development as well as supporting them to accommodate their professional commitment to their individual planning of their life. Additionally, keeping our employees healthy in the long run is very important for us. One contribution on our part is a healthy selection of freshly prepared food in our cafeterias. We also provide fresh fruit on a daily basis at no charge and offer free passes to a fitness studio.

Pollmeier Verwaltung

How important is environmental protection for the Pollmeier group?

For us as an operating company of sawmills, protection of the environment is of foremost significance. Sawmills generally suffer from a paradox: although our solid wood products are highly superior to other raw and building materials as for ex. concrete, steel or plastics in terms of their ecological balance, sawmills are not perceived by society to be environmentally friendly companies. We are very concerned to counteract that by an exemplary attitude. We are buying our logs exclusively form sustainably and environment-friendly managed German forests. Sustainable forestry in Germany not only allows for logging, environmental protection and recreational activities at the same time but also secures the supply of raw material in the future - for only the same amount of wood is taken out of the forest that is regrowing at the same time. In addition, we work according to the principle of “short distance wood”. We are sourcing the largest part of the required logs from within a radius of 150 km around the respective sawmill. This is not only a contribution to environmental and climate protection, but it also makes sense economically.

We have also made a commitment to continually improve upon our energy efficiency. For this purpose, we have introduced a company-wide energy management system in accordance with DIN EN ISO 50001, which is certified by independent auditors on an annual basis. In times of alternative energies and climate change, it makes perfect sense for us to exercise this social and environmental responsibility. We have managed to reduce our power consumption (per product produced) annually by 3 to 7%. What's more, the thermal energy required in the wood-drying process and in the factory halls and office areas is generated entirely from the energy recovery of waste products such as sanding dust – CO2-neutral and environmentally friendly.