As a company with roots deep in the Black Forest region that has also become a global player, Duravit feels a special sense of obligation to the concept of sustainability: “When we talk about taking on responsibility, we’re not only thinking about our company, but above all the next generations,” said Duravit CEO Stephan Tahy. We aim to rely on carbon offsetting as little as possible. The goal is to be an exclusively climate-neutral business around the world by 2045. That is why we have embarked on a climate mission that is as ambitious as it is comprehensive.
Duravit's Sustainability Strategy
The climate mission is just one component of our overarching sustainability strategy and is based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We constantly check the effectiveness of the measures we have initiated, and adapt, expand, and enhance them wherever expedient. All measures are assigned to four major action areas:
Sustainability Goals 2030
The ceramic material, that has proved its worth over millennia, will also have a place in a climate-neutral future. Stability, robustness, and use of purely natural materials lend itself to properties that, from the outset, go a long way towards satisfying the requirements for preserving the environment and saving resources. At the same time, we are seeking throughout the company to conserve resources, limit our use of raw materials, and reduce emissions as much as possible. By 2030, an important milestone is already to be reached for our climate mission. This includes the following sustainability goals:
We’re increasing our proportion of products with water-saving technologies to more than 80 percent.
We’re reducing our global carbon emissions by 20 percent.
We’re increasing the proportion of recycled materials in our products to an average of 30 percent.
We’re investing 0.5 percent of our annual company profits in global partnerships as well as in maintaining a high level of employee satisfaction.
Handling water responsibly is a key component of our strategy. This relates both to the manufacturing process itself as well as to product optimizations that help the end user to conserve this natural resource.
Reduced Water Consumption in Manufacturing
To reduce water consumption, our facility in Hornberg already uses 60 percent recycled water – more than 40 million liters per year. The proportion of fresh water to recycled water is being constantly reduced. We are also strongly promoting water recycling at other sites, partly within manufacturing, partly for irrigating the green spaces around the buildings.
Product-Specific, Responsible Handling of Water
We are continually optimizing our products so that they can conserve resources during use. For example, the use of water-saving buttons saved 290 million liters of fresh water in Europe over the last 10 years. We already optimized the flush mechanism in this regard 15 years ago. Additionally, the Unified Water Label (UWL) provides a transparent classification of our products’ water consumption for the end consumer.
When it comes to ceramic production, Duravit doesn’t just rely on one technology to reduce CO₂ emissions during the firing process. Instead, we are preparing for climate-neutral manufacturing through a wide range of measures.
Carbon-Neutral Manufacturing in Canada
“Duravit goes green” is an initiative for a sustainable, automated manufacturing process to enable climate-neutral manufacturing. July 2023 will see the start of construction of a building that will cover an area of 35,000m², which will be powered by 100 percent green electricity. New technologies, which are scheduled to go live in 2025, will reduce emissions from manufacturing to zero.
As part of the Humus Project, we have been supporting farms in the Black Forest Nature Park since 2022 in their transition toward regenerative management of the arable land that is beneficial to the formation of humus. We work with regional partnerships and the nonprofit organization positerra to promote water-saving agriculture and the protection of local biodiversity.
Responsible Consumption and Production
As a complete bathroom provider, it is our duty to treat resources with respect and supply products that are especially long-lasting and sustainable. Our quality promise implies a lifetime product warranty. To achieve our goals, we rely on new technologies, sustainable materials, and environmentally friendly logistics.
Lifetime Warranty on Ceramics
We are so convinced of the quality of our products that we are offering a lifetime warranty on many ceramics. Duravit attaches great importance to the highest precision, sustainability and quality in the development and manufacture of its ceramic products.
To ensure a sustainable product portfolio, we work with PEFC-certified wood or innovative, newly developed materials such as DuroCast Nature, the first recyclable mineral cast material. In this respect, products such as Sustano follow a life-cycle principle in which recycled materials are used to manufacture new shower trays.
We are mindful of our responsibility for the environment, our employees, and future generations. Social sustainability represents an integral element of our sustainability strategy and is aimed in particular at our employees and their well-being.
Clean Water & Sanitary Facilities for Indian Schools
Duravit supports the objectives of the World Toilet Day campaign established by United Nations Water. We have made a start in India as part of our CSR program. In recent years, we have renovated or converted the toilet facilities at nine schools in the Gujarat region. By doing so, we have given around 3,200 children access to hygienic sanitary facilities.
Wellbeing and Safety as a Basic Framework
We take safety in the workplace, compliance with human rights, and the long-lasting preservation of the physical and mental health of all employees very seriously. The well-being of our most important resource, our employees, is our top priority. It is just as important that all employees are involved in the implementation of our ambitious sustainability targets.
Through its participation in recognised testing and certification systems and membership of relevant associations Duravit plays a pioneering role in the industry.
Duravit is a member of the German Sustainable Building Council, DGNB e.V. The DGNB system describes and assesses the sustainability of buildings and houses. The assessment is a comprehensive one looking at the complete life cycle of the building.
Duravit is a member of the Institut Bauen und Umwelt e.V. (Institute for Construction and the Environment), an initiative by manufacturers of construction products to meet the demand for more sustainability in the construction sector. It offers a united public image of Ökolabel-type III Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) in compliance with ISO and CEN standards.
Duravit is member of USGBC (U.S. Green Building Council), a board that is committed to a sustainable future through efficient and energy-saving buildings. One measure is the LEED program for green construction. LEED certified buildings save resources and have a positive impact on the health of occupants, while promoting renewable energy.
Unified Water Label
The Unified Water Label (UWL) is a voluntary system by European bathroom manufacturers supported by Duravit and 75 other major brands. The UWL’s online database and product labels ensure transparency by clearly marking the water consumption of bathroom products.
IBU has awarded Duravit EPDs for its sanitary ceramic and sanitary acrylic product groups. The EPD attests to the environmental compatibility of the product and the company’s responsibility for sustainable construction.
Duravit is a member of WaterSense, a partnership program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It is mainly aimed at consumers who want to reduce their water consumption. To be awarded the label, products and services must save at least 20% without impairing function and performance.
Duravit bathroom furniture production has the PEFC quality seal. PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) is the largest institution for ensuring sustainable forest management through an independent certification system. Wood and wood products with the PEFC seal come from demonstrably ecological, economical and socially-sustainable forest management.
The ISO 14001 defines internationally recognized requirements for an environmental management system that will enable an organization to develop and realize an environmental policy and corresponding objectives.. The legal obligations and information about significant environmental aspects are taken into account.
The energy management standard ISO 50001 describes the requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining and improving an energy management system. With their help, companies are able to improve their energy efficiency continuously through a systematic approach.
Electrical used Equipment Register ('ear' for short)
We register any products covered by the German Act on Electric and Electronic Appliances (Elektronikgerätegesetz) with the stiftung ear (the foundation responsible for the ear) with the number DE 62249976. This ensures the products into which electrical or electronic components are integrated for the customer are taken back in an orderly manner and free of charge.
ISO 9001 is an international quality management standard that specifies requirements for a quality management system in order to meet generally accepted quality expectations. An essential part of this standard is the establishment of a continual improvement process.