Safeguard long-term availability
To manufacture our appliances, we rely on natural resources, materials and components. As global demand for natural materials is growing and supplies are diminishing, long-term supply availability is becoming increasingly important for us. In the future, too, Miele will rely on the necessary natural resources, materials and components being supplied to its plants at the right time, in the right quantity.
Production: conserve valuable resources
Using resources more efficiently means protecting the environment and ensuring that valuable natural resources remain available to us for generations to come. For this reason, we check the use of materials in production, and use a high proportion of recyclable materials and secondary raw materials, which are raw materials that have already undergone a recycling process. A good example is stainless steel, which can usually be recycled. We also welcome efforts from our suppliers to use the highest possible proportion of recycled steel in our components. In addition, we are monitoring developments in the recycled plastics market, and are already making use of this material to a limited extent. However, not every material that can be easily recycled satisfies our requirements in relation to quality, durability and performance. For this reason, we weight up the advantages and disadvantages in order to maximise resource efficiency without compromising on quality.
Nature conservation at Miele locations
They are small, fast, sociable and multi-talented: bees have always fascinated people. Without them we would have considerably less fruit and vegetables on our plates – and of course no honey. These industrious little aviators need a variety of plants to get their work done. Various Miele locations help bees and other insects by planting wild flower meadows. At the Gütersloh, Oelde, Arnsberg and Bürmoos locations, for example, colonies of bees live on or near the plant grounds – with numerous Miele employees using their free time to practice beekeeping. The hobby brings together very different professions – from technicians and executive assistants, to apprentices and their trainers – all of them managing the bee project under the supervision of experienced beekeepers, and all of them sharing in their commitment to environmental protection.
In summer, the fields around the Miele plant in Bürmoos, Austria, are buzzing with activity. About 50 bee colonies are out and about to collect nectar and pollen. One of the many beekeepers in the area is a Miele employee. He is a fully-trained beekeeper and owner of a beekeeping business, while also being chairman of the Bürmoos beekeepers’ association and, within that role, the driving force behind the association’s own teaching bee colony. The bees have a suitable environment here: the Miele site is close to the large “Bürmooser Moor” nature and bird sanctuary. The plant location itself includes 8,500 square metres of organically cultivated grassland. Another 100 square metres of the plant grounds has a stream crossing through it, one that used to be polluted with waste water. Today, Miele employees are able to watch fish swimming in it from the plant bridges.
“Miele beekeepers” can also be found at the Gütersloh plant locations. In 2017, they set up their beehives on the grounds of the central warehouse for spare parts. The conditions are ideal as Miele has created almost 80,000 square metres of green space here. The grounds include free-growing, species-rich wild hedges with various tree and shrub species, a meagre meadow and a flower-rich meadow, as well as a near-natural planting of seepage depressions. The Schlangenbach stream runs along the edge of the site, with the diverse tree population on its banks having been thinned out and maintained. Additional deadwood elements were piled up and a gravel lawn path laid out. The nature reserve has received an enthusiastic welcome from employees, outdoor fanatics and bees alike. While some enjoy the flowers and the diversity of the green landscape, the bees produce delicious honey – a highly sought after delicacy among employees.
The Oelde plant is also looking forward to its first honey harvest. Three apprentices have been investing a lot of time and care into their bee colonies here since autumn 2018. They are supported by their trainer and the local beekeepers’ association. After all, the whole undertaking requires some real know-how – know-how that the three young beekeepers acquire in a year-round beekeeping training course. The project is also set to continue after they complete their training – with new apprentices. This includes the design of a showcase near the beehives, so that nature lovers and passers-by can learn more about the life and importance of bees for the environment.
A nature conservation project of a different kind can be found some 850 kilometres further east. In April 2018, employees at the Czech plant and their families planted trees in one of Uničov’s neighbouring communities. The Czech plant donated 34 alders, willows, oaks and lime trees to the “Sázime stromy” (We plant trees) non-profit organisation. They were planted in Pňovice, on the edge of the Litovelské Pomoraví nature reserve, which forms a complex of extensive riverside forests and meadows that are unique in Europe.