Melitta Group Annual Report 2022

Melitta Group
Annual report

Chief Corporate Management
Jero Bentz and Volker Stühmeier

Our world is evolving. We are on the way from a consumer society to a meaningful society. As an international group of companies, we are actively shaping a new economic system – for our future as a society and for our future as a company.

Sustainable business

Dimensions of value creation

We at the Melitta Group have set ourselves the goal of ensuring that our products have no detrimental impact on the environment or social systems.

We have therefore refined our entrepreneurial alignment: in future, it will be shaped by the dimensions Regenerative Value Creation, Work Culture and Social Business.





PY 707

household products


PY 614

coffee preparation


PY 518



PY 43


Our business activities span the entire globe. Learn more about our brands, markets, and strategies here.



The main developments and events of our fiscal year 2022.


Melitta Group
Transform to flourish

Our world is evolving.

We are currently in the midst of an all-encompassing transformation, on our way into a new era. Entrepreneurs, decision-makers, scientists – in short, everyone of our generation – has the opportunity to help shape completely new ways of life. With one foot still firmly planted in the old structures, we are using the other to grope our way into the new and unknown. There seems to be no end to the highly complex problems and challenges we face. This underlines the need for a radical approach, but above all for action and a willingness to take risks. Not in a reckless manner, but with a clear vision. In these highly volatile times, the one thing we know for sure is that we can only achieve this transformation together – abandoning the old competitive mindset and embracing co-creation, knowledge sharing, and open innovation ... moving from “I” to “we”, from personal patents to open source, from intellectual property to shared knowledge, from frantic reaction to dynamic creation, from “mine” to common goods, to global community – this is how our planet can transform and flourish in the future.

Our common future.


subordinate rather than superordinate – we humans are part of earth’s diverse and self-regulating ecosystem.

Planetary boundaries

Sustainability is a non-negotiable. Earth’s ecosystems are collapsing; many limits of what our planet can withstand have been exceeded. For too long now, we have treated our planet as a seemingly inexhaustible resource in our pursuit of personal ambitions and what we perceive as greater prosperity.

Anything is possible. The fascinating ability of our planet to constantly regenerate is an immutable and unstoppable law of nature. In ways that were previously unimaginable, we as a global community can have a fundamental say in whether and how this transformation will preserve our habitat. Our actions will help guide and shape the process. We can close cycles again, allow diversity to flourish, reactivate or reinvent the disturbed equilibrium of give and take.

People’s attitudes have long begun to change from buying and consuming to preserving and regenerating – away from the constant clamor for “faster, farther, bigger”. Consumption and luxury are no longer regarded as appropriate models for our aspirations – they have been replaced by more meaningful ideals. The focus is shifting to a value-based approach as we strive to find better solutions for us all. This does not mean that individuality will vanish, but that it will always be accompanied by the question of whether it serves the greater good and helps us achieve our common goal.

In order to change the world and preserve our habitat, we need to revise our relationship with nature, submit to its rhythms and align ourselves with its abilities and limitations – living, interacting, and working within the boundaries of our planet. We determine what prosperity means for us. Our return to a way of living and doing business within the limits of what is viable and sustainable for our planet is a non-negotiable. The future of generations to come depends on our ability to respect these boundaries once again – and we need to move fast. Scientists, environmentalists, activists, pro-ecology political parties, and forward-thinking businesses have been advocating a more respectful approach to nature for decades. Their voices and efforts have helped to raise awareness of important ecological issues and to promote green technologies and alternatives – the foundation for much needed change, radical rethinking, and systematic policy reform, both now and in the future. As the consequences of global warming and the pollution of our planet become increasingly visible, sustainability has become a mainstream concern for society – it will be the central task of future generations, affecting all people, and changing expectations, lifestyles, and values around the world.

New mindset

from consumer society to meaningful society: ecological values create new markets as drivers of economic transformation.

less – but better

The vision of the future advocated by the current generation is an ecologically intact world in harmony with the well-being of its inhabitants. For them, economic transformation is not just an abstract idea to be discussed and explained, it must become a measurable and tangible reality. This calls for more than mere lip service and vague target agreements. They want claims such as fair, 100 % recyclable, diverse, carbon-neutral, climate-positive, or CO2-free to be underpinned by hard data and a transparent analysis of the underlying value chains – measurable and immutable, with clearly visible action and change.

More than any generation before, it sees its future at risk and is united in the need and urgency for globally networked action.

By shaping our company and redefining entrepreneurship, we are helping to shape the future of business. by helping to shape the future of business, we are shaping the future for us all.

a new economy – geared to people’s needs*.

*a healthy habitat as the basis for human existence

Beacons of hope and drivers of the ecological transition. It is only natural that a society with a global mindset in the midst of transformation – away from unrestrained consumption and toward a value-based approach – should have high expectations for companies, institutions, and global players and place considerable responsibility on their shoulders. With their innovative strength and business networks, companies undoubtedly have the greatest leverage within their value and supply chains to impact habitats and societies. Their decisions with regard to resource consumption, energy efficiency, waste management, social responsibility, and human rights all have a significant impact on the environment and thus on the welfare of people.

Management scope and responsibility thus go hand in hand when it comes to aligning corporate practices with sustainable objectives. Personal benefit alone will no longer be sufficient for a brand to survive in the context of global crises. Superlatives such as the best, the most elegant, the most convenient, the highest quality, the healthiest, the most purchased, or otherwise most outstanding product or offering have become irrelevant. Customers no longer focus on what is best for them personally. They want insight, clarity, orientation, and to know what is best for everyone.

Sustainable management has therefore long become a license to operate and is no longer in any question among key stakeholders such as partners, customers, and governments. Legally binding standards are increasingly being introduced and enforced. Anyone seeking to future-proof their business should therefore ensure it has a visible and tangible relevance for society and the preservation of our habitat.

forward-looking entrepreneurship: impact-driven, socially responsible, free culture, community, diversity, future literacy, adaptable, ...

next entrepreneurship

We as the Melitta Group – like all companies and industries – want to clearly define our role in solving global problems, i.e. our benefit for mankind – and derive our corporate objectives from this endeavor. It is in our own fundamental commercial interest to act systemically in such a way that all our actions have a positive impact on society and the environment.

Building on our pioneering spirit, our desire to shape the future and to be there for people, we develop guidelines to structure our interaction with other industries, companies, society, and politics in order to actively drive the transformation process. In doing so, we ask ourselves questions that are fundamental for the alignment of our company, the economy, and society: How can we continue to optimize our processes, systems, and structures in such a way that business decisions support ecological and social objectives and in no way adversely affect them? How can we cooperate with other industries, companies, and suppliers to act in a consistently ecological and transparent fashion across all supply chains? How can we exert influence to readjust the political-economic network in order to cooperate effectively? How can we create a successful relationship culture – inspiring people and providing orientation in order to build confidence and trust? As a community of interlocking operating units, how can we conserve the resources we use and return them to a valueadding cycle in order to secure our supply of raw materials? How can we successfully operate outside the realm of classical growth concepts and traditional economic logic? In everything we do, the first question is always “What is good for us all?”. How can we play a meaningful role in shaping the future of our company and thus the future of humanity?

Capabilities rather than skills. In order to succeed in our hyper-connected, rapidly changing world – in other words, to have a positive impact on society and the environment – companies need to be adaptable. As the lifeblood of such successful companies, adaptability means always being prepared for the unexpected and learning to deal with it; always being willing to view the world from a new perspective; and always challenging and rewriting concepts or received wisdom. More than ever before, long-term success depends on how companies deal with unsettling change and global crises, as well as the resulting desires, needs, and values of customers and stakeholders.

Throughout our history, we have repeatedly demonstrated our ability to adapt and in so doing strengthened our resilience. Without doubt, this was only possible because – then as now, and in the future – we are never satisfied with merely reacting to changing market conditions. It has always been our mission to anticipate and proactively shape change, and thus to serve as an inspirational role model.

In order to continue this dynamic approach, we want to develop more and more into a network of independent, decentralized teams – away from hierarchical structures and rigid processes. Our aim has always been to leverage both the individual and collective potential of all people in our organization. Every single employee should be involved and afforded the responsibility and autonomy needed for their creativity to fully unfold. This is how we intend to ensure that a culture of trust and openness continues to flourish within our company. This is consistent with our understanding of an appreciative corporate culture, which forms the breeding ground for the commitment and dedication of our employees. Our culture is fundamentally important for the performance of our company and its contribution to society.

100 % circular – foundation of the transformation. A regenerative approach along our entire value chain is an indispensable step on the road to a resilient and environmentally friendly economy – to conserve, restore, and regenerate resources rather than deplete or destroy them. The need for a regenerative economic model and the disruptive potential this offers represent a sea change in 21st-century business practices. Regenerative strategies are not only beneficial for the environment, but crucially also bring economic benefits: research conducted by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation shows that the circular economy is currently only being implemented in a small portion of the global economy. The circular economy can play a vital role in halting and reversing biodiversity loss as it promotes sustainable resource management and can make an important contribution to ecosystem regeneration, especially when organic residues are returned to the biological cycle. By reducing resource consumption and optimizing resource efficiency, we can reduce the pressure on ecosystems and preserve natural habitats. The introduction of effective waste management systems, as well as the ongoing expansion of recycling and reuse systems, will enable us to minimize the amount of waste going into landfills, incinerators, or the environment by recovering resources and extracting as much value from them as possible. By steadily shifting to renewable energy sources as well as renewable raw materials and their recycling, we can fulfill our social and environmental responsibilities while at the same time saving money. Naturally, the circular economy is no panacea for the challenges we face in the field of biodiversity and must be complemented by a wide range of interlocking measures. However, we believe it can make an important contribution to the broader objective of halting and reversing the loss of biodiversity. The transformation of our complex world can only succeed if all factors interact in a mutually beneficial manner.

what if …


The complexity of circles. Such complex solutions as circular systems cannot be created single-handedly – neither by policymakers nor by business, and certainly not by individual companies. A truly closed-loop economy requires unprecedented interaction between all players – in business, government, and civil society. Going it alone or adopting a stand-alone solution is not a viable approach for forward-looking entrepreneurs in pursuit of a common goal. The key to success will be the formation of alliances between different systems and approaches. Supply chains are too complex, too sensitive, and too closely entwined with market dynamics, meaning that any minor change will impact the processes of upstream and downstream units.

Governments obviously play an active role in creating a future- and innovation-friendly environment. In our view, an effective mix of policy instruments should include policy adjustments, legal frameworks, incentives, subsidies for sustainable technologies, or the setting of recycling quotas. We are happy to contribute to public discourse on the joint design and further development of these instruments.

The standardized valuation of planetary resource usage is a factor or yardstick which consumers, companies, and politicians can use to identify areas for action and draw consequences. This valuation – and in some cases, socially responsible pricing – of ecological and social goods will make it easier to identify development opportunities for far-reaching market changes. This would allow us to develop entirely new market categories, business models, technologies, and strategies based on ecological and social responsibility. However, as long as we do not value the effects of environmental and social goods, we tend to underestimate or even ignore them as we cannot incorporate them into our economic decision-making processes.

Raising public awareness of the benefits and opportunities of using resources in a sustainable manner is something we are very passionate about. Consumers should be empowered and encouraged to consciously make ecologically and socially sensible purchasing decisions. This will play a decisive role in accelerating the transition to a circular economy. The more an individual can understand the impact of his or her decisions – both positive and negative – and the more these decisions are proven by facts and underpinned by data, the more he or she will be able and willing to actively engage in the transformation process.

It is both our aim and our responsibility to use sensible ideas and sustainable innovations to enable people – especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds and poorer countries – to live a life in tune with our environment that is both affordable and dignified. Encouraged by the hope and commitment of Generation Global, we will join forces with companies from a wide range of sectors and industries with the same mindset in order to facilitate and shape the ecological transformation.

Everything is connected. We are all dependent on each other. The overriding objective – the preservation of our habitat – is more than just motivation, it must be regarded as a roadmap for the future and achieved at all costs! It is a vision for the world, a global objective, and a never-ending challenge for which we can all put solutions and strategies in place right now, in our own lifetimes.

All the foundations for this global transformation have already been laid and it will continue to gather momentum. Just how well and how quickly this transformation will succeed, however, depends on how we perceive the urgency and seize the opportunity to tackle something of such magntitude. There will be many difficult questions along the way and we will constantly need to seek and find new answers. We must face up to the realities of our environment and take on the challenges ahead in order to shape the future for ourselves and our planet.

It can be very inspiring to remind ourselves of just how powerful we can be as a community when it comes to shaping our own future.