Foreword by the Chief Corporate Management

Sustainability is an essential key to our future, as a society and also as a company.

In the foreword by the Chief Corporate Management, Jero Bentz and Volker Stühmeier describe how the Melitta Group has integrated sustainability into its business strategies and processes and which medium-term targets will be front and center for the future alignment of its business model.



»We are currently undergoing a comprehensive transformation process and aiming for a joint impact

What is the attitude behind the Melitta Group’s sustainability engagement? Which approach is the Group taking? And what has it achieved so far? Answers from Katharina Roehrig, Managing Director of Corporate Communication and Sustainability.


Dialogue with our stakeholders

Ideas, stimuli, inspirations: we believe a continuous dialogue with our stakeholders is essential.

Our stakeholder dialogue in the past fiscal year led to numerous valuable insights. Some of the statements from these discussions will help us shape our commitment going forward and have thus been included in this report.


Highlight projects

How are we implementing our future concepts? What have we initiated and achieved so far?

In the past fiscal year, we launched numerous projects in all our value creation cycles in order to reach our medium-term sustainability targets. Some of the most important initiatives are presented here as examples.

Quiz of the year

Where do we present our central areas of action?

Exactly! We present the Melitta Group’s central areas of action in our Sustainability House. Would you like to learn more? Then download our complete Sustainability Report .

Sorry, that was not correct! The Melitta Group presents its central areas of activity in the Sustainability House. Would you like to learn more? Then download our full Sustainability Report .

Globe, hands, branches and pinwheel - illustration (illustration)

Foreword by the Chief Corporate Management

December 2021

Dear readers,

We firmly believe that sustain­ability is an essential key to our future, as a society and also as a company. We all want to live in a world that is intact and in equilibrium, with a healthy natural environment and a prosperous future for the economy and society.

If we all want this, then we should also do everything we can to achieve this goal. As a family business, we have the freedom to align our activities as we see fit – and we plan to take this opportunity. We have therefore decided for ourselves: we either do it sustainably or we don’t do it at all.

»Sustainability is an essential key to our future – as a society and also as a company.«

Jero Bentz and Volker Stühmeier
The Chief Corporate Management

In recent years, we have given a great deal of thought to how we can align our business model with this conviction. We have come to the conclusion that our business fields have the potential to make a positive contribution – even if some areas still need to undergo the corresponding trans­formation process. In addition to the numerous initiatives and measures designed to increase the sustain­ability of our products, as well as our production and procurement processes, we have therefore decided to systematically integrate sustain­ability into our business strategies and processes and to take a holistic approach. At the same time, we have developed future concepts for our most important value creation cycles – coffee and coffee cultivation, paper and pulp, plastics and plastic products, and electrical appliances – which we aim to implement by 2030. In addition, we are striving to be climate neutral by 2030 in those areas which we can directly influence and want to consistently implement the circular economy approach.

In our Sustain­ability Statement published in 2019, we described our medium-term targets and outlined the ways in which we want to achieve these targets in principle. In this Sustain­ability Report, we set out what we achieved in this regard in 2020 and what we are currently working on. The structure and content of the report are based on the German Sustain­ability Code (“Deutscher Nachhaltigkeits­kodex” – DNK) and we have simultan­eously issued a DNK Declaration of Conformity.

Although we believe that we have already achieved considerable progress in our trans­formation process, numerous far-reaching changes still lie ahead. We want to take this path together with all our stakeholders. After all, we regard transparency and mutual learning as key factors in making the 2030 Agenda and its guiding principle “Leave no one behind” a reality. Our objective is to achieve a joint impact: we want to work together to make an even greater difference.

With best regards,

Jero Bentz

Volker Stühmeier

Two stones and branch – Illustration (illustration)
Five small persons seen by five big persons - illustration (illustration)

“We think sustainability in transformational terms.” – Interview with Katharina Roehrig

What does the Melitta Group understand by sustain­ability? What is Melitta’s motivation for promoting sustainable development?

Sustain­ability is an expression of our attitude: as a family business with over 110 years of tradition, we are convinced that a company only has a license to operate in the medium and long term if it helps to make people’s lives better. Our shareholders and Chief Corporate Management have taken a very clear stand: we either do it sustainably or we don’t do it at all.

»We either do it sustainably or we don’t do it at all.«

Katharina Roehrig
Managing Director of Corporate Communication and Sustain­ability

What does that mean in concrete terms?

It means that we take a holistic approach and think sustain­ability in trans­formational terms: we want to align all our value creation processes so that they meet strict sustain­ability requirements and support a sustainable development. We have therefore developed future concepts for our most important value creation cycles – coffee and coffee cultivation, plastics and plastic products, paper and pulp, and electrical appliances. We want to have implemented these future concepts by 2030 and have launched numerous initiatives at all levels of the company to achieve this. We are therefore currently undergoing a comprehensive trans­formation process.

What exactly does this trans­formation process involve?

First and foremost, it was and is important to us to create awareness of sustain­ability-relevant issues – both within our Group and among our business partners. This is the only way to create new ways of thinking and new perspectives. And these in turn are important for the development of innovative solutions and concepts. In recent years, we have succeeded in generating this momentum. We now want to further accelerate and intensify this process so that everyone involved not only internalizes and lives sustain­ability, but also puts their heart and soul into making the processes and products for which they are responsible sustainable. Only when everyone is aware of and shares the objective of our sustain­ability targets and our fundamental attitude can we achieve true progress – and achieve it together in the sense of a joint impact. This is why we attach great importance to inviting our employees and partners to engage in dialogue and cooperation – or better still, to join us on this journey.

Why a “journey”?

I like the idea of a journey, because traveling has a lot to do with learning. We understand the trans­formation process as a process of mutual learning and enrichment. Even if we know the general direction, we don’t always know which is the best way to get there. And even the exact destination is not fixed, because sustain­ability is a continuous process. That is why we regard the future concepts and targets we have developed only as intermediate steps or milestones that – once achieved – will have to be updated again. We believe that we have already achieved – or at least initiated – a great deal, but we definitely see ourselves as seekers and learners in this process.

What progress has been made so far in implementing the sustainable development goals?


In the mid-2010s, we began to strategically align our various sustain­ability activities and create the corresponding organiza­tional structures and processes. This was the starting point for a wide range of activities: since then, for example, we have gradually increased the proportion of coffee and pulp from sustainable sources as well as the proportion of recycled materials in our plastic products. In addition, we have analyzed our production processes in order to reduce the amount of resources required – for example, the amount of water needed in paper production or the reuse or avoidance of production waste. At the same time, we began to system­atically collect sustain­ability-relevant key figures and to set clear sustain­ability requirements for our partners in the supply chain. These activities eventually led to a holistic approach and a medium-term vision of what we want to achieve by 2030. We have published this commitment in the form of the future concepts outlined in our Sustain­ability Statement .

What is the Melitta Group aiming to achieve with its first Sustain­ability Report?

The Sustain­ability Report has several objectives: it aims to explain our vision and commitment, based on our Sustain­ability Statement. It also explains our philosophy and the approach we are taking. And, of course, it outlines the current status of our targets and describes our activities. But the Sustain­ability Report also serves to accelerate the trans­formation process within the Melitta Group and among our partners, i.e. to both educate and give meaning, and thus to strengthen the momentum already generated.

What is the current status of the Melitta Group’s sustain­ability management system? Which milestones were achieved in the reporting year?

Following the publication of our Sustain­ability Statement, we further specified our goals and adapted our key performance indicator (KPI) system to these revised targets. This is also the reason why we use the base year 2020 for many of our main areas of action. We have aligned our structures and processes even more effectively, detailed responsi­bilities, revised several guidelines, and significantly intensified our dialogue at Group level and with numerous stakeholders. We have established a uniform Group-wide understanding of our targeted future concepts and launched significant flagship measures, such as the “Fair Recycled Plastic” business in India and the “Back to the Roots” project in Brazil. At the same time, we initiated and implemented a large number of activities to revamp our product ranges, our value creation cycles, our resource management, and much more in order to bring them into line with our sustainable development objectives.

Where do we go from here? What are the next major steps?

The main focus is on the continuous development of our product range and the further integration of sustain­ability standards in our supply chains, which we are developing into value creation cycles within the meaning of a circular economy: we want to increase the proportion of resources from more sustainable sources and improve the environmental compatibility of our products, for example by making them more recyclable and thus promoting the circular economy approach. With regard to coffee cultivation, the main focus will be on finding and pursuing paths toward a regenerative agricultural economy. And in the field of climate protection, we are preparing for the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi) for net zero emissions. To this end, we want to link sustain­ability more closely with innovation – and to embed this in our culture of cooperation.

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Input and perspectives from our stakeholders

In 2020 and 2021, we received numerous suggestions and valuable feedback on our sustain­ability activities from our global dialogue with stakeholders on this topic. This selection of statements made during these discussions provides an important impetus for shaping our commitment going forward.

»To become truly sustainable, you need a long-term strategic foundation and the courage to address uncomfortable issues head-on. And it requires courageous decisions, such as in the product range and in the supply chain – because taking environmental and social aspects into account is often also associated with larger investments.«

Johannes HielscherLL.M., Managing Director of the German Coffee Association

»Sustain­ability is first and foremost a state of mind, a con­viction. This is why at EDEKA WEZ our customers, our employees, our environment, our society, and our company are all equally important development goals. Our appreciation, our efforts, and our care are extended to them all equally.«

Karl-Stefan PreussCEO of EDEKA WEZ

»For me, the focal point in the coffee value creation chain is the coffee farm. If they make a higher profit, many environ­mental, economic and social challenges are reduced. From my point of view, it is therefore important that the coffee chain actors maintain a direct relationship with the coffee-growing farms as much as possible.«

Marcelo PedrozaCommercial Director Volcafe

»As important as global sustain­ability projects are, regional initiatives often have a more immediate and rapid impact – and inspire others to get involved as well. We should therefore never underestimate the power of regional networks to give sustainable develop­ment in Germany a boost.«

Farid RahmaniProject Manager and Corporate Developer at DSC Arminia Bielefeld

»Sustain­ability is a complex issue and progress can there­fore only be made if it is focused and prioritized. Instead of trying to do everything at once, companies should rather define focus topics in each relevant area and set clear priorities within them. A high level of transparency about the approach taken in this process will enable other com­panies to find and adopt best practice solutions.«

Yvonne ZwickChairwoman of the Board of the German Environmental Management Association (B.A.U.M.)

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»Every company needs to be aware of how it deals with its product range: can we turn our single-use products into reusable products? Can we create new, more sustainable consumption through innovative ideas? Do we maybe need to rethink our business model?«

Derya VöllingsSustain­ability Manager at Ingka Procurement (IKEA Group)

»To stop climate change, everyone really needs to make sure they take enough action. It is clear that this cannot be done for free, because these measures and their monitoring of success are ex­pensive. The govern­ment has to help with this, but prices need also to be adjusted to ensure that this huge under­taking succeeds.«

Leônidas Carrijo Azevedo MeloUFLA/Federal University of Lavras – Department of Soil Science

»Sustain­ability communication has several effects: it is inspiring for other companies, but also exerts pressure in the company itself as well as in other com­panies to in­crease their sustain­ability efforts. Larger companies in particular should be aware of what they can achieve with compelling reporting.«

Debbie EralyProgram Facilitator & Local Representative at BOS+

»All of us – including of course the coffee-producing companies – should be concerned in view of the growing migration, especially of young people, from rural areas. As work on coffee farms is not very attractive, young people are migrating from the countryside to the cities, and more than a few coffee farmers are leaving their traditional areas due to climate change. This is where environ­mental, economic, and social challenges reinforce each other.«

Michael OpitzManaging Director,
Hanns R. Neumann Foundation

»As important as the climate change debate is, it is causing the major challenges we face in the area of bio­diversity to fade somewhat into the background at the moment. The effects of reduced bio­diversity will occupy us intensively in the coming years – because they will be dramatic.«

Dr. Norbert SchmitzManaging Director, 4C Services

What we have achieved in 2020 - writing (illustration) What we have achieved in 2020 - writing (illustration)

Integration of sustain­ability strategy by the operating division Cofresco: achieving a circular economy with “Honest 100”

Cofresco mainly produces plastic-based household products, marketed for example under the Toppits® and Swirl® brands. In 2019, the operating division imple­mented its “Honest 100” strategy with the aim of integrating key sustain­ability requirements into its product ranges. “Honest 100” has set itself the target of imple­menting the principles of the circular economy throughout the entire product range by 2025 and taking customers along on the journey by providing trans­parent and authentic communication. At the heart of this strategy is the “ReDesign – ReCycle – ReUse – ReDuce” approach. This means that all products are system­atically checked to see how their proportion of recyclate and/or renewable raw materials can be increased and whether the products themselves can be better recycled or even reused.


Target group-oriented communication

Sustain­ability concerns us all. It is therefore all the more important to prepare sustain­ability-related topics in a way that speaks to each particular target group. In addition to formal sustain­ability reporting and the answering of customer inquiries and question­naires, we also want to regularly inform consumers and our own employees about our sustain­ability activities. In the past year, our brochure “Think long-term. Act sustainably.” provided all our employees with an overview of our most important goals and concepts.

In 2020, we also developed the “Strategic Sustain­ability Communication” guideline and launched it via the newly established Sustain­ability Communication Network. The guideline forms the foundation for the further development of sustain­ability communication and marketing in all operating divisions and is the basis and framework for the further integration of sustain­ability in communication and marketing.


Higher yields for coffee farms in Colombia

In June 2020, Melitta Europe – Coffee Division – launched a project together with 4C Services to improve the working and living conditions of people involved in coffee farming in Colombia. The project, co-financed by the German Investment Corporation (“Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungs­gesellschaft” – DEG), aims to help up to 1,000 people on small coffee farms achieve higher yields from sustainably grown coffee by introducing improved agricultural practices and enabling better market access – thus helping to improve their living conditions.


Bella Crema®
“Selection of the Year”

The “Selection of the Year” not only offers a varied and special taste experience each year, but also guarantees that the coffee beans used come from certified sustainable cultivation of at least 30% of the beans. In each region of origin for the “Selection of the Year”, Melitta implements a community project for a period of five years. Over the past ten years, this has resulted in a wide range of programs aimed at improving the lives of children, adolescents, and adults around the world.

Community projects in connection with the “Selection of the Year” coffee are currently taking place in the following countries:

  • Honduras: Support for the renovation of the “Clinica Materno Infantil”
  • Zambia: Provision of learning materials for school­children and activities to improve access to water and the health of residents near the Kateshi coffee plantation
  • India: Provision of learning materials and activities to improve medical care in the coffee-growing region of Chikkamagaluru

We are currently initiating one further project for “Selections of the Year” in the coming years:

  • Guatemala: Support for 12 kindergartens and camps as well as a health program (healthy nutrition and lifestyle) for families in the Ayarza region


Expansion of sustainable coffee products

In 2020, Melitta once again added certified sustainable and responsibly grown coffees to its range. For example, the BellaCrema® portfolio was expanded to include a coffee made from 100 percent certified organic beans. As in previous years, the special editions “Coffee of the Year” and “Selection of the Year” also feature Rainforest Alliance certification of at least 30% of the beans.


Amalie – coffee by and for women

Melitta South America’s “Amalie” product range honors the company’s founder Melitta Bentz and all female coffee farmers. The range includes three coffee blends with unique flavors which contain exclusively coffee beans grown by women. The participation of women, who often do most of the work in coffee cultivation, in the proceeds is an important prerequisite for a sustainable coffee sector.


Sustainable enjoyment in the office

The Coffee at Work (since 2021: Fresh at Work) business model is strictly aligned with sustainability principles: both the coffee machines provided and the table water devices are regularly maintained and repaired so that they can be used on a long-term basis. The table water devices in particular, which are made of stainless steel, have a long service life and are also fully recyclable. Moreover, converting tap water into table water makes PET and glass bottles unnecessary – as well as the transport of water.


Organic and fair

With the Fairtrade Mondo Blu range, Melitta® Cioccolata Bio Fair Chocolate, and a new Cilia® tea range, Melitta Professional Coffee Solutions continued to add sustainable products to its range last year. In addition, phosphate-free multi-TF tabs were developed: these gently clean the milk and brewing systems of fully automatic coffee machines in an environ­mentally friendly way, while also ensuring the hygiene safety and durability of the machines.


A new approach to single servings

Avoury® is revolutio­nizing tea enjoyment: the tea machine brews 40 teas and infusions in organic quality to perfection. The capsule bodies can either be sent for recycling conventio­nally via the “yellow bin” or mailed directly back to Melitta. With the aid of a molecular recycling process, the capsules are then turned into capsules again.

Two white balls and arrow – illustration (illustration)

A circular system for coffee waste in Brazil

Together with the Hanns R. Neumann Foundation, the Melitta Group gave the go-ahead for the “Back to the Roots” project in summer 2020. The three-year project aims to convert the organic waste produced during coffee production into a valuable raw material first of all and then return it to a productive recovery cycle. The operating division Melitta South America is particularly involved in the implemen­tation of the project in Brazil.

The cultivation, processing, and preparation of coffee generates considerable quantities of especially organic waste. This waste, e.g. from the pulp of coffee cherries, is often not considered a valuable resource that can be returned to the nutrient cycle of farms, for example as compost. Instead, it is often disposed of incorrectly and in a way that pollutes the environment. Together with the Hanns R. Neumann Foundation (HRNS), the Melitta Group is working on a project co-financed by the German Investment Corporation (DEG) – with funds from the program of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) – to identify and implement opportunities for reusing organic waste along the coffee supply chain.

This project is based in the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil, where all the relevant stakeholders – from coffee farms, farm organizations, and a Melitta roasting plant, to civil society and the agri­cultural university – are currently joining forces for the project. The common goals: reduce the environmental impact, increase the efficiency and thus also the profitability of coffee cultivation and processing, and strengthen the local economy with innovative business ideas. As an international coffee company, the Melitta Group believes that it can help improve and solve the challenges in the coffee sector with this project. It is hoped that this approach to waste management will play a role in establishing the concept of a circular economy through­out the entire coffee supply chain. The aim is to find holistic solutions to the many and varied environ­mental and economic challenges in the sector.

In the first phase, a com­prehensive analysis of the status quo was carried out and all relevant stakeholders in the project region and the coffee supply chain were identified and made aware of the project idea. In addition, a collaborative learning platform was created in which all stake­holders learn from each other, exchange experiences and develop measures on the topic of recycling and reusing resources. With the aid of various digital tools, this phase was successfully carried out despite the coronavirus pandemic.

The next steps now include identifying various options for improved waste management in collaboration with scientists and experts. The research results will then be put into practice. Local small farms and farmer organizations, the Melitta roasting plant team, and other stakeholders along the coffee supply chain will then work together to test, drive forward, and further develop the findings in real-life situations. The foundation of start-up companies will also be supported. The project takes a holistic and systemic approach which aims to benefit the entire coffee sector. This means that the research results will also be made available to other stakeholders in Brazil and around the world.


Made from recycled material and renewable raw materials

The proportion of Melitta Group plastic products made from recycled materials or renewable raw materials is steadily growing: Swirl® eco bin liners, for example, are made from 95% recycled materials – without losing any of their tear strength or drip safety. Toppits® recycled aluminum foil is also already made from 98% recycled aluminum. Toppits® eco cling film and Toppits® eco freezer bags, on the other hand, use renewable raw materials: they both consist of 70% plant-based materials.


Freshkeeping with the power of nature

In 2020, the Toppits® range was expanded to include beeswax food wraps. These are made from organic beeswax, organic cotton, and traditionally harvested pine resin. The antibacterial raw materials and the easily shapeable wraps ensure that food stays fresh longer in a natural way. The wraps are also particularly environment­ally friendly, as they can be reused up to 500 times.


Garbage bags made from recycled plastic

All Domopak Spazzy (CUKI Cofresco) products are made from recycled polyethylene. This saves 50% of CO2 emissions compared to virgin material. In order to be even more eco-friendly, Domopak Spazzy modified its “Sacco Verde” bin liners in the past year: they are now made from 100% post-consumer recyclate.


A circular economy can only be created together

In 2020, ACW-Film once again made huge progress in the recyclability of its packa­ging films: it developed single-material composites capable of replacing com­posite films consisting of mixed raw materials. These single-material composites have the same product properties as composite films, but can be recycled.

In order to launch this product and other innovative packaging films for the food industry, ACW-Film is holding talks with numerous partners along the value creation chain. After all, one thing is clear: the development and pro­duction of recyclable or environ­mentally safe packaging alone is not enough to achieve greater sustain­ability. This can only be achieved by integrating all processes for the production, use, and recycling of packaging into a compre­hensive circular economy and coordinating every aspect of such a system.

This includes the processes of the packaging material manufacturers as well as those of their partners in the supply chain and those of the manufacturers of plant and machinery for packaging materials. The purchasers of this packaging material, the actual product manufacturers, must also make the corres­ponding adjustments – as must the waste manage­ment and recycling industries. And policymakers and consumers also need to play their part: for example, by setting the framework conditions and by correctly sorting innovative packaging solutions after their use. A circular economy can therefore only be created if numerous players are pulling in the same direction and developing solutions together. Several years ago, ACW-Film initiated a dialogue with its partners in the supply chain, such as machine manu­facturers and its customers, which is playing an important role in these efforts.


Tear Resistant & Leakproof: high recycling content

For heavy waste, Cofresco offers bin liners with a reinforced film under the Swirl® “Tear Resistant & Leakproof“ brand. They are not only anti­bacterial, but also consist of 80% recycled plastic. At least half of the recycled plastic comes from post-consumer recyclates.


“Fair Recycled Plastic”: collection and recycling of plastic waste in India

The social business “Fair Recycled Plastic” was launched in 2020 in Bangalore, India. Cofresco and the organization Yunus Social Business set up the related company Vishuddh Recycle Pvt. Ltd. with the aim of cleaning and recycling plastic waste and then returning it to a production process. Vishuddh Recycle obtains plastic waste from selected companies whose aim is to establish a better waste management infra­structure in Bangalore and, in the process, to integrate so-called waste pickers with better working conditions into the value creation chain. The collected waste is processed into recyclate, which ideally then flows into the production of bin liners under the Swirl® and handy bag® brands.

The environmental and social impact of the activities undertaken by the social business “Fair Recycled Plastic” are varied:

  • Less plastic in soils, rivers, and oceans
  • More recyclate from used materials (“post-consumer recyclate”) for a circular economy with plastics
  • “Fair Recycled Plastic” creates the framework to improve the working and living conditions of waste collectors
  • New jobs with high social standards at the recycling plant
  • Fulfilling the core character­istic of a social business: the company’s profits are reinvested or used to fund health and education projects for the families of the waste collectors

It is part of the Melitta Group’s identity to make positive contributions to sustainable development. A significant proportion of the Melitta Group’s product portfolio consists of plastic. We therefore see it as our duty to make a contribution to combating plastic pollution of the oceans and soil. “Fair Recycled Plastic” addresses concrete environmental and social problems on the ground in Bangalore. It also aims to be an innovative example of sustainable plastic production and recycling, and to inspire other companies and stakeholders to also explore new avenues. After all, plastic is a valuable material which enables hygiene and transport, protects products, and helps to extend the shelf life of food. It is essential that this valuable raw material remains in the life cycle as long as possible through recycling and does not harm the environment as waste. Following the successful establishment of “Fair Recycled Plastic” in Bangalore, the Melitta Group will work with other stake­holders to further develop and expand similar local structures


Membership of FSC® International

In 2020, the Melitta Group became a member of the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC) International and is committed to supporting the goals and principles of sustainable forest manage­ment. The multi-stakeholder organization FSC®, in which all relevant stakeholder groups are represented, created the first system for certifying sustainable forestry and continues to enhance it.


MISSION eco & care

In 2013, we developed MISSION eco & care, a grading system for our electrical appliances which takes into account a wide range of sustain­ability criteria – from the production of the appliance to its use and recycling. The evaluation criteria include the environ­mental compatibility of the materials used, the energy required during manufacture, the packaging, the energy efficiency of the appliance, its useful life, and the possibilities for recycling after use. We publish the summarized result of this evaluation in the form of stars so that consumers can quickly and easily inform themselves about the appliance’s sustain­ability. We will continue to develop MISSION eco & care in the coming years – both in terms of the criteria for product design and with regard to improving our communication with consumers.


Extended repair options

The Melitta® EPOS® filter coffeemaker is designed in such a way that – should the worst happen – more extensive repairs are both possible and economical. A corresponding repair service was set up when the machine was launched. The Melitta® EPOS® is the first electric pour-over system with an integrated grinder.


Repair service test winner

From May to September 2020, the German consumer organization “Stiftung Warentest” examined several repair services for fully automatic coffee machines in a series of undercover tests. With scores of 0.7 (very good) for repair and 1.8 (good) for service, the Melitta® repair service for fully automatic coffee machines received an overall score of 1.0 and was ranked first.


Reducing CO2 by combining transport methods

We prefer to work with logistics partners who can optimally combine different modes of transport – such as truck, rail, and ship – and thus convey goods in a particularly climate-friendly manner. In 2019, for example, we worked together with the Austrian forwarding company LKW Walter to ship more than 130 truckloads in combined transport by rail and water, thereby reducing CO2 emissions by around 132 tonnes.

132 tonnes of carbon emissions reduced – illustration (illustration)

Conversion to biodiesel

One of Melitta’s key logistics partners – the Danish logistics company Frode Laursen – is increasingly converting its fleet to vehicles which run on non-fossil fuels. HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil) – a biodiesel produced from vegetable fats and oils that uses hydrogen as a catalyst instead of methanol – now accounts for the largest share. This fuel is a particularly environment­ally friendly alternative to conventional diesel.


Optimized production processes

Thanks to various process improvements in production, Neu Kaliss Spezialpapier has managed to reduce its energy consumption. On the one hand, the running time of the so-called pulper (where the pulp required for paper production is dissolved in water) has been shortened. Secondly, the pre-dryer fan now operates at lower speeds than before. These changes save almost 80,000 euros in energy costs annually – without any loss of quality or performance.


Reduced energy needs

Wolf PVG replaced key components of its production systems in 2020 in order to reduce energy consumption. Among other things, a modern cooling system for injection molding was installed, including a free cooler to utilize the ambient temperature. In addition, the facility received new air compressors which will feed the resulting waste heat into the building’s heating system in future. The total expected energy saving is around 830,000 kilowatt hours per year.


Calculation of product-related climate impacts

In 2020, Wolf PVG started calculating its product carbon footprint for the vacuum cleaner bags manufactured by the company. This method is used to calculate the impact that a product has on the climate. The aim is to obtain information for the further development of the product and to reduce emissions in all relevant value creation processes as far as possible.


Paper flow packs for cleaning tabs

In October 2020, ACW-Film was commissioned by the drugstore chain DM to develop fully recyclable tubular bags for cleaning tabs. The new packaging does not contain any plastic com­ponents and is made of 100 percent paper. This means that the flow packs can be recycled and reprocessed after use without any problems.


Substitution of polystyrene

Since polystyrene is extremely light and protects very well, it is often used as a packaging material. However, polystyrene is not reusable and is therefore sorted out in recycling plants. With this in mind, Melitta Europe – Coffee Preparation Division has initiated a project to substitute polystyrene. The initial focus is on the packaging of fully automatic coffee machines.


Potential for improvement identified

Together with an agency specializing in human rights issues, a gap analysis of the activities developed by Melitta to protect human rights was conducted in 2020. In the course of this analysis, the relevant corporate functions were first identified and the requirements for a revised due diligence process were defined. Following this, interviews were conducted to collect data, the existing regulations and processes were examined, and recommend­ations to improve the status quo were elaborated. The recommend­ations are currently being implemented.


Focus on – longer useful life

In 2020, we worked on several projects to extend the useful life of our filter coffeemakers and fully automatic machines. To this end, we introduced tests for a minimum ten-year useful life and developed concepts to expand our own and third-party repair services. We are also examining how spare parts can be made not only available but also easier to replace, as is already the case with jugs and drip trays, for example. We also want to further increase the recyclability of our packaging for filter coffeemakers and fully automatic machines – even though it is already 95% recyclable.

Apple – illustration (illustration) Apple – illustration (illustration)

“Don’t Throw Me Away!” – the initiative against food waste

The operating division Cofresco has been supporting the “Don’t Throw Me Away!” initiative of the Hollen Environmental Centre since 2015. The initiative aims to reduce food waste and educate primary school pupils in particular about the value and proper handling of food. Every year, around 50 primary schools are visited to provide on-site education with table and floor games and other materials suitable for children. In a cooperation between the children’s magazine “GEOlino” and Toppits®, a “Don’t Throw Me Away!” competition is also held every year. In 2018, the initiative received a national award from the German government for its “Commitment to Tackling Food Waste”.

As school visits were no longer possible due to the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, new digital possibilities were found to raise awareness about food waste. These included online seminars, digital school materials, increased social media presence, and podcasts. The commitment and creativity displayed by the initiative during the coronavirus pandemic has been recognized by UNESCO. “Don’t Throw Me Away!” was selected as a best-practice example of digitaliz­ation on the topic of sustainable development. A video was produced about the initiative, which was screened at the UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in May 2021.


Long-standing commitment to the German Child Protection League

The Melitta Group has been cooperating with the German Child Protection League (“Deutscher Kinderschutz­bund Minden – Bad Oeynhausen e.V.”) for almost 20 years now. The aim is to help strengthen the rights of children and adolescents to grow up without violence and to help them realize their potential. In addition to financial support, many employees of the Melitta Group volunteer by contributing ideas and activities.


Donations to various projects

Every year, the Melitta Group’s operating divisions support numerous projects. Examples from the portfolio of Melitta Europe – Coffee Division located in Bremen include support for hospitals, the homeless project “Frieda”, the Soup Angels of Bremen, and an AWO social department store.


Leadership in the crisis

The coronavirus pandemic presented our managers with a number of challenges: for example, they had to deal with employee uncertainty, reorganize production processes, and introduce new work-from-home rules within a very short space of time. To support them during this period, Corporate HR launched the “Leadership in Times of Crisis” webinar series. The goal: a colla­borative approach to sustainable leadership during the pandemic.


Work-life balance

As a family business, the work-life balance of staff is particularly important to Melitta. In the past year, Melitta Europe – Coffee Division received two awards for its work-life balance measures: the regional quality seal “Family-Friendly Employer” and the “berufundfamilie” certificate. Among other things, these awards recognize the company’s offerings for families, for example in the areas of childcare, corporate health management, and variable working time models.

Work life balance – writing (illustration)

Rapid action during the coronavirus crisis

To protect the health of staff and safeguard our operational business, the Melitta Group’s head office set up a Corona Task Force in spring 2020. This enabled us to pool all decision-relevant information in one place and to quickly and effectively develop the necessary measures. Within two weeks, around a third of all employees were able to continue working from their homes without any major technical restrictions.