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SUSTAINABILITY FROM THE VERY FIRST BRUSHSTROKE

With the 6 Green Rules the Vaillant Group is ensuring that sustainability criteria are already taken into account during the product development process. We keep our eye on the entire product life cycle. A milestone for more sustainability.

Marion Storch is the engineer in the Vaillant Group’s Sustainability Management team. She was heavily involved in drafting the 6 Green Rules and has thus anchored her vision of sustainability in the development process.

Interview with Marion Storch

Ms Storch, what exactly are the 6 Green Rules?

Marion Storch: The 6 Green Rules are, quite literally, six rules we’ve established to make sure sustainability criteria are considered in the development process from the very first brushstroke onwards. They form a fixed part of the development process and apply to each and every product we develop at the Vaillant Group. The criteria are important: customers are demanding sustainable products, as are legislators both in Germany and across Europe. These are demands we also place on ourselves.

How did the 6 Green Rules come about?

Marion Storch: We always wanted to integrate reliable, fixed sustainability criteria that can easily be applied in the product development process. The Green iQ product line played an important role in developing the criteria as we were able to jointly shape a high sustainability standard during the development of these products. By restructuring our product development process, we were able to incorporate the 6 Green Rules into the process landscape.

Why was it necessary to enshrine the 6 Green Rules in the development process?

Marion Storch: Quite simply because doing so encourages us to consider sustainability from the very start of the development process. It makes decisions easier for engineers and technicians, e.g. when choosing materials, as they can now refer to measurable, reliable criteria, such as recyclability, that can easily be applied in their work. We have to remember that the engineers make decisions concerning the magic triangle “quality – costs – time” in all development projects. Sustainability is a kind of fourth dimension here, which will now also be considered thanks to the criteria.

How do they work?

Marion Storch: The beauty of the rules is that they work in exactly the same way as any other criterion in the development process. Product Management determines the requirements. The engineers can then find everything they need in one central document, which prompts them to check that the criteria are being fulfilled at appropriate stages in the development process. They are simply integrated into the existing process and will therefore become a natural part of product development – just like sustainability is a natural part of the Vaillant Group.

6 GREEN RULES

The 6 Green Rules have been firmly integrated into the new product development process. They pool internal and external product requirements and are summarised in a 6 Green Rules Report. They provide a systematic approach to and a guideline for sustainability in product development. Some of these criteria are new while others are established practices.

1. Energy efficiency

We stand for sustainable and energy-efficient products, innovation, resource protection and low-emission technologies.

Rule no. 1 includes, among other things, criteria for domestic hot water and heating efficiency, CO₂ emissions and noise levels.

2. Durability

We guarantee durable and robust products thanks to the use of high-quality materials. Our diligence and precision reinforce our high quality standards.

Rule no. 2 includes proven lifetime, extended warranty, high quality standards and a robust design.

3. Responsibility

We act responsibly when selecting materials and suppliers and take an environmentally friendly approach to production and logistics.

Rule no. 3 includes a carbon footprint of materials, resource-efficient packaging, adherence to the UN Global Compact in the supply chain and avoiding the use of hazardous substances.

4. Service

We offer an excellent quality of service throughout the usage phase of our products. We guarantee that spare parts are widely available and our products are easily accessible for repairs.

Rule no. 4 includes excellent reparability, easy maintenance, comprehensible documentation and a comprehensive waste disposal concept.

5. Handling

We stand for intelligent and user-friendly products that are simple to install and handle.

Rule no. 5 includes intuitive usability, upgradability, app control and energy monitoring for end customers as well as a short installation time and installation support for skilled technicians.

6. End of life

We campaign for the protection of natural resources and the eco-friendly disposal of products. We aim to achieve a high level of recyclability and closed-loop material cycles.

Rule no. 6 includes recycling-friendly design, proof of recyclability and appropriate appliance disposal.