SUSTAINABLE ON PRINCIPLE
The protection of our natural resources is one of the most pressing issues of our time. BIRKENSTOCK is committed to acting in an environmentally responsible manner. At BIRKENSTOCK, sustainability is not a marketing-driven fad – it is an expression of our corporate approach and a conviction that is deeply embedded in our corporate values.
Environmental protection has long been paramount at BIRKENSTOCK. We constantly work to improve production processes, products, packaging and logistics. Thanks to their durability BIRKENSTOCK products are in and of themselves sustainable. A high proportion of the natural materials that we use are from sustainable sources: cork, natural latex, jute, leather, wool felt, copper and brass are among our most important materials.
USE OF SOLVENT-FREE ADHESIVES
BIRKENSTOCK is one of the first shoe manufacturers in the world to use water-soluble and solvent-free adhesives almost exclusively in its production processes. In recent years, we have successfully worked to reduce the proportion of adhesives that contain solvents considerably.
In 1987, the proportion of solvent-free adhesives in our production processes was about 17%; by 1990, it was around 46%. Today, the proportion of environmentally friendly, water-based adhesives is more than 95%. This not only helps to improve work conditions, but also reduces the impact on the environment.
REDUCTION OF ENERGY REQUIREMENTS
BIRKENSTOCK was already looking closely at the question of energy efficiency in the 1980s, when environmental protection was not nearly as important as it is today. It has continuously reduced energy requirements through the internal development of special equipment and constant improvements in production processes.
We use combined heat and power plants in several locations. These plants allow us to capture and use heat that escapes when electricity is produced – for example, when we dry our cork footbeds.