Corporate Social Responsibility
We, the Blumenbecker Group of Companies, are responsible for current and future generations.
Our wish is to leave prosperity and a liveable environment for our children and our children’s children throughout the world. For this reason, responsibility in thought and action are firmly anchored in our corporate culture. Making sparing use of natural resources, work safety, care for our co-workers, compliance with the law, and engagement in our social environment – these are the fundamental principles by which we are guided. As a family-owned business, we go our own way, step by step, into a liveable and successful future for ourselves and following generations.
Environment, Ecology, Substainability
Natural resources are finite, and the eco-systems in many parts of the world are under heavy pressure. For this reason, we strive, through our actions, to contribute towards making our environment less polluted and to ensuring sparing use of energy, water and raw materials. We already began in 2010 to digitize our business correspondence. Since 2017, a new, future-pointing waste disposal concept has been in force at our Beckum site. As one of our fundamental rules, all our products are characterized by high quality and a long service life. This is a form of sustainability that is further supported by our after-sales service and the Blumenbecker spare parts service.
Responsibility in the spothlight
Better for the environment; cost savings of 60 to 80 per cent; fast, easy access to documents; transparent processes; happy staff. This is the summary after seven years of digital accountancy at Blumenbecker.
Seventy per cent of accounting in Blumenbecker companies is now digital. B+M Blumenbecker GmbH introduced paperless accounting in 2010. Since then, we have digitally captured more than one million records per year.
Good for the environment, good for Blumenbecker
Digital document processes mean less paper, less toner and fewer printers. This protects the environment and pays off. The Illentis market study from 2014 estimates the cost of a printed paper invoice at 11, - EUR. In comparison, the digital version only costs 4.50 EUR. This corresponds to a cost saving for Blumenbecker of 60 to 80 percent.
Monotonous work processes no longer necessary
In addition, work processes have become simpler and more transparent and, above all, faster, monotonous tasks such as searching for documents are no longer necessary. Employees have immediate access to all data. The auditors also access the receipts electronically. This enables fast testing and eliminates the need for on-site presence.
Step by step into the digital future
The digital future of accounting began in 2010 with the document management system D3, from which outgoing invoices, incoming invoices and delivery notes were scanned and digitally archived. In 2011, the tax authorities relaxed the legal requirements for digital accounting and created the basis for completely paperless processing. Blumenbecker's goal is to win over almost all customers and suppliers for electronic accounting by 2020.
Central control of energy consumption pays off - Hall areas controlled individually
The new production hall has been in use since 2014; the building control technology has been managing its energy requirements since the end of 2015, which makes it the first of Blumenbecker Group's production halls to have centrally controlled energy consumption. Decisions and choices like 'turn the heating down' or 'open the windows' are no longer up to staff, but are made by the building control technology's central control centre. Sensors throughout the hall continuously measure the ambient temperature. The data they provide is monitored by the control centre, which evaluates it in conjunction with meteorological data. If changes need to be made, the control centre adjusts the relevant area of a hall individually. For example, if the temperature is above the defined benchmark, the heating in that part of the hall is automatically turned down and the skylights open.
Lighting control and LED technology save energy
Interior lighting is also controlled, depending on levels of daylight from outside. Sensors in each area of a hall determine how much external light is entering the building and how much artificial illumination is needed. The wiring section, which requires 1,000 lux all the time, is not controlled automatically, but the conventional lighting fixtures have been replaced with LED technology. “These measures have allowed us to reduce hall temperatures by two to three degrees and use five percent less energy. The building components are very different from a couple of years ago,” says Mroczkowski. “I'm sure it wasn't easy for people to give regulation of the temperature into digital 'hands', but the results speak for themselves.”
Centralized waste disposal
Four companies, 470 staff, 60 waste collection containers, 24 types of waste – Since January 2017 a new, standardised disposal system has been in force.
In the past, all four Beckum-based companies took waste disposal into their own hands. The result was that 17 different waste disposal providers bustled around the premises. Now, there is only a single provider taking care of the task. For all types of waste generated in Beckum, a unified system of waste designations and codes has been put in place which meets statutory requirements. Additionally, waste is now removed only when necessary, rather than to a fixed timetable. Containers are being emptied only once they are full.
With more wheelie bins and more collection points, people have much less walking to do. In Blumenbecker Industriebedarf GmbH’s central warehouse alone three new bins for cardboard, paper and smaller, domestic-type waste are placed in a row. Whereas even small quantities of rubbish used to have to be taken outside to the container, the bins buffer the process and do not need to be emptied into the container until they are full.
Automatic monitoring of fill levels
Modern lift-and-tip mechanisms on the pressed waste containers make emptying the bins easier and safer. The bins are rolled up to the containers, hooked into the lifting mechanism, and automatically upended and emptied. Each pressed waste container is equipped with a digital level monitor that automatically notifies the disposal provider when the container is three-quarters full, who then proceeds to remove the container without further notice being necessary.
There is also a special container for paints and varnishes as well as packaging with hazardous residues that gets picked up on a separate schedule. This way, Blumenbecker staff no longer have to worry about waste disposal.
“Disposing of waste has become a lot easier and also more ergonomic for our employees,” Dieter Mroczkowski, the head of infrastructure at B+M Blumenbecker GmbH and the person in charge of the new waste disposal scheme, sums up. “In addition, we are also in compliance with all relevant waste-related regulations because we can provide end-to-end documentation of our waste flows.”
Employee welfare and work safety in the spothlight
Commitment to training
Skilled personnel are essential our future. Vocational training for young people is therefore a matter of key importance for the Blumenbecker Group. We train people for our own needs, and by doing so we lay the foundations for our future success. We offer our trainees/apprentices an interesting programme of training on the highest level. And that makes itself felt: trainees from Blumenbecker regularly number among the best finishers in their year. Our aim is to give young people an optimum start for their working lives and so provide them with the basis for a financially and socially successful future. The companies of the Blumenbecker Group offer training opportunities in a broad range of skills to match the needs of demanding markets. The spectrum ranges from classical technical apprenticeships to university sandwich courses. In 2018, 12 young people are starting out on their professional careers at our Beckum site alone:
Occupational health and safety
Our employees are our most important asset. Consequently, Blumenbecker not only fulfils all mandatory stipulations of work and safety law, but goes far beyond the national and international requirements. The Blumenbecker Group is, for example, certified under the internationally recognised OHSAS rules in Germany. This personal SCC certification (Safety Certificate Contractors) for mobile operating units further highlights our commitment to health protection and prevention. At the same time, this safety awareness, which is accredited through regular monitoring, is proof that our management and work processes meet highest safety requirements.
Compliance with the rules at all Blumenbecker sites is monitored by the top management and relevant specialist departments of the Blumenbecker Holding personally. A consistently low number of work accidents is clear evidence that we are on the right track. A further key area of our welfare concern for the workforce are our regular activities for promoting health and health awareness. These include eye tests, neck tension measurement and vein measurement, along with fitness exercises for the office.
Our sense of responsibility extends beyond our works premises. At all of our operating locations, we also pay attention to social affairs in the regional environment and support private initiatives in the fields of education, culture and sport. We do this either directly through the individual Blumenbecker entities or indirectly through the Marianne Blumenbecker Foundation, which holds 40 % of the capital shares in our Group.
Sponsoring at Blumenbecker
When it comes to sponsoring, Blumenbecker has a strong focus on sports promotion. But our engagement goes far beyond donating team jerseys; a variety of niche sports, for example, profit from Blumenbecker engaging in sponsoring agreements.
We also invest in young people’s education, which we see as an investment in the future. We seek to make a sustainable contribution to society. After all, in doing so, we also invest in the future of our company. We need highly qualified and committed employees, and our activities in this regard also help combat the much quoted shortage of skilled workers. Against this background we have entered into cooperation agreements with local schools and also donate prize monies for technically advanced competitions.
Listed below are just a few of our sponsoring activities:
VDE Technology Prize
The German Association for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies, or VDE for short, has been awarding technology prizes since 2004. The prizes are awarded for technological innovations developed by students from various schools specifically for this purpose. Last year, a “garden of the future” equipped with LEGO NXT robots capable of performing mowing, fertilizing and watering tasks won the jurors’ hearts. The innovative garden had been dreamed up by three students attending seventh grade at Wilhelm-Hittorf secondary school in Münster.
In 2013 the jury selected a project named “RIF“ and designed by students from Andreas-Vesalius secondary school in Wesel as the winner. A German acronym, RIF stands for “controllable pipe inspection vehicle” which the jury found to be a highly convincing technical solution. A special prize, also donated by Blumenbecker Automatisierungstechnik GmbH in 2013, went to the municipal secondary school in Straelen in recognition of a highly creative project resulting in an ingenious snack dispensing machine.
The first place 2014 went to the Maristenschule, a school in Recklinghausen, for a project concerned with the collection and utilization of wind data.
The Willy Brandt High School in Mülheim won the first place 2015 with their coffee cup washing station which cleans the cups in mere 15 seconds.
In 2016 first prize went to Adalbert Stifter Gymnasium in Castrop-Rauxel, for its team’s weather balloon, which collects data at a height of 14 kilometres.
The first prize 2017 went the team from Thomas Morus High School for their Horse Bot, a robot whose movements were designed to emulate those of a horse.
In donating the special prize, Blumenbecker Automatisierungstechnik GmbH builds on the tradition of the Blumenbecker Prize which used to be awarded annually in recognition of first-rate student research projects. “The VDE Technology Prize, although aimed at a different age group, is equally important because it introduces school students to the latest electronics and information technology”, explains Blumenbecker Automatisierungstechnik’s Managing Director Harald Golombek.
Ennigerloh-Neubeckum Comprehensive School
Newly founded at the beginning of the 2012/2013 school year in Ennigerloh, Ennigerloh-Neubeckum Comprehensive School is supported by Blumenbecker Group following a cooperation agreement signed earlier. This sealed cooperation is integrated in the project "Partnership school - company" from the Chamber of Industry and Commerce of Nord Westfalen. The donation to help procure equipment for the technology room marks the beginning of a relationship that is sure to continue in the future. “Our cooperation will bear fruit for both parties. Our aim is to support students in discovering early on what vocation might suit them best. With this project we hope to get more and qualified applications for our apprenticeships”, says Martin Eing, Head of Human Resources / Law at B+M Blumenbecker GmbH.
30 October 2009: the Schafstädt municipal park is renamed the 'Marianne-Blumenbecker-Park'. The choice was made at the initiative of Detlef Schulz, the managing director of Blumenbecker Technik GmbH whose head office is located directly opposite the park. More than a hundred people attended the official naming ceremony. A commemorative plaque has since been installed in the park bearing the following inscription: ' .. in recognition of the lifetime achievements of a courageous and self-confident woman, Marianne Blumenbecker (born 1926), who set up her own company under the most difficult of circumstances and whose inventiveness and perseverance built a successful international group.'
The option of sponsoring the park had existed for some time and the renaming ceremony also provided an opportunity for signing a sponsorship contract between Blumenbecker Technik GmbH and the town, whereby the company committed itself to playing an ongoing role in the active design and development of the facility. In the words of Detlef Schulz: 'We have been warmly received here in the town for more than 20 years. People have helped us and it is only natural that we should want to give something back to the community.'
The venture was soon made reality. In the summer of 2010 an open-air performance of Don Camillo and Peppone was held on a 6 x 8-metre stage, with the Naumburg Theatre Group presenting the work of the classic Italian writer. The Italian tenor Enzo de Franco also performed a number of Italian hit songs from the 1950 and 1960s. This free-admission event was attended by some 500 enthusiastic spectators.
The park also hosts an annual charity concert with free entry for all citizens, while the local Heritage Society uses it as a venue for a 'seniors' coffee afternoon'.
Blumenbecker is also responsible for maintaining the park and its facilities, this including the purchase of flowers and the planting and care of the war memorial erected to the memory of forced labourers from Holland.
R4 Team Westfalen
Drawing on inspiration from the famous Paris-Dakar Rally, six French students decided back in 1998 to set out on their own desert adventure with the ambitious objective of taking school materials from Paris to Marrakesh for the benefit of children in Morocco. As if this were not enough of a challenge, their preferred mode of transport was the Renault R4 'cult car', the favourite student vehicle of the age.
Students from all over Europe now take part in this increasingly popular 4L Trophy 'race' and the field has grown to comprise more than 2,500 dedicated young people with a taste for adventure. And as the number of teams has increased, so too has the quantity of aid being delivered to the people of Morocco.
A humanitarian 'raid'
Each team collects and distributes at least 50 kilograms of school materials and ten kilograms of provisions to Moroccan children to help them obtain an education. This combined effort represents more than 60 tonnes of school supplies. This material is then handed over to the Enfants du Désert (Children of the Desert) organisation, which works closely with UNICEF and is responsible for distributing aid to schools all over Morocco.
Blumenbecker has been lending its support to the R4 Team Westfalen since 2012. The team, which is currently the largest of the German entrants, is composed of ten male and female students from the South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences in Soest. Four vehicles will be used to complete the 3,500-kilometre challenge.
From Biarritz to Marrakesh
The four teams have ten days to complete the trip from Biarritz, where the rally starts, to the finishing line in Marrakesh. They will then travel back through Spain and France to Germany, where a reception will be held at the Soest university campus.
As well as paying the Trophy registration fee of € 3,200 the teams also have to fund the vehicle costs. Once a new car had to be purchased just before the start of the Rally, while finding R4 spares is also becoming increasingly difficult each year. Another time the University competed with five vehicles, which entail additional costs.
If, during the preparatory phase, more sponsorship money is received than is actually needed, the excess will be donated to a humanitarian organisation such as UNICEF or the German Red Cross.