Turning talk into action.
It’s fine to talk about sustainability. But it’s usually better to take action. That's exactly what we do at KAEFER by supporting and organising diverse initiatives in the economic, social, environmental and cultural fields.
Our company was founded 100 years ago to reduce the energy waste of ships leaving from the port of Bremen. This first guiding principle has influenced much of what we have done in the century since, putting sustainability at the heart of everything we do.
Our three core principles, which are part of the KAEFER business strategy ‘RED’, are:
- To care for the health and safety of our people and our environment.
- To base our long-term client relationships and profitability on excellence in quality and continuous process improvement.
- To respect cultural differences and promote value-based, entrepreneurial leadership.
These ideals guide us in every sustainability initiative we take part in. Below, you will see how we put them into practice.
Projects & Initiatives
KAEFER AIDS Relief Programme (KARP)
In 2007 the KAEFER AIDS Relief Programm was initiated by KAEFER Thermal in South Africa as a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) with the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GIZ. Now KAEFER has taken KARP on independently.
The key element of the project is the VCT (Voluntary Counselling and HIV Testing). It is vital that people know their status. The VCT process at KAEFER is in line with the national Department of Health guidelines. It includes basic information on HIV and AIDS and pre-test counselling, the HIV testing itself as well as a post-test counselling. VCT is being conducted at all KAEFER Thermal sites at least twice a year, with some sites having an uptake rate close to 100%.
Peer education, which means education on the job, is also a fundamental approach to KARP. The word “peer” emphasises the concept of equality. KAEFER has trained 21 Peer Educators who are responsible for implementing the information and awareness activities within KARP.
KARP also strongly focuses on formal training. For the programme to succeed, a basic level of knowledge and understanding is essential. The training covers the key areas: Basic information on HIV and AIDS / Managing HIV and AIDS in the workplace / Implementing the KAEFER Thermal HIV and AIDS policy / Organising the responsibilities within each level of management
MovIEE - Moving India's SMEs towards energy efficiency (2010-2013)
Organised as a KAEFER Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) project, the MovIEE project was launched in which KAEFER does what it does best – working to eliminate the energy waste through professional insulation. The objective was to provide small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) in selected regions of India with access to advisory services and training, thus enabling them to implement energy efficient insulation. At the same time, the project aimed to use the success stories of such interventions to raise awareness amongst India’s SMEs of the competitive advantages of integrating environmental and social sustainability measures into their business operations.
Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen
KAEFER has been supporting the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen for several years now - a world famous orchestra with a unique social engagement. Originally, it was founded by young music students and is now organised as a company. The orchestra’s rehearsal rooms are situated in a school in Bremen, where children from many different cultures and sometimes difficult social backgrounds are taught. Therefore, integration is an important issue. Music is a good way of promoting a close relationship to the pupils and encouraging a lively exchange of ideas.
KAEFER also supports the “Kunsthalle” (art museum) in Bremen by providing a Minivan, which enables the “Kunsthalle” to run projects and workshops for children, the elderly and other citizens that are not able to visit the museum.
Pink October & Blue November
KAEFER in Brazil, through its subsidiary RIP Servicios Industriais, plays an active role in the worldwide “Pink October” and “Blue November” campaigns, designed to raise awareness of breast cancer and prostate cancer respectively.
Both these forms of cancer are common, but responsive to treatment if diagnosed early enough. The campaigns emphasise the potentially life-saving importance of regular self-examinations and visits to the doctor.
KAEFER apprentices: seizing opportunities at home and far afield
During the last years KAEFER and the Sportgarten e.V. in Bremen continued their long-standing collaboration. In spring, two apprentices from KAEFER in Bremen go to South Africa to immerse themselves into the work and home life of a social project in the Durban area. Every year two apprentices receive a scholarship from the Sportgarten in Bremen incooperation with the Carl Duisberg Gesellschaft, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the Verein Partnerschaft-Bremen-Durban.
During their time in South Africa, they usually help in refurbishing projects, e.g. installing running water pipes, building school equipment from metal or upgrading sanitary facilities. As the usually live with local host families, they were able to integrate well into the community and learn a lot about local traditions.
Nelson Mandela Day in South Africa
Nelson Mandela had three values by which he lived: free yourself, free others and serve every day. It is in this spirit that Nelson Mandela Day was born.
On 18 July, a day that commemorates these values and allows each individual the chance to do something worthy for someone else, employees of KAEFER Thermal in South Africa usually come together and dedicate 67 mintues to changing the world for the better; one minute representing every year that Mandela devoted to public service and social justice. During the last years they donated children’s clothing and toys or support community homes by donating blankets, socks as well as a delicious treat for their morning tea.
Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
KAEFER offices in the UK run with renewable energy
In September 2012, two wind-driven turbines were installed at our our Jarrow office in the UK. The turbines are capable of producing 15 kilowatts each and stand out from other small-scale wind turbines due to their unique blade and hinge design, which allows them to regulate their rotational speed and therefore maximise output.
They not only supply sufficient energy to power both the office block and the production workshop, but also enough so there is some left over. This excess electricity can be sold to the national power grid in the UK. It is estimated that the turbines will require about seven years to recover their initial outlay.
Advent calendar for the good cause 2016 at KAEFER Headquarters
For the sixth year in a row, during the month of December 2016, the KAEFER Headquarters building in Bremen, Germany magically transformed into an advent calendar!
Each of the 24 windows on the front of the building contained a large red package with a number attached and every morning a different department had the opportunity to open the parcel for the day. Unlike a normal advent calendar consisting of sweets, chocolate or small gifts, our very own one follows the KAEFER way of sustainability and social responsibility. Underneath each parcel was a letter, telling that a certain amount of money had been donated to a local charity, good-cause or initiative. This means that 24 different welfare organisations in Bremen were supported by KAEFER.