For 121 years, Kneipp has made natural products based on the holistic philosophy of its founder, Sebastian Kneipp. “Our mission is to stay true to the company’s heritage and ensure long-term success while meeting the demands of our time, particularly with regard to the increasing scarcity of resources,” says Angela Kreipl, head of communications. “We are conscious of our responsibility to make sure that our lifestyle today is not lived at the expense of future generations and nature.”
A recent step toward anchoring sustainability within the company was taken in September 2010, when Kneipp amended its mission statement to include: In keeping with the spirit of this philosophy, we are conscious of our corporate responsibility to act in a manner that promotes sustainable development (economic, ecological and social). This laid the strategic foundation for establishing sustainability within every division, and having that force inform all departmental strategies.
Kneipp strives to manufacture its own products to the extent that is economically feasible, which in turn enables the company to safeguard jobs and to expand its workforce when possible. “A maximum level of in-house production contributes decisively to reducing carbon dioxide emissions by minimizing transport distances and saving shipping costs,” explains Kreipl. “When outside production is unavoidable, we select our contract partners carefully. Part of our supplier certification process includes addressing sustainability-related issues.”
As a member of the local Energy Efficiency Initiative of Lower Franconia, Germany, Kneipp has been working intensively since 1996 on a variety of conservation measures to reduce its carbon footprint. A further major milestone was reached in October 2010, when all Kneipp locations converted to 100% hydroelectric energy.
At the heart of the Kneipp brand are its products, which embody the company’s core values: nature, efficacy, and quality. “Upholding these values means making sure that every product meets them, starting in the R&D phase,” Kreipl concludes.
Melinda Taschetta-Millane is a Chicago-based writer and editor who has specialized in the professional skincare industry for the past 18 years.