Our self-conception as a sustainable family business has always included trustworthy cooperations with external partners.
Together we are involved in environmental and social projects and carefully select which partnerships support our holistic approach to sustainability. Through this dialogue, we are constantly developing further and can positively change areas relevant to us through our commitment. In doing so, we learn and benefit from each other – for the benefit of people and the environment.
The WWF is one of the largest and most experienced nature and environmental organisations in the world and is active in more than 100 countries. The fund is sustainably committed to the protection and preservation of the natural foundations of life. The WWF believes that recycled paper is the most sensible raw material – especially for hygiene paper. The WWF, together with WEPA, are therefore partners for sustainability and promote the use of recycled fibre in hygiene paper for trade brands and WEPA mach m!t.
We also support the WWF in the "Mittlere Elbe" project, which is a direct sequel to the previous "Wilde Mulde" project. WEPA thus ensures ongoing support in the "Elbe-Mulde-Tiefland" project region and helps the WWF to sustainably protect one of Central Europe's last large alluvial forest complexes.
The objective is to improve the alluvial forest in its functions as a habitat for biodiversity and flood protection through reforestation and renaturation.
Within the framework of our partnership, a continuous dialogue with the WWF and the constant further development of our product range in terms of sustainable raw materials and efficient production processes is an essential criterion for us. Together, we work out concrete measures for improvement with regard to conducting even more resource-saving and environmentally friendly business practices.
Long-term supplier relationships based on partnership are essential for WEPA. This applies in particular to the procurement of our raw materials pulp, recovered paper and auxiliary and operating materials such as packaging, but also to energy, machinery, equipment and services, such as logistics services. Therefore, we select our suppliers according to a defined process and on the basis of binding criteria. The focus here is also on our WEPA values of respect, commitment and sustainability. This starts right at our principles in purchasing:
We complete our objective of long-term cooperation in a spirit of partnership by auditing our suppliers. Through on-site checks, we verify whether our specifications are being adhered to. For instance, we have audited the factories of 56% of our raw material suppliers on site at least once since 2016 (reference year 2020).
One of our projects to promote biodiversity focuses on peatlands as important CO2 sinks and habitats for species that depend on wetlands. In the past, they were drained in many places around the world to create additional land for agriculture and forestry. Together with our partnership-based pulp supplier UPM, we want to counteract this development and will therefore jointly restore an area of about five hectares in Finland to its original boggy state, i.e. partly open and partly sparsely wooded peatland. Over the next three years, restoring measures will be taken to elevate the water level in the area to increase habitats for peatland species. In this way, we are creating biotopes for native animals and plants and making a contribution to biodiversity and climate protection.
A research building with laboratories and a technical centre will be constructed in the innovation quarter of the Düren paper model factory by 2024. Among other focus areas, research will be conducted there on efficient process technology, digitalisation and the supply of renewable energy for the paper industry. This way, the network makes an important contribution to the Paris Climate Agreement and to maintaining Germany as a competitive location for industry.
Within the framework of the ChePap Rhein-Ruhr III network for energy efficiency and climate protection, 14 companies from the chemical and paper industry in North Rhine-Westphalia exchange information on energy and efficiency topics and develop measures to save energy.
It is time to take the next step, which is why we joined the Maschinenraum innovation ecosystem – it`s better to shape the future together. In this alliance of currently 30 German medium-sized and family-owned companies, we share our experience and work together on the opportunities and challenges of change processes, such as digital transformation.
In 2013 we joined the non-profit initiative "Lean & Green" to promote ecological issues in the warehouse and logistics area and to reduce CO₂ emissions. For example, sleeve diameters, packaging sizes and pallet heights were adapted to make optimum use of the loading volume of trucks, and approaches were developed in cooperation with our customers and forwarding agents to avoid empty runs.