Because we want to grow while at the same time using fewer resources

In his 2009 book "Green Recovery", Andre S. Windsor talks about Walmart as a real pioneer. The supermarket chain from the USA was one of the first to visibly label its products with their carbon footprint. On the package of neck steaks, all customers could now see how much CO2 was emitted by the goods.

When I read that, my ambition was immediately aroused: I want that for our products too! After all, the issue of environmental protection has been with me all my life. And by the way, maybe we could stand out from the competition this way.

However, I have yet to find out how difficult this is for an industrial company ...

When is a footprint really meaningful?

How much electricity do you consume per month? How much fuel does your car guzzle? How much oil do you burn? For a private household, these questions are relatively easy to answer - for a manufacturing company, it's a completely different story ...

It became much more complicated when I started to deal with a carbon footprint and things like Scope 1, 2 and 3 in 2011. Because in order to be able to really make a statement about how many emissions we consume directly and indirectly as a company, I have to get data from our suppliers, for example. And know how customers dispose of our products when they break. That is extremely complex! Not to say impossible - at least still at the time.

More and more resources

And even if we had managed to determine figures, they would not be comparable. Because simply no competitor calculates such a footprint.

So putting a footprint on our products was the wrong way to go. But we have a direct influence on how many resources we consume as a company. Here was a set screw to really achieve something in the direction of environmental protection. But we were stuck in a trap: we are a free-market company, we want to grow! And growing means producing more and more of the same, consuming more and more resources.

And I was deeply reluctant to do so: the prospect that the increasing success of allsafe also means consuming more and more raw materials simply does not fit my vision. I want to make the world a better place and not contribute to its destruction. So I had to think of something ...


I puzzled over how to resolve this contradiction for a very long time - you can believe me! The central question was: How can I develop an offer in which value creation and growth at allsafe as an industrial company are decoupled from resource consumption?

By the way, I never doubted that there must be a good solution. Yes, I admit: I am a steadfast optimist. I just didn't have the right idea. So I read a lot on the subject, exchanged ideas, thought hard. In spring 2015, the concept of "using instead of owning" began to mature in my head.

If we manage to increase the lifespan of products, resource consumption drops significantly, but then we jeopardise our growth. Longer life must now become our business model as a service for our customers.fewer resources - growth nevertheless. These thoughts were the basic considerations for realigning our focus: away from being a manufacturing company and towards becoming a service provider.

Next post
How companies save energy AND costs

Stay connected to us!

We will notify you by email about new posts on our blog: