Press release -
Sustainability report: maximum transparency from burgbad
When it comes to sustainability, burgbad is underpinning its trailblazing role in the industry by consistently pursuing its holistic strategy and applying transparent reporting practices. The recently published sustainability report for 2018-2020 was the first to be prepared in accordance with the standards of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). Among other things, it demonstrates that burgbad has far exceeded the emission reduction targets it set itself.
Against the backdrop of the current increase in the price of raw materials (which can be interpreted as an indicator of the finite nature of resources) and the widespread climate debate, the sustainability report shows that burgbad is heading in the right direction to position itself as a sustainable bathroom furniture producer.
“Sustainability and the circular economy are issues that we have to tackle – not just as a company, but as an industry. If we want to make a meaningful contribution to climate protection and species diversity, credibility and the transparency provided by international standards are crucial,” says Stefan Sallandt, CEO of burgbad AG.
Transparent communication and exchange
After preparing its first sustainability reports based on declarations of conformity with the German Sustainability Code (DNK), burgbad’s latest report is based on an international approach in accordance with the more comprehensive standards of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). The goal is to ensure maximum transparency – also with regard to its French subsidiary and Turkish parent company. burgbad is thus already preparing the ground for the EU reporting standard that is expected to take effect from 2024.
“Since 2014, we’ve evolved a great deal with regard to our actions and our communications with stakeholders,” explains burgbad’s head of sustainability management Dr Susanne Steinhauer. Transparency, she believes, is the most effective tool against a culture of greenwashing that is threatening the credibility of a sustainable economy: “We’ve been reporting on a voluntary basis for years and already meet tomorrow’s standards today. We take sustainability very seriously, and that’s why transparency is so important to us.”
burgbad seeks a dialogue with its customers – in the form of lectures and presentations, for instance – and has come to realise that there is a great need for knowhow regarding sustainability and reporting obligations. As chair of the Sustainability Committee of the German Quality Assurance Association for Furniture (DGM), burgbad’s head of sustainability management is strongly in favour of a knowledge transfer: “We have to accept that there’s no going back on the path towards sustainable business and consumption. That’s why, with burgbad as a pioneer within the industry, we’ve decided to develop viable solutions that we want to share with others as examples of best practice,” says Dr Susanne Steinhauer.
Climate protection through energy management: own emission targets surpassed
Among other things, the latest sustainability report documents just how much burgbad has already achieved as a result of its sustainability measures, especially with regard to climate protection: the company far exceeded its self-imposed goal of a 10% reduction in energy consumption per unit produced by 2020 as compared to 2014, for instance, ultimately achieving a saving of 22.5% (based on our eco-controlling system). In addition, CO2 emissions per unit produced were reduced by 68.6% as compared to 2014, thus likewise far exceeding the original goal (55%). And besides lowering its own total energy consumption, burgbad has continuously increased the percentage of renewable energies in its energy mix as well.
Reduction of on-site emissions and global offsets
burgbad is explicitly committed to the United Nation’s “well below two degrees” target. The company introduced systematic sustainability management back in 2014 and, in 2016, became the first climate-neutral bathroom furniture manufacturer as per the criteria of the German Quality Assurance Association for Furniture (DGM).
Since 2016, the remaining unavoidable emissions have been offset, and since 2018 burgbad’s offset concept has complied with the guidelines of the Development and Climate Alliance launched by German Development Minister Dr Gerd Müller. The offsets are channelled into projects that contribute to climate protection in emerging and developing countries and thus generate a social co-benefit.
Promoting regional structures in production
burgbad mainly collaborates with suppliers in Germany and France, as well as in other European countries. As a result, burgbad benefits from reliable quality while simultaneously helping to preserve jobs in the areas surrounding its locations. In addition, despite the sometimes difficult circumstances in a year dominated by the coronavirus, its close contacts with its suppliers meant that burgbad was nevertheless able to depend on reliable delivery.
In 2020, burgbad GmbH became Germany’s first bathroom furniture manufacturer to certify all its product lines with the new “Furniture made in Germany” label of origin. There are also plans to explore whether there is any further potential for expanding regional supply structures in Germany. burgbad France SAS also pursues a strategy of promoting regional production structures and labels the Eqio and Free collections that it manufactures for the French market in Nogent-le-Roi in the heart of the Eure-et-Loir region with the “Meublez-vous français” logo (issued by the L’Ameublement français association).
The world of work, human rights and materials: responsibility for the workforce and global supply chains
Besides climate protection in production and at our sites, sustainable action also includes aspects like taking responsibility in the supply chain and for employees, whose health is burgbad’s top priority – especially during the pandemic.
With complex risk assessments and surveys, especially of non-European partners, burgbad strives to establish the greatest possible transparency for the value chain and promote awareness. Even recognised certifications held by its supply chain partners are monitored for reliability if necessary. Special attention is paid to wood, the material that plays such a crucial role for burgbad: all burgbad products are PEFC-certified and sourced from sustainably managed forests.
burgbad explicitly welcomes the German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act that was passed in June 2021. Even though burgbad’s size means it does not fall under the supply chain legislation, which is due to take effect in 2023/2024, it already meets the majority of the requirements, which burgbad implements on a voluntary basis in accordance with the National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights (NAP).
Development of sustainable products: with a lean footprint and furniture based on ecodesign principles
As a manufacturer of top-quality and low-emission bathroom furniture, burgbad can and wants to contribute to the success of the European Green Deal by implementing actions along the entire value chain. That includes aspects like the resource efficiency, CO2 footprint and longevity of products, as well as the recyclability of their components – the ultimate goal is a circular economy. The report shows that the company has achieved or even surpassed the major goals it set itself in terms of innovation management, percentages of recycled input materials, the amount of materials used and waste avoidance. The amount of waste generated (kg/t of production), for example, was reduced as compared to 2014, not just by the planned 10% but by 23%.
One benchmark for the development of sustainable products during the reporting period was the certification of the bestselling Eqio range with the Blue Angel label issued by the German government. Over the next few years, innovation will focus on the development of sustainable furniture based on ecodesign principles. The relevant requirements go far beyond the European Ecodesign Directive and minimise environmental impacts along the entire value chain. burgbad’s aim in doing so is to make an initial concrete contribution to the EU’s Circular Economy Action Plan, which was adopted as part of the Green Deal, and the company expects the project to deliver empirical insights for burgbad’s continued strategic positioning as a sustainable furniture maker.
The Sustainability Report 2018-2020 can be viewed at:
The company made a decision fifty years ago to switch from the production of building blocks and shelves that it introduced when the company was founded in 1946 and specialize in the production of bathroom furniture. Since then its portfolio and know-how have grown steadily. Operating under the name burgbad, the group of companies with production facilities at its headquarters in Bad Fredeburg in the Westphalian region, in Greding, in Lauterbach-Allmenrod and in Nogent le Roi in France has merged to form a strong brand - with a new logo. The internationally active company has been a wholly-owned subsidiary of the ECZACIBASI Group since 2010 and feels at home anywhere in the world.
As a global market leader, burgbad offers attractive solutions in all bathroom furniture segments - from family-friendly bathrooms in a lacquered, veneered and country style and design-orientated bathroom furniture with a timelessly classic design through to individual room concepts with progressive architecture. burgbad is well-known for innovative interior bathroom concepts that create a homely feel.