In this interview, Sustainability Officer Lisa Behrens explains how ABUS is tackling the challenges and opportunities involved in implementing this strategy in order to gradually lead the group of companies towards a more sustainable future.

Lisa Behrens, ABUS Sustainability Officer © ABUS

How did you become Sustainability Officer?

Lisa Behrens: "Sustainability is becoming increasingly important in our society. We have also noticed this in the company because suppliers and customers have increasingly enquired about our position in the context of sustainability. We have therefore set up an interdisciplinary project team focused on the topic of sustainability. It's not about changing everything immediately, but about taking holistic measures that work together."

What does it mean to be a Sustainability Officer and what are your responsibilities?

Lisa Behrens: "As Sustainability Officer, it is my job to translate the complex issue of sustainability into concrete actions. Sustainability at ABUS should not only be created top-down, but also bottom-up. For us, this means increasing the awareness of the workforce and actively involving them as part of an ideas management system. I also support the sustainability reporting obligation, for example."

How are the ABUS "Made in Germany" approach and the topic of sustainability connected? 

Lisa Behrens: "For us, "Made in Germany" means having control over the entire value chain. This starts with the purchase of raw materials, covers the entire supply and production chain and extends to packaging in shops. When it comes to our products, we focus on quality and durability – a form of sustainability that is in opposition to a throwaway society and, of course, also benefits the customer. But sustainability is not a purely material issue for us. Social responsibility, such as caring for our employees and their health, is also part of our holistic strategy. The customer not only experiences high-quality products, but also a company that assumes responsibility."

What challenges and opportunities do you experience in the context of sustainability? 

Lisa Behrens: "Sustainability is a balancing act. Security and quality must remain our top priority. A long-lasting product is more secure and more sustainable than one that has to be replaced after a short time – we have to take this into account when selecting materials, which is why we cannot always prioritise recycling, for example. In turn, there are opportunities in stronger integration of the cradle-to-cradle approach: we want to incorporate this principle of a consistent circular economy more strongly into product development – for example, when it comes to the reusability and replacement of components."


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