Sustainability is a big deal at Graepel

Graepel, a sheet metal specialist from Löningen and Seehausen/Altmark, Germany, focuses on sustainability: Even though this legal requirement is new, the manufacturer already surpasses it.

In mid-2022, the European Parliament created a legal basis with the “Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive” (CSRD). According to this new directive, Friedrich Graepel AG must now also submit an annual sustainability report with its yearly financial statements, starting with the 2024 financial year and every year thereafter. 

Graepel anticipated this requirement and is already preparing a corresponding report for the fiscal year 2022. 

More than “just” environmental protection

Sustainability involves issues outside the financial sphere that affect the company as a significant part of society. 

The legislation does not specify a rigid format for this – which may pose a challenge to some businesses. For that reason, Graepel developed a suitable structure and selected an integrated approach.

It was the creation of a new position – Sustainability Officer, held by Eva Pophanken – and the formation of a project team that marked the beginning of the process. The Graepel project team consists of ten staff members from the two factories in Löningen and the factory in Seehausen/Altmark, Germany. The team worked out three major action areas: People, environment, and society. 

50 measures in three categories

As a result of analyzing more than 50 individual measures, the team defined important goals, a fixed timeframe, and identified responsible persons along with mentors. The team meets three times a year, checks the implementation and makes improvements if needed.

For board member Felix Graepel, sustainability is a matter of great importance: “As a family-owned business, we understand how important the topic of sustainability is for today's generation”. The manufacturer of sheet metal components for the vehicle, mechanical engineering and construction industries has been in business for 134 years and has held its own even in difficult economic times. As such, the company's management has always been “sustainable”, although it is now defined more comprehensively and documented in a more formal manner.

In the course of the year, Graepel plans to complete its voluntary sustainability report for the 2022 business year, which ended well. 

Caption: Graepel is once again taking the initiative and wants to set an example in terms of sustainability. From left to right: Felix Graepel, Eva Pophanken and Carlo Graepel at the headquarters in Löningen, Germany (Photo: Graepel)

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