How we are protecting tomorrow today

#ProtectingTommorowToday

We are committed to the well-being of individuals, animals and the environment: as a family-run, medium-sized company, we make it our responsibility to protect nature and our natural resources.

We want to give something back to nature, especially as we draw on a natural asset – the natural mineral water that comes from the VILSA source. We have therefore developed a sustainability plan, including a strategy for sustainable business, regional cooperative partnerships, high quality assurance and responsible treatment of employees as well as a specific plan indicating how we are protecting tomorrow today.

Our Topics:

OUR APPROACH.

A special gift calls for special responsibility

We consider our mineral water to be a gift from nature. Protecting this precious resource and preserving it for future generations is our top priority for us. This is one of the many tasks we have set for ourselves as part of our sustainability strategy. We call it #ProtectingTomorrowToday.

Sustainable business ensures long-term success

We assume responsibility. As a fourth-generation, family-run business with its roots in the region, we have a long tradition of treating nature and our almost 500 employees fairly and responsibly – it is an integral part of our corporate philosophy.

In order to embed a culture of sustainability even more deeply within our company, we initiated a comprehensive strategy process in late 2018 that places the well-being of individuals, society and nature at the forefront of our work at all times. In doing so, we also defined our values and formulated our approach for a fair way of doing business. Our approach addresses:

  • Anti-corruption and integrity
  • transparent political influence
  • playing by the official “rules” for participation in business life

As a private commercial company, we do not only want to be known for the quality of our products but also for the sustainable actions defining the present and shaping the future.

Together for more sustainability

Sustainability is a responsibility, aspiration and challenge for every department and every employee. The owner family as well as the managing directors therefore take a very personal interest in the sustainability strategy. A steering committee was established to coordinate our sustainability efforts – this committee is involved in all business functions and decisions and ensures the implementation of the measures that have been agreed.

We also work closely with external stakeholders, e.g. suppliers and associations, in order to optimize our strategy and our commitment. As a sustainable business, our philosophy is to invest in the expertise and quality of life of our employees and the people in our community.


Find out more about VILSA-BRUNNEN as a company and read about our sustainability strategy in our 2018 sustainability report.

PRODUCTS & QUALITY.

Our pledge to the source and the consumer

To preserve the natural asset of mineral water, we focus intensely on quality assurance and the protection of nature and water. Our environmental protection measures do not only benefit our brand, they also safeguard the original purity of the VILSA source.

The mineral water is a resource that forms the basis of our business model. It is only by protecting its existence and its natural purity that our precious mineral water will retain the outstanding quality VILSA is known for. We therefore protect our source, offer products that are natural, pure and healthy, and work continuously to develop our products and our packaging.

Health, naturalness and quality

Interest in healthy nutrition is increasing, and with it the issue of product information. We support the commitment to healthy eating advocated by policymakers and consumer organisations. In developing new products and reformulating recipes, therefore, we strive to avoid sugar and artificial additives where possible and instead offer guidance for a healthy diet with our transparent labelling of ingredients.

The quality of VILSA products is currently certified in accordance with the IFS Food standard, ISO 9001, 14001 and 50001 and, since 2019, also in accordance with the requirements set out by Qualitätsgemeinschaft Bio-Mineralwasser e.V. (the quality association for organic mineral water).

Mineral water builds our base

We handle our resources carefully. When withdrawing the mineral water, we ensure that we do not affect nature in any currently identifiable way. In order to ensure the availability of water for plants, we consistently monitor and prevent potential declines in the water level.

We will also be intensifying our dialogue with neighboring farmers: with the support of Qualitätsgemeinschaft Bio-Mineralwasser e.V. and its many years of expertise, we as a company are campaigning for more environmental protection (organic farming) and also greater water protection. Organic mineral water symbolizes a holistic approach that extends from protecting our source to producing a certified sustainable, premium-quality product. We are getting started with our new glass bottles (“Geniesser-Flasche”).


Find out more about our products, our organic mineral water and our commitment to quality in our 2018 sustainability report.

PRODUCTION & SUPPLY CHAIN.

Protecting resources for a sustainable future

The world as a whole has a responsibility to bequeath a clean environment to the coming generations. It is up to all of us, therefore, to treat natural resources in a responsible manner. Whether in choosing a mode of travel, using our fleet of trucks or dealing with particulate matter emissions: we are continuously reducing our consumption of resources and our level of emissions in order to minimize our impact on nature and our environment.

We therefore make our investment decisions only after carefully examining the intended measures in relation to the conservation of resources and the minimization of emissions.

VILSA-BRUNNEN wants to make a contribution to a sustainable future and manage its environmental performance via certifications, an internal energy management system (EMS) and, since 2019, its membership in the association Bio-Mineralwasser e.V.

Less is more

Our aim for the coming years: climate neutrality. VILSA-BRUNNEN is striving to reduce its carbon emissions above and beyond statutory requirements. We do so with the knowledge that electricity and gas consumption is currently based mostly on finite fossil raw materials – the largest contributors of CO2. We are in the process of examining in more detail whether our internal logistics could be set up in a way that is climate-neutral – for example, by using electric forklift trucks or hydrogen fuel cell forklifts instead of our current vehicles. We are also evaluating whether using green electricity or producing our own electricity with photovoltaics could be an alternative.

Less is also more when it comes to waste. Our top priority at VILSA-BRUNNEN is to prevent waste and to reuse materials and valuable substances. We are therefore reducing our use of raw materials, promoting returnable packaging systems, increasing the proportion of recycled materials used (products derived from the recycling process) and are optimising the use of cleaning and disinfection materials.

Business relationships based on trust

In our mission statement we have set ourselves the goal of cultivating long-standing business relationships with our suppliers based on trust and a cooperative partnership.

To protect the environment and conserve resources, we prefer to cooperate with partners in our region, where this is feasible and practical. Our purchasing and internal compliance guidelines provide us with a framework to do so. Our suppliers who come into direct contact with products bearing the SGS label (awarded by the SGS INSTITUT FRESENIUS, one of Europe’s leading providers of non-medical laboratory analysis) will be audited directly by the institute. They are required to comply with the relevant legal and ethical standards in relation to fair wages, health and safety, environmental protection and quality.


Read more about the sustainable focus of our production and our supply chain management in our 2018 Sustainability Report.

EMPLOYEES & CORPORATE CULTURE.

Our employees are our most important resource

We rely on motivated and skilled employees who can act on their own initiative, are committed and can grow with us in the company. We therefore encourage lifelong, responsive learning – regardless of the age of an employee – and ensure a healthy working environment.

To guarantee a good atmosphere within the company and create a motivating working environment, we pay a fair wage that is commensurate with performance. As a family-run company, we are firmly committed to a healthy work–life balance. We therefore like to facilitate the participation of individuals in their professional activities at VILSA-BRUNNEN, no matter what their life situation is.

A corporate culture that encourages employee retention

Treating employees with respect and appreciation means more to us than complying with legislation. It is also a matter of corporate culture, which is intentionally designed to promote good cooperation. If employees have co-determination rights and feel fulfilled in their career, they are more motivated, more inclined to stay with the company and more supportive of innovation.

With the aim of being one of the best employers in the region, our ambition is to offer attractive jobs. Our declining staff turnover rate (2018: ~2.2%) is confirmation of our commitment. As a result, we get top marks in all industry comparisons and in data issued by the German Federal Statistical Office.

Good health as a basis

Specific programmes, precautionary and occupational safety measures as well as relevant training courses are part of our health and safety promotion agenda.

The quality of our health and safety management strategy is confirmed by the GDA-ORGAcheck conducted by the federal office for occupational safety (Gewerbeaufsicht). SMEs can use this tool to review and improve their health and safety setup. We are accredited each year by the federal association for occupational safety regulations (Berufsgenossenschaft für die Arbeitssicherheit). With the help of external safety engineers and specialist companies, we also provide health and safety training for all our production and logistics staff each year.

In addition to occupational safety measures, we also offer our employees voluntary psychosocial counselling and, based on the company’s integration management programme (Betriebliches Eingliederungsmanagement, BEM), we help employees to overcome existing and prevent renewed incapacity to work.


Find out more about VILSA-BRUNNEN as a responsible employer in our 2018 Sustainability Report and on our careers page.

SOCIETY & REGION.

Responsibility for nature, individuals and society

From our point of view, commercial success can and must exist in harmony with nature. VILSA-BRUNNEN has been actively campaigning for sustainability and environmental protection for years. Our new company motto “Protecting Tomorrow Today” simply reinforces that commitment. Responsibility does not just mean living sustainably oneself but also inspiring other people to treat nature with care.

We regularly organise “water days” for children and students living in the surrounding area. Forests and streams become a living laboratory and the young people’s awareness of nature is profoundly enhanced. In 2014 and 2016, VILSA was one of the finalists for the Federal Government’s CSR prize.

Achieve more through partnership

Our company and its owners have very close ties to the area. Bearing in mind economic considerations, they are committed to strengthening the regional economy. Notably, when contracts are awarded, local service providers are meant to be given preference to.

VILSA-BRUNNEN wants to play an active role in shaping the region – not only as an employer and taxpayer but also as a stakeholder in creating a high-quality living environment. We involve regional retail partners and customers in local issues in order to understand other points of view and include them in our decision-making.

 

Today is good, tomorrow will be better

Whether it is nutrition, forest conservation or educating children and young people – we are proud of the positive contribution that we have already been able to make. At the same time, we still have a lot to do and will continue to speak up for society and our region in the future.

In March 2019, VILSA-BRUNNEN joined Qualitätsgemeinschaft Bio-Mineralwasser e.V., an association entitling the company to use the organic label. In doing so, we also undertook to extend the existing commitment in the long term.


Find out more about our commitment to society and the region in our 2018 Sustainability Report or read directly about our activities.

100% rPET.

The “bottle-to-bottle” principle

We are also committed to sustainability in our production process. Since July 2019, our disposable bottles have been made from recycled PET (rPET). Production takes place within a closed loop. Disposable and are collected, washed and reused to make new rPET preforms. The small rPET preforms are compact and produce fewer emissions. They are then blown up again for production.

Our goal is that in 2020 all our non-returnable products will be made of rPET.

Enjoy VILSA mineral water! Fresh from nature.

After it has been used, the disposable bottle returns to the reusable material cycle as part of a bottle deposit scheme.

The used PET bottles are collected in recycling bins.

Our disposable bottles are separated from other bottles and materials in the sorting centre and compacted into bales.

In this step, the rPET bottles are washed at a temperature of 90°C in a caustic solution – all contaminants are thus eliminated.

As the bales contain extraneous matter such as cardboard or tin, the materials are separated from one another in several steps. The pure rPET product is what remains at the end.

The bottles and lids are shredded, ground into rPET flakes and washed again. This completely removes metal and PVC components. The rPET flakes are heated, melted and made into pellets.

After a cleaning process that lasts at least 16 hours, the rPET pellets are identical in terms of their composition to the original PET. It is only now that the 100% rPET is cast into preforms using an injection moulding process and blown up into new bottles as part of the production process.

VILSA-BRUNNEN fills the 100% rPET bottles, which then directly make their way from the plant to the consumer.

Find out more about the life cycle of our bottles

Scroll over each of the icons to learn more.

ENJOY VILSA

Enjoy VILSA mineral water! Fresh from nature.

USED PET BOTTLE

After it has been used, the disposable bottle returns to the reusable material cycle as part of a bottle deposit scheme.

BOTTLES IN DEPOSIT SYSTEM

The used PET bottles are collected in recycling bins.

SORTING

Our disposable bottles are separated from other bottles and materials in the sorting centre and compacted into bales.

WASHING

In this step, the rPET bottles are washed at a temperature of 90°C in a caustic solution – all contaminants are thus eliminated.

SHREDDING (FLAKES)

As the bales contain extraneous matter such as cardboard or tin, the materials are separated from one another in several steps. The pure rPET product is what remains at the end.

PELLETS

The bottles and lids are shredded, ground into rPET flakes and washed again. This completely removes metal and PVC components. The rPET flakes are heated, melted and made into pellets.

PREFORM

After a cleaning process that lasts at least 16 hours, the rPET pellets are identical in terms of their composition to the original PET. It is only now that the 100% rPET is cast into preforms using an injection moulding process and blown up into new bottles as part of the production process.

100% rPET BOTTLE

VILSA-BRUNNEN fills the 100% rPET bottles, which then directly make their way from the plant to the consumer.