Herz goes green – a new goal for 2023 and the years ahead.

The annual kick-off meeting of the Herz management team was held back in February. Aside from reports on the past year, the meeting focused on the outlook and goals for the coming fiscal year. While sales and process-related goals have been prioritised in the past, 2023 will also see the launch of a major sustainability project.

Herz goes green – the name of the project – will involve multi-year activities with the aim of continuing to promote sustainability at the company and improving its environmental footprint. Although the new project management is still defining the precise objectives, all employees of our organisation are called upon to submit proposals for suitable measures. Everyone is already aware that some measures will need to be implemented at a faster pace and others over a longer period. Starting in May, the project team will be tasked with defining all this in more detail and preparing a list of priorities. We look forward to receiving many ideas and will of course post reports about the measures we take on our social media channels as well as here on the website (see the “Herz goes Green” tab in the “Company” section).

Modern Work – The workplace for managers with families

We are all familiar with the situation – reconciling work with family life is among the biggest challenges of our times. Flexibility is the buzzword we encounter so often when attempting to address this challenge. Both companies and their employees are frequently faced with the question of how daily challenges can be reconciled with the other side’s expectations. It is precisely this challenge that we have addressed. After all, when skilled workers are thin on the ground, it becomes even more important to give employees the flexibility they need. Doing so imparts a sense of job and income security and at the same time enables the company to deploy its human resources efficiently in order to achieve its business objectives.

The result: a ‘win/win’ situation. After completing a review of our options at the individual locations, we have now developed a concept to offer people a place of work that accommodates their personal requirements. Whether it is young parents who need the flexibility to look after their children or perhaps have older family members to care for – our Modern Work arrangement enables them to schedule the hours they spend at the workplace to suit their needs.  Six of these positions have since been established. Colleagues have now been appointed to half of these positions, who are thankful for the opportunity.

We are pleased that with these Modern Work positions, we have been able to take another step towards a healthy work-life balance and can therefore reactivate potential skilled labour resources that are currently untapped.

Expansion of the current PV system

The long-awaited expansion of the Photovolthigh system on the roof of our Bendelbach site in Epfendorf began a few days ago. A decision was reached some time ago to continue investments in this system. The work itself was delayed for a few month due to availability issues concerning the required modules. But the time has finally arrived, and a specialist firm has now installed the new system with a peak output of 140 kW. This has increased the capacity of the PV systems mounted at our sites to a total output of approx. 240 kW.

But it will not end there. The “Herz goes green” project gathered pace at the beginning of the year and additional investments in a more sustainable future will definitely follow.

Modernisation of the developer technology

The company decided over a year ago to invest in a new and modern developer line. After more than 20 years in service, the current system will be put out to pasture and has since been replaced with a modern system from Schmid. Herz has been using systems from the Freudenstadt manufacturer for a long time, which are known for their reliability. So it is hardly surprising that the legacy system was also from Schmid and we are merely initiating a generational switch with the same brand. The new system consists of two developer chambers and is equipped of course with a modern control system. Employees in the relevant department were instructed in using the new control technology in the run-up to the project. As a result, we were able to operate the system at full capacity in two shifts right from the start.

Update from our environmental projects

We use drying equipment with heat pump technology for drying our production waste. This has recently been supported by an approx. 30 KW photovoltaic system. This measure allows us to reduce our external procurement of electricity by 50%. Furthermore, the waste heat that is generated by the drying equipment will be used to heat our warehouse from 2022 onwards, thereby replacing an old oil-fired heating system. This will help us to improve our CO2 balance even further.

We have always striven to achieve ambitious goals in environmental protection. We have been working on further reducing our ecological footprint for many years. In doing so, we have placed a special focus on climate protection, recycling management and the careful use of water as a resource. We are not only a role model in the field of etching technology, we have also been setting an example in environmental protection for quite some time.