Sustainability Blog

Welcome !

We are pleased that you are interested in our activities in the field of sustainability. Our aim is to provide you with insights into our current projects, campaigns and measures relating to the topic of sustainability with regular and exciting contributions on this blog. As a specialised manufacturer of PPE products, we are faced with very special challenges in this area.

Feel free to check back from time to time for the latest updates and to see what HB is currently working on in the area of sustainability and what measures are being taken to promote sustainable and responsible action and to contribute to a future worth living.


Resource conservation

sustainable action for a better future

Many natural resources that we use every day are finite. Just think of water or fossil fuels. If we continue to consume at an excessive and irresponsible rate, we face a future in which these precious resources will become scarce. Especially against this background, the conservation of resources is an important focus topic for us at HB. To ensure that we, too, contribute to a development that meets the needs of today's generations without compromising the ability of future generations, we implement various measures within the company.


At HB, the conservation of resources runs through all levels and begins for us with the sensitisation of our employees, for example in terms of waste separation and energy saving. This is additionally supported by targeted measures such as motion detectors, an energy-efficient heating system, the construction of a photovoltaic system and the conversion of the vehicle fleet to electric cars. In the meantime, 38% of our vehicles have already been successfully replaced by cars with electric motors.


In logistics, too, we have long been actively committed to conserving resources by using reusable PP boxes for shipping between our production facilities and our headquarters in Thalhausen. Our goods are then also stored in these boxes. In this way we save packaging material. Cardboard and plastic, which are still produced, are always recycled and reused. In addition, we optimise our transport routes through collective transport to our production plants, which not only reduces emissions but also conserves resources. Furthermore, we mainly work with companies that are located in Europe or in the European region, which means that transport routes can be kept as short as possible. Shipments to customers are usually handled in a climate-neutral way.


Of course, we also work on the product itself to save resources. Here, there is the additional challenge that achieving the required protective properties is always given priority, as protecting the wearer has the highest priority. In order to find suitable resource-saving materials, we are intensively engaged in finding alternatives. At the same time, we have imposed on ourselves to reduce the use of harmful chemicals such as fluorocarbon and to keep it to an absolute minimum. In the production of our products, the reduction of resources is also specifically implemented through efficient cutting.



The Supply Chain Due Diligence Act - Responsibility and transparency along our supply chain

The Supply Chain Due Diligence Act (LkSG) came into force in Germany on 01.01.2023. This law includes compliance with human rights-related prohibitions, such as the prohibition of child labour, but also compliance with environment-related prohibitions, such as the non-environmentally friendly handling of waste.


Initially, companies with a workforce of 3000 or more will be affected by this law, and from January 2024 it will apply to companies that employ 1000 or more people. HB Protective Wear GmbH & Co. KG is therefore not directly affected by the LkSG. Nevertheless, we have made the strategic decision to comply with our human rights and environmental due diligence obligations within our supply chain and to analyse, minimise and, if possible, eliminate all associated risks. In order to be able to meet the requirements, we have decided to cooperate with the company retraced. With retraced, we digitally map our direct supplier network and process our due diligence tasks through it.


Materiality analysis 
-what is important for us in terms of sustainability

For our materiality analysis, we have identified 25 different fields of action in the areas of environment, social and governance on which we have a direct or indirect impact with our business activities. These fields of action are based on the ESG criteria of the European Union. Ten of these fields of action are in the area of Environment, seven in the area of Social and eight in the area of Governance.


In order to be able to identify which of these 25 fields of action are of material importance to HB, meaning of essential significance, we sent out a questionnaire to 115 stakeholders, consisting of customers, suppliers, employees and banks, in the second half of 2022. The results of the questionnaires were subsequently summarised in a matrix. Based on this matrix, the most important topics were prioritised.


The resulting focus areas for HB are climate protection and -neutrality, energy, resource conservation and sustainable material alternatives. We want to deal with these topics as a matter of priority. However, the topics of circular economy and waste management are also of high importance to the interviewees and should therefore also be prioritised. The same applies to the topics of employees, human and labour rights in the supply chain, fair wages, occupational health and safety and also quality and product safety, which are highly relevant for HB.


The results listed here are now being used to develop a sustainability strategy for HB. This will help us to improve our sustainability activities in a structured way and to address sustainability issues in a focused manner.


Our understanding of sustainability

HB Protective Wear is a medium-sized, owner-managed company is the best possible way: personal, high-performance and predictable. In addition to desirable safety, we offer our customers high-quality and durable products. As a manufacturer of personal protective equipment, we are first and foremost required to provide our customers with the necessary protection against sometimes fatal hazards in the workplace. However, we not only make an important contribution to safety in the workplace, but as part of global society we also bear a responsibility that goes far beyond our products: for people, society and the environment - both internally and externally.


For this reason, we have been taking the ecological, economic and social consequences of our actions into account in all our business decisions from the very beginning. It therefore comes naturally to us to contribute to the well-being and sustainable development within the scope of our possibilities. True to our brand promise "be safe. we care.", we see it as our task to combine the required safety with the sustainability of our products and our actions in the best possible way. We understand sustainability as a development that meets the needs of today's generation without compromising the ability of future generations. We assign the various sustainability topics to three pillars: Environment, Governance and Social.


For us, ecological sustainability begins with raising the awareness of our employees, for example, for topics such as proper waste separation and the thoughtful use of resources and continues with a commitment to the protection and preservation of sea turtles within the scope of a turtle sponsorship with the Turtle Foundation. For us, environmental protection means acting sustainably with a view to future generations on a viable planet.


We are convinced that good and far-sighted management in combination with planning that is compatible for all sides as well as concepts that are sustainable in the long term are an essential prerequisite for lasting success. In this sense, we build long-term business relationships and strive for sustainable growth in cooperative partnerships.


We see our social responsibility not only in our company, but also beyond. Offering employee benefits as well as high-quality training opportunities for young people is a high priority for us. At the same time, we regularly assess the compliance with social standards along our value chain to ensure that we meet our own high standards.


With activities and measures in these three sustainability areas, we are able to make our workflows and processes at HB more sustainable and gain a fully comprehensive view of our actions in ecological, economic and social terms.


From now on, we will inform you about our sustainability activities in this blog and report on which topics we are working on, which measures we are introducing and how we are moving step by step towards a sustainable future at HB.