„Every industry produces waste. Our job is to ensure that this waste is disposed of properly.
By 2029, we aim to recover the materials from all of the waste generated by our customers.
This approach follows the principles of a well-functioning circular economy.“
Christoph Ley, CEO
Sustainability is fundamental to
all our activities
We don’t see the circular economy as simply an economic theory. As a company, we put the circular economy concept into practice every day and operate sustainably across all our services.
On top of our day-to-day business activities, we have also committed to B Corp certification in order to have the sustainability of our environmental and social performance as a company critically reviewed. Joining the B Corp community was a heartfelt decision for us, as the values of this movement are part and parcel of our company culture. Now that we have achieved certification, we can communicate these values in an even more transparent and detailed way and keep developing them further.
True to the motto “business as a force for good”, we want to create sustainable added value for our employees, as well as for our partners and for future generations. That’s why, in addition to B Corp certification, we’re actively working on further issues, including the development of a closed-loop system and supporting various initiatives focused on sustainability.
We also help our customers to meet their sustainability reporting requirements under the EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and their obligation to provide information in relation to the German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act (LkSG).
Indicators of sustainability at the Zentek Group
Nachhaltig denken, Zukunft lenken
Unser Commitment zu mehr Nachhaltigkeit – damals, heute und demnächst – am Zeitstrahl verfolgen
Platzhalter Ast Animation
We are a
certified B Corp
with B Corp
Since we are waste disposal service providers, sustainability lies at the heart of our services. However, we felt it was important to go one step further and become the first B Corporation in Germany’s waste management sector. Our status as a B Corp allows us to communicate, both internally and externally, just how deeply committed we are to sustainability, and it helps us to establish a long-term sustainability structure within the Zentek Group aimed at continuous improvement.
B Corp is a sustainability certification system that measures a company’s overall social and environmental performance, focusing primarily on transparency and corporate responsibility. B Corps meet high standards in terms of social and environmental responsibility. The certification process involves examining and assessing the impact that companies have in different areas: environment, workers, customers, community, and corporate governance.
B Corp as a
At the same time, B Corp is also a global movement. B Corps inspire each other to drive change in the corporate world in favour of a responsible, environmentally sustainable, and socially equitable economic system that isn’t just focused on financial gain.
We are committed to measuring our impact on all stakeholders and to pursue continuous improvement. The best way to stimulate change is from within (bottom-up), rather than from above (top-down). That is why it has always been very important to us that all our employees are involved and empowered to help shape the transformation to a sustainable future.
We also want our actions to inspire other companies in order to accelerate the growth of the B Corp movement and speed up changes in the economic system.
How B Corp is helping us to
operate even more sustainably
What does this assess?
The Environment section examines our environmental management practices as well as our impacts on the air, climate, water, and land. This includes the direct impacts of our business activities and impacts that result indirectly from our network of partners across Germany. Within this section, positive assessments are made of services or products that, for example, are aimed at reducing waste or serve to educate people about environmental problems.
Some of our achievements so far:
The Workers impact area examines and evaluates the contribution we make to the financial security, career development, health, well-being and satisfaction of our employees. Within this section, positive assessments are made of staff development programmes aimed at supporting individuals facing barriers to employment, for example.
What does this assess?
In the Customers impact area, our stewardship of our customers is assessed in terms of the quality of our services, marketing, data protection as well as data security, and feedback channels.
What does this assess?
The Community section focuses on the Zentek Group’s engagement with and impact on the communities in which it operates. The range of topics reviewed and assessed here includes diversity and inclusion, equality and integration, charitable giving, and supply chain management.
What does this assess?
The Governance section evaluates a company’s overall mission, and our engagement in terms of our social and environmental impact as well as our ethics and transparency are subjected to a comprehensive assessment. Our approach to taking stakeholders into consideration in our decision-making is therefore particularly important here.
How our B Corp certification
B Corp FAQs
What is B Corp?
Who is behind B Corp?
The body behind the B Corp movement is the non-profit organisation B Lab which promotes socially and environmentally responsible business practices all around the world. B Lab develops standards, policies, tools, and programmes aimed at changing the behaviour, culture, and structural underpinnings of capitalism in order to have a positive impact on society and the environment.
How does B Corp differ from other sustainability certification systems?
B Corp is an extremely comprehensive and holistic 360-degree approach that examines and assesses the impact that companies have in different areas: environment, workers, community, customers, and governance. Sustainability in accordance with the B Corp system therefore encompasses both environmental and social responsibility. That is to say that a B Corp certificate indicates more than just being “green”, and the issue of sustainability is looked at in very great detail. B Corporations also commit to a process of continuous development, as they can only obtain recertification by improving their performance.
How can a company become a B Corp, and what makes B Corp certification particularly trustworthy?
Furthermore, companies that want to obtain B Corp certification must amend their articles of association on the relevant commercial register (Handelsregister in Germany, Companies House in the UK) in order to embed stakeholder interests in the company’s objects and corporate purpose.
In addition, B Corps must meet certain transparency requirements (e.g. publish their score online) and have their performance reassessed every three years. This ensures that companies that have been awarded certification are continuously working to improve their performance with regard to social and environmental responsibility. Recertification is contingent on improved performance.
Why is being a B Corp important to the Zentek Group?
As service providers in the waste disposal and waste management sector, all our activities revolve around sustainability. We’re not starting from scratch with the work we’re undertaking in connection with our B Corp certification, because we were already fulfilling, promoting, and thus giving serious attention to many of the aspects before our certification process began.
However, B Corp also alerts us to areas that we have not yet adequately addressed and where we can still improve. The B Impact Assessment (BIA) is therefore a very effective tool to help us understand our current position. It guides us in the right direction to establish a long-term sustainability structure within the Zentek Group.
Thanks to the highly rigorous and transparent process, the certification also helps us to communicate our commitment authentically, both internally and externally. The worldwide recognition of the B Corp label and the values for which B Corp stands build an additional level of trust.
Furthermore, we firmly believe that we have a great deal to gain from being part of the B Corp network and learning from each other. In turn, we want our actions and our message to inspire other companies in order to drive forward the B Corp movement and changes in the economic system.
Last but not least, we are committed to continuously measuring our impact on all stakeholders and to keep developing and improving. This ambition is a perfect fit with B Corp, as performance is reassessed every three years and recertification is contingent on improved performance.
What were the Zentek Group’s key takeaways from the certification process?
- Learning 1: The best way to stimulate change is from within (bottom-up), rather than from above (top-down):
It has always been very important to us to involve our entire workforce and empower them to participate in the tasks arising from the B Impact Assessment (BIA). Regular internal communication has been particularly helpful on this front, ensuring all our employees were kept up to date about the current status of the certification process and inviting them to assist with various matters and to attend our B Corp in-house fair.
- Learning 2: We were won over to the concept of agile working – the key is to break tasks down:
We succeeded in mastering every task, no matter how big, by splitting them up into smaller, manageable to-dos that multiple colleagues could assist with. Agile working provided us with the right framework in which to do this. Tasks that seemed large and difficult to achieve to begin with were completed successfully by working together in smaller steps.
- Learning 3: The B Corp network is tremendously important even before certification:
B Lab regularly offers aspiring B Corps opportunities to connect with other (aspiring) B Corps. We also often took the initiative and turned to the network or approached other B Corps through external communication in order to exchange ideas with them and learn from them. We were able to enlist representatives from B Corps to speak at our internal B Corp workshops for our sales and management teams. We also wanted to give something back during this period, so we helped to answer questions from other (aspiring) B Corps about waste disposal issues.
- Learning 4: The journey is the destination:
Now that we’ve worked through the BIA for the first time, we know that it will trigger many changes and that it will be an open-ended journey. We will work on our sustainability structure on an ongoing basis. Being able to call ourselves a “B Corp” at the end is certainly one of the benefits, but the real focus is on the work we do along the way. That’s why we decided not to wait until we became a certified B Corporation before we started talking about it, and why we’ve been open and honest about our progress and challenges since day one of our journey.
Now that the Zentek Group has been certified for the first time, what does it plan to do next?
Being certified motivates us to continuously improve and establish more socially and environmentally responsible practices – we are already making progress. We have restructured our B Corp team and trained more experts inside the company to further promote the issue in our different departments and ensure it is firmly rooted within them. We’re also maintaining our regular internal and external communications, since B Corp now supports us in everything we do. In addition, we plan to develop new internal communication formats to engage with our workforce in a variety of ways and keep motivating them to participate. With a view to mutual inspiration and learning, we would like to further increase our interaction with the B Corp community in order to contribute to the growth of the B Corp movement in Germany and help to make B Corp even more widely known as a standard.
More of the Zentek Group's
We believe that circular material flows should be self-contained. That’s why we developed our closed-loop system, in which a material-specific and regional approach is taken to collecting and processing packaging. The resulting recycled material is then returned to the manufacturer to be reused in the production of the same packaging.
Reporting Directive (CSRD)
The CSRD is thus an EU directive that the member states must transpose into national law. For us as service providers in the waste management sector, it goes without saying that we support our customers in fulfilling their CSRD reporting obligations.
„Mülltrennung wirkt“ initiative
The „Mülltrennung wirkt“ initiative (“Waste separation works” in English) was developed in cooperation with other dual waste collection systems in Germany. It provides private individuals with information about how to separate waste correctly and explains how this helps to maintain resource cycles.
To make it easier for households to separate their rubbish, we also developed sorting labels that apply to all collection systems in Germany. Manufacturers can print these labels on their packaging to remind consumers that, for example, packaging components should be separated before disposal in the appropriate bins.
One example is a project run by K.R.A.K.E e.V., involving a litter trap (Müllfalle) on the River Rhine. The association has been campaigning for a clean Cologne for many years, organising various campaigns and clean-ups to raise awareness about littering and to actively do something about it. The litter trap floats on the Rhine and passively collects rubbish. The aim is to find out how much and what kind of rubbish is actually floating in the Rhine.
We also support projects carried out by other companies and associations, such as the German Toy Industry Association (DVSI). Here, the focus is on conserving resources and ways in which valuable materials can be recovered and reused in order to maintain resource cycles.