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Gira and sustainability
Report 2017

The Material Compliance project – looking to the future Bisphenol A (BPA), hexavalent chrome and perfluorinated tensides (PFTs) are three substances found in a wide range of products that have been found to be hazardous in recent scientific studies. As a result, their use is subject to strict regulations. This field, which is new to many companies, is known as material compliance. It involves ensuring that raw materials and other substances are handled responsibly and in accordance with the law. Julia Heidler, Gira's material compliance manager, explains why this approach, which for Gira is a matter of course, is an essential part of a product-related environmental policy.

ENVIRONMENT


PEOPLE


BUSINESS

PROJECT COMPONENTS

Establishing the function of a Material Compliance Officer

Goal: Inclusion of the material compliance requirements in the technical specifications

Goal: Inclusion of a checklist with material compliance requirements in the change management process

Products can be called up via SAP at the touch of a button

Material compliance sounds like a highly complex subject. What does it involve?
Julia Heidler: To us material compliance means understanding the legal requirements relating to the environment and health and safety that apply to the raw materials we use to make our products. Our objective is to stop using hazardous substances or only to use them within the relevant legal framework, such as the European chemicals regulation REACH. In addition, we do not work with raw materials produced by overexploitation of natural resources, forced labour or child labour or with substances that come from countries where armed conflicts are taking place. Material compliance also includes the environmentally responsible disposal or recycling of electrical equipment, for example Gira HomeServers.

What is Gira's approach to material compliance?
Julia Heidler: The first stage of the process involved systematically identifying all the directives, regulations and laws that apply to Gira and incorporating the requirements that our products must meet into our development process. We also investigated all our existing products to determine to which extent they needed to be modified in order to comply with all the legal requirements. To ensure that our product modifications follow the material compliance regulations, we have included a checklist in our change management process that allows us to examine which requirements have to be met and whether the modified products meet them. It is equally important for us to identify the relevant amendments to legislation at an early stage, so that we can respond to them proactively. As material compliance is a relatively new field, we also need to raise awareness of its importance inside the company and among our suppliers and external partners. This involves in-depth communication measures and the provision of training courses.

PROJECT TEAM


Julia Heidler 
[Material Compliance Manager]

"A key component of our development process involves ensuring that we use materials and substances that are not harmful to human health or the environment. For us, this is an essential feature of the Gira quality promise."

Alfred A. Bulitz, Managing Director

Why is this topic particularly important to Gira?
Julia Heidler: At Gira, responsible use of resources is an important future task. This includes complying with all the legal requirements for the substances and materials we use, with no ifs or buts, and taking product-related protection of the environment seriously.

What will Gira be doing in the field of material compliance in the near future?
Julia Heidler: Our aim is to become even more proactive. In addition, our SAP system will soon be able to provide details of the material compliance status of all our products at the click of a mouse, so that we can ensure that our customers always receive reliable information.

 

The European chemicals regulation REACH is one of the pieces of legislation which specifies the requirements that substances and materials used by Gira in its products must meet.


At the end of a product's life cycle, it is important for it to be disposed of or for the materials used to make it to be recycled in a way that meets material compliance requirements, in order to reduce its impact on human health and the environment. This is governed by the European WEEE Directive 2012/19/EU.

PROJECT PLAN

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Gira and sustainability
Report 2017