Implementation plan for the sustainability strategy

Promoting the circular economy as part of GEAs sustainability strategy

In times of resource scarcity and climate change, a circular economy becomes increasingly important for businesses to secure supply chain resilience and reduce their environmental impact. Therefore, GEA embedded a circular economy in their sustainability strategy as part of its “sustainable solutions.” Out of the ten commonly known circular economy strategies (10R's), they strategically selected five for realization: Reduce, Re-use, Repair, Remanufacture, and Recycle. Based on that scope, they set themselves the following goal: “100 % of service parts and machinery packaging material to fulfill one of the five R’s of circular economy by 2026.”

In order to achieve this goal, GEA involved UNITY to set up an implementation plan. Within this plan UNITY defined and created four core elements. The first element includes sharing knowledge about a circular economy, its necessity, the 5R's, the goal and the importance of the employees’ participation. The second element provides GEA with a process that defines steps, roles, methods, and tools that support the implementation of a circular economy across all business units. The third element enables GEA to prove and measure the “5R fulfillment” of parts and packaging. The last, but most important element is the implementation of a developed operating model within a pilot business unit and iteratively improve the previously mentioned elements based on feedback. This has already led to success stories during the project (see three boxes).

Through the impactful cooperation between GEA and UNITY, GEA will continue to reduce their impact on the planet by making their business more circular through the global rollout of 5R as well as the optimization of machinery design, business models, and development processes.

50 Fewer truck shipments per year through process optimization

14,000 tons of CO2 reduced through a decentralized repair network

Reuse of packaging material as filler

In our circular economy project, UNITY provided us with well-founded sustainability knowledge and made sure they had the right solution for the right stakeholders at all times. We now have an implementation plan that motivates employees, but also provides key data for management levels. With this foundation, we are certain that we will achieve our goal on time and improve our sustainability performance
through a comprehensive circular economy process.

Manfred Weidlich

Senior Project Manager Sustainability

GEA

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Lars Holländer

Head of Sustainability & Circular Economy

Stuttgart, Deutschland
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Maximilian Straube

Senior Manager

Hamburg, Deutschland
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