Our strategy

Sustainability – forever better

The foundations for sustainable development

The Miele sustainability strategy

Sustainability is an indispensable part of our business activities. Our sustainability strategy sets out our fields of action, objectives, measures and responsibilities. Our strategy also defines performance indicators that enable us to measure our progress.


Our objectives and fields of action

The 15 objectives in our sustainability strategy define the themes and strategic focal points of our sustainability approach between now and 2025.

  1. The long-term financial success of Miele is ensured through sustainability.
  2. Miele is recognised and valued worldwide as the most sustainable company in the industry. Sustainability is an integral part of our brand identity.
  3. Sustainability communication with stakeholders is tailored to the target audience and international.
  4. In addition to legal requirements, risk management also takes into account the expectations of stakeholders.
  5. Miele appliances are the benchmark for sustainable product design and holistic efficiency.
  6. Miele is the industry leader in terms of product innovations and business models with a focus on sustainability.
  7. Trust in Miele is secured, even in an interconnected world.
  8. Minimising supply risks and full compliance with environmental and social standards.
  9. Miele is the sector leader for environmental performance, in particular for CO2 emissions, energy efficiency and resource efficiency.
  10. Miele is considered a role model when it comes to balancing work life and family.
  11. Miele sets an example in occupational health and safety.
  12. Miele ensures the recruitment of young talent and the opportunity for qualifications at all locations.
  13. Diversity is made possible through respect and equal opportunity.
  14. Employees and managers are aware of and engaged in sustainable behaviour based on values.
  15. Miele helps to maintain a sound, attractive environment at all locations.

Sustainability management performance review

The second largest Miele plant in Bielefeld, a centre of expertise for vacuum cleaners and dishwashers, publishes a biannual internal report on the status of the company’s sustainability goals in order to continuously raise awareness on the topic. All target definitions are regularly checked and adjusted. Members of senior management are appointed for each objective, every measure. Every year, an evaluation figure is calculated from all the objective achievement rates, showing how well the plant implements the “Forever Better” philosophy.

The special feature of sustainability goals is that they are overarching, cover a wide range of topics and affect many different areas of life and work. Ideally, they should also be managed across divisions through a systematically functioning and effective organisation of all measures and projects. This has been successfully implemented at the Bielefeld location, the centre of expertise for vacuum cleaners, dishwashers and professional dishwashing and medical technology. “We wanted a programme for the location as a whole, not for each individual segment,” explains Rainer Mammel, energy and environmental management officer at the location.

Environmental management has been in place at Miele’s second-largest plant since 1998, and has since grown steadily in line with the requirements of the ISO standards for environmental management (ISO 14001), quality (ISO 9001), energy management (ISO 50001), quality management for medical products (ISO 13485), occupational health and safety management (OHSAS 18001/ISO 45001) and, finally, through the 2012 company-wide sustainability strategy.

Twice a year, the status of the plant’s sustainability goals is communicated internally via notices and the intranet. “In order to continuously raise awareness on the topic,” says Rainer Mammel. The entire undertaking is made more tangible through the use of an evaluation figure, which is calculated based on the goal achievement rates. And successfully so: “There has been a real change in thinking,” Mammel has noticed. For example, energy saving in the workplace has become a much more self-evident undertaking. The younger generations are also engaged: apprentices set up their own energy and environmental company (Energie- und Umwelt-AG), which carries out its own projects. For example, they developed stickers that were distributed throughout the plant to encourage energy saving measures.

Active sustainability management in production, however, managed to initiate a development with an even greater impact: the entire in-house production, meaning the part of the plant in which a product is made from raw materials, is now completely waste water-free. This and other sustainability-oriented changes are also supported by the personally appointed managers who are responsible for developing and ultimately achieving the goals.

The target for 2025 has therefore already been set: The Bielefeld location aims to ensure its entire production process becomes free of waste water in future.

Principles and guidelines for our business

A number of principles and international guidelines form the foundations for our sustainability management system: our company philosophy, the ethical guidelines for procurement, our code of conduct for all employees, the ten principles of the United Nations Global Compact, the SA8000-standard for fair working conditions, the codes of conduct published by the German Central Association of the Electrical and Electronics Industry (ZVEI) and the European Committee of Domestic Equipment Manufacturers (CECED), and the Diversity Charter. All employees worldwide are obliged to abide by the law at all times, and to comply with internal guidelines as well as self-imposed social and ethical standards.


Further information

2019 Sustainability Report




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Ursula Wilms

Press and Public Relations
Miele & Cie. KG
Carl-Miele-Straße 29
D-33332 Gütersloh

Telephone: +49 (0)5241/89-1958
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