For Miele, sustainability is synonymous with integrity, a sense of responsibility towards people and the environment, continuity and, last but not least, quality awareness. The company takes an all-encompassing approach to developing durable products: it designs all of its appliances – be they washing machines, dishwashers or vacuum cleaners – to deliver top performance and superior results while using as little energy, water and chemicals as possible. As it does for its products, Miele also designs its production operations with the goals of reduced resource consumption and increased energy efficiency in mind. Miele is actively committed to demonstrating corporate responsibility towards its employees and society. The company is a signatory of the German "Diversity Charta" and a member of the Global Compact, the UN's sustainability initiative for companies.
Miele's responses to global challenges such as climate change, resource scarcity, demographic change and market globalisation are marked by both a sense of urgency and the application of sound judgement, and they always remain true to the company's values as a family-owned business. At the same time, Miele views these challenges as an opportunity to actively shape inevitable change in a way that is responsible and in line with the needs of the company's stakeholders.
The stakeholder dialogue is an essential part of identifying important issues and therefore serves as an important basis for formulating measures and objectives. Surveys that have been repeatedly conducted over time are an important source of feedback for Miele's annual review of its sustainability strategy. This review looks at requirements across the company's entire value chain – from the extraction of raw materials to disposal and recycling.
The Miele precautionary principle plays a huge role in how the company handles the sustainability challenges it faces. According this principle, the potential negative impacts of the production, use and disposal of Miele appliances on people and the environment should be eliminated or reduced ahead of time wherever possible. This involves supplier management and, accordingly, the promotion of transparency and traceability in value chains, which are growing more and more complex with time. Supply certainty is an important aspect in this area and poses a major challenge to companies involved in manufacturing. Miele develops appropriate tools and measures to meet this challenge. At a very early stage, Miele identified the creation of energy-efficient and resource-friendly production processes as a critical aspect of both environmental and economic sustainability. In the area of employee management, Miele places significant importance on acquiring and developing young talent on the one hand and establishing measures to adequately address the needs of an ageing workforce on the other. Where its products are concerned, Miele is responding to today's challenges by developing particularly durable and resource-friendly appliances. Miele refuses to compromise on the quality of its products and continues to pursue the highest standards for performance and utility. As a result, improving user comfort and incorporating universal design to provide intuitive usability for all user groups are key aspects of product development.
By implementing its sustainability strategy, a process which also involves an integrated management system spanning all areas of the company, Miele ensures consistent compliance with a wide range of national and international norms and standards. This list includes the UN Global Compact, the SA8000 social standard and the codes of conduct of the German Central Association of the Electrical and Electronics Industry (ZVEI) and the European Committee of Domestic Equipment Manufacturers (CECED).