Sustainability Report Hochland Deutschland GmbH



Sustainability Report Hochland Deutschland GmbH
about cheese.
Dedicated to
The Sustainability Report 2014 is the first document published
by Hochland Deutschland GmbH to provide comprehensive
information about the company’s targets, measures, and
achievements to date with regard to responsible corporate
governance. This report is aimed at our employees, business
partners, all other stakeholders, and interested members of
the public. It will appear every two years in the future, with the
next report being published in 2017. Hochland Deutschland
GmbH also issues regular environmental declarations containing details of its environmental, occupational safety, health,
and energy management efforts.
basis of our corporate strategy and industry-specific issues.
­C hallenges and measures are described in the c
­ hapters
“Company Management,” “Products,” “Environment,”
“Employees,” and “Society.” The final chapter summarizes
all the relevant key indicators.
Reporting Period and Boundary
The Hochland Sustainability Report covers the period from
January 1 through December 31, 2014. Information about
key activities which took place before the above-mentioned
period and between year-end and the time of going to press
in May 2015 is also included in the report. The key figures
relate to the years 2012 through 2014. Data was collected
using the existing management systems in the various
company divisions.
Format and Contact Details
All interested parties can download this report from
the Hochland website in German or English
( A
­ printed version
is also available.
The report covers Hochland Deutschland GmbH with its
­production facilities in Heimenkirch (Allgäu region) and
Schongau (Upper Bavaria). Hochland Deutschland GmbH
was established on January 1, 2007, as a wholly owned subsidiary of Hochland SE. Within the Group, it is responsible
for the branded goods and food service business in Germany.
A number of social engagement activities in Germany are
managed by Hochland SE; the report indicates which initiatives these are.
Content and Reporting Standard
The decision about which topics to include was based on
the principle of materiality and our stakeholders’ key expectations. The content of the report is also weighted on the
02 | About this Report
The Hochland Sustainability Report 2014 complies with
version 3.1 of the Global Reporting Initiative guidelines and
takes the Food Processing Sector Supplement (FPSS) into
account. Based on a self-assessment, this report meets the
requirements of Application Level B.
Any queries or comments concerning the Hochland
Sustainability Report should be sent to Petra Berners
(Public Relations, [email protected]) or Karsten
Roth (Sustainability Manager, [email protected]).
About this Report
Company Portrait 06
COMPANY MANAGEMENT Company Strategy | Sustainability Strategy |
Implementing Sustainability | Acting with Integrity |
Dialog with Stakeholders | Targets
PRODUCTS Quality and Product Safety |
Raw Materials and Ingredients | Product Information |
Supplier Management | Animal Welfare
Environmental Management | Energy | Water | Packaging |
Waste | Logistics and Mobility
Corporate Culture | Remuneration and Employee Benefits |
Training and Professional Development | Career and Family |
Health and Safety | Demographic Change
SOCIETY Regional Engagement and Project Support |
Staff and Shareholder Engagement
Key Figures GRI Index Awards and Memberships Imprint 54
Table of Contents | 03
Hochland Sustainability Report 2014
As a family-owned company, we believe that operating sustainably means making decisions on the basis of whether they are
right for future employees and shareholders, rather than just
generating short-term profits.
We think in terms of whole generations. That means we act
responsibly and strive to use natural resources responsibly,
rather than simply consume them, for example. This is the only
way to ensure that these resources will still be available for
our children and grandchildren. It is also important to consider
that today’s consumers increasingly want products and brands
which are manufactured in a transparent, ethical, and socially
responsible way.
In the past, it was enough for Hochland to be seen as a “­hidden
champion” and work successfully in the background. This
­unassuming approach no longer fits with consumers’ growing
expectations. We still want to do the right thing well and keep
improving, but we now want to communicate this approach
honestly and unpretentiously as well.
We have taken a wide range of steps to date and our achievements in saving and conserving natural resources and in providing a safe, healthy place to work confirm that we are on the right
path. However, we also realize that we do not yet have answers
to all the questions. Many of the challenges we face cannot be
solved overnight and require a concerted, joint effort.
What does Hochland stand for, what can consumers
and customers expect, and what can we at Hochland
be proud of?
Our first Hochland Sustainability Report provides the answers
to these questions. In addition to this, we want to engage in
lively dialog with our stakeholders and other interested parties
to find out how people view us and where we can make further
changes and improvements.
We will revise this report every two years and publish it both
online and in a small print run.
I hope you enjoy reading it,
In spite of this, we promise to keep extending our influence and
consistently use it constructively. That said, everything we do
to achieve environmental and social improvements must also
make good economic sense because commercial sustainability
is c
­ rucial in order for us to remain an independent company.
Our customers, consumers, employees, and partners can always
rely on us to make commercial decisions on the basis of a clear
set of binding values.
04 | Foreword
Josef Stitzl
Heimenkirch, Germany, July 2015
Company Portrait
Hochland Sustainability Report 2014
Hochland Deutschland GmbH was established in 2007 as
a wholly owned subsidiary of Hochland AG (since 2010:
Hochland SE). Hochland SE is a family-owned company based
in Heimenkirch in Germany’s Allgäu region. Ever since it was
founded in 1927, the firm has focused solely on making, refining, and distributing cheese. It has more than 4,200 ­employees
at eleven production plants, who generated revenues of approximately 1.28 billion euro in 2014. This makes the group of
­companies one of the largest manufacturers and refiners of
cheese in Europe. The Hochland Group caters for all major segments of the cheese market, both nationally and internationally.
In addition to two German plants, it has nine decentrally managed production facilities in France, Spain, Poland, Romania,
and Russia. Cheese produced by Hochland is sold in some
30 different countries.
Within the group of companies, Hochland Deutschland GmbH
is responsible for the branded goods and food service business in Germany. More than 1,450 members of staff work at the
two sites in Heimenkirch (Allgäu region) and Schongau (Upper
Bavaria). Hochland Deutschland GmbH produced a total of
221,132 metric tons of finished product in 2014 – an increase
of 4.3 percent on the previous year. The company distributes
well-known cheese brands such as Hochland, Almette, Valbrie,
Patros, Grünländer, and Gervais. Its range of products includes
processed cheese, hard and sliced cheese, cream cheese,
brined cheese, cottage cheese, and curd cheese with herbs.
06 | Company Portrait
The Heimenkirch site is not a milk-processing plant in the
traditional sense. Its raw materials are various varieties of
cheese. These are processed and refined at the plant, primarily to make processed cheese, hard cheese, and sliced cheese.
The Schongau facility is one of the biggest producers of white
cheese and cream cheese in Europe. Its raw material, milk, is
sourced exclusively from two cooperatives – Erstes Bayerisches
Butterwerk Schongau and Milcherzeugergenossenschaft
Pfaffenwinkel – and is produced within a 35-kilometer radius
of the plant.
Hochland Deutschland GmbH sells its branded products via
the retail segment but also manufactures private-label products
for other distributors. In addition to this, the company supplies
businesses in the food and catering industries with specially
developed, customized product concepts in whatever format
they require.
The name Hochland is synonymous with quality and constant
product innovation. The plants in Heimenkirch and Schongau
regularly receive awards for long-term product quality from the
German Agricultural Society (DLG).
Company Portrait | 07
Right from day one, the family-owned company Hochland has stood for
responsible business, a company strategy with a long-term view, and a high
level of transparency. Hochland has also embedded these principles of good
corporate governance in its strategy, which is founded on economic, ecolog­
ical, and social values.
The three managers Volker Büstrow (Head of Marketing),
Maria Jacob (Head of Product Development at Heimenkirch),
and Walter Hartmann (Head of Production Processed Cheese) in consultation.
Company Management
Hochland Sustainability Report 2014
Hochland’s corporate strategy.
Since it was established in 1927, the family-owned company
Hochland has developed into one of Europe’s leading cheese
manufacturers. Today, our name is synonymous with high-quality
products, brands consumers trust, long-term customer relationships, bold corporate decisions, and motivated, capable staff.
Our business success is due in part to the values that all of us –
from the workforce to the management team and shareholders –
live out with conviction. In addition to upholding high standards
concerning our product quality, respecting every single person
is at the heart of our ethos. We are well aware of our responsibility to our employees, business partners, and the society in
which we all live and work. This also includes maintaining an
environment for future generations to live in and enjoy.
Top Priorities
To this day, Hochland remains in the ownership of the founding families, with the third and fourth generations now holding
the reins. The unique culture of this family-owned company is
hallmarked by a strong sense of community, close ties with the
firm, and long-term dedication. At Hochland, we think in terms
of generations, not quarterly periods.
This is also reflected in our three overarching strategic objectives. First, it is crucial for us to operate profitably and with a
focus on growth. To achieve this, we need to keep improving.
Above all, this means thinking and acting with the consumer as
our focus. We will only succeed in maintaining our competitive
position if we gear our activities towards the needs and expectations of our customers and consumers, manage and market
existing products well, and remain innovative across the board.
10 | Company Management
Our top priorities:
customer orientation, profitable growth,
and stability in our results
Strategic Key Indicators
To ensure that we achieve these objectives long-term, we align
all our activities with six strategic key indicators. Expanding
our business with branded products is crucial for our ­market
position. Consumer-relevant innovations are essential in paving
the way for this. In addition to this, we constantly have to compensate for rising costs – such as wages, salaries, and energy
expenses – by enhancing productivity, as we operate in a largely
saturated and highly competitive market. It is our employees
who make this possible at all. That is why we want to emphasize
our appeal as an employer and attract – then retain long-term –
well-qualified professionals by highlighting our strengths as a
medium-sized company, such as flat hierarchies and a broad
spectrum of responsibilities. If we achieve that, liquidity and
profitability will follow, enabling us to do business successfully
over the long term.
Safeguarding Our Future
Hochland strives to take responsibility for people, animals, the
environment, and society, and to take future generations into
account in all its decision-making. Read on to find out why the
various aspects of responsible business form an elementary
part of our corporate strategy.
Why Hochland wants – and needs – to operate sustainably.
As a food manufacturer, Hochland is particularly ­passionate
about nature – our most important raw materials supplier.
Hochland not only promises its customers and consumers
­maximum product safety, but also pledges to take r­ esponsibility
for the consequences of its actions. Publishing our associated
­targets, measures, and achievements in this report is one way
of putting this into practice.
Changing Market and Customer Requirements
Farmland is in increasingly short supply around the world, the
global population is growing, and commodity prices are r­ ising.
At the same time, there is increasing demand among many
­consumers for natural, regional, and affordable products. Food
scandals and a lack of trust with respect to industrially manufactured food are also making customers more sensitive to the
­origins of raw materials and ingredients as well as the social
and ecological conditions in which they are produced. As a result,
more and more consumers are consciously choosing products
and brands made by manufacturers who credibly deliver on their
responsibility to nature and society.
We are meeting these challenges with a strategy aimed at
striking a balance between ecological, economic, and social
considerations. In concrete terms, this centers on ensuring
product transparency and taking responsibility for our environment, employees, and everyone we share this planet with.
Instilling Trust, Safeguarding Our Future
Our customers and consumers have the right to transparency.
They want to know how safe our products are and what eco­
logical and social conditions apply at the point of manufacture.
They are interested in where the raw materials come from and
which additives we use. We want to impress consumers, for
example by offering GM-free Grünländer cheese and Almette
made from Alpine milk with 100 percent natural ingredients.
Protecting Nature and the Environment
As a company, we want to be measured based on how we safeguard Hochland’s commercial future without leaving future
generations to deal with the ecological fallout. We are ­striving
to use resources, rather than abuse them. As well as saving
energy, we are looking into using renewable energies and ways
to offset greenhouse gas emissions.
Farmers can count on us as a strong, independent partner and
safeguard the future of their farms with our help. Together, we
will face up to our customers’ and consumers’ expectations
regarding animal husbandry, feeding, and welfare. This serves
to strengthen our brands and pave the way for the milk price
to remain above average.
Social Responsibility for Our Employees
Our employees trust in Hochland as a reliable employer with
a long-term focus who rewards their performance with fair,
commensurate pay. We also earn this trust by challenging and
encouraging our staff to take personal responsibility and keep
developing their skills. Every employee should be able to see
how they contribute toward our success and how they can make
a difference – but also what action needs to be taken.
Economic Operations Part of the Picture
Profitability is an important aspect of sustainability for Hochland.
By living up to our social and ecological responsibility, we also
ensure that we remain successful in economic terms. At the
same time, we see profitability as a basic prerequisite for doing
business responsibly because firms must be financially viable
in order to survive long-term and thereby fulfill their obligations
to people, the environment, and society in the long run.
Company Management | 11
Company Management
Hochland Sustainability Report 2014
Hochland systematically embeds sustainability within the
company and its supply chain.
All areas of our operations must be characterized by respon­
sible action. That is why implementing our sustainability strategy falls within the remit of Hochland Deutschland GmbH’s
­Managing Board. To execute the strategy, we have appointed
a sustainability manager, who works with representatives of all
company divisions to initiate and coordinate specific measures.
In addition to this, we are taking steps to raise all employees’
awareness of this issue and encourage them to get involved.
These activities include week-long sustainability drives every
year at our sites in Heimenkirch and Schongau.
Focus on the Value Chain
However, we do not just want to make ongoing improvements
in areas which we can directly control and use resources more
efficiently during production, for example. It is also essential that
we take responsibility for the environment, animal welfare, and
social standards throughout the entire production and supply
chain. In the future, we want to cater to consumers’ demands
even more fully – for example, for greater transparency surrounding the raw materials we buy and process. We constantly
examine which social and ecological aspects of our products
and brands are critical and important, and where we need to
focus our efforts over the next few years. To do this, we have to
think and act interdepartmentally – from product development
and procurement to marketing. We cannot do this on our own;
we need to work hand in hand with our partners.
We have already taken a number of initial steps. In c
­ onjunction
with the German Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL),
Hochland has conducted sustainability analyses at ­partner
firms, identified key action points in the field of primary production, and established a milk farmers task force in response (see
page 26 f.).
12 | Company Management
Cooperation with Center for
Sustainable Corporate Management
In 2012, we initiated a systematic development process – known
as the “sustainability learning pathway” – in conjunction with
the Center for Sustainable Corporate Management (ZNU) at
­Witten/Herdecke University. This helps us to structure and further
develop our activities. As part of this, we produced environmental
impact assessments for our Heimenkirch site and two Hochland
products in 2012 (see page 32). In a further step, we completed
an exercise to assess the company’s status quo during a series
of workshops. Staff from a range of departments were involved
in this process. Action plans were developed based on this
analysis of our strengths and weaknesses.
Sustainability Compasses for Products
As well as examining measures at company level, we are ­taking
an increasingly close look at our products. This means that
experts from the marketing, product development, ­procurement,
sales, and logistics departments are analyzing the relevant
aspects of our brands from their specific viewpoints. Based
on the results, we are identifying areas for action and ­objectives.
We will regularly review the status of these and provide transparent information about the progress we have made in the
future. As the first outcome of this program, we will define sustainability compasses for all our brands, starting with G
­ rünländer
and Almette.
Sustainability compasses are defined
to orient our brands more strongly
toward sustainability
Hochland stands for correct, transparent conduct – within and
outside the company.
Hochland’s success should be built solely on legally and ethically irreproachable conduct. The company shareholders, our
management team, and employees all agree on this. We have
therefore put our values into writing in a number of guidelines,
such as the Guidelines for Managing and Working Together
and the Code of Conduct. Compliance with these documents
is compulsory for all companies in the Hochland Group. Every
single employee has been given a personal copy of both manuals,
which are also explained in detail in the staff magazine and can
be accessed online.
Guidance on Working Together
Trust and mutual respect form the basis for our relationships at
work. In addition to this, we at Hochland speak to one another
clearly, openly, honestly, and courteously. With this in mind, the
Hochland management team liaised with members of staff back
in 2001 to jointly define the Guidelines for Managing and Working Together. These set out how we work with one another and
apply to everyone from apprentices to the Managing Board.
As well as informing their line managers or the employee repre­
sentatives, workers can report any violations of the Code of
Conduct to two named members of staff at their site. They guarantee that all disclosures are treated confidentially. Information
can also be submitted in writing. Proven violations are punished,
regardless of the offender’s position in the company.
Shared Values throughout the Supply Chain
We also expect our service providers, our suppliers, and their
upstream suppliers to conduct themselves in accordance with
our values. They are required to comply with the social standards
of the current BSCI Code of Conduct and provide proof that
they do so, if necessary. We also insist that they uphold human
rights and legislation as well as adopting a decisive stance
against corruption.
Transparency at Every Level
Responsible, correct conduct has been a matter of course at
Hochland for generations. To communicate this externally, we
developed a “Code of Conduct” in 2011, which sums up how
we treat coworkers, business partners, and competitors.
In this document, we make an unconditional pledge to uphold
the law and behave fairly in our dealings with competitors,
coworkers, and unions. In order to be able to steer and control
processes and make results understandable, we promote maximum transparency. We cultivate a clear culture of giving constructive feedback in which every employee can share their opinions
openly and honestly.
Company Management | 13
Company Management
Hochland Sustainability Report 2014
Hochland liaises closely with all stakeholder groups.
We want to continually improve and enhance our sustainability
strategy. To achieve this, Hochland needs to maintain ongoing
dialog with all its stakeholder groups – both within and outside
the company. Incorporating our stakeholders at as many levels
as possible enables us to understand their needs and expectations better, and gain – and retain – their trust at the same time.
Talking to Staff
Hochland shows its employees how important their opinions
(including any criticisms) are to the company, not just by fostering a corporate culture centering on dialog. Our staff hold up
a mirror to us at regular meetings, via notices, in the staff magazine, on the intranet, and at the dialog sessions held once or
twice a year at both sites with the whole Managing Board. After
all, they know best where and how Hochland can be improved.
With this in mind, we encourage our employees to provide
­feedback via the company suggestions program and to help
shape processes and workflows. Our staff members can also
express their opinions anonymously in the questionnaires circulated as part of the “Great Place to Work” competition, which
we ­regularly enter.
Listening to Consumers
Our relationship with the people our products are made for –
the consumers – is no less important to us. We need their suggestions to feed into our product development, but we also
want to know what they think about certain issues which are
­relevant to society, such as the use of genetic engineering. One
way of maintaining contact with consumers is via our brand
14 | Company Management
and company websites. We also reach more than a quarter of
a ­million consumers (as of May 2015) via social media such
as Facebook. No matter how questions are submitted to us –
online or more traditionally by mail or telephone – we answer
every one.
In Touch with All Our Stakeholders
We also maintain close dialog with our shareholders, suppliers,
and business partners by meeting them regularly and ­working
with them in numerous task forces. They also receive all the
necessary information, as do other organizations from the wider
public with an interest in our firm and members of the press,
with whom we maintain a close relationship. Our neighbors
in Heimenkirch in the Allgäu region and Schongau in Upper
Bavaria are particularly important to us. We organize events
locally and work closely with schools and community representatives to improve quality of life in the towns and thereby also
enhance our attractiveness as an employer.
Promoting Knowledge-sharing
We are happy to share our expertise and liaise with a number of
universities, vocational colleges, and research facilities with this
aim in mind. In addition to this, we work with the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research to ensure that we are
always up to date with the latest developments in food technology. Last but not least, Hochland is an active member of almost
all the relevant industry associations and initiatives and also has
seats on a number of these bodies’ boards.
Overview of Our Most Important Stakeholder Groups
Consumers and
Dairy farmers
The public
Suppliers and
business partners
and initiatives
Government and
public authorities
Company Management | 15
Company Management
Hochland Sustainability Report 2014
Hochland’s sustainability targets.
To keep improving our sustainability management performance, we set ourselves quantifiable targets and monitor our achievement of
them. The table below shows some of our most important targets.
For details of other measures and targets relating to the environment, occupational safety, and health management, please refer to
the Environmental Declaration 2015 issued by Hochland Deutschland GmbH (
Target and Measure
Company Management
Setting up a sustainability team focusing on production, milk, raw materials procurement, brands,
and communication.
End of 2015
Establishing a risk radar to identify current and future risks, especially in relation to the market, society,
environment, and food legislation.
End of 2015
Making animal ingredients in cheese and processed cheese products (sub-ingredients) completely transparent
and traceable to batch level.
End of 2015
Introducing the quality management system “Milch für Hochland” for farms that supply the Schongau site
(QM standard and sustainability survey).
End of 2016
Completing a sustainability analysis of all our brands and defining sustainability compasses with measures
and targets.
Reducing packaging waste throughout the value chain to a maximum of 1 percent (medium-term target:
0.5 percent).
Evaluating whether the use of bioplastic packaging made from renewable resources is ecologically and
economically viable for our Almette and Grünländer brands.
Increasing the proportion of renewable energy we use by taking steps in the production of our own electricity
and optimizing energy procurement.
Reducing fresh-water consumption and wastewater by 1 percent a year and cutting the amount of disposal
waste by 2 percent a year.
Raising the proportion of recycled paper used for all secondary packaging at our Heimenkirch and Schongau
sites to 90 percent.
Reducing energy use per metric ton of finished product by 20 percent (base year: 2012).
Reducing staff absences by improving workstation ergonomics at the Heimenkirch and Schongau sites.
Entering the “Great Place to Work” competition every three years. We will next take part in 2017,
when the survey will cover 2016.
16 | Company Management
The quality of the food we produce is Hochland’s number
one priority. This means providing transparent information
about product origins, maintaining the highest standards for
raw materials and ingredients, and enabling complete traceability. Close, trusting working relationships with our agricultural partners are particularly important to us: they are the
ones who ensure the animals’ well-being and guarantee a
consistently high quality of milk.
Monika Huber (Product Development),
Eva Mühldorfer (Quality Management Schongau),
and Stefan Vogt (Quality Management Schongau)
taste testing herbed white cheese cubes Patros
Hochland Sustainability Report 2014
How Hochland sets quality benchmarks.
Impeccable, high-quality products form the basis for the trust
that resellers, food-service clients, and consumers rightly place in
us. This makes it all the more important for us to monitor the entire
production and supply process from raw material to consumer
so that we can identify any potential health risks, for example.
All quality assurance measures are completed on the basis of
risk and conducted in a way that fulfills specified standards. We
use various tools in this regard, such as the HACCP concept
(hazard analysis and critical control points). This system helps
us to identify risks that could jeopardize our product safety
and manage them in the best possible way. In addition to this,
a comprehensive SAP-based tracing system guarantees that
we know exactly where our raw materials come from. This also
applies to the processing history of semi-finished products at
our plants, for instance, and the distribution and location of the
product once it has left our premises.
Extensive Certifications
The Hochland Deutschland GmbH production facilities have
been certified as per the globally recognized IFS (International
Featured Standards) Food standard for many years – and have
been rated as “higher level” since 2006. We have also been
certified to the British Retail Consortium (BRC) Global Standard for Food Safety since 2006. External auditors now check
the Hochland plants’ quality management system twice a year.
These audits include voluntary inspections under the IFS Integrity Program, which involves hygiene and process monitoring.
We have also been awarded McDonald’s Supplier Quality Management System (SQMS) certificate. We have been supplying
the fast-food chain with cheese in Germany since as early as
1973. If we receive any queries, we can trace individual steps in
the production process anytime with the aid of our standardized
manufacturing management system.
20 | Products
Food Safety Culture
Hochland regularly trains its employees so that it can keep
­setting itself even higher quality and product safety targets.
But that is not all: we are also strengthening our food safety
­culture by involving our entire workforce. This primarily means
putting measures in place to prevent risks and constantly
improve food safety. Our employees proactively make suggestions, which they put into practice themselves in conjunction
with their line managers.
Award-winning Product Quality
Hochland Deutschland GmbH regularly receives awards from
the German Agricultural Society (DLG) for its high quality standards. The company received the DLG’s PriMax prize a total
of 14 times between 1998 and 2013. Both plants have already
won the award for long-term product quality twice, an award
which was only introduced in 2014. The Heimenkirch site was
commended for 25 years of successfully participating in the
DLG’s testing program and the Schongau facility was honored
for its 19 years of involvement.
Read on to find out how carefully we select raw ingredients,
how we provide consumers with comprehensive ­information,
how our supplier management system contributes toward
­quality assurance, and what responsible animal husbandry
means to Hochland.
Hochland products
regularly receive awards for
their quality
Hochland Sustainability Report 2014
Hochland is synonymous with carefully selected raw materials
and strict quality criteria.
Legal requirements for food labeling and traceability are growing ever more comprehensive. On top of this, many consumers increasingly want to buy natural and regional products.
Hochland is happy to provide information about the safety of its
products and the origins of the 330 or so different raw materials
and ingredients it uses, which are sourced from over 130 suppliers. In addition to this, we disclose the social and environmental aspects of production conditions and the use of additives
wherever possible.
to guarantee consistent, high quality. However, we are ­gradually
reducing the additives used for products of this kind as well
thanks to new technologies and close working relationships with
our suppliers.
Premium Raw Ingredients
Hochland believes that using carefully selected raw materials
forms the basis for optimum quality and product safety. The use
of recognized specifications for our raw materials helps us to
exceed legal requirements and meet the high product standards
we set ourselves.
Carefully Considered Production
Preventing food waste is another of our key objectives. We
donate anything we overproduce to food banks or sell it at
reduced prices as part of special campaigns. Even in the production phase, intelligent preventive systems help us to avoid
or reduce waste. These include measures to counteract overproduction and constantly improve food safety.
Locally Sourced Quality
Sourcing as many ingredients as possible from our local region
is another trademark of Hochland and our products – and this
applies above all to the milk we use. For instance, the milk for
our Schongau site comes from more than 1,000 farmers located
within a radius of roughly 35 kilometers from our plant. We also
work with long-standing suppliers whom we trust in the production of processed cheese and sliced cheese. Provided they
can offer goods on competitive terms, we prefer to work with
regional partners here as well.
We also have control programs in place to stop allergens from
entering our production facilities via compound ingredients. All
raw materials can be traced quickly with the help of computer-­
aided systems.
Finished Product Manufactured (in t)
Natural and Allergen-free
Hochland primarily uses natural flavorings, and some of its
brands, such as Grünländer and Almette, exclusively contain
natural flavorings. We have also developed guidelines for the
reduction of additives. Processed cheese products, for example, need certain additives – such as emulsifying salts –
22 | Products
(Metric tons)
2012 2013 2014
The Cheese That’s Green at Heart
None of Hochland’s products contain genetically ­modified
ingredients that are subject to EU labeling regulations, but
we go even further than this with our ­Grünländer brand.
We can evidence that the whole value chain for ­Grünländer
complies with the strict requirements of the EC Genetic
Engineering Implementation Act. It all starts with the milk,
where we ensure that the cows are only given feed made
without the use of genetic engineering. On top of this, all
the ingredients and additives – such as rennin, herbs, and
spices – are also GM-free.
We go to great lengths and incur substantial costs to
ensure that this is the case because very few producers
exclusively supply GM-free ingredients that comply with
the legal stipulations. Furthermore, the additional checks
and genetic engineering analyses which we continually
conduct for Grünländer are time-consuming and costly.
However, going to this extra effort is the only way to
ensure we deliver on the promise we make our customers
and consumers that these products are “Checked and
guaranteed GM-free.”
Because Natural Tastes Better
To meet the requirements of consumers who want to
know exactly where their food comes from, we use
100% milk from the Alpine region for our Almette brand.
This Alpine milk comes from farms in a precisely defined
area which falls within the territory covered by the EU’s
Alpine Convention and stretches from Landsberg to
­Füssen. Extensive technical adjustments had to be made
to implement this regional concept. For instance, we
changed the routes used for our milk collection runs and
introduced strict separation for milk from the moment it
arrives at our Schongau plant.
In addition to this, all ingredients mentioned in the various Almette product names – e.g. herbs, chives, onions,
or horseradish – are grown locally. Some of these ingre­
dients are grown specially for us in line with strict specifi­
cations. This means they come from our Alpine region or
no more than 100 kilometers away from it, and from farmland within Bavaria. Wherever possible, we buy any ingredients which cannot be sourced regionally from EU countries. Last but not least, Almette does not contain any
preservatives, flavor enhancers, yeast extract, or any artificial binders, colors, or flavorings.
Products | 23
Hochland Sustainability Report 2014
Hochland gives consumers comprehensive, transparent
information about its products.
Providing facts helps to ensure that consumers are as well
informed as possible and fosters trust. That is why Hochland
discloses precise details about its products and their ingredients. Even before the EU directive on the provision of food
information came into force in December 2014, we made more
details about many of our brand-name products available to our
consumers than was required by law.
We are aware of our responsibility as a manufacturer of basic
foodstuffs, which is why, for example, we disclose comprehensive
nutritional information – known as the “Big Seven.” This means
listing the number of calories along with the amount of fat, saturated fat, carbohydrates, sugar, protein, and salt per 100 grams.
Helping Consumers Decide
By taking an open, transparent approach, we aim to help consumers make well-informed decisions about what they buy. As
well as labeling products with details such as the “Big Seven,”
this means we provide comprehensive information online. The
FAQ sections of our brand websites contains details of our products, including the lactose content of various cheese varieties,
the use of gelatin, and types of rennin.
For health-conscious consumers, we also offer low-fat versions
of some of our products. Approximately ten percent of the products we manufactured were classified as “low-fat” in 2014.
Listening to Our Customers
Should customers ever have reason to contact us, a team of specially trained employees is on hand to deal with complaints and
questions. In 2014, they handled around 2,500 comments – both
positive and critical feedback – received by email or via our
brand websites. Our aim is to receive no more than four complaints for every million individual packs we sell. We achieved
this in 2014. Personal contact is very important to us, and we
24 | Products
are careful to ensure that we respond to every message from
consumers. On average, queries are processed within 48 hours.
Every time we receive a complaint, we analyze the cause precisely and initiate corresponding improvements.
Trained Hochland staff
field queries in direct dialog
with consumers
Data Management Ensures Maximum Clarity
Hochland can call up complete information at the touch of
a button thanks to a computerized product data management
system. This provides access to a summary containing everything from the specifications of each raw material to the finished
and packaged product. To manage all our product-related
data, we had to spend several years redefining processes and
completing time-consuming data processing tasks. This is
the only way we can offer our customers and consumers
enhanced transparency.
Hochland and its suppliers work together as partners and meet
high standards.
When it sources milk, raw materials, and ingredients, Hochland
tries to establish direct contact with dairy farmers, producers’
associations, or manufacturers. We also purchase certain raw
materials via dealers. Whatever the case, Hochland has high
standards – and that goes for both suppliers and dealers. Maintaining trust-based partnerships with these long-standing suppliers is a means of safeguarding the quality of our products.
Focus on Regional Milk Suppliers
One of the targets we have set ourselves is to source 100 percent of the milk we use from our local region. To achieve this,
Hochland is currently working with two cooperatives: Erstes
Baye­risches Butterwerk Schongau eG has been a partner of
ours since 1988 and Milcherzeugergemeinschaft Pfaffenwinkel eG was added in 2013. Our Schongau plant sourced
213,000 metric tons of milk from these two cooperatives in 2014.
Strict Requirements for Suppliers
Our suppliers have to be certified to the internationally recognized IFS Food and British BRC standards; regular audits are
also compulsory. Alternatively, we conduct our own audits based
on the ISO 22000 food safety management standard. We only
buy palm oil – which we use to prepare processed cheese or for
anticaking agents, for instance – from sources which fulfill the
criteria and principles of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil
(RSPO). Hochland itself was awarded an RSPO Supply Chain
certificate in 2014. All suppliers are also obliged to comply with
the requirements of the Business Social Compliance Initiative
(BSCI) under our terms and conditions of purchase.
Local procurement helps us to ensure security of supply for our
customers and also offers farmers a long-term purchase guarantee at fair prices. In this way, Hochland gives hundreds of local,
family-run farming businesses a secure income.
High Quality Standard for Milk
Our aim is for all of our suppliers to be audited in line with
Germany’s uniform QM quality standard by the end of 2016.
QM-Milch e. V. is a quality management initiative launched
by the German Farmers’ Association (DBV), the German Raiff­
eisen Association (DRV), and the Association of the German
Dairy Industry (MIV). In addition to animal health and welfare,
the standard focuses on feed and, of course, the raw milk itself,
which must meet certain criteria as regards its purity and bac­
teriological makeup, for instance. Compliance with the standard
is verified by means of independent checks. Hochland assumes
the costs for these checks, which are voluntary for suppliers.
At present, 64 percent of our over 1,000 milk suppliers take part
in the program.
Optimizing the Supply Chain
In spring 2014, we commissioned an external ­sustainability
assessment of 17 suppliers based on spot checks. As well
as looking into animal welfare (see page 26 f. for details), we
­conducted in-depth analyses of corporate governance, envi­
ronmental management, economic considerations, and social
issues. We developed a strategy for bringing about improvements based on the results. In particular, we want to further
enhance transparency in our supply chain and promote regional
value creation. In addition to this, we are working with our milk
suppliers to plan sustainability improvements to their businesses. To achieve this, we set up task forces which draft and
implement corresponding measures.
Products | 25
Hochland Sustainability Report 2014
Hochland cares about animal welfare and is strengthening
contact with its farmers as a result.
Society is taking a growing interest in animal welfare and animal health. These two issues are also increasingly important
aspects of our working relationship with our suppliers – especially as they are areas which we can only influence indirectly.
Although the German Veterinary Authority monitors compliance
with legal requirements, Hochland believes it shares the responsibility for ensuring humane treatment. As a result, we maintain
a constant dialog with our producers’ associations and raise
awareness of growing animal welfare expectations among our
dairy farmers.
Our engagement here is also a question of economic necessity.
Only if we are able to quickly satisfy consumers’ and customers’
rising expectations regarding animal husbandry will we and
our dairy farmers be able to derive a commercial benefit from
our operations.
Utilizing Internal Data
As part of our efforts, we look at the situation among our dairy
farmers by collecting our own data; this was most recently done
in 2013. Our records showed that approximately 33 percent
of the milk supplied to us then came from farms that tether their
livestock. The majority of these are near the Alps and reflect
the prevalence of small-scale farms in this region. Short-term
prohibition of this method of keeping animals would significantly speed up structural change and jeopardize the ongoing
existence of small family farms, which make a major contribution toward maintaining the agricultural landscape in the Alpine
region. As there have been further increases in government
investment grants for pens which give cattle freedom of movement and retailers are also exercising greater pressure in this
regard, the proportion of farms that use tethering will continue
to fall over the next few years, however.
A Challenge for the Supply Chain
Striking the right balance between animal husbandry, society’s
demands, resource availability, and consumers’ or resellers’
expectations is a challenge for the whole dairy industry – and
therefore also for Hochland. We still have a long way to go in
this regard, but we will stay the course.
New Platform
In spring 2014, Hochland Deutschland GmbH commissioned
the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) in Switzerland to complete an external sustainability assessment of
17 businesses as per the UN Food and Agriculture Organization
(FAO) guidelines. The outcome of the FiBL study provided
26 | Products
f­undamental information for the dairy farmers task force established in December 2014. In addition to Hochland, represen­
tatives of the EBB (Erstes Bayerisches Butterwerk) Schongau
and the dairy farmers’ associations Pfaffenwinkel and Bayern
MEG belong to this group. The task force is an information and
discussion platform which serves as an interface between milk
suppliers and Hochland. It also defines objectives and strategy
for making milk production more sustainable.
One of the task force’s first actions was to introduce the “Milk
for Hochland” quality management system on a voluntary basis.
Hochland aims to roll out this QM system by the end of 2016
with the goal of enhancing sustainability and transparency in milk
production. The program consists of QM-Milch – an a­ ccredited
nationwide standard in Germany – and a sustainability survey.
The questionnaire used was developed by the Thünen ­Institute,
an independent research center that is part of the German
­Ministry of Food and Agriculture. The results of the survey are
discussed within the task force, which then liaises with dairy
farmers to decide what action should be taken.
Participating in Dialog and Round-table Discussions
Since 2013, Hochland has been attending the meetings of various task forces dedicated to sustainability and animal w
­ elfare
which were set up by the Association of the German Dairy
Industry (MIV). In addition to this, Hochland took part in the
round table for humane livestock husbandry established by
the Bavarian state ministry for the first time in spring 2015.
To promote sustainability and
transparency in milk production,
Hochland is implementing the
“Milk for Hochland” QM system
by the end of 2016
Products | 27
Hochland has more than just a passing interest in protecting nature and the
environment. As a company that processes a natural product – milk – maintaining an intact natural world is a fundamental part of our business. That is why
we live up to our social responsibility. Hochland understands the importance of
professional environmental management which conserves resources and does
all it can to ensure that the direct and indirect consequences of its production
activities do not damage the environment.
Richard Schuster (Department Head, Treatment Plant)
and Stefan Mayer (Schongau Plant Manager)
in front of the biogas plant.
Hochland Sustainability Report 2014
How Hochland takes an ecological approach to business.
Generating less waste, wastewater, and CO2, reducing energy
consumption, and conserving resources is not only gentle on
the environment but saves money as well. In addition to this,
more and more consumers are now looking at how c
­ ompanies
deliver on their responsibility to society. Eco-friendliness is also
important for food manufacturers like Hochland for another
­reason: an intact environment is essential to providing raw materials of the standard we need for our high-quality products.
This means that it is in Hochland’s own best interest to maintain
an intact natural world and orient its business activities accordingly. Environmental protection and energy management are therefore a key part of our corporate strategy. Acting on this means
involving employees at all levels of the organization in our efforts.
A Pioneer in Environmental Management
Hochland established an environmental management system as
early as 1995 and has been further developing it ever since.
Our Heimenkirch plant has been part of the
EU’s eco-audit program, now known as EMAS,
since 1996. In the same year, we became one
of the first companies from the German dairy
industry to complete this audit. The Schongau
plant also joined the program in 2005. Both of
our German sites are now certified in line with
the relevant environmental management standards, ISO 14001
and EMAS III. They also comply with the requirements for system­
atic energy management laid out in ISO 50001.
30 | Environment
There are management representatives responsible for all
issues relating to the environment at our plants in Heimenkirch
and Schongau. In addition to this, the company directors, plant
managers, and specialist divisions define targets to c
­ ontinually
improve environmental protection and conserve resources.
Teams of internal auditors regularly check whether, and how,
we are meeting our goals during plant and Group audits.
Hochland Deutschland GmbH also produces an annual manage­
ment assessment as an additional means of monitoring and
documenting our progress. This includes comprehensive consumption data relating to energy, water, and raw materials and
details of our environmental impact – such as emissions and
waste – in the form of tables accompanied by comments.
Responsibility Part of the Picture
Hochland Deutschland GmbH publishes an environmental declaration every three years. We also restructured, summarized,
and documented our approach to occupational safety, environmental protection, and health and energy management in 2013
by issuing our A.U.G.En management handbook. These guidelines contain compulsory method statements, working instructions, appendices, and forms for staff and external partners.
We take matters relating to these areas into account during the
product development phase and prior to making investment
decisions for new processes.
In recent years, we have succeeded in both systematically
improving environmental protection at our sites and making production processes more efficient. The next few pages explain
how we have reduced our energy consumption and carbon footprint and look at how we are conserving water, lowering our use
of packaging and paper, decreasing our waste, and optimizing
our logistics.
Hochland Sustainability Report 2014
Hochland is using innovative technology, energy-saving measures, and renewables to optimize its
energy usage.
Reducing CO2 emissions is crucial for ecological reasons as well as with a view to economic considerations. For this reason, we examine the environmental friendliness and energy consumption of
our products, processes, and systems at the earliest possible stage. To help with this, Hochland
Deutschland GmbH implemented and certified an ISO 50001-compliant energy management system
in 2013. Among other things, we use energy audits to develop concrete energy efficiency measures.
Analyzing Greenhouse Gases via Environmental Impact Assessments
In 2012, we produced sample environmental impact assessments to improve our energy management system, in conjunction with the Center for Sustainable Corporate Management at Witten/
Herdecke University. The environmental impact assessment for the Heimenkirch site was completed using the method defined in the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Standard. The two
product-related assessments were based on the international standards for assessing environmen­
tal impact ISO 14040 and 14044 along with the Product Carbon Footprint Memorandum.
The assessments show that the majority of greenhouse gases at the site result from the use of natural gas to generate steam and that for the products analyzed raw materials are responsible for the
largest share of emissions. In concrete terms, this means we need to avoid raw material waste and
improve energy efficiency in our use of natural gas.
Saving and Producing Energy
We have been taking steps to save energy at Hochland Deutschland GmbH for many years. We use
the waste heat generated from refrigeration, energy production, and vacuum generation and energy-saving LED lamps. In addition to this, we are eliminating peaks in consumption and reducing
so-called idle current, which arises during the use of alternating current and does not result in any
actual power output. We are gradually replacing older motors and pumps with more efficient models.
Generating a certain amount of the energy we need ourselves is a key component of our energy
management strategy. With this aim in mind, we put a new block-type thermal power plant (BTTP)
and a new photovoltaic system into operation in Heimenkirch in 2013. Just one year later, this
­supplied 230,063 kWh of electricity and 335,000 kWh of thermal energy for our own use.
32 | Environment
Supporting Renewables
Renewable energy is inexhaustible and environmentally friendly.
At the Schongau plant, we substantially augmented the proportion of our total energy accounted for by renewables between
2013 (1.6 percent) and 2014 (7.7 percent), partly by changing
the supplier we use for the 25 percent of our energy consumption covered via external procurement. We generate 75 percent
of the electricity we need at the site using our own BTTP plant.
Renewable energy accounted for a significant 46.4 percent of
the electricity used at the Heimenkirch facility in 2014.
We will continue to increase our use of self-generated and renewable energy. There are plans to expand the photovoltaic system
and install a small combined heat, cooling, and power plant for the
production of steam in Heimenkirch. A biogas plant went oper­
ational in Schongau in 2015. Thanks to this and other moves to
optimize our systems and processes, in part already initiated,
Hochland Deutschland GmbH is well on the way to achieving its
strategic target of slashing its energy consumption per metric ton
of finished product by 20 percent between 2012 and 2020.
Energy Use per Metric Ton of Finished Product (in kWh)
2012 2013 2014
Environment | 33
Hochland Sustainability Report 2014
Hochland uses water responsibly.
Drinking water is the source of all life – and it is in increasingly
short supply around the world. As a food processing company,
Hochland’s water consumption is relatively high. For this reason,
we have placed a special focus on efficient water management,
even though our region has extensive resources.
We need water for the generation of steam, our production processes, cleaning, and cooling. For hygiene reasons, food legis­
lation in Germany stipulates that all of the water used in most
areas of our operations – such as cleaning or direct steam-heating – must be potable. We source this water from local water
companies. In less sensitive areas – such as cooling and sanitation – we use water from wells at our plants. The Schongau site
has two deep wells. The Heimenkirch facility also has its own
well, which has been supplying around 12 percent of our water
requirements (approximately 20,000 m3 ) for a number of years.
Clean Disposal
Both sites have full, separate sewage systems. We comply with
the legal requirements for wastewater disposal. All of the places
where wastewater is generated have been defined. Where necessary, measuring equipment has been installed at these points.
While all wastewater at Heimenkirch is disposed of via the local
sewage plant, Schongau only uses this option for wastewater
from its sanitary facilities. We treat wastewater from the production processes there at the site’s own clarification plant. This biochemical plant has been in operation since 2000. We monitor
its cleaning performance in an on-site laboratory. Water leaving
the plant is so clean that it can be fed into the nearby River Lech.
Optimized Technology
In 2014, we made further improvements to our technical equipment and cleaning at the plants. At the same time, we trained
our employees in using fresh water responsibly and implemented
measures to prevent water pollution. In Heimenkirch, we succeeded in reducing our relative fresh-water consumption by two
percent from 1.39 m³ to 1.36 m³ and our wastewater per metric
ton of finished product from 0.98 m³ to 0.95 m³ thanks to these
steps. We also cut our use of lye for cleaning by 13 percent
compared with the 2011 figure.
Ambitious Plans
Hochland has set itself additional water management targets
for the period through 2018. We want to reduce both our fresh-­
water consumption and the amount of wastewater generated
per metric ton of finished product by one percent annually. To
achieve this, we are continuing to work on improvements in local
cleaning processes and plant technology. We are also looking
into making greater use of well water and intend to use cleaning
agents and disinfectants even more sparingly.
Wastewater per Metric Ton of Finished Product (in m3)
34 | Environment
2012 2013 2014
Hochland is working on innovative packaging solutions.
We at Hochland aim to package our products intelligently. Consequently, packaging has to fulfill the requirements of several
functions. It should be durable and tough, guarantee product
hygiene and protection, serve as a means of informing consumers, and look appealing. Second, it should have the smallest
possible impact on the environment.
Based on the principle of offering maximum quality with minimum materials usage, we are working on producing packaging
which takes the latest ecological considerations and technologies into account. We also pay close attention to the quality
of the materials: there are no contentious ingredients such as
­chlorine or heavy metals in the plastics we use.
Materials – Less Is More
In 2014, we once again succeeded in significantly reducing our
use of recoverable materials thanks to innovative solutions. At
the Schongau plant, we were able to reduce the thickness of
various plastic films by five to seven percent and even cut the
weight of a slip lid by ten percent. Switching from corrugated
cardboard to non-slip paper – a process which only took a few
months – enabled us to save eight metric tons of material for
packaging interlays in Heimenkirch.
Recycling – More Is More
In addition to materials reduction, recycling plays a major role
in our packaging concept. At the Schongau plant, we replaced
corrugated cardboard with compact cardboard which contains
a larger proportion of recycled material in 2014. This reduces
our environmental impact twofold: by conserving resources and
by making our use of pallets more efficient, as up to 40 ­percent
fewer pallets and shuttle transport runs are needed. We use
recyclable materials wherever this makes good sense. For
instance, we are making greater use of them for label backing
paper and slip lids. We no longer make the latter from polystyrene; PET is used instead as it is easier to recycle and contains
some reground material. Downscaling materials usage and stepping up recycling are at the heart of our current international
project to reduce the weight of the tubs for our Almette brand.
With a production volume of 20,000 metric tons, an eight percent reduction in weight translates to around 130 metric tons
less post-consumer and manufacturing waste.
At the same time, we have increased the proportion of recycled
material used in the tubs from zero to between 70 and 84 percent – without compromising on quality in terms of food safety.
The Packaging of the Future
By 2018, Hochland Deutschland GmbH aims to step up the
proportion of recycled paper used for all its secondary packaging at both sites to 90 percent if possible and further optimize its use of plastic films. In addition to this, we have joined
a consortium which supports the development of bioplastics.
Compostable packaging based on renewable resources which
do not compete with food production generate considerably
fewer CO2 emissions and markedly reduce the amount of waste
produced. Over the next three years, we intend to complete
in-depth checks into whether biomaterials meet the requirements
for food packaging and whether they can be manufactured at
an acceptable price.
Environment | 35
Hochland Sustainability Report 2014
How Hochland deals with production residues and waste.
Minimizing waste and recovering leftover material whenever
possible is an effective means of protecting the environment
which also makes long-term economic sense. With this in mind,
Hochland has set itself the goal of further cutting the volume of
waste by means of consistent reduction and recovery strategies.
Professional Disposal
Hochland Deutschland GmbH produces waste statistics for its
facilities in Heimenkirch and Schongau as part of its annual management assessment. These record the amount, origins, and type
of waste. Both of the sites have their own waste management officers. Each waste category is separated, sorted, and prepared
for collection. Disposal channels are clearly defined, documented,
and checked at regular intervals by the environmental manage­
ment officer. We work closely and exclusively with certified,
approved specialist companies for the recovery and disposal of
our waste to ensure that we always find the best disposal option.
The recovery rate
has consistently been
over 90 percent for
ten years
High Recovery Rate
We aim to continue raising staff awareness by providing regular
training. At Hochland, departmental managers and shift forepersons also have an obligation to further reduce the volume of
waste in the area they are responsible for and to keep the waste
recovery rate up long term. Thanks to extensive cooperation
between the individual areas, the recovery rate has constantly
stood at over 90 percent for ten years. In Heimenkirch, it even
reached 94 percent in 2014.
36 | Environment
Progress in 2014
Good internal communication and information-sharing with both
suppliers and disposal companies have prompted countless
innovations in recent years. In Heimenkirch, for example, we
do not use thermal recovery for silicone-coated backing paper
anymore. Instead, we make it available to the paper industry
for recycling. In Schongau, we have substantially reduced the
amount of cardboard packaging, plastic film, and rigid plastic
waste by using recoverable materials or making the materials
thinner. We have also set up new containers at the site which
make recycling easier.
Less Waste
Thanks to all of these efforts, Hochland succeeded in reducing
the total waste volume at both plants from 5,388 metric tons
(2013) to 5,014 metric tons (2014). Even more important in our
view is that we were able to cut the amount of waste per metric
ton of ­finished product. Heimenkirch recorded a figure of 25.89 kg
in 2014 (2013: 28.81 kg), while Schongau generated 19.29 kg
(2013: 21.67 kg) of waste per metric ton of finished product.
Ambitious Targets
We want to build on this trend. Hochland intends to reduce the
amount of disposal waste by two percent by 2018. To achieve
this, we will continue to train and educate our staff, optimize the
separation of waste, and monitor the disposal market closely.
Hochland also looks at the environmental impact of logistics
and mobility.
In addition to the actual production processes, our business
activities result in other environmental impacts away from the
sites themselves. Hochland keeps track of these indirect CO2
emissions caused by staff travel and company vehicles, monitors them regularly, and comes up with innovative ways of
reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Wherever possible, Hochland uses electric forklifts and
industrial trucks for transportation within its sites. A diesel-powered forklift is only used outside at the Heimenkirch
and Schongau sites. Hochland Deutschland GmbH does not
have its own fleet of road trucks. External haulage companies
are used for all milk deliveries to the plants and to transport
our finished products to the distribution center in Buxheim.
Efficient Milk Collection
Raw materials are also delivered to our facilities by external haulers. However, we are constantly working to optimize
these bulk milk collection runs. In 2013, on average 4.93 km
were traveled for each metric ton of milk delivered to Schongau. In 2014 the figure was 4.82 km. By improving route
planning, we were also able to transport more raw materials (6,723 metric tons) using three fewer vehicles in 2014.
Reducing the size of the fleet in this way means using less
fuel, but it also decreased cleaning activities for the trucks at
the company’s own cleaning point by 20 percent.
Keeping an Eye on Commutes
Every three years, we ask our workforce of almost 1,500 what
means of transport they use to travel to work. The representative survey in 2012 showed that our employees release an
average of 828 kg of CO2 every year on their daily route to
work. With an average commute of 14.3 km, staff in Schongau travel 3.6 km further to work than their colleagues in Heimenkirch, who cover 10.7 km on average. This is because the
plant in Schongau is located on an industrial estate on the
edge of town but the Heimenkirch facility is in the town center. Due to the ever-growing need for well-qualified professionals, our employees now also travel to work from a wider
area than was previously the case. The average commute
has increased by approximately seven percent in the last ten
Focus on Car Pooling and Business Travel
Hochland has set up videoconferencing rooms at almost
all of its offices in order to prevent unnecessary journeys
between sites. We have instructed our travel office to use the
most environmentally friendly modes of transport and connections when they arrange business trips. Our staff are asked
to share transport whenever possible if the use of company
vehicles is unavoidable. In addition to this, since 2012 we
have been replacing our pool vehicles in Heimenkirch. This
move alone enabled us to cut annual CO2 emissions resulting
from the use of company cars by 30 percent.
Environment | 37
Hochland is dedicated to fostering a culture of belonging. We
want to promote dedication among our staff with a r­ esponsible
HR policy. Fair compensation and attractive, above-average
employee benefits contribute towards staff satisfaction – as do
tailored professional development and training opportunities.
We place special emphasis on achieving a healthy work-life balance. In the light of demographic change, we also want to further
improve the way in which we cater for older employees.
Discussion between
Simone Grunwald (Department Head, Food Law)
and Johannes Ludwig (Key Account Manager)
as well as Katrin Koch (Product Manager Almette) and
Thomas Schlachter (Head of Recruiting).
Hochland Sustainability Report 2014
The role values and a sense of belonging play every day at
As a family-owned company with a history spanning almost
90 years, Hochland has maintained a special corporate ­culture
to this day. Our guiding principles also highlight a sense of
responsibility for the company and each individual’s own work
as well as a family-like feeling of belonging.
To quote the foreword to the principles: “Working at Hochland
is a part of our life which we want to make as fulfilling and satisfying as possible.”
Trust-based Dialog
Trust – paired with mutual respect and a clear focus on customer satisfaction and quality – forms the basis for the special
working environment at Hochland. This also includes an active
feedback culture at all levels, where both positive and negative comments are welcomed. At Hochland, weaknesses are
accepted and mistakes are openly discussed.
Structures for Successful Teamwork
Hochland encourages its employees to take responsibility
for their own ongoing development. Every individual can
­contrib­ute his/her expertise and skills. They should be prepared
to embrace change and are given the opportunity to help
shape developments.
As a medium-sized company, Hochland offers its staff flat hierarchies, swift decision-making processes, and a broad set of
responsibilities. In addition to this, Hochland values the diversity
of its workforce. We currently have employees from 18 different
nations, whose different experiences and backgrounds guarantee
a creative, inspired, and tolerant working environment.
40 | Employees
Being an Attractive Place to Work Pays
In 2014, Hochland was voted one of Germany’s 100 best
employers for the third time in a row. Our members of staff were
asked detailed questions about their employer as part of the
“Great Place to Work” competition. 86 percent of them agreed
with the statement that their workplace was overall “great.”
The accolade also stands for credible management, fairness
and respect, staff who identify closely with the company and
their own work, and a strong team spirit. The anonymous survey also showed us areas where we have room for improvement,
such as transparency in decision-making and work-life balance.
In our initial response to the publication of the results, we wrote
an open letter inviting our whole workforce to engage in a constructive dialog so that we can develop and implement improvements together.
86 percent of Hochland employees agree with the statement
that their workplace is overall great.
Employee Representatives as Partners
Maintaining an open, constructive working relationship with the Works Council and both youth and
apprentice representatives makes a decisive contribution toward a good working environment.
Hochland’s Works Council is involved in confidential meetings of the economic committee and also
attends Supervisory Board meetings as a member.
It is a peer-to-peer body and key point of contact for
all members of staff, which always carefully weighs
up the workers’ and employer’s interests – a crucial
element of the trust-based environment at Hochland.
Read on to find out how we reward our employees for
good work, what we are doing to promote continuous
professional development and a healthy work-life balance, how we safeguard our staff members’ health
and occupational safety, and how we are responding
to the consequences of demographic change.
Hochland Sustainability Report 2014
Hochland offers commensurate pay and
extensive employee benefits.
Social responsibility, above-average employee benefits, and
remuneration that reflects both individuals’ and the company’s
performance are fixed parts of Hochland’s corporate culture.
Our compensation package makes us an attractive employer –
something our staff regularly confirm in surveys. Hochland also
promotes fair pay as a member of the Bavarian food industry’s
federation of employers and within the various joint collective
bargaining committees.
Good Work – Good Pay
Our employees’ pay is based on collective agreements, some
of which include vacation and Christmas bonuses. Staff also
receive payments above and beyond the standard union wage
rate, such as profit-sharing payouts and anniversary bonuses.
Employees on individually negotiated salaries receive compensation in line with the market and their own performance. In
addition to an attractive basic salary, these pay packages include
a variable component based on the company’s performance.
We only hire temporary workers to support our permanent staff
during peak periods and vacation times to allow us to react
­flexibly to bottlenecks. Even before the statutory minimum wage
was introduced, we paid this rate to our temporary workers.
Hochland has entered into a voluntary obligation to limit the proportion of temporary staff in its production units to a maximum
of ten percent on average per year. Many of these employees
have used temporary work to gain a foothold at our company:
over the last three years we have given more than 100 temporary
members of staff permanent contracts at Hochland.
42 | Employees
Proven Company Savings Plan
Hochland has had a company savings plan consisting of an oldage pension, disability allowance, and a surviving dependents’
annuity for over 50 years. We have consistently improved this
plan over the years. Each calendar year, we pay a company contribution of 1,000 euro into each full-time employee’s pension
fund. Apprentices receive 500 euro per annum. Part-time staff
receive corresponding pro-rata contributions. New employees
are also immediately enrolled in the company pension plan. In
addition to this, all members of staff have the option of signing
up to attractive private savings plans, such as pension benefits
based on deferred compensation. All new Hochland employees
also have the advantage of automatically joining our collective
accident insurance program. This provides professional and personal coverage. In the case of an accident, our employees are
contractually entitled to lodge a claim directly with the insurer.
1,000 euro annually for the
company pension plan
Extraordinary Canteens
Hochland’s popular canteens offer staff at our Heimenkirch
and Schongau sites freshly prepared, varied meals every day –
including vegetarian options. This high-quality food is h
­ eavily
subsidized by the company, which contributed 750,000 euro
towards meals in 2014 alone. In addition to this, our employees
can purchase an attractively priced family pack of cheese
every weekend. We also offer staff with families the option of
taking meals from the canteen home with them at lunchtime.
Well-trained staff are more important for Hochland than ever.
With Hochland’s certified company training program, the company actively provides training and continuous professional
development with a focus on employees’ individual knowledge
bases and skill sets. Lifelong learning and cross-generational
knowledge sharing are also becoming more and more important
in the context of demographic developments.
Recognized Apprenticeship Program
With 55 apprentices (as of May 2015), we have one of the largest certified in-house training programs of any company in the
Allgäu region and Upper Bavaria. As well as learning information
specific to their future careers, through a combination of independent work and work in a team our trainees acquire social
skills and gain a better understanding of the overall processes
within the company. Hochland was named “Certified In-house
Training Provider of the Year” by the German dairy industry for
its commitment and high-quality offering in 2014.
Promoting Professional Diversity
Hochland offers eight vocational training courses for acquiring
dairy industry, technical, and commercial administration qualifications. In addition to this, apprentices can train as cooks at
our company canteen. Four cooperative education programs in
business management, business informatics, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering/IT are also offered in conjunction with Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University
(DHBW) to round out our training program.
We work closely with schools and support young people by
providing short work-experience internships and helping them
to apply for a job. Youngsters who successfully complete
a vocational training course at Hochland are usually offered
a permanent position.
Special Mature Traineeship Program
Since 2014, Hochland has been offering employees who do
not have formal qualifications but are keen to develop their skills
the opportunity to train as a dairy technologist. As well as some
experience in production, candidates must be inquisitive, interested in technologies and modern production facilities, and
demonstrate own initiative. All applicants are asked to complete
an aptitude test. Since the program was launched, two employees at the Heimenkirch site have taken up this opportunity. Two
other staff members will start their training in August 2015.
Tailored Continuous Professional Development
Hochland encourages its staff to keep developing their skills,
even if they choose unusual development paths. This might
mean moving from one department or site to another, or t­ aking
part in an international exchange program. For instance, as
part of the “Production and Technology Skill Transfer” project,
22 production workers attended a two-year international CPD
course based on the proven model of cooperative education
between 2013 and 2015.
Hochland ensures that its skilled workers are well qualified by
offering customized training – from funding programs to assistance with technical training or advanced trade qualification,
and from language courses to professional seminars. With our
grants for advanced trade qualification, for example, we help
our employees to gain the qualifications needed for specialist
or managerial roles. International programs such as management training courses, programs for junior and experienced
managers, and development groups for professionals round
out our varied offering.
Employees | 43
Hochland Sustainability Report 2014
Hochland promotes a healthy work-life balance.
These days, more and more well-qualified professionals and
managers are consciously choosing to work for a company that
caters for their needs outside of the workplace. Employees with
children or relatives in need of care in particular often look for an
employer that makes it easier for them to reconcile their work and
family commitments. With this in mind, it is important to Hochland
to offer its staff individual solutions tailored to their needs.
Working from Home
Some of our employees – primarily those in commercial and
managerial positions – also make use of the opportunity to
work for Hochland from home. Hochland’s teleworking program
is mainly aimed at staff who live a long way from their place of
work. It allows them to save time which would otherwise be spent
traveling on certain days by prior arrangement.
Family-friendly Working Hours
At the Heimenkirch site, for instance, our employees make use
of a range of flexible working-time models. Some 20 percent
of the staff there work part-time. Our flextime option also helps
parents in particular to make seamless childcare arrangements.
There is a separate internal agreement in place regarding flextime for staff on the standard union wage rate. This also caters
for working parents while promoting a sense of responsibility
and giving our employees more control over their time. On top
of this, couples who work shifts can arrange to be allocated to
different shifts. There are additional family-friendly working-time
models for production staff, such as working morning-only shifts
alternating with weeks off.
Generous Provisions for Compensatory Time
Although Hochland’s Schongau plant has to cope with a heavy
workload because it is a seasonal facility, employees can still
take time off over summer thanks to the use of temporary workers. An internal agreement ensures that social considerations
are taken into account.
Options like
flexible working times
and part-time work
help employees achieve a better
work-life balance
44 | Employees
Staff with at least one school-age child have precedence when
it comes to vacation planning. Employees who work at the
weekend are paid higher rates in line with the company wage
agreement signed in 2010. They can also choose to receive
these bonuses as time credits.
Parental Leave Remains Popular
Utilization among Hochland’s employees of the option for parental leave is high. Staff can make flexible arrangements for periods
of parental leave, with and without part-time work. The company’s
provisions go far beyond the legal requirements. For example, our
employees can return to work early or extend their leave. Use is
also made of the options to take paternity leave or work part-time
for up to 30 hours a week. This helps staff to maintain their professional knowledge and contribute towards the family’s income.
Employees on parental leave are, of course, still welcome to
take part in outings, celebrations, and other events. They also
receive our regular staff magazine, “Wir von Hochland” (We
at Hochland). This keeps them up to date and helps them stay
in touch with their coworkers.
Hochland Sustainability Report 2014
A successful company needs healthy staff and safe
The occupational safety and health of our employees is the focus
of the Hochland A.U.G.En management system. Measures are
recorded and constantly enhanced because the well-being of
our workforce helps to guarantee our commercial success.
This enables us to make direct comparisons, both internally and
with other companies and industries. Any deficits can also be
rectified faster because a distinction is made between different
types of accidents.
Certified Occupational Safety
In 2008, Hochland’s occupational safety management system
was certified as per the international OHSAS (Occupational
Health and Safety Assessment Series) 18001 standard. We
constantly identify hazards and risks in all departments, assess
them, and minimize them wherever possible. Preventive occupational safety initiatives and regular checks by teams of auditors
round out our systematic approach.
Number of accidents at work resulting in at least one day
off per 1 million hours worked
2012 2013 2014
Efficient Hearing Protection
Hochland also constantly monitors and documents noise levels
in its various production areas. We install noise absorbers wherever it is necessary and possible to do so. In areas where the
noise level exceeds 80 dB, we provide suitable ear defenders.
We also protect our staff by offering regular hearing tests and
training courses on this topic.
Rapid Emergency Assistance and Transparent Accident
The large number of trained first-aid officers and emergency
response officers on hand ensures that initial emergency assistance is provided quickly. Should an accident happen despite all
our precautions, we immediately try to identify the cause. We
promptly initiate any necessary technical improvements and corresponding training courses. Since 2010, we have been reporting
accident statistics throughout the Hochland Group using the LTA
(lost time accident) rate, which shows the number of accidents at
work resulting in at least one day off per 1,000,000 hours worked.
46 | Employees
Proactive Health Policy
Hochland introduced a health management system and
appointed health management officers over ten years ago. As
well as running exercise, nutrition, and relaxation initiatives, we
conduct medical checkups in conjunction with our company
doctors. These include preventive examination, for example to
protect workers’ skin and eye tests for staff who work at computer screens. These are complemented by other occupational
health-related services, such as advice on ergonomic working
and support for older employees. In addition to this, liaison officers maintain contact between the 50 or so severely disabled
people who currently work for us (as of May 2015) and the management team, present their concerns, and organize workstation
inspections by the company doctor, for instance. In 2014, we
emphasized special training courses for line managers on the
subject of occupational safety and mental health. On top of this,
our emergency response officers and first-aid officers received
further training in the use of defibrillators, which are available at
both sites. Special attention was once again paid to appraising
accidents and near accidents at work.
Hochland is tackling the challenges posed by
demographic change.
With a forthcoming shortage of skilled workers and an aging pop­
ulation, catering for older employees is becoming more and more
important for all companies, including Hochland. We cannot
manage without our long-standing workers and their expertise.
Minimizing Physical Demands
Older members of staff in particular need ergonomically
designed workstations so that they can keep performing their
duties without endangering their health. Although a large number of processes at Hochland are automated, there are still
some production jobs which make exacting physical demands
of our employees. We are constantly scrutinizing these jobs to
keep reducing the physical effort involved.
Highlighting Potential for Improvement
By way of example, we looked into these physical demands
as part of two projects at the Heimenkirch site in 2014. In conjunction with the Institute for Machine Tools and Industrial
­Management (iwb) at Technische Universität München and the
­Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology
(IWU) in Augsburg, several jobs in the raw ingredients preparation unit and the hard/sliced cheese department were analyzed.
Following an appraisal using a traffic-light system, the p
­ roject
team worked together to find ways of improving ergonomic
aspects of the jobs rated as red or yellow. Similar assessments
are planned at the Schongau facility for 2015.
work. This awareness should help course participants when they
develop equipment and draw up work schedules in the future.
Demographic Report for Greater Transparency
A project group consisting of staff from HR, production, and the
Works Council also analyzed the overall demographic situation
at Hochland last year and derived measures based on their findings. The result is a demographic report which gives all managers an overview of the situation in the areas they are responsible
for. This provides information about the workforce age structure, illness rates, and forthcoming retirements, which makes
­forward-looking HR planning easier.
We also organize special advice sessions on topics related to
demographics, which have now been provided to almost all
managers who head up teams of 15 or more people. The last
few remaining sessions have been scheduled, and some managers are already moving onto the next stage.
New Guidelines Planned
As the baby boomers reach pensionable age over the next few
years, Hochland will have to compensate for a higher number
of staff retiring. With this in mind, the HR team will draw up
guidelines on succession planning and (early) retirement by
the end of 2015 to give our managers and staff pointers on
coping with this transitional phase.
To complement this initiative, we have introduced ergonomics
seminars for all production and technology managers and for
employees responsible for planning and setting up new production systems. The seminars make use of an Age Explorer
­simulator suit, which is a very effective tool. It helps younger
employees in particular to experience how older coworkers with
physically demanding jobs feel as they go about their day‑to‑day
Employees | 47
For us, living up to our responsibility as a
corporate citizen means supporting specific
local social and cultural projects and actively
contributing to the community as a good
neighbor. The company, staff, and shareholders give both money and time to philan­
thropic initiatives. Our social engagement
focuses primarily on children and young adults.
Peter Jordan (Technical Controlling) and
Herbert Weiher (Chief Fire Officer)
in front of an emergency vehicle of the volunteer
fire department.
Hochland Sustainability Report 2014
Hochland helps social and cultural projects in its region by
providing financial assistance and gifts in kind.
Hochland strives to actively help shape its social and ­community
environment. The company feels a special obligation to the
regions it operates in. For this reason, our philanthropic activities
concentrate on our sites, Heimenkirch and Schongau.
Supporting Youngsters
There are many equally deserving organizations and charities in
our local areas. Because of this, we prefer to donate to a large
number of projects, rather than acting as a main sponsor for
a handful of initiatives. Hochland supports social and cultural
projects, most of which focus on children and young adults.
We have made a conscious decision to support initiatives of
this kind because nearby youngsters are particularly important
to us as a family-owned company with strong local roots.
For instance, we have been supporting the regional round of
the “Jugend forscht” competition for young researchers at our
Schongau site for five years. Schools and kindergartens also
receive donations toward new play equipment or planting a
school garden. Hochland is a major certified in-house training
provider in the Allgäu region and Upper Bavaria. As a b
­ y-product
of our community involvement, young people also get to know
who we are and what we do. This allows us to both make a positive difference and stimulate interest in an apprenticeship or
a job at our company. In turn, this helps us to attract sufficient
junior staff and professionals, as we too face stiff competition for
motivated, well-qualified employees and apprentices. In addition
to this, we support cultural events which could not take place
without sponsorship by contributing toward the performer’s fee.
We also made a substantial donation to the fire department in
Heimenkirch in 2014, which enabled them to buy a defibrillator.
Hochland as a Donor and Sponsor
While monetary donations are made in the name of the p
­ arent
company (Hochland SE) for organizational reasons, gifts in
kind – which largely consist of cheese – come from the wholly
owned subsidiary Hochland Deutschland GmbH. One of the
recipients is the McDonald’s Kinderhilfe Stiftung children’s
charity. We have been helping the Ronald McDonald Houses
in G
­ ermany with gifts in kind for over ten years. Hochland also
started sponsoring an apartment in the Ronald ­McDonald
House in Munich-Großhadern in 2005. This means that the
house, or more specifically “our” apartment, can count on a
fixed monetary donation every year. There are now 16 Ronald
McDonald Houses in Germany, which offer parents and siblings
of seriously ill children a home away from home while their
little patient is treated in a nearby clinic. Having the reassurance
of their family close by helps youngsters to recover faster.
Children and youths form the focus
of our societal engagement
50 | Society
Partnership with Food Banks
As a food producer, we also sometimes manufacture excess
stock that unfortunately cannot be sold through regular c
­ hannels.
We have a close, long-standing relationship with food bank
organizations in Germany, which means that we do not have to
destroy this perfectly edible food. Thanks to this ­partnership,
our substantial gifts of cheese do not only go to local food banks.
As there are very good links between the individual food banks,
they contact one another when they receive large donations.
Consequently, the food banks in Stuttgart and Vorarlberg, for
example, also benefit from our products.
In addition to this, we regularly donate cheese to other regional
institutions, such as a daycare center and a school which regularly offer free breakfasts to their children. On request, we also
donate cheese to charities for events. The total volume of our
gifts is considerable, but we cannot systematically record the
quantities or value of our many individual donations in kind, as
the effort required would be incommensurately high.
Society | 51
Hochland Sustainability Report 2014
Hochland’s employees and owners also actively help to tackle
social issues.
The company is not alone in fulfilling its social responsibility –
and that is something which makes us particularly proud. With
their wide-ranging efforts, our staff and shareholders also show
that they live by Hochland’s values as a matter of course.
also involved in local politics and community life in their home towns
and villages as councillors. Hochland supports this volunteer work
whenever possible. For instance, we make it easy for members of
the volunteer fire department to take time off for callouts.
Everyone Does What They Can to Help
For instance, our employees regularly organize their own
in‑house fundraising drives for those in need of help. In 2014
alone, considerable amounts were donated to the children’s
charity Kinderbrücke Allgäu, the children’s hospice in Bad
Grönenbach, the aid organization Big Shoe, and the Radio 7
Drachenkinder initiative for children who urgently need help due
to violent experiences, the death of a family member, or sickness.
Fighting Leukemia
In 2014, we offered tissue typing at our sites in Heimenkirch
and Schongau in conjunction with the German Bone Marrow
Donor Center (DKMS). This initiative was suggested and organized by the company health management officer. A total of
350 employees registered as potential stem-cell donors during
this voluntary campaign. By doing so, they agree to donate stem
cells from their blood if they are identified as a match for a leukemia patient. According to DKMS, the number of participants
was much higher than the average for such corporate tissue
typing initiatives. The management team spontaneously agreed
to pay the laboratory costs of 50 euro per participant and
transfer the funds to DKMS.
On top of this, Hochland employees are actively involved in the
schools/businesses task force, which brings together teachers from the administrative district of Lindau and business representatives. They support numerous initiatives at schools, provide vocational information, for example, and help teach young
people how to apply for jobs. A large number of our staff also
do volunteer work – training youngsters at sports clubs or as
­leaders or active members of music groups. Some of them are
52 | Society
Ownership Comes with Responsibility
Our company has a long tradition of fulfilling its social responsi­
bility, which has always been an important issue for Hochland
shareholders also. With this in mind, the shareholders’ meeting
resolved in December 2008 – based on the Hochland shareholders’ family charter – to support local projects with social,
environmental, and conservation objectives. A large number of
initiatives have been realized since then with the shareholders’
financial assistance. The focus is always on providing long-term
assistance which has a lasting effect.
This engagement centers on leveling the playing field for disadvantaged children and young adults. Behind this decision is the
firm belief that Hochland has only been able to achieve its level
of success with the help of well-trained, motivated employees.
That is one reason why the shareholders invest in training young
people and preparing them for apprenticeships. Since the
program began, support has largely been given to projects
­lasting several years which were set up in conjunction with the
region’s schools and primarily assist children from less educated backgrounds and those who are disadvantaged due to
their personal circumstances.
For example, the shareholders help to fund social education
support at schools and joint projects at a music school which
offers lessons for children with special needs. Assistance is
also given to teachers who help school dropouts to gain a basic
academic qualification and to a learning workshop dedicated
to taking an appealing, hands-on approach to teaching math at
elementary school.
Financial assistance has also been provided to an initiative by
the local child protection agency which teaches youths strategies
for conflict resolution and social skills, and an environmental
awareness project at a nature reserve.
Society | 53
Key Figures
Hochland Sustainability Report 2014
Hochland uses key figures to make its sustainability achievements transparent and comprehensible. The table below lists the most
important data from the various areas for the years 2012 through 2014. Unless stated otherwise, the figures pertain to Hochland
Deutschland GmbH with its two plants in Heimenkirch and Schongau.
Each of the figures has been rounded, which may result in minor discrepancies in the totals.
The Environmental Declaration 2015 (see contains additional detailed key figures for the
­Heimenkirch and Schongau sites for the period from 2010 through 2015. The staff figures relate to December 31 of the year in question.
Total revenues
EUR million
EUR million
EUR million
Capital expenditure
EUR million
Finished product manufactured
Metric ton
Amount of milk processed1
Metric ton
kWh/t of finished product
kWh/t of finished product
kWh/t of finished product
Total energy consumption
Natural gas
Heating oil
Share renewable energy
54 | Key Figures
kWh/t of finished product
Metric ton
kg/t of finished product
Metric ton
kg/t of finished product
Metric ton
kg/t of finished product
Carbon footprint
CO2 emissions (direct)
Carbon credits
Total carbon footprint
Total water use
m /t of finished product
Fresh water
m3/t of finished product
Wastewater routed to on-site clarification plant
Wastewater routed to municipal clarification plant
Metric ton
kg/t of finished product
Metric ton
kg/t of finished product
Well water
m3/t of finished product
m3/t of finished product
Packaging material
Total packaging material
Waste and recoverable materials
Total amount of waste
Non-recyclable waste for disposal2
Sewage sludge for disposal1
Non-hazardous waste
Hazardous waste
Metric ton
kg/t of finished product
Metric ton
kg/t of finished product
Metric ton
kg/t of finished product
Metric ton
kg/t of finished product
Schongau site 2 Heimenkirch site
Key Figures | 55
Key Figures
Hochland Sustainability Report 2014
Total workforce
Full time
Part time
< 30 years old
30 to 50 years old
> 50 years old
Average age
No. of staff by employment type
No. of staff by field of activity
Age breakdown
Further key figures
Women in managerial positions
Length of service
Staff turnover rate
Severely disabled employees
Sickness rate (absent on sick pay)
Accidents per 1 million hours worked
Attendances on general CPD courses
56 | Key Figures
GRI Index
Hochland Sustainability Report 2014
The Hochland Sustainability Report complies with version 3.1 of the Global Reporting Initiative guidelines and takes the Food Processing Sector Supplement (FPSS) into account.
Based on a self-assessment, this report meets the requirements of Application Level B. The table below provides information on the
level of reporting for each indicator. Some indicators are covered in the Environmental Declaration 2015 (abbreviated to “ED2015”),
which can be found at
Location of disclosure
Level of
Strategy and Analysis
Statement from the CEO
p. 4
Description of key impacts, risks, and opportunities
p. 10 ff.
Organizational Profile
Name of the organization
Hochland Deutschland GmbH
Primary brands, products, and services
p. 6
Operational structure of the organization
p. 6
Location of organization’s headquarters
Heimenkirch, Germany
Countries where the organization operates
p. 6
Nature of ownership and legal form
p. 6
Markets served
p. 6
Scale of the reporting organization
p. 6, p. 54
Changes regarding size, structure, or ownership
No significant changes during the reporting period.
Awards received in the reporting period
p. 60
Report Parameters
Reporting period
p. 2
Date of most recent previous report
Not relevant as this is the first report.
Reporting cycle
p. 2
Contact point for questions regarding the report
p. 2
Process for defining report content
p. 2
Boundary of the report
p. 2
Limitations on the scope of the report
p. 2
Joint ventures, subsidiaries, outsourced operations
p. 2
Data measurement
p. 2
Re-statements of information provided in earlier reports
Not relevant as this is the first report.
Changes in the scope, boundary, or measurement methods
Not relevant as this is the first report.
GRI Content Index
p. 57 ff.
External assurance for the report
GRI Index | 57
Location of disclosure
Level of
Governance, Commitments, and Engagement
Governance structure of the organization
p. 6, p. 12
Indicate whether the Chair of the highest governance
body is also an executive officer
Hochland Deutschland GmbH has a nine-person Supervisory Board
chaired by Peter Stahl, CEO of Hochland SE.
Members of the highest governance body that are
Not relevant as the company has a supervisory board (see 4.2).
Mechanisms for shareholders and employees to provide
p. 41
Hochland Deutschland GmbH is a wholly owned subsidiary
of Hochland SE, which in turn is owned indirectly by the three
founding families.
Linkage between compensation for members of the
governance bodies and the organization’s performance
In addition to basic salaries, there are bonus payments which
depend solely on the company’s performance. The company’s
performance is always examined with relation to the entire
Hochland Group (based on earnings before taxes or EBT).
Processes in place to ensure conflicts of interest are avoided
The directors disclose any potential conflicts of interest to the
Supervisory Board without delay. Members of the Supervisory
Board disclose any potential conflicts of interest arising from consultancy work or executive roles at other companies to the Chairman of the Supervisory Board. The Chairman of the Supervisory
Board discloses personal conflicts of interest to the Supervisory
Board. If a member of the Supervisory Board has substantial conflicts of interest which are not merely temporary, this should lead
to the termination of his/her mandate.
Senior managers’ economic, environmental, and social
The respective Division Managers are chosen by the Managing
Director and members of the Managing Board based on their
knowledge, skills, and professional experience relevant to the task
at hand. The Managing Director is obliged to uphold the company’s interests by managing it in the interests of sustainable value
creation. A sustainability management group is planned for 2015
with the aim of incorporating sustainability more strongly into
operational execution by consistently linking it with sustainability
Mission statements, codes of conduct, and principles
relevant to sustainability
p. 11 ff.
Procedures of the highest governance body for
overseeing the organization’s sustainability performance
p. 12, p. 30, ED2015: p. 28
Processes for evaluating the highest governance body’s
own sustainability performance
The achievement of economic and social targets is taken into
account during the quarterly appraisal of the company’s performance by the Supervisory Board. The achievement of ecological
targets is assessed annually. The six key indicators laid out in the
corporate strategy serve as benchmarks.
Use of the precautionary principle
p. 10 f., p. 13
External economic, environmental, and social activities
supported by the organization
p. 14, p. 27, p. 60
Memberships in associations and advocacy organizations
p. 60
Stakeholder groups engaged by the organization
p. 2, p. 14 f.
Identification and selection of stakeholders
p. 2, p. 14 f.
Approaches to stakeholder engagement
p. 14, p. 26 f., p. 40
Key topics and concerns raised by stakeholders
p. 11, p. 14, p. 24, p. 40
Economic Performance Indicators
Management approach
p. 8 ff., p. 18 ff.
Direct economic value generated and distributed
p. 6, p. 54
The organization’s defined benefit plans
p. 42
Policy, practices, and proportion of spending on locally
based suppliers
p. 25
p. 28 ff., ED2015: p. 10–14
Environmental Performance Indicators
Management approach
Materials used
p. 54 f., ED2015: p. 28, 32
Direct energy consumption
p. 54 f., ED2015: p. 28, 32
Indirect energy consumption
p. 54 f., ED2015: p. 28, 32
Total water withdrawal
p. 54 f., ED2015: p. 28, 32
Direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions
p. 54 f., ED2015: p. 28, 32
Water discharge
p. 54 f., ED2015: p. 29, 33
Waste by type and disposal method
p. 54 f., ED2015: p. 29, 33
58 | GRI Index
Social Performance Indicators
Labor Practices and Decent Work
Management approach
p. 38 ff., ED2015: p. 39–46
Total workforce by employment type, employment
contract, and region
p. 56
Employee turnover
p. 56
Employees covered by collective bargaining agreements
More than 90 percent of staff at Hochland Deutschland GmbH
are covered by collective bargaining agreements.
Rates of injury, occupational diseases, lost days, and
absenteeism, and number of work-related fatalities
p. 56, ED2015: p. 42 f.
There were no fatalities during the reporting period.
Education, training, counseling, prevention, and risk-control programs in place regarding serious diseases
p. 46 f., ED2015: p. 44–46
Training and professional development
p. 56
Management approach
p. 8 ff.
Investment agreements that incorporate human rights
p. 13
Incidents of discrimination and corrective actions taken
No relevant incidents of discrimination came to light in
the reporting period.
Operations in which the right to exercise freedom of
association and collective bargaining may be violated
Number of grievances related to human rights filed,
addressed, and resolved
Human Rights
Management approach
p. 8 ff., p. 48 ff.
Impact of operations on local communities
p. 25, p. 48 ff.
Actions taken in response to incidents of corruption
There were no incidents of corruption.
Public policy positions and participation in public policy
development and lobbying
p. 60
Fines and non-monetary sanctions for noncompliance
with laws
Product Responsibility
Management approach
p. 18 ff.
Life cycle stages in which health and product safety are
p. 20, p. 22 f.
Noncompliance with regulations concerning health and
product safety
Legally required product information
p. 24
Fines for noncompliance with laws
Management approach – supply chain
p. 25
Management approach – animal welfare
p. 26 f.
Volume purchased from suppliers compliant with
company’s sourcing policy
p. 25
Working time lost due to industrial disputes,
strikes, and/or lock-outs
Production volume manufactured at independently
certified sites (food safety)
p. 20, p. 25
Communication to consumers about ingredients and
nutritional information beyond legal requirements
p. 24
Animals raised and/or processed
Hochland Deutschland GmbH does not keep any animals itself.
The company works closely with producers’ associations in the
area of animal welfare.
p. 26 f.
Physical alterations and the use of anesthetic
See FP9.
Housing type used for animals raised and/or processed
See FP9.
Antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, hormone,
and/or growth promotion treatments
See FP9.
Transportation, handling, and slaughter practices
See FP9.
Additional Indicators for the Food Processing Sector
GRI Index | 59
Awards and Memberships
Hochland Sustainability Report 2014
Hochland received the following product and employer awards in the 2014 reporting year:
In August 2014, the German Agricultural Society (DLG) awarded Hochland Deutschland GmbH
58 gold and 14 silver medals for product quality as part of its dairy product quality tests.
The food-industry magazine “Rundschau für den Lebensmittelhandel” presented its Innovation Award
to Hochland Deutschland GmbH in October 2014 for its “constant innovativeness.” At the same time,
two new products were named “best sellers.”
In March 2014, Hochland Deutschland GmbH was named one of Germany’s 100 best
employers for the third time in a row. Great Place to Work® Germany presents this award to
companies which have a particularly attractive workplace culture built on trust.
The Central Association of German Dairy Workers and the Association of the German Dairy ­Industry
honored Hochland Deutschland GmbH for its commitment and high-quality training by naming it
“­C ertified In-house Training Provider of the Year 2014” in September 2014.
In February 2014, the current-affairs magazine “Focus,” the social networking site for professionals
Xing, and the ratings site kununu together identified Hochland Deutschland GmbH as a top employer.
Hochland ranked 116th overall and took 12th place in the industry league table. A total of 2,000 companies were analyzed.
The Hochland Deutschland GmbH sites – Heimenkirch and Schongau – were both named an
“Award-winning Workplace 2014” by the German Association for the Food and Hospitality Industry
(BGN) in June 2015.
Hochland is active in a large number of initiatives and organizations. Werner Giselbrecht, Commercial Director of Hochland Deutschland GmbH, is personally involved as an officer and working group member on the company’s behalf. Key memberships include:
•The Federation of Employers in the Bavarian Food Industry (abe)
•The Bavarian Dairy Industry Employers’ Collective Bargaining
•The Bavarian Milk Board
•The Association of the German Dairy Industry (MIV)
60 | Awards and Memberships
•The Association of Private Bavarian Dairies
•The Association of the Private Dairy Industry in Bavaria (VBPM)
•The Association of Bavarian Milk Producers (VMB)
•The German Center for Food and Packaging Technology (ZLV)
Hochland Deutschland GmbH
Kemptener Straße 17
88178 Heimenkirch/Allgäu, Germany
Telephone: +49 (0)8381 502-0
Sustainability Contact at Hochland Deutschland GmbH
Karsten Roth | Director of Quality Management and Sustainability
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: +49 (0)8381 502-633
Press Contact
Petra Berners | PR Manager
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: +49 (0)8381 502-692
Concept, Text, and Design
Scholz & Friends Reputation, Berlin
Information on cover image and introductory images for the five
main chapters:
Acting sustainably means acting in a responsible manner and is
definitively shaped by the actions of a company’s staff. In particular, we would like to thank the Hochland staff members who
helped to create the images by posing with great enjoyment and
In the cover image, from left to right:
Norbert Holzer, Supplier Advisor Milk
Lea Ganss, Apprentice
Walter Morent, Heimenkirch Plant Manager
Corinna Gerlich, Executive Assistant
© 2015
Reproduction, including excerpts, only with authorization from
Hochland Deutschland GmbH
Imprint | 61

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