Dear customers, dear employees, dear partners,
Continuing the best tradition of previous years, we would like to take a look back at this year and dare to look ahead to 2021. Right at the beginning of this review, we would like to thank our employees, our clients and all partner companies for your trust, your commitment and your reliability in this turbulent year. The fact that this review allows us to look positively into the future, despite this turbulent year, is not least thanks to all of you!
2020 was a year full of unknowns, dynamic developments and new approaches. It was a year that challenged us and, like a magnifying glass, it brought strengths and weaknesses to light and accelerated new processes. At the end of this year, we are prouder than ever to say:
At Halfar, we are staying true to ourselves. Quality, design, sustainability and the appreciative and open way of dealing with each other – these values have not changed due to the coronavirus!
With this in mind, we hope you enjoy reading this year’s annual review.
Kathrin Stühmeyer-Halfar & Armin Halfar
The diversity and variety we act out at Halfar has proven to be the basis for highly dynamic adaptability. In concrete terms, it is something that applies to 2020 and beyond: it was all about sustainability & will continue to be.
We started 2020 with 32 PVC-free, largely recycled, but certainly highly functional and attractive innovations. Another new feature is that all bags have been transported in a completely CO2-neutral way since 2020. To this end, we compensate for the remaining import emissions as well as the emissions that occur during transport to the customer.
Compensation project and sustainable employee engagement
As part of the compensation project 2020, we have planted another area and designed it in an insect-friendly way. With this project, we have also taken another step towards expanding e-mobility in the company. At 10 charging points, employees and visitors now have even more options for charging their vehicles with sustainable energy from green electricity and our solar power system. And two more hybrid vehicles were added to the Halfar fleet in 2020.
In addition, we have continued with our environmental concept at the new external warehouse. In areas that were previously farmland and fallow land, the building changes the original structure. We see this as an opportunity to go beyond the provisions of the development plan and create a compensatory area that ensures that people & nature can live in harmony. Therefore, in 2020 we created another 1,500m² of habitat for plants, birds, insects around the building. This area now also contributes to the preservation of biodiversity.
And we can also report on one or two innovations in the many small things that contribute to an increasingly sustainable use of our earth’s limited resources. For example, our cleaning products have now been switched to organic detergents, and in addition to the main catalogue print, which was already CO2-neutralised in 2018, all theme catalogues are now also neutralised. And we were also able to extend the enclosure sponsorship for the Soay sheep in Olderdissen Animal Park for a further year thanks to the commitment of our employees.
With regard to committed employees… 24 of our colleagues took part in this year’s City Cycling (Stadtradeln) event. Together they covered a distance of 5,648 km and saved 830 kg of CO2.
Audits and awards
In 2020, our work was rewarded once again. We are delighted to be honoured once again with the “Promotional Gift Award” this year for the FRAME series with the in-house developed HALFAR FAST LANE® decoration technology. Furthermore, we received the “Office and Environment Award” from B.A.U.M. and won the “Sustainability Heroes Awards” from DQS in the diversity category.
Furthermore, in 2020 we can look back on successfully completed GOTS and ISO audits as well as a silver sustainability rating by EcoVadis, one of the leading and globally active providers of sustainability ratings with more than 65,000 affiliated companies.
Breaking NEW GROUND – using digitalisation
The coronavirus means that we have embarked on new journeys in many areas. From temporarily switching European manufacturing to face masks, mobile working between office and home office and increased use of online conferencing tools, to making HALFAR® product films to support our distributors. We have found ways of dealing with the new circumstances. Active information and regular communication across all levels in the company as well as the use of modern technology have also proven their worth for us in these times: from laptops to the HEPA filters which we equipped our offices with in time for winter.
For formats where personal contact is essential and will be again in the future, we have found alternative forms of communication to keep the bond between the participants intact.
Technical bag developments took place with customers, supported by digital meetings. We remember our very first CHOICE CEO Talk, which replaced our annual press brunch and led to a lively and exciting exchange with representatives of the press. Also well-received: the concept of “Welcome Home. Digital.” For the first time with a digital exhibition with all partners, live talks to meet & ask questions and a dedicated chat function. Of course, we are very much looking forward to the next real exhibitions but it was certainly a success under the circumstances.
More 2020 highlights
Thanks to our products, infrastructure and employees, we were also able to support additional projects beyond our regular business operations in 2020.
We are happy to remember:
- The joint sewing of face masks by Rotarians and Halfar staff for a Dutch retirement home at the beginning of the coronavirus period;
- The support of the Bielefeld Food Bank’s work by initially donating 1,000 and then another 1,500 durable cotton bags, when the overnight decision was made that food must be packaged in washable reusable bags;
- The high-quality notebook backpacks,which now reliably protect laptops at Heepen’s secondary and grammar schools. These borrowed laptops were donated to the schools by the company Zierold and the Bielefeld Community Trust;
- And, last but not least, the Fruit Alarm Project (Fruchtalarm), which was able to celebrate its 10-year anniversary in 2020 and receives regular support from us;
- As well as the apprenticeship film project by Wege mbH, in which young trainees introduce other young people to the regional training companies.
We are proud of this network of energetic, innovative and forward-looking partners that we are happy to support, and we will enter 2021 full of confidence and hope.
Kathrin Stühmeyer-Halfar & Armin Halfar