At the beginning of 2021, RKW said goodbye to its old headquarters in Frankenthal and moved into its new home in Taylor Park, Mannheim's greenest business park. The location not only offers optimum transport connections, but also its own parking area and numerous recreational opportunities, which are to be completed soon. 1,000 trees, a meadow theater and large green spaces will then provide plenty of greenery and good air on the 46-hectare area. No wonder Taylor Park 2022 won the federal award for urban greenery. A perfect environment, to recharge your batteries during your lunch break and clear your head for new ideas.
Two years after the move, the employees have settled in well and we wanted to know what the topic of sustainable working looks like in practice.
Sustainability is an integral part of everything we do and affects all aspects of the company. This is also reflected in our headquarters, which offers plenty of space for creative interaction. Anyone visiting our headquarters in Mannheim will immediately notice all the office plants. They not only look beautiful, but also serve as air cleaners. They are also good for the soul, the working atmosphere and contribute to good acoustic in our open space office concept.
"Especially in winter, when the trees outside the window are bare, the view of all the green plants is a real treat," reports Annette Höllebrand, Head of communications at the RKW Group.
In order to make the work on site as environmentally friendly as possible, PC towers, telephones and individual printers are not used at the headquarters. Instead, employees use laptops and smartphones to work flexibly and independently of the workplace.
"Changing the workplace every now and then and sitting next to other colleagues for a change also brings a good dynamic to the everyday working life," finds Sabine Duddeck, Manager Communications.
In addition, work is paperless as far as possible. There are interactive whiteboards in every meeting room for notes or brainstorming sessions. If there is something important to print out, shared printing devices are used that are distributed decentrally throughout the office. This not only saves energy, but also reduces the noise level in the open space.
Sustainability is also practiced in the kitchenettes. For example, there are integrated water dispensers, recyclable bottles, consistent waste separation as well as fresh fruit so that employees can have access to healthy alternatives while at work.
"The fact that we don't use disposable or reusable bottles, for example, but have several water dispensers at our headquarters and work largely paperless, I feel is very progressive and desirable when it comes to sustainable ways of working," says Alisa Strohmaier, Specialist Talent Acquisition.
Another essential aspect is the topic of mobile working. Thanks to flexible mobile working, CO2 emissions that are normally caused by daily commuting can be avoided. But RKW is going one step further: Since most employees work from home on Fridays, the headquarters will remain closed on that day of the week. This precaution can save energy and reduce heating costs in the winter and the use of air conditioning in the summer.
“Not only does mobile working help to treat our environment with more care, it also gives me the opportunity to organize my work more flexible. This creates space for conceptual work and increases the value of my work," explains Wolfgang Völbel, Head of Purchasing Indirect (Lead Buying).
The be-all and end-all of a sustainable workplace is the behavior of each and every employee. That's why RKW offers regular training sessions to raise awareness and demonstrate that even small things can make a big difference.