Enhancing value


CWS-boco is a full-service provider for textile services and washroom hygiene solutions. The division is a leading European provider in the field with activities in 16 European countries. CWS-boco focuses on the rental business. The offerings range primarily from collections of workwear to protective and safety clothing, modern hygiene solutions such as towel, soap and fragrance dispensers, as well as dust control mats. The textiles are properly prepared in the division’s own laundries using environmentally friendly processes, and the dispensers are regularly serviced, both under long-term service contracts.

Reusability is part of the company’s corporate philosophy. CWS-boco is committed to sustainable business practices, to making efficient use of resources and respect for people and the environment. The CR strategy and activities are managed centrally by the Corporate Responsibility department. In each country office there is a CR Officer who is responsible for local implementation, assessment and monitoring of the strategy and projects. A systematic stakeholder management exercise was undertaken in 2014 to ascertain the most important issues around sustainability. The results from the various dialogue formats were evaluated from a strategic viewpoint and approved by management, with 'Customers & Employees', 'Products & Origin' and 'Laundries & Logistics' being identified as focus areas.

As of 30 June 2017, CWS-boco acquired significant Central European activities in the hygiene, workwear and clean room segments from Rentokil Initial. CWS-boco's business in 16 countries and Initial's activities in 10 European countries were combined when the joint venture was established. A new company thus exists under the umbrella of the CWS-boco group, which requires an adjustment of the CR strategy: The division will validate focus areas, harmonise indicators and define new target levels in 2018. For this reason, the latter are set aside in the current report and the reported figures do not yet include Initial's activities. 

Progress report on the 2017 targets

Employees: Workplace Safety
A good and safe working environment is crucial for employee satisfaction and performance. CWS-boco therefore constantly works to identify workplace risks and reduce them to the furthest extent possible. In 2016 these risk assessment activities covered 90% of all employees working in operations across seven national companies. The workplace health and safety management systems in eight national companies are currently certified under OHSAS (Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series). Employees also receive training at national level. There is regular training on health and safety in the facilities and service drivers undergo driver safety training. In 2017 the accident rate was 4.09 (2016: 4.52).

Value-added chain: Water Efficiency
With the objective of using as little freshwater as possible per washing, the company’s own laundries are operated with high-efficiency technologies for reusing water and recycling waste water. The SmartLine concept, for instance, focuses on using a large number of small machines instead of large machines, enabling a more targeted use of resources and better documentation and analysis of resource consumption data. Flotation technology also efficiently filters dirt particles from the wash water, producing cleaner waste water. In 2017, water consumption – aggregated for the categories of Towel Rolls, Workwear and Dust control mats – per kilogramme of laundry was 6.85 litres (2016: 7.02 l/kg).

Innovation: Product Quality and Certification
As rental products are intended for a long lifecycle, they undergo intensive testing before being brought into CWS-boco's product range. The company also subsequently checks their quality at all stages of the service cycle. In addition to durability, potential health and safety risks are also among the criteria used. As CWS-boco develops a number of its products itself, the company can have a big influence on the environmental and social sustainability of its product portfolio from the source onwards, for instance by using fair trade certified cotton for workwear. Since the introduction of the first collection at the beginning of 2016, 160,000 items have been produced and three additional collections have been introduced.

For further information, see www.cws-boco.com/en-US/sustainability-0

This section includes the following GRI indicators: