Sustainability

Sustainability: our compass

One in two Swiss households owns a V-ZUG appliance, and we are aware that this means we play a major role in the environmental impact of these homes. We see sustainability as a holistic concept that encompasses our entire value chain on an ecological, social and entrepreneurial level. Responsible business is not just a passing fad for us; it’s something that shapes our decision-making and the work we do on a daily basis. 

Planet: Climate-neutral production since 2020

In our role as a manufacturing company, we can have double the influence on our environment: We develop appliances with the aim of making them as efficient as possible to use, and we produce them as resource-efficiently and with as few emissions as possible. One example is our approach to CO2 emissions, for which our mantra is prevent – reduce – offset. To this end, we work with an internal CO2 levy, which allows us to continuously finance projects that support this goal and offset any remaining emissions. Our production has now been CO2 neutral since 2020. 

 

People: Our cornerstone 

We are part of society and want to contribute to a healthy and sustainable coexistence. For us, this means that we are committed to the well-being of all the people we work with, but especially our employees. After all, it is thanks to their personal and professional skills – not to mention their commitment day in, day out – that V-ZUG has become so successful over the past 100 years and counting. It also means that we are clearly and consistently committed to Switzerland as a location, and demonstrate this through our investments into partnerships and innovation. This allows us to not only ensure our production processes are always state of the art, but also contribute to the competitiveness of the Zug site. 

 

Profit: Fit for the future

Durability and quality are part of our DNA. And that’s how we do business – without ever losing sight of our long-term success. We focus on innovation while cultivating a corporate culture of responsibility and reliability. Despite the high labour costs, being based in Switzerland is a crucial factor of our success: Its innovative strength, expertise and deeply rooted awareness of quality, not to mention a high sensitivity to sustainability issues, make for the ideal breeding ground for our company. These values are also reflected in the projects we undertake, which are not geared towards short-term profit maximisation, but rather towards safeguarding the future of our company for generations to come. 

Sustainability report

Transparency is important to us – including in terms of sustainability. This is why we have published a sustainability report every year since 2012, always with the aim of communicating our progress in an open, comprehensible, comparable and self-critical manner. The report allows us to create a credible information basis for an exchange with our stakeholders, as well as a solid basis for continuous improvement. This report has been prepared in accordance with the GRI Standards (Core option).

Our sustainability strategy – V-ACT

We work in consultation with internal and external stakeholders to crystallise the sustainability issues that are most central to V-ZUG. The resulting materiality matrix is the core of our sustainability strategy and the foundation of our four target visions: ‘Circular products and services’, ‘Employees’, ‘Environment, energy and climate’ and ‘Society and sustainable growth’. 

We have been part of the Swiss Triple Impact Programme since 2020. This helps us to improve the way we measure our current contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and identify areas with the greatest potential for improvement. In doing so, we align ourselves with an international framework and support the transformation process towards a sustainable society. Our day-to-day activities see us make an active contribution towards the following five SDGs: 7, 8, 9, 12, 13

Circular economy

We are responsible for our products throughout their entire life cycle. We know the upstream value chain and audit our suppliers regularly – including with regard to selected sustainability criteria. We show our customers how they can use their equipment in a resource-efficient way, and we take responsibility for optimal and environmentally friendly disposal or recycling.

 Design: Where the cycle begins

 
For us, a sustainable product begins with its development. It is at this early stage that we can have the most influence on its ‘lifelong’ sustainability. We focus on elements including the durability and repairability of the appliances, low energy and water consumption in use, and a modular design. This enables us, for example, to make pre-installed devices ‘smart’ and network them retrospectively. 

Take: Proximity is important to us

Our suppliers make a significant contribution to the quality of our products; which is why it is so important for us to foster a trusting relationship with them. We usually involve them in the development process at an early stage so that we can work together on solutions. Around 60% of our suppliers are located in Switzerland and another 30% in the surrounding European countries. The majority of our supplier audits are conducted in person. 

 

Make: With Swiss values

Here at V-ZUG, we have been dedicated to providing the best solutions for laundry rooms and kitchens for over 100 years. To this day, our employees continue to manufacture the products at our Zug and Arbon sites with a great deal of commitment and dedication. In order to ensure the continued success of our research, development and production, we are making our creative and working spaces fit for the future. A new district is being built on our main site, which will be supplied with local, renewable energy from photovoltaics, groundwater and lake water in the future. The partial verticalisation will allow us to use our available space even more efficiently. In terms of building materials, we are relying on wood from the region or low-CO2concrete.

 

Transport: Our milkman approach

Small inventories and optimal route planning for our transport have a positive effect on our environmental footprint. Our ‘milk run’ approach allows us to kill two birds with one stone: Instead of each supplier transporting their product to us as a whole truckload, as was previously the case, we take one vehicle and drive to several suppliers in the immediate vicinity. In doing so, we only collect the parts that need to be processed by us promptly, which allows us to keep our stock levels small yet stable, and avoid empty runs. 

Sell/Provide: How to get hold of your V-ZUG appliance

We sell our products exclusively through retailers. We also run ten of our own exhibition and advisory centres (ZUGORAMA) across Switzerland, where we can provide our customers with expert advice, and offer spare parts in our own online shop. In addition to these classic channels, we are also pursuing new circular approaches, such as offering the product as a service. We are already in the process of gathering initial impressions through pilot tests. 

Use/Repair: Durable and resource-friendly

The choice of washing programme has a major influence on the energy and water consumption of our appliances. Our EcoManagement allows us to be transparent with our customers by letting them know about consumption and thereby making them more aware of how to use their appliances more efficiently. To ensure that V-ZUG appliances continue to generate added value in a modern household for years after they are sold, we guarantee that our spare parts will remain available for up to 15 years. If ever a repair is necessary or a malfunction should occur, our service technicians will respond quickly to keep the downtime as short as possible. 

 

Collect: When appliances have had their day

Discarded appliances are collected through three different channels. Either we exchange the appliance at the customer’s site and hand it over to our recycling partner, or the customer takes the appliance to the disposal point themselves. The third option involves our installation partners taking back appliances and sending them to their recyclers. This all makes for a very high collection rate in Switzerland.

 

Refurbish: A second lease of life

Demands on household appliances change. With this in mind, it may be that we simply stop needing our appliances long before they reach the end of their technical life. Some of our used appliances are taken back by our partners to be refurbished and resold. We see potential for V-ZUG in the retail industry for used appliances, which we would like to increasingly exploit in the coming years.

Recycle: A partnership project 

Well over 80% of the appliances discarded in Switzerland can be recycled. Our goal is to steadily increase the recycling rate, so we teamed up with a recycling partner to take a close look at the recycling process and gain important insights. That said, our commitment to recycling starts as early as the production stage: Material residues that arise during the manufacturing process are automatically sorted into designated containers and sent for recycling.

 

Waste: If there’s no way around it

Development, production, administration, transport and disposal all generate unavoidable waste. Any materials that we cannot return to the cycle are disposed of properly. We are constantly optimising our waste processes with the aim of creating as little waste as necessary and achieving as much recyclability as possible. In this way, we strive to keep closing the circle, which brings us right back to ‘design’.