Ritex, a German condom and lubricant producer, is now using EKOenergy-labelled electricity, incorporating the EKOenergy logo into their newest product line PRO NATURE. We asked them a few questions about this recent development, to learn more about their focus on sustainability and what led them to choose EKOenergy-labelled electricity.
Why did you choose to start an environmentally friendly product line? What are the most important messages you want to convey with this choice?
Ritex is what we call in Germany a “KMU” – a small/medium sized company which is typical to the traditional German economy. We are still completely family owned, now in the third generation, and we are specialised in a quite narrow product field (condoms and lubricants). For us, branding our products as “Made in Germany” is not only about striving for the best possible quality and efficiency but also a dedication to sustainability. While the latter, in previous times, applied almost completely to questions of economic stability, the meaning of sustainability has broadened in Germany, and especially for Ritex, in recent years due mainly to ecological issues. With this, we have already found ourselves putting in a lot of effort trying to make our company more sustainable in ecological terms. Time and time again we undertake steps to boost the efficiency of our company – aiming for the best for our economic and ecological future. Our new PRO NATURE product range then isn’t really a new approach for us but more a consequent step in an already long lasting journey.
Apart from consuming EKOenergy, what other decisions have you taken to be more sustainable?
Almost ten years ago we invested in a new production structure to reuse the heat-excess of one production-step to lower the demand for heat in other production-steps. This has been very helpful in reducing our overall energy demand and thus our CO2 emissions. We also try to identify all smaller possibilities to save energy, such as more energy-efficient lighting, better insulation for buildings, the reduction of waste in all steps of our production, in our administration and so on. Our first aim, when it comes to ecological issues, is to reduce our energy demand (in any form whatsoever) so that CO2 emission is prevented from the beginning. If this is not possible, we try to find an alternative with as little impact on the environment as possible, like EKOenergy for electricity or FSC-certified plantations for Natural-Rubber-Latex. If that isn’t possible, we try to compensate for our impact on the environment with climate certificates like we do for our natural gas demand. Also, we have a cooperation with the largest German environmental organisation _NABU e.V._ to protect insects – especially wild bees. This year we have a special Condom-Promotion-Package called BEE HAPPY for instance. Out of the sales revenue of this promotion we are donating EUR 10.000 to NABU.
How did the process of choosing EKOenergy labelled electricity go for you?
Since our entire production is located in Bielefeld, Germany, we were fortunate that it was easy, only having to speak to our local energy provider (the Stadtwerke Bielefeld), with him proposing some options for using environmentally friendly electricity. We decided to choose EKOenergy because it was important for us to use electricity in which generation had been not only CO2-neutral, but also had as little impact on the environment as possible.
Do you think that consumers are valuing products made in a more sustainable way? Has the new product line been received well?
From our experience the vast majority of consumers choose a more sustainable product, as long as other important parameters (such as price, performance and so on) meet an acceptable standard. In the end the overall package of the product has to convince the consumer but we believe, that ecological sustainability is becoming a more and more important factor. Our new Ritex PRO NATURE condoms have just been launched on the European markets, but initial feedback looks quite promising. Upon aiming to create a perfect-overall-product-package, we are very confident that Ritex PRO NATURE condoms will meet the needs of the market.
We thank Ritex for choosing EKOenergy and for answering our questions! We hope that their commitment to sustainability will inspire others to take similar steps speeding up the transition towards a 100% renewable world.
To see other articles like this and to learn more about companies using EKOenergy-labelled energy, have a look at our user stories. We and our licensees are happy to help individuals and companies choose the most sustainable renewable energy.
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Published on 20 May 2020