SONOTRONIC GmbH develops components, standard and special machines for ultrasonic-based plastics processing with high quality awareness with the aim of helping to shape the industry in a more sustainable way. The innovative family-owned company is dedicated to the focus of achieving 100% climate-neutral machine manufacturing. To expand its climate protection measures, SONOTRONIC follows a modern sustainability strategy that optimizes processes and conserves resources and the environment.
Norms, standards & climate neutrality
With its ultrasonic technology, SONOTRONIC promises a sustainable and future-proof joining technology for plastics. Processing plastics with ultrasonic not only has advantages in the process, but is also significantly more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly compared to processing with other thermal processes - in other words, it is green throughout. With the use of ultrasonic, only a quarter of the electrical energy required for production is needed compared to thermal processes. CO2 emissions are therefore reduced by around 75%. As a fully comprehensive supplier, the company offers a wide range of product solutions that contribute to climate neutrality: from ultrasonic components to machine concepts for the installation of fully automated production lines. The innovative developments and the production of the machines in compliance with high environmental standards have an active effect on environmental protection.
The company is aware of its responsibility towards future generations and has acted accordingly. With the aim of achieving emission reductions, the successfully completed KEFF check defined the first step towards increasing operational energy efficiency at the Karlsbad site. An honest and transparent needs analysis is the prerequisite for deriving the necessary measures.
The next step was to record the greenhouse gas emissions caused by the company's activities and, in cooperation with Fokus Zukunft GmbH & Co. KG, the climate impact was determined: According to the guidelines from the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, the process certifies SONOTRONIC GmbH a CO2 balance of 1,480.70 tons in the reference period of one year. To illustrate: On average, a person in Germany causes about 11.6 tons of CO2 per year through his lifestyle. Compared with other companies of the same size and in the same industry, the emission value of the ultrasonic special machine manufacturer SONOTRONIC in Karlsbad is in the middle range.
For the neutralization of the determined balances, according to the principle of the Kyoto Protocol "Mechanism for Environmentally Sustainable Development" greenhouse gases, which are produced in one place on earth and cannot be avoided, are to be compensated by climate protection projects in another place. With the purchase of 4,443 certificates, SONOTRONIC supports a bioenergy project in China, which was certified under the sovereignty of the United Nations. In this way, the ultrasonic special machine manufacturer underlines its climate neutrality at the Karlsbad site and lives up to its special responsibility as a generational company. The balanced carbon footprint becomes valid from the beginning of the year 2022 and extends until the year 2024.
Ever since the company was founded, it has done everything in its power to meet the high quality demands in mechanical engineering as well as the development requirements in ultrasonic technology and has been certified according to several international standards, among others. For more than two decades, the company's environmental protection system in accordance with ISO 14001:2015 has defined processes and responsibilities in the company, which include planning, regulation, execution and control. SONOTRONIC was able to optimally structure the responsibilities by defining procedures and behaviors. The certification portfolio is supplemented by DIN ISO 9001:2015 in the quality management system. The globally recognized standard defines requirements for the QM system in order to detect errors at an early stage or to elicit weak points and deficiencies.
With the standard certification DIN EN 16247-1:2012, SONOTRONIC fulfills all requirements regarding methods and evaluation of energy audits and their results. The Energy Efficiency Directive provides for the systematic inspection and analysis of energy use and energy consumption in plants and buildings. The aim is to make energy flows in the company efficient and to identify opportunities for improvement. In addition, SONOTRONIC regularly undergoes sustainability assessments by EcoVadis, an online platform for holistic ratings in the field of corporate responsibility. SONOTRONIC currently scored 59 out of a possible 100 points, thus achieving a silver award.
Successfully implemented measures for CO2 reduction
SONOTRONIC has now been regarded as a specialist for ultrasonic special machines for almost 50 years - from design to production. The family-run company focuses on the domestic circular economy in its coordinated value chain. SONOTRONIC produces within regional supply chains, which both ensure short transport routes and require reliable and flexible partners. The company not only implements reduction measures in a sustainable manner, but also supports regional environmental projects with its know-how. Currently, the company from the northern Black Forest points to a 90% share of national suppliers, of which 45% come from the home state of Baden-Württemberg. The conversion to modern energy-saving LED lighting systems and the use of environmentally friendly electric forklifts are also among the measures that have already been implemented within the company. With controlled process flows in the recycling management, the recycling quota of the total waste volume in the company has meanwhile risen to 35% - from plastics and metal chips, to paper, cardboard and wood, sustainable waste avoidance and recycling takes place. With the installation of a document management system and sensible interfaces in the ERP system, the conversion to a digitalized and paper-free office has already taken place in the commercial departments.
Corporate Social Responsibility
As a regional specialist company in special machine construction, SONOTRONIC faces up to its responsibility and regularly supports social projects in the region. The primary goal is to sensitize the environment as well as employees to provide help in various forms. With the aim of integrating people with disabilities into everyday working life, the company has been cooperating with the HWK (Hagsfelder Werkstätten und Wohngemeinschaften Karlsruhe gGmbH) and the Murgtal-Werkstätten for five years. SONOTRONIC is also an active partner in three schools in the region. Under the motto "Wirtschaft macht Schule" (Business goes to school), the Karlsbad-based company has been accompanying young people on their way to their dream job since 2014. Through regional sponsoring of institutions and clubs, the mechanical engineering company also stays on the ball in sports. As the main sponsor of SVL Karlsbad, SONOTRONIC has been sponsoring the sports grounds of SV 1899 Langensteinbach since 2015 and, with this responsibility, is starting a long-term commitment for the benefit of young generations.
Employer Branding News - SONOTRONIC as an Employer Brand
Since its foundation in 1974, SONOTRONIC, as a specialist in ultrasonic technology and special machine construction, has done everything in its power to be an employer with exceptional brand awareness. For potential applicants as well as active employees, SONOTRONIC is an attractive employer that focuses its activities on its employees. Together with the employees, the management has created innovative changes to provide the entire workforce with an optimal work-life balance.
Flexitime arrangements support colleagues in their everyday family life and at the same time help them to respond flexibly to professional challenges. Specially trained specialists are on hand for occupational health management. If necessary, employees can expect sound reintegration management with adapted support measures.
Health weeks with activities such as free flu vaccinations are available to the workforce, as are courses on giving up smoking or healthy eating. Particularly sporty employees can take part in regular soccer tournaments and company runs. Since 2017, drinking water dispensers have provided refreshment in between. SONOTRONIC is also committed to a healthy, active lifestyle and offers employees the option of leasing a company bicycle.
The future at SONOTRONIC - planned measures
The aim of SONOTRONIC GmbH is to help shape the future in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way. Continuously optimizing products, technologies and processes for better environmental compatibility is an integral part of the corporate culture. Scopes one and two are to be achieved by 2030 according to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. These focus on increasing the efficiency of production processes and the complete switch to electricity from 100% renewable energy sources in all departments and areas. Furthermore, the company underlines its intention to achieve a rapid impact on the reduction of greenhouse gases. E-charging stations for employees, the installation of PV systems on the flat roofs as well as the replacement of the entire company fleet to vehicles with alternative drive systems such as hydrogen, hybrid and electromobility are on the agenda and promote the transformation for climate-neutral production that has already taken place. Complementing this, SONOTRONIC has started to sensitize employees to the new energy situation. Furthermore, the company is preparing Scope 3 and is doing everything in its power to identify indirect emissions along the value chain and neutralize them by 2050.
Dr. Frank Meyer, Managing Director of SONOTRONIC GmbH, clearly defines "A major and important goal is to offer customers of SONOTRONIC the opportunity to purchase machines from 100% climate-neutral production in the future. Ultrasound is a high technology that makes it possible to replace existing conventional technologies, but also to open up completely new markets. Sustainability and Green Technology are required - Ultrasound combines this from the ground up with the GREEN SONICS brand. The label GREEN SONICS also stands for the philosophy of SONOTRONIC. Sustainable action on a social, ecological and economic level is deeply anchored in the roots of the company in a variety of ways and is lived every day. We develop and build state-of-the-art machines and components that are environmentally friendly, save energy and reduce CO2 - today and in the future!"