“I have always wanted to organise my business in a sustainable way,” says Dirk Zedler. He is sitting in his company headquarters, the Zedler Fahrradwelt, on the outskirts of Ludwigsburg, a small town north of Stuttgart, which is better known for its baroque palace. “What I never wanted was to embed sustainability as a rigid module. In my opinion, it should be a kind of filter across everything. Only in this way will a business be sustainable and not sustainability a business in itself”. Now that his company headquarters has achieved top marks and a platinum rating according to the DGNB Sustainability Certificate for Buildings In Use and has also been awarded the “Climate Positive” status, he wants to take stock and reflect. How did Zedler and his company get to this point?
Where to start?
The story begins in 2014. Then, Dirk Zedler occupied a rented building and is dissatisfied. His organisation tests and inspects bicycles with regard to durability, safety and user-friendliness, collates expert opinions and damage analyses as well as technical documentation such as operating instructions and risk analyses. Bicycle manufacturers and developers as well as courts and insurance companies from all over the world are customers. The company had a high energy consumption due to its laboratories used for testing, in which numerous machines are usually running at full capacity. At the same time, the indoor climate of the building was poor. Although he already ran the company on electricity from hydropower and was experimenting with principles of energy conversion by using a heat exchanger, he realised that he wanted a fundamental change. But where to start?
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Author: Witold Buenger