We want to become more sustainable – and have started our journey

About the author

Nadine Hermeling is Team Lead Marketing at EBF and founder of the EBF Sustainability Team. Together with five colleagues, she is dedicated to the topic of sustainability with a great deal of passion and motivation.

We kicked off 2023 at EBF with an in-depth look at everything that we had done to date in the field of sustainability. Our honest conclusion? Not enough. So what were we to do? After all, everyone agreed that we want to do a lot more to ensure greater sustainability in the future – because our society is facing tremendous challenges to ensure a life worth living for ourselves, as well as for future generations. And because IT solutions are responsible for a share of CO2 emissions – and therefore we are, too.

To ensure that we would be able to pay greater attention to this issue now and in the future, in mid-2023 we established a team that has been continuously working on this ever since: developing ideas, initiating measures, and overseeing implementation. Six of our colleagues from completely different areas of the company, each with their own unique perspectives, joined together and approached this task with a great deal of dedication, motivation, and curiosity. 🙂

We know that our efforts have only just begun. Even so, we would like to take this opportunity today to share some of our initial experiences with you and introduce you to some of our initiatives. That is because we think that this is an area in which we can learn a great deal from one another and inspire each other – not only within EBF, but also far beyond our company. And we believe that is the key: that we get as many people excited about this journey as possible, because to achieve real change, we must go far beyond individuals.

What does sustainability mean to us?

To start off, we had to ask ourselves what we mean by sustainability. We answered this question in part with the assistance of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and were quickly in agreement that we don’t want to see sustainability as “just” climate protection, but rather as an integral combination of ecology, society, and economy.


  • We want to conserve natural resources, combat environmental pollution, and promote biodiversity – to help protect our climate.


  • We want to give something back to society and contribute to greater diversity and equality – both in society and in our company.


  • We want to support the next generation and get them into IT (something that also strengthens the labor market that matters to us most) while focusing more closely on the cultural aspects of our changing world of work – a world that we are already helping to shape from a technological standpoint.

We aim to leverage our understanding of sustainability to always be aware of our impact on our environment and on society, as well as on our colleagues, EBF, and our business contacts, and to work across the board to ensure responsible action and create a future worth living.

But where to begin?

When our sustainability team got together for a workshop in early August to jointly develop our understanding of sustainability, we also gave thought to what we need for our work, what exactly it is that we do, and how we want to move forward in the future. The ideas just kept on coming, and in no time we had filled up a bulletin board with colored Post-it notes.

But where were we supposed to begin? Would it make more sense to start by outlining a few fundamental principles, expanding our knowledge, and determining our carbon footprint? Or would we be better off initiating a few measures immediately, so that it would be clear in our daily work that we have embarked on a new journey, in order to get other people involved as well?

We really did not know which approach was the “right” one, so we ended up deciding on a mix of these two approaches. For one thing, we hope to effect direct change, to make things happen, and to motivate as many people as possible to get involved and use their own spheres of influence to reach even more people, organizations, associations, etc. outside of EBF. For another, we need time to address even more complex issues, things that cannot be implemented as easily, things that need a great deal more knowledge, and for which we could also use some support.

What have we done to date, and what are we planning in the near future?

Sustainable procurement

We have already begun looking much more closely at the materials being used and the way in which things are produced when placing our orders for office materials, equipment, etc.


Conserving resources

We want to avoid wasting resources, and that is why we are now taking various steps, such as reducing the time that office equipment is on standby, issuing digital invoices wherever possible, and sending digital Christmas cards to our customers instead of paper ones through the post.


For four years now, we have been planting mixed forests in Germany that are sustainable for local conditions. This equates to some 7,000 trees to date.


Gift campaigns for children

Last Christmas was already the second time that we have worked with the “Laachende Hätze” association to satisfy the wishes of children who haven’t had things easy in their lives. The result: our enthusiastic efforts have helped us put smiles on the faces of some 60 children at Christmas time.

Promoting the next generation

Since late 2023 we are working with the initiative “codiviti” to support digital education and equal opportunities for children. The goal of our partnership is to use creative and captivating ways to get kids interested in IT. As part of these efforts, we will be inviting children to come to the first EBF Girls’Day in April, and we aim to work with holiday camps this summer. We also set up and manage the iPads needed by “codiviti” for its work at schools free of charge. After all, it is one of our core competencies. 🙂


Special leave for helping others

Since 2024, every member of the EBF team has the right to take up to two days of special leave (known as “social days”) every year in order to help out on selected social projects.


Providing information

We have created a knowledge platform and first port of call for all matters pertaining to sustainability. Here, you will find not only our goals and activities, but also interesting background information, a glossary, and helpful reference materials.

Based on external standards

We have pledged to uphold the principles of the UN Global Compact and participate in the EcoVadis assessment process. We do this in particular to help us identify the areas in which we still have room to improve.

What comes next?

In the next step, we want to clearly study what we can do to make our own products more sustainable. And there are many more ideas to be found on our ideas paper. But one thing at a time – we’re in no danger of running out of ideas. 🙂

What were our first steps like?

They were full of questions!

  • Often, we had no idea where to begin, how we should find the time to deal with each issue, or whether we already knew enough to actually get started. Many of these questions often appeared at the same time – particularly for the more complex topics.


  • We have learned a great deal, and there is still so much more that we can learn from one another, from the examples set by other companies, from networks, and many other places besides.


  • We have seen just how many ideas lie within us and how these can be continuously improved by working together.

A growing movement!

  • We are delighted that more and more of our colleagues are approaching our sustainability team with their ideas – not only have we been able to get a lot of people involved in our initiatives, but we have also seen them spread these efforts to their private lives.


  • All of these things are being done with a great deal of passion. Sometimes when a meeting ends or the workday comes to a close, everyone involved remains in animated conversation about these issues: because there is so much that can be done, because we have so many ideas inside of us, and because it is a positive thing when so many different perspectives come together in the same place. It is an encouraging sign, and a welcome one. 🙂

We are pleased to be able to continue on this important and exciting journey. It is an inspiring undertaking, and we will continue to report on our experiences and initiatives in our blog on a regular basis. Who knows? Maybe some of our initiatives will be taken up in other companies as well. 🙂

If you are also taking part in this journey, we look forward to sharing ideas with you and hearing what you have to say.

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