Ethics And Ethos



Responsibility to people and the environment

Environmental protection is becoming increasingly important and will remain a key issue in our society's future. Therefore, bulthaup places great importance on treating our environment in a responsible and sustainable way.

In times of decreasing resources and increasing environmental pollution, the necessity for companies to contribute towards protecting the environment becomes imperative.

Many countries around the world have already responded by establishing rules and regulations for the manufacturing industry. Conferences such as the Global Climate Summit in Kyoto in 1997, or the Climate Conference in Copenhagen in 2009 have already brought the wider public's attention to the importance of this issue.

bulthaup, as one of the leading (premium sector) companies in the kitchens industry regards the existing rules and regulations merely as minimum requirements and is fully aware of the social responsibility it has to produce environmentally friendly products.

Contemporary in every way: bulthaup and ecology

The term ecology is derived from the Greek word 'oikos', meaning house, and 'logos', meaning teaching. Ecology is therefore the science of the house or in the wider sense, the household of nature. Originally, it was regarded as a branch of biology dealing with the ways that organisms interact with each other and their natural environment.

In the 20th century, the term ecology was increasingly used in an environmental political context and was popularised through initiatives by UNESCO and the publication of various studies (1972 Club of Rome, 1980 Global 2000).

Today, the world has realised that we humans are part of a biological environment whether we are aware of it or not. We shape our environment either unintentionally or deliberately.

When designing and manufacturing each individual component of a bulthaup product, not only does bulthaup observe the statutory norms and additional self-imposed standards and quality guidelines but we also take a serious approach to social and ecological responsibility.

'Through intelligent minimisation, many things in life can be produced and made more simply' (Otl Aicher). bulthaup b1 follows this principle and deliberately focuses on using a few simple honest and authentic materials in a systematic way.

A key feature of bulthaup b3 is its 'lightweight construction.' Thin materials give the kitchens both delicate and light appearance while at the same time conserving resources by using less materials. As a result, bulthaup succeeds in combining minimalist design, perfect quality and ecological awareness in a single product.

Environmental protection right from the start

Right from the product development stage, bulthaup focuses on economical use of materials, energy conserving manufacturing process, ensuring that its products do not harm the environment when disposed of. The long lifespan of bulthaup's products is a key environmental benefit. The emphasis on having the highest quality designs, materials and manufacturing processes guarantees an above-average lifespan of a bulthaup kitchen, therefore reducing the environmental impact caused by premature disposal.

Longevity through good design means timeless design. Even after many years, a bulthaup kitchen remains appealing. A bulthaup kitchen does not succumb to fashion trends, but stands behind its promises and typically stays with a client for many years. Longevity in the sense of high quality materials and a superb manufacturing process is guaranteed by adhering to our own strict internal bulthaup quality standards (BQN).

To safeguard this high standard of quality, bulthaup has introduced a quality management system compliant with DIN EN ISO 9001: 2008. This system and its application are checked once a year by an accredited certification office, with particular attention being paid to the areas of development, production, sales and service. Compliance with all the relevant specifications is confirmed with a certificate, which we hold.

Use of renewable raw materials ensures sustainability

One outcome of bulthaup's design considerations is the use of renewable raw materials, such as for fronts, side panels, wall panels and bar tops. bulthaup uses solid wood and veneers that are native to Central Europe or North Amera and are therefore considered ecologically safe. Other types of wood may be used at a customer's specific request, and is only considered after proof is provided that its origins are renewable, such as through an FSC or PEFC certificate.

The classics in the bulthaup front program are currently the rapidly renewable bamboo and the linoleum made entirely from natural raw materials.

The use of native woods is also continued with the interior organisation systems of a bulthaup kitchen. Drawers, pull-outs and inserts for bulthaup b1, for instance, are made from multi-ply layers of solid wood birch strips. For bulthaup b3 and its interior organisation system 'lignum', oak or walnut is used in its natural solid form, not as a composite. bulthaup refrains from the use of tropical woods and encourages its suppliers of wood and wood materials to follow suit and take a sustainable approach.

bulthaup sources materials and purchased components from qualified suppliers that comply with bulthaup's quality standards (BQN). These internal standards, which often far exceed legal and normative requirements, describe the demands that bulthaup makes of the quality and design of the material it uses.

Product safety through contant checks

For bulthaup the safety of its customers is paramount.

This is why bulthaup has its products checked by LGA QualiTest GmbH, which is approved by the Bavarian governement agency for structural engineering. After extensive testing, this organisation awards the German GS test mark which confirms that the products comply with the requirements of the German equipment and product safety law.

All electrical products are also subjected to testing as per the European EMC directive and carry the CE mark. Since bulthaup operates worldwide, tests have also been carried out for other countries and the relevant approvals obtained.