Sustainability is a tradition at Karl Knauer

Sustainable: that's what we are by nature. As a family-run company with its roots in the Black Forest, responsibility for people, the environment and nature has always been very important to us. Sustainability is therefore a central component of our corporate strategy. In all our services relating to packaging, advertising materials, gift packaging and mechanical engineering, our aim is to increase the efficiency of processes, conserve resources and minimise emissions. Our efforts are constantly growing. And so are our successes. 


Nadelbäume im Wald
0 %
climate protection
fully compensated energy footprint
Karl Knauer Biberach
0 %
Power consumption reduces
when comparing 2023 to 2022
Karl Knauer Biberach
0 %
reduced water consumption
when comparing 2023 to 2022
Karl Knauer Poland
EcoSmart Packaging

Sustainability is in our DNA. Over 80 years

‘Grows’ and is recyclable: cardboard is made from the renewable raw material wood and is therefore particularly environmentally friendly. In addition, no other product is recycled as intensively as packaging made of cardboard, paperboard or paper. Even though sustainability is already in the cartonboard - we get even more out of it: By designing folding cartons in such a way that they are efficient and safe throughout their entire life cycle. Our raw materials come primarily from the EU, preferably from sustainable forestry. Look out for FSC®-certified products!

Obst- und Gemüseschale aus Graskarton
Particularly sustainable packaging from our customers made from grass cardboard

Reduce sensibly, avoid intelligently: This applies to us in all areas. Waste avoidance begins as early as the packaging development stage: new packaging is designed to minimise the amount of material used and placed on the printed sheet. The reduction of waste and rejects is also a requirement for the acquisition of new production machines. The administrative area is also involved: Here, work is carried out with as little paper as possible - supported by a document management system.

Bunte kleine Kartonabschnitte
Active waste management
Hohe Faltschachteln mit Lochmuster
Umweltfreundlicher Agrarabfallkarton statt Plastik

Sustainable added value for our customers

Cartonboard as an ecological alternative: We see ourselves as a development partner for our customers and always provide up-to-date advice on environmentally friendly materials and sustainable packaging concepts. We advocate the resource-saving use of materials; when developing a new design, we focus on the use of innovative, ecological cardboard materials and minimising the use of materials - while maintaining the functionality and quality of the end product.

Mädchen in Ostafrika pumpt Wasser aus einem Brunnen
Karl Knauer supports the ‘Well systems, East Africa’ project

100 % equalisation of the energy balance in Biberach

Avoiding, determining and offsetting CO2: Our sustainability management contributes to this. Avoid CO2: The electricity at the Biberach site comes from 100% renewable sources, and part of the energy requirement is covered by our own photovoltaic systems. Determine CO2: This ensures transparency. Offset CO2: We are involved in the ‘Well Systems, East Africa’ project, which aims to reduce flue gas emissions caused by boiling contaminated water. In rural regions of East Africa, outdated and no longer usable well systems are being repaired to ensure access to clean water.

Stromerzeugung auf der Karl Knauer-Produktionshalle
Photovoltaic system on the production hall in Biberach

How we save energy. And where

Energy efficiency up, energy consumption down: We are getting better and better with targeted measures. In general, energy efficiency is a requirement when purchasing new systems and building technology. This has enabled us to permanently reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions in production, building management and mobility. For example, through process optimisation and more energy-efficient printing presses, the use of solar thermal energy or LED technology.

Excellent climate protection
Karl Knauer KG compensates 100 % of its energy balance and was honoured by the Association of Paper, Print and Media South Baden (vpdm) in 2021 for its 10-year membership in the CO2 Climate Initiative.
Acting green

Sustainability projects of our apprentices

The Karl Knauer bee pasture

In spring 2020, the Karl Knauer trainees laid the foundation stone for another project for the future: With our support, the work area for around 60,000 new Karl Knauer employees in Zell am Harmersbach was set up on a 2,600 m² area: a flower meadow that has since been blooming all summer long with many different varieties and provides a valuable habitat for numerous insects, but above all for the new Karl Knauer bee colony. Equipped with protective clothing, the Karl Knauer trainees set about harvesting the honey under the expert guidance of ‘Bee Martin’. A total of 32 kilograms were extracted and bottled by hand. As you would expect from a packaging expert, a specially designed honeycomb packaging was designed and realised together with the trainees. 

Construction of the insect hotel

Since summer 2022, there has been an insect hotel built by the trainees themselves, which complements the Karl Knauer bee pasture. This lovingly designed hotel provides a home for numerous insects, including bees, butterflies and beetles, and thus actively contributes to the protection of local biodiversity. Our trainees have worked with great care and creativity on this project together with ‘Bienenmartin’ and we are proud that they are making a positive contribution to the environment. The insect hotel is not only a place of shelter, but also a symbol of our commitment to sustainability and environmental protection. 




Strong tree trainee project

In cooperation with the Ortenau Landscape Conservation Association, the forest district manager for the Biberach municipal forest Christoph Müller and Forstservice Schnaitter, four trainees from Karl Knauer KG realised the project launched in 2021 at the beginning of March 2022 and reforested a fallow area of around 1,000 m² in Biberach/Baden. A total of 250 sessile oaks and 50 small-leaved lime trees were planted to recultivate a former burnt area. From the preparation of the area to the procurement of planting material and planting through to the installation of special sustainable wooden growth covers to protect the young plants from damage by wild animals, the project gave the trainees an insight into a wide range of topics. 

Nest box construction

Our trainees worked with the in-house joinery to produce impressive nesting boxes. This collaboration not only enabled the production of high-quality nesting boxes, but also promoted the exchange of expertise and craftsmanship between the trainees and the carpentry experts. As a result, they created new valuable habitats for various bird species. The resulting nesting boxes are not only a sign of our commitment to nature conservation, but also a practical example of the combination of traditional craftsmanship and environmental awareness. At the 2024 summer party, all employees will have the opportunity to win one of these unique nesting boxes as part of our biodiversity project.

Sustainable on the road

E-cars in use

Official handover of keys to managing partner Stefanie Wieckenberg

Since 2021, two fully electric VW E-Ups have been part of the Karl Knauer fleet and show where the journey is heading in terms of mobility. Because the proportion of company cars with electric drives will also increase continuously at our company. To ensure that Karl Knauer is prepared for the changeover from combustion engines to electric drives, the company has installed a future-oriented charging infrastructure for eight charging stations, which can be expanded to a total of 16 charging stations, in the company car park. Incidentally, one of the two E-Ups is reserved exclusively for trainees. It is at their free disposal and is used for journeys to school, company matters or also privately over the weekend.



Sustainable information

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