Halfar roof garden- a paradise for insects since 2013

The HALFAR® roof bursts into colour

Can you imagine a world without chocolate? I bet it would be inconceivable to many. To counter this, it is important that we protect our insects. But what do insects have to do with chocolate? The answer is very simple: midges are responsible for pollinating cocoa plants.

If you want to find out more about such interrelations and about the importance of insects, we recommend visiting our list of links at the end of this article. However, we would like to tell you about our latest project now, as we at Halfar like to take on a challenge and have set ourselves the task of creating a new habitat for insects.

Even more insect friendly space at Halfar

Already 6 years ago in a voluntary undertaking, Halfar employees planted a 400 m² large green space on the flat roof of our company to make it insect friendly. Since then, many insects have made this area their home.

Halfar roof garden- a paradise for insects since 2013

Halfar’s first roof garden was established in 2013 and now is a paradise for insects.

The great added benefit is that the green roof turns CO2 into oxygen. Building on this CO2 reduction project at the beginning of 2018, we also started to consistently collate and figure out in monetary terms the CO2 emissions unavoidably created by the transport of our products, for instance. The amount of money saved as a result was used to plant another area and to protect those creatures, which significantly contribute to the preservation of the biodiversity of our ecosystem.

At Halfar, we opened the 5th Insect Respect compensation area.

At Halfar, we opened the 5th Insect Respect compensation area.©Reimar Ott

Promoting greater biodiversity!

An 800 m² roof on another building was transformed into an oxygen provider and habitat for insects in a joint campaign by Insect Respect and Halfar employees. The first 10 possible spaces were allocated as soon as the employee campaign was announced. This shows that our colleagues also feel strongly about the subject. In the end, 10 volunteers and family members met on Saturday morning at Halfar, to literally climb the roof. Insect Respect initiator Dr Hans-Dietrich Reckhaus and the biologist Dr Philipp Unterweger also took the opportunity to personally attend the opening of the 5th Insect Respect compensation area.

With everyone having been fortified for the forthcoming planting work with a joint breakfast, Dr Reckhaus and Dr Unterweger gave short presentations about the importance of insects and biodiversity. After that it was right down to business.

In bright sunshine, everyone, big and small, put in all of their effort and, under the supervision of Insect Respect, created opportunities for all kinds of insects to find food and places to hide and hibernate. Both Halfar managing directors, Armin Halfar and Kathrin Stühmeyer-Halfar, did not miss the chance either to actively join in with the planting action.

This is how in the end another paradise for insects was created on the company roof. Here you can also find insect hotels made of piles of deadwood, and grasses and shrubs as places to hide and breed, as well as pond landscapes for birds and insects to cool off on hot days. In muddy and sandy areas, they also find many opportunities to dig for nesting holes or to collect materials for nests.

Further benefits of a green roof

Apart from the many benefits offered by roof to the insects, there are also plus points for the company building. Resources are saved for instance, as the working life of the roof is extended. The vegetation acts as natural dust filter and retains rainwater, freeing up the sewer system. Moreover, plants act as natural protection against noise.

Find further information about our sustainable measures in our Sustainability Report.

Information about our insect friendly facilities and initiatives

Do you also want to create insect friendly gardens, balconies or roof spaces? Find interesting information on this subject on the following pages:

The vitamin boost is available not just in the Halfar canteen, but also in all four kitchens.

Good things come in threes – how taking a break can be a source of creative potential

Everyone knows the problem from their everyday work: After a few hours, concentration starts to flag. When the attention starts to wander and blood sugar begins to dip, it is time for a break. How to make this break useful and how to support our staff in doing so is what drives us.

For many people, the most popular method is coffee – a caffeine hit that Halfar has always provided free of charge. Since drinking large quantities of coffee over a long period is not healthy, however, we have put in place some more ideas to help our staff get through the day. Many of the ideas originated as suggestions on our notice board and from staff involvement measures.

Measure 1 – Sparkling, still or boiling hot – water for all 

As we are made of 80% water, the element is essential for our wellbeing, our health and our ability to think. But we still often forget to drink enough during a hectic day – especially when no water is to hand. To counteract this, Halfar has now installed water dispensers at four central locations. Be it chilled, filtered or sparkling water or even boiling water for tea, it is all now available at the touch of a button, helping everyone to stay hydrated.

The water dispensers at Halfar can be used not only during breaks, but all day, giving staff an energy boost whenever they need it.

Measure 2 – Dry inside, green outside – fresh air and exercise

As well as the beautifully designed rooms and inviting canteen, our staff also have the option of using the terraces and green spaces around the building during their breaks or for meetings. Exercise in the fresh air stimulates the brain, provides the necessary distance from problems, or simply does us good, especially if the sun is shining. But our colleagues do not let a stiff breeze or the odd drop of rain put them off getting outdoors either.

Halfar employees have also the possibility to go for a walk outside to conduct a briefing or to find new ideas.

Measure 3 – Help yourself – vitamins for all!

Since the end of March, we have been buying fresh, seasonal fruit and vegetables from a local organic farm once a week. Filled to bursting, the baskets are then placed in the kitchens and the canteen where everyone can access them. Be it apples, bananas, pepper or other fruit and vegetables, they all have one thing in common: they are packed with vitamins and very popular.

As if that were not enough, the vitamins and minerals they contain are a real boost for concentration. It is scientifically proven that they influence our cell growth and that particularly vitamin C has a positive effect on our brains and thus our concentration.

It is a totally natural way for us to increase our concentration and thus perform better in everyday life. In turn, this enhances our emotional satisfaction and stimulates our creative potential. This “break business” really does have long-term benefits!

The vitamin boost is available not just in the Halfar canteen, but also in all four kitchens. Perfect to take a healthy break!

Halfar's Energy Scouts are thinking about new ways to save energy.

Halfar Energy Scouts discover potential savings

Turning off the light when we leave a room, installing energy-saving bulbs or using self-generated energies – there are lots of ways to save, both in our own homes and at the company. We at Halfar try every day to handle resources responsibly. But potential savings are not always easy to spot. That is why a group of Halfar apprentices took part in the Energy Scouts project for the first time this year.

Their aim was to discover further potential savings and look for ways to implement them in the company.


Halfar's Energy Scouts are thinking about new ways to save energy.

Halfar’s Energy Scouts are thinking about new ways to save energy.

Energy Scouts – who, what, how?

This year was the fifth time that apprentices from the OWL region were able to sign up for the Chambers of Trade and Industry (IHK) project via their companies. The role of the Energy Scouts includes highlighting specific potential savings through practical experience and basic knowledge they have gained. At the same time, the apprentices are sensitised to ways of saving resources and taught the basics of project management.

The project has been a great success over the last five years. In 2017, 190 apprentices from 42 companies and organisations took part, discovering potential savings of more than € 450,000 within a year.

The Halfar project: Saving emissions

At Halfar, too, the Energy Scouts went on the hunt for resource robbers. Our apprentices set themselves the challenge of compiling and analysing a precise site balance for the CO2 emissions generated. As well as the operation of the company headquarters itself, the analysis was to consider processes and circumstances. By doing so, they hoped to find out where potential for targeted CO2 savings lies.

They were aided by the program “Eco-cockpit”, which enabled them to classify the various types of emissions as direct or indirect emissions, for example, and thus to look at the big picture. The analysis showed that a large proportion of the emissions still being generated are produced by staff and company vehicles.

As a first step, this finding has already been incorporated into the objectives of the eco-profit project. Business trips are to be reduced, consolidated or taken by public transport as far as possible. Company cars are to be gradually replaced with electric vehicles.

When it comes to emissions from staff vehicles, the apprentices have created an option for finding car pools on the company’s internal communication platform. Colleagues can enter the time, day and location of their car journeys. Some groups have already been formed and now travel to work together – benefiting the environment, team spirit and the colleagues’ bank balances.

Other colleagues already use public transport or the JobRad bikes to travel to work. Halfar appreciates these measures and supports them financially.


The Energy Scouts project by Halfar's apprentices at a glance

The Energy Scouts project by Halfar’s apprentices at a glance

Award for the best ideas – the 2018 winners

16th November 2018 was the big day, when apprentices from 24 participating companies would present their projects to the judges. The winners were then announced. Two shared first prize this year: decor metall GmbH from Bad Salzuflen and BOGE KOMPRESSOREN Otto Boge GmbH & Co. KG from Bielefeld.

In their project “Cardboard shredder eats Flo-Pack film”, the apprentices at decor metall GmbH were able to replace plastic films with recycled cardboard as a filling material, saving around € 9,000 in the first year alone.

The apprentices at BOGE KOMPRESSOREN named their project “PAPP it down”. Their aim was to change the cardboard packaging in such a way that it could be reduced by 80% per year. Their hard work now saves the company more than € 130,000 every year.

Third prize went to the apprentices from JENZ GmbH, who succeeded in reducing “CO2 emissions in the final acceptance of biomass treatment equipment” by using electric instead of diesel engines. This saves the company around € 2,600.

Unfortunately, Halfar’s apprentices were not among the winners, but we are still delighted with their hard work, the car pools that have been formed and the inspiration they have provided. After all, thinking and working in a sustainable way depends on participation, lots of little steps, and strong cooperation. Keep reading our blog to find out what progress Halfar is making when it comes to sustainability.

Halfar's apprentices at the EnergyScouts 2018 award ceremony

Halfar’s apprentices at the EnergyScouts 2018 award ceremony Photo: “IHK Ostwestfalen zu Bielefeld”

Gewinner bei den PSI Sustainability Awards 2018

Persistent offender?!

What? We won again?

Everyone waited eagerly for this day. There was great excitement after information was leaked through social media that Halfar was one of this year’s nominees. Did our sustainable activities over the last few months convince the jury? For example, our commitment to the “Insect Aid” project, through which we created more living spaces for insects. Or our goal to become a climate-neutral company. Perhaps our Sustainability Report as a whole left a positive impression?

Last Friday, it was finally time: The PSI Sustainability Awards were being presented for the 4th time. The most sustainable companies in the advertising industry gathered proudly with anticipation in the splendid Wiesbadener Kurhaus.

But first, the premiere of the PSI Sustainability Summit

For the first time, the PSI Sustainability Summit took place in the afternoon before the actual awards ceremony. The topic of the event was “Sustainable Supply Chain” and it served as a platform of exchange between the promotional goods industry and economic representatives. In their presentations, the latter answered questions about the development and orientation of supply chains in the promotional goods sector as well as the influence of sustainability. After all, in addition to highlighting positive examples the Sustainability Award is primarily about learning from one another, inspiring and motivating each other. It’s about continuing to work together to shift the promotional goods market towards sustainable business.

And finally: The presentation of the PSI Sustainability Awards

Like last year, the participating companies could apply in the following eight categories:

Categories PSI Sustainability Awards

Together with all the other guests who travelled to the event, Armin Halfar and Kathrin Stühmeyer-Halfar, the General Managers of Halfar, waited with anticipation for the announcement of the winners in the listed categories.

…and the winners are:

The winners of the PSI Sustainability Awards 2018

Our General Managers were one of the 12 distinguished companies that had the privilege of receiving an award in the “Social Excellence” category. The jury gave the following reasons for their decision:

“Only few companies succeed in merging family-friendliness, inclusion and integration with their company DNA. Social Excellence is a task that never rests and is transparently shaped at every moment, and this year, it was documented most sustainably by Halfar’s submission.”

Download now the brochure about the winners and their campaigns.

Armin Halfar and Kathrin Stühmeyer-Halfar are excited about the award.

Armin Halfar and Kathrin Stühmeyer-Halfar are excited about the award.

“It is a great honour and pleasure to receive this award again this year. Above all else, the objective of successful cooperation is something we will continue to work on. We will continue to learn from each other and follow the objective of practising sustainable economics together with employees and partners”, said Armin Halfar, expressing his gratitude. “We also warmly congratulate the other winners! It is impressive to see the importance that sustainable issues now have in the promotional goods industry.” Kathrin Stühmeyer-Halfar added.

Thank you for the confirmation! We will continue!

Correspondingly, this award is a confirmation for all of us at Halfar on our path towards becoming a sustainable company. As described in our CSR report, we have undertaken various things and were able to achieve several milestones this year, such as the ISO 14001:2015 certification. However, there is still a lot to do, learn and undertake. In addition to gratitude for the appreciation of our work, there is nothing left but to quote the words of author Erich Kästner: “There is nothing good, unless you do it!”, and to promise that we will keep going!

Bestanden ISO-Zertifizierung

Passed! We have been ISO (re-)certified!

As announced in our sustainability report, we endeavoured to be re-certified in accordance with the new DIN ISO 9001:2015 standard and a new certification in accordance with DIN ISO 14001:2015 this year. We are pleased to inform you that we have successfully passed both audits and are now certified in accordance with ISO 9001:2015 and 14001:2015. Since the basic elements of both certifications, e.g. corporate policy, suppliers and risk assessment are the same, we now have an “integrated management system”.

Halfar Meilenstein: ISO / Halfar milestone: ISO

But what do the two certifications actually stand for, and what are their advantages for us and for you?

ISO 14001:2015 – Environmental Management

The ISO certification 14001:2015 is a standard that is defined by the Organization for Standardization (ISO). It refers to a norm that provides the foundation for the establishment, monitoring and further development of an environmental management system. The paramount objective is that of promoting environmental protection in interaction with the existing social, economic and political necessities.

Here, the qualification offers an operational advantage for the company that would like to be qualified: for instance, when it comes to identifying rationalisation potential or error sources and with regard to receiving international recognition concerning the own environmental management system.

With DIN ISO 14001:2015, for instance, our products’ life cycle assessments are of key importance, as are the direct and indirect factors arising from this. What is more, all emissions are documented and occupational safety management is audited

ISO 9001:2015 – Quality Management

The ISO 9001:2015 certification is the most important standard in the quality management system (abbreviation: QMS). This norm stipulates the requirements that are to be satisfied by a quality management system in order to be awarded the certification. The implementation of the norm offers numerous operational advantages. Here, for instance, operational workflow sequences become more transparent, the error quota and the costs arising as a result are reduced, and customer satisfaction is sustainably improved.

With DIN ISO 9001:2015, the focus is on qualitative elements such as, e.g. quality management, the monitoring of testing instruments and measuring equipment, the documentation of all relevant processes, or the regulation of knowledge and risk management. This way, even existing processes that already function well can be optimised and perfected to an even greater degree.

In the course of the daily cooperation with other companies and with trade, as well as with the decision-making process of both our and your customers, the certifications serve as orientation aids and provide the foundation for taking a qualified decision. You can also download the two certificates here.

IQ Net Certificate Halfar

ISO certificate Halfar 2018


CSR-Preis OWL - Der Award

HALFAR® wins the CSR Prize OWL 2018

At the beginning of May, we were distinguished with the CSR Award OWL. In the following we show you 3 reasons why HALFAR® is the right partner for you.

Sustainability Report 2018

HALFAR® Sustainability Report 2018

HALFAR® publishes its Sustainability Report 2018. Here we want to inform you about our sustainable activities and measures.