Dear customers, dear colleagues,
The year 2019 is slowly coming to an end. Therefore, we want to thank our colleagues and customers, as well as all partner companies for your trust and engagement!
It was an exciting and, above all, an eventful year. Together, we achieved so much!
To summarise, we want to reflect upon our achievements with you. Starting from our range of bags to the certifications and awards; and then onto the issue of sustainability, which has characterised 2019, and the outstanding things that occurred here at our site in Bielefeld during this year: From the insect-friendly roof garden to the new logistics centre.
Products & awards
In this year, exciting new products found their way once again to our selection range. And so 40 innovative products came on board. There was everything from backpack to shopper. We are especially proud of our DIAMOND backpack, with which we were able to impress the jury of the Promotional Gift Awards event. Many thanks for the award!
Also worth mentioning is the new FRAME series and the new Finishing Technology HALFAR FAST LANE® associated with it, which can offer answers to many questions. Overall, our customers could choose from a total of 213 products and 14 finishing technologies in 2019.
Moreover, we were delighted to receive three prizes at the PSI Sustainability Awards. In the “Social Excellence” category, we were able to impress as a particularly staff-friendly and cooperative company and were able to bring the first prize home. We achieved second and third place respectively in the categories “Social Initiative” and “Economic Excellence”. For that, once again many thanks!
The HALFAR® Online shop
In May this year, our new HALFAR® homepage went live, including a modern and intuitive shop. A clear design and an optimised user interface quickly resulted in remarkable acceptance. The combination of interesting facts and a round-the-clock option to obtain samples and goods from stock is increasingly being taken up and enriches our collaboration.
Employees, trainees & young talent
The HALFAR® team experienced strong growth once more in 2019. The team now consists of over 130 colleagues, who strive on a daily basis to make the HALFAR® brand a guarantor of trustworthy products and sustainable management. Thanks to everyone for the team feeling.
In 2019 we can also look back on the 9 young people who started their training in our company. Apart from the six vocational training placements offered previously offered, we also filled an apprenticeship for an e-commerce administrator for the first time. We were also able to congratulate four trainees on their success in passing their vocational exam. The HALFAR® team continues to support three of them. We are so happy that you are with us!
Sustainability in 2019
No subject occupied us this year as much as the search for additional opportunities to work even more sustainably and to make our products even more sustainable.
As planned, we fully compensated our unavoidable transport emissions this year. Together with Insect Respect, we expanded our green space on our company roof by a further 450 m² and designed the roof with green plants, piles of deadwood and other nesting places, thus creating additional, essential habitats for insects.
A further measure for cutting CO2 emissions was the purchase of our first electric company vehicle. It is a good alternative, especially for short trips.
We also support the use of the Job Bike, local public transport as well as the creation of car sharing initiatives. Colleagues “biked” over 5,000 km at this year’s City Bike Event. This employee initiative cut 732 kg of CO2. All these measures can be looked up in the current sustainability report, which was extended in 2019, incorporating the SDGs; the UN’s “Sustainable Development Goals”.
As well as the existing DIN ISO 14001:2015 and DIN ISO 9001:2015 certifications, we were also able to attain GOTS re-certification this year. This means that all products, which carry this seal, continue to fulfil the highest ecological and social requirements along the whole of the production chain.
Modern working space and a new external warehouse
We also experienced strong growth in terms of space this year. The new logistics centre in Bielefeld Altenhagen went into operation in August after only 10 months of construction. It is merely a few kilometres from our headquarters and serves to centralise our shipping processes. Our bags are stored here in a 7,100 m² space. Moreover, a photovoltaic system is installed on the roof, which produces the electricity for our electrically operated forklift trucks, amongst other.
Our fourth construction phase was also occupied, now functioning as a modern office space and work area under the motto “NEW WORK”. At the same time, fruit baskets and water dispensers were introduced to provide healthy sustenance for all employees.
Other 2019 highlights
We supported the Glückstour (Good Luck Tour) for the seventh time this year with our bags, when chimney sweeps cycle through Germany on their bikes, collecting money donations for children with cancer. We made donations, too. School children in Tanzania could enjoy their new bags and backpacks.
After the first Bagground day last year with so much positive feedback, the second one was held this year. On this day, future trainees as well as their families and friends had the opportunity to become even more familiar with our company before the start of their training. Armin Halfar personally took them on a tour through the company.
Thank you for 2019!
At this point we want to thank EVERYONE most sincerely – once again – who made 2019 into what it was. We are already looking forward to a strong year 2020 and wish you all a very Happy Christmas!
Best regards from Bielefeld,
Kathrin Stühmeyer-Halfar & Armin Halfar