Karsten Heimisch

Karsten Hiemesch is the Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility of the WMF Group since 2013. In an interview, we not only gain an impression of his work but also of his target to position the topic corporate sustainability more strongly in the future.

Karsten Hiemesch, how did you become involved in sustainability?
First of all, it is an intrinsic motivation in my daily actions. The sustainability megatrend was first positioned within the WMF-Group in 2011 within the scope of an internal project coaching.

What are your core tasks as the Manager Corporate Responsibility at the WMF-Group GmbH?
I’m occupied with CSR within the supply chain, customer requests, the compatibility of family and working life, the creation and implementation of our first “Code of Conduct”, the public relations and the stakeholder dialogue, the development of a CSR reporting and of course the implementation of the ESM software. Furthermore, I am the “sparring partner” for our endowed chair “sustainable product management” at the local university.

What do you find particularly interesting about your role and what drives you?
Meeting new challenges and finding solutions or approaches for these motiveates me. In addition, this way I have points of contact to all departments within the WMF Group. I work together with students of our university, as described above, can attribute to the sensitization of our own colleagues as well as of our external stakeholders. I can promote the reduction of prejudices and this way build up sustainability as a cross-sectional topic of our corporate strategy in the long term.

Why do you think is the work of CSR and sustainability managers so important?
Worldwide economical, ecological and social challenges as well as the continually changing and extending demands of our stakeholders require a positioning of corporate actions in the WMF Group for all departments and positions. I see this as an opportunity for innovative impulses, employee involvement and risk avoidance or reduction.
Geopolitically, I observe the recent developments skeptically and really hope that the world community will commit itself more actively and with firm targets in future!

What hurdles and challenges do you face in your day-to-day work?
The doors for the understanding of sustainability must be again and again opened strategically and argumentatively and be anchored with the corresponding targets. Different groups of employees must be differentiated and sensitized.

What changes would you like to see happen in the future?
A certain “sustainable self-conception” in the daily actions alongside all business segments must be positioned so that we can achieve positive contributions for all our stakeholders

How does Enterprise Sustainability Management (ESM) software support your work specifically?
It allows a multimedia illustration of the CSR strategy alongside the WMF Group, a real-time monitoring, liabilities by means of clearly defined and represented KPIs with a corresponding presentation in the dashboard, internal control and ranking functions, transparency, standardization by means of bindingly represented KPIs and the possibility to portray the WMF Group in these worldwide.

What benefits do you see in the context of working in a team?
It’s a professional instrument for the sustainability management. Conventional tools such as Excel-sheets reach their limits there.

How could a sustainability software help to increase acceptance for your field or how does it already help in your company?
The software enables us to control and monitor the energy efficiency, resource protection, climate protection and social standards in the supply chain. HR-KPIs and further corporate KPIs increase the complexity and require uniform reasonable and auditing safe software solutions. Apart from the cost savings, revision safety, a valid data quality, an automatic data processing etc., an intelligent solution such as the ESM-solution from WeSustain offers charmingly practical and efficient possibilities!

Thank you very much for the nice conversation from the whole WeTeam!