Sustainability Success Series: An Interview with WMF Group’s Head of Corporate Social Responsibility

WMF Group's Head of Corporate Social Responsibility shares tips to improve your organization's sustainability performance


Sustainability and corporate social responsibility are at the forefront of everyone’s mind today. And for good reason. As interest in ESG management and sustainable investing continues to grow, more companies are looking for ways to remain resilient and relevant through a greener footprint.

From initiatives designed to create a circular economy by increasing recycling or upcycling to becoming carbon-neutral or setting Greenhouse Gas reduction targets, so many brands are pledging ongoing dedication to sustainability. 

To help you wherever you are in your sustainability journey, we’re sitting down with a number of sustainability leaders to find out how they view sustainability, what they see on the horizon, and to learn some of their secrets to success.

Learn how Karsten Hiemesch is leveraging sustainability software at WMF Group

First up in our Sustainability Success Series is Karsten Hiemesch, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at WMF Group. Read on to learn more about Karsten’s sustainability journey and how WMF Group is leveraging sustainability software to achieve its sustainability goals.

How did you get involved in sustainability? 

First of all, it is an intrinsic motivation in my daily actions. The sustainability megatrend was first positioned within WMF Group in 2011 within the scope of an internal project coaching. 

What are your core responsibilities as Head of Corporate Social Responsibility?

I’m occupied with Corporate Social Responsibility 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 CSR reporting and of course the implementation of Cority’s sustainability solution. 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 motivates 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, and can contribute to the sensitization of our own colleagues as well as 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 the work of CSR and Sustainability managers is 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 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 Cority’s sustainability solution support your work specifically? 

It allows a multimedia illustration of the Corporate Social Responsibility strategy alongside the WMF Group, 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 does sustainability software offer in the context of working in a team? 

It’s a professional instrument for sustainability management. Conventional tools such as Excel spreadsheets reach their limits there. 

How could 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, valid data quality, automatic data processing etc., an intelligent solution such as Cority’s sustainability software offers charmingly practical and efficient possibilities! 

How Cority helps Sustainability professionals: 

Cority’s Sustainability Cloud offers a unified software platform that combines decentralized sustainability management with dependable data collection and automated evaluations for use in reports that can be easily generated. Best of all, it puts an end to working with complex, error-prone Excel sheets. Whether you are monitoring carbon footprint, utility usage and employee travel for GHG reporting or managing more robust environmental programs like air emissions, hazardous waste, and chemicals management, having this data in a single place enables you to enter once and then generate accurate reports for a variety of purposes including voluntary ESG reporting and mandatory government reporting. Having a single system to pull the data and run the necessary calculations can help to get accurate, consistent outputs.

Interested in learning more about how Cority can help you meet your objectives and improve the performance of your sustainability program? Connect with one of our experts here.

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