10. Innovation and Product Management

The company discloses how innovations in products and services are enhanced through suitable processes which improve sustainability with respect to the company’s utilisation of resources and with regard to users. Likewise, a further statement is made with regard to if and how the current and future impact of the key products and services in the value chain and in the product life cycle are assessed.

As a multi-service provider, the quality of the offered services and products and the resulting high degree of customer satisfaction are notably crucial for success. The further development and improvement of existing offerings, as well as the development of new services and products take up an especially large amount of space.

Sustainable innovations usually aim at modeling processes to be more resource-friendly, efficient, and thereby cost-effective, such as in the area of technical services and cleaning services. Furthermore, the Dussmann Group companies strive to be able to serve the upstream and downstream stages in the value chain with innovations and to integrate them into their product offerings.

We strongly rely on the in-house development of the respective subsidiaries and service divisions, which know the special needs of customers and market demands best. Our product development and innovation in catering has many facets. In the development of offering and choice of menus, we pay attention to the use of regional products, as well as to the CO2 balance of the products. Through specially developed catering apps for the end customer, such as the Delightful App, our canteen customers can obtain digital information about the catering offer and nutritional values, waste volumes in the kitchens and other information relevant to sustainability.

In catering, the focus is currently also on the further development of digital payment systems, which will lead to process optimization and time savings and thus increase the quality of the canteen visit for the customer. In the area of cleaning, we have placed special emphasis on autonomous cleaning with the aim of offering resource-saving, qualitatively consistent and cost-optimized cleaning services. We are continuously developing these services by testing their application on a wide range of surfaces and for a variety of materials, whether in large logistics halls or in particularly hygienecritical facilities such as hospitals. With regard to the activities in Germany, the "Working Solutions" division coordinates service and product developments and actively searches for solutions that create sustainability value (e.g. within the scope of the initiative "United against Waste" (see performance indicators for criteria 11-12) or in view of the carbon footprint, cleaning agent navigators). This takes place in accordance with SDG 13 "Climate Action," which includes the mechanisms and capacities for combating climate change and its effects.

We have already reported on the social and ecological impacts of the Dussmann Group companies’ products and services (see criteria 1-4). One of the guiding principles of our innovation efforts is to reduce direct or indirect negative effects and to promote positive effects on the environment and society, respectively. This is achieved through efficiency gains, resource-conserving processes and a sensitive handling of raw materials and consumption within our own business activities as well as an indirect influence by providing accompanying advice to customers.

Employees are informed and integrated into the service and product development process through communication cascades, as well as regular product meetings and weekly updates to management via intranet, roadshows, and competence center meetings.

As part of the "Dussmann Next Level" strategy, technology and innovation are strategic cornerstones for the further development of the Dussmann Group. In order to consistently drive this development forward, we intend to exchange innovation projects over the next few years. To this end, a routine process is to be developed at Group level.