Steinicke is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of dried vegetables and herbs, supplying major food groups such as Nestlé and Unilever.
A family-run company with a rich history, founded over 100 years ago, Steinicke has three production sites across Germany growing and processing vegetables and herbs such as parsley, dill, coriander, carrots, cauliflower and asparagus.
Sustainability is of the utmost importance to the company and sustainability education is key to Steinicke’s work practices, with regular training provided to employees and suppliers.
The company also allows elementary schools access to its production facilities to engage young people in topics such as biodiversity and resource conservation.
Steinicke also employs environmentally conscious innovations in its production process, such as a watering system it developed with a customer that implements GPS to help farmers reduce water consumption.
Proving what is possible with a sustainable working model, Steinicke achieved sales of €29 million in 2020.
The company has no intention of resting on its laurels, as it has set itself the goal of being climate-neutral by 2030.
Recently, Steinicke decided to make two major investments that will help it to continue its work in the sustainability area, while also remaining competitive. One of these is a major innovation: Steinicker is one of the first ever companies in Germany to have built an agrophotovoltaic plant at its headquarters in Lüchow, Lower Saxony.
This system generates solar power in the same fields where crops are grown, which will be used for the energy-intensive process of drying herbs and vegetables.
The second investment is a combined heat and power planet with a wood chip system, which is being built at Steinicke’s headquarters.
Valuable as these investments are, they required a great deal of capital. UniCredit HypoVereinsbank has been Steinicke’s house bank for over 30 years, providing financing as well as strategic advice on day-to-day business and significant issues such as working capital management.
When the bank leaned what the company hoped to achieve with these investments, it was ready to lend support.
UniCredit HypoVereinsbank financed the investments of €1.3 million for the photovoltaic system and approximately €8 million for the combined heat and power plant.
The expertise of the bank’s funding specialists was invaluable when Steinicke explored funding programs from the German government’s development bank, KfW. The specialists, using their high level of industry knowledge from a wide range of sectors, advised the company to apply for product no. 270, “Renewable Energies,” in addition to a grant from the Federal Environment Agency to fund the agrophotovoltaic system. For the woodchip heating system, the specialists found that Steinicke was eligible for program no. 295: “Federal support for energy efficiency in the economy”.
This program provides for a repayment subsidy of up to 55%, provided that the system meets certain criteria.
These must be confirmed by an independent energy consultant after a certain period of operation.
Michael Lettenbichler, one of Steinicke’s three Managing Directors and responsible for purchasing and sales, human resources and public relations, is very satisfied with the advice he receives.
he said commenting on the cooperation with the bank.