Sustainability

A resource is defined as “a naturally existing stock of something that is needed to pursue goals, cope with requirements, take specific actions or make a process run in a goal-oriented manner ”. In our small world, this resource is nature itself - more precisely the flora and fauna of Greece. We, as an agricultural company, draw on this resource and are completely dependent on it. Accordingly, it is very important to us to use our olive trees responsibly. They are the foundation of our work.

For six years now, we have been expanding this work by expanding our product family and our network. That is why it is important to us to similarly broaden our horizons. It is not enough to limit oneself to the responsible use of our olive trees, as an essential resource. We conduct national and international trade, we use packaging material, we have tons of tinplate 'forged' and glass melted together. In short, we have a far greater global responsibility and want to live up to it accordingly.

We have decided to make a statement here on how we deal with the environment and the resources we use. A kind of transparent glossary:

Macro shot of a leaf from an olive tree.

To generate our OEL, we use electricity obtained from renewable sources. And obtained by us. Together with our production partner Ilias Stavropoulos, we generate solar energy from our own photovoltaic system in the municipality of Andania, Ichalia, Messenia, Greece. We cover the electricity needs of the business premises in Berlin through a cooperation with Lichtblick SE - since 2018, we have been lighting our offices and warehouses with exclusively green electricity from renewable sources.

Back to Greece: the water that we add to the olive mash during processing is collected after our OEL is extracted. If needed, it is channeled into the surrounding olive groves and thus used to water our olive trees. This is especially necessary in the summer months when it never rains for long.

Irrigation system hangs in the canopy of an olive tree.

We are always being asked about our little black canisters, why they are made of tinplate and whether they would prefer to be made of glass. A brief review: The choice of canister began with the development of the OEL brand identity and was fortunately supported and strengthened a little later by scientific facts.

Our canisters come from the infinite recycling loop, to which they can be returned after use. Tinplate recycling is environmentally friendly and sustainable thanks to its magnetism. Recycling plants use giant magnets to pull magnetic tinplate out of the scrap heap without laboriously operated conveyor belts. This means that 95.31% of this “quality scrap” can be processed into new canisters or even into wind turbines. When the scrap becomes a new canister, we fill it with certified organic, natural, single-origin, extra virgin Koroneiki olive oil and deliver it to your hands! And we do it with a more efficient transport because tinplate is very light, which greatly reduces carbon emissions.

Dented 500ml OEL canister.

Before our OEL lands in your hands, it must overcome a certain geographical distance. We work with our partner Dachser SE to ensure that unnecessary transport routes are avoided and routes are optimally used. And we work with Schumacher Packaging to develop suitable cardboard boxes for these routes.

We use the cardboard boxes from Schumacher Packaging for the shipping route Greece-Germany, as well as for the countless shipping routes from our online shop. As we requested, the cardboard boxes are made from 100% recycled waste paper.

OEL canister in plastic-free packaging.

Glass requires a considerable amount of energy to produce. This is one of the reasons why we decided to use alternative materials, as explained in more detail in the section on tinplate. Nevertheless, we have packaged some of our family of products in glass e.g. our OELIVES, our OEL PESTO and OEL Zoe.

We leave all things glass-related in in the hands of our partners Bruni Glass and Miron Violetglass with a clear conscience. When planning our production, we make sure to purchase the largest possible quantities so that the energy expenditure results in maximum benefit. To continue to take care of the disposed glass after use, OEL is an active member of the Dual System Deutschland - better known as Der Grüne Punkt. For every glass (or canister) produced, sold, and disposed of by you, we pay disposal premiums and thus do our part for Germany's waste separation and recycling cycle.

Bark of a very old olive tree.

We are delighted by the fact that we can now manage all of our online shipping without plastic. We worked on this goal for a long time and had to overcome a number of hurdles because tinplate canisters may seem sturdy, but are actually very prone to damage.

We will continue to think about plastic or its the avoidance. We cannot avoid including plastic in production processes. At the moment, we use plastic for the spouts of our canisters and especially in the form of saran wrap for long-distance transports of pallet shipments. But we are also working on alternatives here and we are doing this as quickly as possible – you can be assured of that.

In connection with plastic, our work is checked by Flustix and certified accordingly.