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.