The KUNERT Group is a large German hosiery enterprise and is among the market leaders in Europe. The range of products consists largely of ladies’ tights, ladies’ stockings and men’s and children’s socks. Contrary to the original conception of the project, the present study looks at a success story in the sphere of environmental management. The KUNERT success story consists of two aspects. Firstly the fact that for five years now an annual company-wide eco-balance sheet1
has been drawn up, forming the basis for implementing eco-controlling. The success lies in the transition from an uncoordinated approach to ecological requirements on a case-to-case basis to a systematic and on-going collection and evaluation of data. On the basis of this, weaknesses can be analysed and processed, resulting in the formulation of environmentally-oriented objectives and the implementing of measures ensuing from them. This resulted in a host of individual measures, each of which constitutes an improvement, but nevertheless does not justify the term ecological success. However, the sum total of the diverse activities couched in eco-controlling is indeed a considerable success and a major step in the direction of environmentally-oriented management. Secondly, the drawing up of an eco-balance sheet generated a process of greater awareness and reflection on environmentally-relevant implications of corporate action on the part of many members of staff and the management of the KUNERT Group. Confrontation with the status quo, the study of problem areas and the successful search for solutions generate attentiveness, heighten awareness and lead to learning processes. This heightened awareness and the altered thought-patterns on the part of the staff are the basic prerequisite for all further environmentally-oriented activities of the Group, which find visible expression in the drawing up of the eco-balance sheet and the implementation of eco-controlling.