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2012-02-16

125 years of progress and innovation: Battery expert VARTA has made history – and still is today

“Made in Germany” is more than just a piece of information where a product has been manufactured. It is a stamp of quality, innovation and top-level technical expertise that is recognized around the world. The VARTA Group has done more to give the phrase its unique resonance than has almost any other German company. With innovative, high-quality products, combined with many years of experience and sustainable growth, the battery expert with its roots in the south German town of Ellwangen has a decades-long standing as an innovation driver on the mobile energy market. 125 years of expertise – 125 years of progress.

Inspiring technology, from 1887 to the present day

The name of VARTA Aktiengesellschaft is an acronym for Vertrieb, Aufladung, Reparatur Transportabler Akkumulatoren (Sales, Charging and Repair of Portable Storage Batteries). However, those in the know on VARTA Group’s development will quickly realize that the products manufactured by VARTA Consumer Batteries GmbH & Co. KGaA (“VARTA Consumer”) today are by no means limited to rechargeables. Whether they’re batteries, flashlights for every possible set of needs, or up-to-the-minute chargers, the last few decades have seen VARTA Consumer’s diverse product range winning it a firm place among the top international players in its field – while the company has remained true to its origins as a German brand.

The company’s technology proved itself in real-life conditions early on in its history: The first North Pole expedition led by polar scientist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Fridtjof Nansen saw VARTA rechargeable batteries successfully withstanding temperatures of minus 50 degrees Celsius. And to ensure that all VARTA Consumer products can still shrug off the full range of conditions in use, we continue to subject them to the most stringent of safety and quality standards. Back in those days, only polar expeditions were in need of up-to-the-minute technology; these days, however, all consumers want the very best, and we can provide it: VARTA Consumer lithium cells can still function perfectly at minus 40 degrees Celsius. Whether you’re a skier, a mountaineer or a scientist exploring the poles, VARTA Consumer lithium batteries won’t let you down, no matter how extreme the conditions are.

VARTA Consumer delivers emphatic proof of its innovativeness

A further step on the way to leadership in innovation was the development of dry-cell batteries, the forerunners of today’s batteries: Right across the globe, dry-cell batteries are based on patents and licenses held by VARTA Consumer. Batteries and rechargeables have become such an integral part of today’s world that we barely notice them. Battery expert VARTA Consumer carried out a study on the use of these mini-powerhouses by German families. After all, the enormous range of devices and appliances in our households – remote controls, clocks, cordless phones, electric toothbrushes, kitchen scales, wireless computer mice, remote-control toy cars or flashlights – have one thing in common: They can’t function without energy, and most of them get that energy from disposable or rechargeable batteries.

The findings of VARTA’s study will come as a surprise even to prolific consumers: An average of 60 disposable and rechargeable batteries is to be found in households in Germany. Not only the range of uses, but also the spectrum of battery sizes is extremely diverse.

This enormous number of battery types and uses can leave consumers baffled. VARTA Consumer has shed light on this situation by launching its TriEnergy concept, which stands for long product life, power and precisely targeted energy and helps consumers choose the right battery. The product lines “Max Tech” (Precise Energy - for hi-tech devices – such as: digital cameras), “High Energy” (Powerful Energy – for power hungry devices – such as: toys), and “Longlife” (Long-Lasting Energy – for low current devices – such as: clocks, remote controls or flashlights) supply consumers with the right solution for any device. We have made our range easier to navigate and understand by integrating application symbols into our packaging design; these show at a glance which battery is best suited to which type of device.

“As battery experts, it is important to know when, how and where our products are used; it’s the only way of providing customers with energy solutions that are tailored exactly to end consumers’ needs and meet the highest quality and sustainability standards,” observes Patrick Bochet, International Marketing Director for batteries at VARTA Consumer.

An international player with firm roots in Germany

VARTA Consumer, as Germany’s only manufacturer of batteries for devices and appliances, has complete confidence in the benefits of producing in Germany – our production facility in Dischingen turns out almost one billion alkaline batteries each year. The facility is certified to both DIN EN ISO 9001 and DIN EN ISO 14001 standards in confirmation of its compliance with internationally recognized quality and environmental management criteria.

VARTA Consumer regards highly experienced battery technology specialists and the highest manufacturing standards as fundamental to its international reputation. Patrick Bochet explains the emphasis on innovation which has driven the company’s development since its foundation as follows: “We’re constantly working to optimize our products and their performance for our customers’ individual use”.

Right across the business, this commitment has generated revolutionary products and concepts which bear witness to VARTA Consumer’s mission to perfect its product range: VARTA Consumer’s TriEnergy concept, the V-Man (Power Pack) series comprising four devices: two Power Packs, one Home Station and one Universal Plug charger which provide energy for mobile devices, and the “Indestructible” flashlights launched at the end of 2011, ideal for use anywhere and everywhere and extraordinarily durable.

From a regional business to a global player

Over the course of the last few decades, VARTA has evolved from a German company, at home on the eastern Swabian Alb, with its long-standing tradition into a top international brand. As part of the international Spectrum Brands group, which possesses a large portfolio of well-known, top-performing brands sold in over 100 countries around the world, VARTA Consumer ranks among the leading manufacturers of batteries for devices and appliances.

The company’s site in Ellwangen-Neunheim, in the German federal state of Baden-Württemberg, houses its administrative offices and international logistics center comprising distribution and packaging centers and representing the hub for direct deliveries for our customers and 20 countries and for deliveries via our subsidiaries or distribution partners to a further 70. In peak periods, over 50 trucks a day are cleared to leave the facility. VARTA Consumer employs a total of 700 people in Ellwangen and Dischingen, making it an important pillar of the regional economy. VARTA quality products, made in Germany, benefit greatly from the group’s development department, while global organization of raw materials purchasing means retailers and consumers enjoy the advantages of better prices. This set-up harnesses a high number of synergy effects and opens the door to substantial cost savings, benefiting retailers and customers.

A sustainable approach to the future

VARTA Consumer’s sustainability strategy, which provides the foundations for our innovation and production, consists of three central pillars which embody our sustainability policies: product responsibility; responsibility to people in general and the company’s employees in particular; and commitment to active involvement in society and the community.

Long before sustainability entered the public eye, VARTA Consumer was engaging with the issues by, for instance, focusing in product development processes on considerably reducing or eliminating the use of pollutants. Our Dischingen facility has been producing mercury-free batteries since 1992. We make ongoing savings on raw materials, and benefit the environment, by means of continuous packaging optimization processes. When organizing transportation and logistics processes for raw materials, VARTA Consumer chooses shipping over air transport and prioritizes rail before road transportation. VARTA Consumer has been actively involved in creating a take-back systems for batteries from the beginning on.

Training for employees and involvement in charitable projects at local community and national level are also high on VARTA Consumer’s agenda. Our many years of experience have provided us with plenty of ideas for future innovations. Now more than ever, in these economically turbulent times, we at VARTA Consumer are committed to our mission of further perfecting our products and services. We will keep focusing on flexible and individualized energy solutions, and we have a vision for the next decades, the same vision that we’ve always had: to make batteries that aren’t just suitable for every application, but also perform better and use fewer resources than ever before. Batteries developed and produced by people who are committed to the region, to protecting the environment and to giving people the energy solutions they need in their day-to-day lives.

 

You can find further information at www.varta-consumer.com



About VARTA Consumer Batteries GmbH & Co. KGaA


VARTA Consumer Batteries GmbH & Co. KGaA is a supplier of innovative high-quality products, including batteries, rechargeable batteries, chargers and lights, with which it generates annual sales totaling over 300 million euros in Europe. The business is run from the company’s headquarters in Ellwangen. VARTA Consumer Batteries is both the market leader and the only German battery manufacturer of primary batteries for the end consumer, that relies on Germany as its manufacturing location. Its factory in Dischingen annually produces circa 1.5 billion alkaline batteries. VARTA Consumer Batteries brings movement into the mobile energy market with strong product ideas developed on the basis of expertise acquired during more than 130 years of the company’s history. Along with its innovative strength, VARTA Consumer Batteries is also unique thanks to the breadth, quality and design of its product assortment. The secrets of its successful product portfolio are an intensive focus on consumers’ lifestyle and close cooperation with the trade. This enables VARTA Consumer Batteries to respond successfully, speedily and flexibly to current trends in devices on the dynamic Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) market, to provide optimal energy solutions and to keep the promise of its brand message: “VARTA – in service for you.”


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