Nachhaltigkeit bei Cotonea am Standort Bempflingen in Deutschland

Aspects of sustainability

Cotonea has been producing its own energy using hydropower since 1855 and its own solar energy since 2002.

Looking back on the year 2019

Sustainability report

Our energy balance sheet

In 2020, we produced 53 % more renewable electricity (our own hydropower and solar power) than we used during our in-house production. If you add in purchased renewable electricity, the surplus of renewable electricity of the Elmer & Zweifel group adds up to approximately 90 %.


    2021 2020 2019 2018
Renewable electricity in MWh
produced hydropower 802 603 917 532
produced solar power 45 49 48 48
purchased renewable electricity 149 135 145 176
SUM of available renewable electricity 996 787 1.110 755
Used electricity in MWh GEZ Bempflingen 95 91 82 110
ETEX CZ 430 406 415 403
SUM of available renewable electricity of both locations 525 497 497 513
Surplus of renewable electricity in MWh 471 290 613 243

MWh = megawatt hour

  • Kuchendiagramm über Erzeugung und Kauf regenerativen Stroms bei Cotonea
    Blue: 81 % hydropower produced | yellow: 4 % solar power produced | green: 15 % renewable electricity purchased

Energy consumption in our in-house production

We mainly use electrical power in our production. In addition, natural gas is used for the sizing of yarn in our weaving factory in the Czech Republic (2021 ca. 323 MWh/year). Therefore, the energy balance sheet of both energy carriers shows a surplus of 147.817 kWh of renewable energy in 2021. We were able to achieve this wonderful balance - despite increased production - as a result of our efforts to make our production more energy efficient.

Energy consumption of our suppliers

Climate-relevant emissions are produced during the refinement process by companies in Germany and Switzerland due to the use of natural gas, crude oil and electricity. Cotonea has no capability to influence the scope of these emissions. The environmental regulations of both countries are strict. All refinement companies working for Cotonea, work to the latest technological standards, including those of energy recovery and energy conservation. Energy efficiency is an important criterion when choosing our suppliers.

Our (ecological) cotton production is CO2 neutral. In Uganda we do not require water beyond the natural rains. In Kyrgyzstan we also only use rainwater and melting snow for irrigation. Ecological agriculture increasingly runs into the danger of accidentally spreading gene manipulated seeds (GMO), as these genes of course do not stop spreading at the border to ecologically cultivated farmland. Currently, we are one of two producers, who have their organic cotton, as well as the yarn randomly tested by a German laboratory to determine whether they contain any GMO residues. By using (organic) cotton, we can limit the amount of micro plastic that the oceans or our food chain.


Packaging and delivery

Our outer packaging is made of recycled cardboard, the sales packaging is made of recyclable PE foil (polyethylene), the inserts are made of FSC and ECF certified paper. Cotonea does not use carrier bags. We deliver our products in cardboard packaging made of recycled cardboard with DHL (go green) or DPD (total zero). Our return shipment rate is approximately 10 to 12 percent. During 2022 there is a redesign of the packaging with the goal to avoid plastic in the packaging. The new packaging will be launched in the forth quarter 2022.

Production waste

We produce production waste in our weaving factory and during manufacturing in our sewing workshop. In the weaving factory, the waste is less than 1 % of produced fabric. During manufacturing, we have by-products of cutting, the amount of which is dependent on the product. The cut is optimised for each manufacturing order.


Our distributors/suppliers

We control the cotton cultivation ourselves. The project sponsors are the Gulu Agricultural Development Company (GADC, Uganda) and the farmers’ cooperative of organic farmers in Jalalabad, Kyrgyzstan, which was built by the Swiss NGO Helvetas (Kyrgyzstan) and supervised by them until 2016.


The following companies work for Cotonea
Yarn production Velener Textilwerke, Velen
Topkapi Iplik, Istanbul
Textile production Elmertex ks, Velke Porici
Boneka, Teplice
Hateks Hatay Tekstil
Bodmer Strickerei, Balingen
Dotex, Donaueschingen
Edelweiß, Albstadt
Fabric refinement Setex Textilveredelung, Bocholt
Weidmann, Süssen
Keller, Mössingen
Haase, Bisingen
Cilander AG, Herisau
InnoTex Merkel & Rau, Frankenberg
Manufacturing Elmertex ks, Velke Porici
Siko, Mezimesti
Siskova, Mezimesti



Cotton fibres cannot be reused to produce products a comparable value, which excludes sensible recycling of used fabrics. When possible and sensible, we support the utilisation of used fabrics for lower value uses such as filling material.


Fair wages

Cotonea knows the entire production chain. Weaving, as well as manufacturing, takes place in in-house operations. Every supplier in Germany, Switzerland and Turkey pays at least the legally prescribed wages or collectively agreed wages. Nearly all our suppliers are certified by IVN BEST. IVN BEST defines high ecological and high social standards, which must be fulfilled. IVN Best is the standard with the currently highest demands for textile ecology and sets the highest achievable level. The guidelines cover the entire textile chain – in regard to ecological aspects and social responsibility.

Cotonea is certified by Fair For Life, a label of the Swiss Institute for Marketecology (IMO), which belongs to the Swiss Bio-Foundation.

Further topics
Die Cotonea Philosophie
The Cotonea philosophy

Cotonea endeavours to provide benefits, to not do any harm and to improve people’s lives.

Find out more
Geschichte des Textil-Unternehmens Elmer und Zweifel seit 1855
The history of the company

Elmer & Zweifel: manufacturers of the organic brand Cotonea with more than 160 years’ expertise in cotton.

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Cotonea Werte Teaser in der Übersicht
Cotonea’s values

We always do what many textile producers can’t even promise to do.

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Die Cotonea Textil-Labels in der Übersicht
Textile seals & certifications

The flood of textile labels and what they really mean.

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