Dr. Oetker Stories

“Look, Smell, Taste”

We talked with our Senior Executive Sustainability Manager Dr. Judith Güthoff about her role, the Dr. Oetker Sustainability Charter, the United Nations’ 1.5C target and her particular soft spot for “looking, smelling, tasting.” What does this mean exactly? Read more.

“Look, Smell, Taste”

7.6.2022 Sustainability

Dear Judith, what does a typical working day look like for the sustainability representative at Dr. Oetker?

Dr. Judith Güthoff: Every day is new, every day is exciting. In other words, there is not the typical working day. This is due to the unbelievably wide range and the versatility of the topics we work on.  

What are the significant topics at the moment?


Dr. Judith Güthoff: Of course, above all, addressing climate change. And, accordingly, how we can use resources more effectively, how we can avoid wasting food and packaging, or how we can increase animal welfare. Also, looking at our supply chains from an ecological and social point of view, we are working on making them more sustainable. We take a good look at our products. In the end, we aim to support our consumers in their wish to lead a healthier, more sustainable and thus a future orientated way of life.  

Sustainability also takes our interactions at Dr. Oetker into account…

Dr. Judith Güthoff: Absolutely, we have an active exchange with the employees at Dr. Oetker who have justified claims towards their employers, for instance relating to an inspiring workplace, development possibilities and a safe job.   

Since 2020, its Sustainability Charter commits Dr. Oetker to a number of ambitious sustainability goals. How are the projects going and how satisfied are you with the status?

Dr. Judith Güthoff: Based on the Dr. Oetker Sustainability Charter we have set up 30 project groups so far. These groups work on our goals right across country and department boundaries. I am hugely pleased about how successful the engagement and the enthusiasm for the topics are. Sometimes it is a difficult and winding path leading to our goal; sometimes we need a little more patience. However, from my point of view this is not surprising and thus, I am satisfied with the outcome so far.  

What can industrial companies do to achieve the 1.5C target, the limitation of increasing temperatures globally due to greenhouse effect?


Dr. Judith Güthoff: It is a fact that nobody can achieve the climate targets alone. That is why we all are responsible: politics, economy and society together. What we at Dr. Oetker are doing concretely? From this year onwards, all our plants and offices are operating climate-neutral, for instance.  To achieve this we have changed our worldwide energy contracts to renewable energy sources. In addition, we balance our climate-damaging emissions, for example by our gas consumption, in driving projects that traceably compensate CO₂-Emissions. At the same time, we are examining approaches to save energy and gas and to reduce our direct emissions by using new technologies. Furthermore, we have already installed photovoltaic systems and aim to generate around 10 percent of our own energy in the coming years.  

Do you see limits for companies?

Dr. Judith Güthoff: Overall, I see that technical restrictions hinder a more climate friendly use of resources, leading to energy needs not being met by renewable sources faster. Thus, now, we are still dependent on fossil gas, as the market does not yet offer surficial CO₂-neutral gas.  

Concluding, do you perhaps have a practical everyday tip so that every one of us can contribute towards a clean environment? 

Dr. Judith Güthoff: There are many possibilities; vegetarian and vegan products, for instance, have a far smaller carbon footprint than meat-based products. Eating less meat and more consciously – that is not only good for animals, but also good for our environment. Or avoiding the use of disposable or to-go products – this saves waste considerably. And I am a big fan of “looking, smelling, tasting”. This means not throwing everything in the bin straight away, only because the best by date has expired. My last personal highlight was using a packet of curd cheese, of which the best by date had expired a good four months earlier. Nothing to it and it tasted really good.