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3 questions for
LEONHARD KURZ Stiftung & Co. KG

We asked Markus Hoffmann, Member of the Executive Board and Annie Kuschel, Head of Design Management.

What do you like about the topic of upheaval and how does your company deal with upheavals?

Markus Hoffmann: Now that is a hugely compelling question. Upheavals provide us with the opportunity to rethink things and do them differently - ideally also better. As a family-owned enterprise, we approach it with agility, a healthy dose of optimism, a certain degree of self-confidence from the experience we have already gained in numerous transitions, and with a bit of curiosity.

As a family-owned enterprise, we approach it with agility, a healthy dose of optimism, a certain degree of self-confidence.

How creatively do you respond to upheavals?

Annie Kuschel: Thanks to our regular KURZ internal trend research (which we have been doing for 11 years now), we are usually well equipped for future scenarios. Yet there was no way we could have anticipated Covid 19 or the Russian war of aggression on Ukraine. That shook up some of our assessments substantially, which of course was the case for everyone. Right now we are dealing with new powerful impacts: AI and Gen Z. Both topics will produce massive changes to society. On the bright side, radical changes of this magnitude also mark a new beginning. A chance to tackle things better. To see all that we know with different eyes. Traditional and proven methods are either adapted to future needs or disappear altogether. A new space emerges that is filled more and more by creative minds. The process is exhausting, as it requires different or even completely new ways of thinking. But it is also very exciting and innovative. The field of packaging, for example, is impossible to conceive without sustainability. Many in the industry have had to rethink radically and continue to do so. The Design Management team then came up with a packaging series that would inspire customers while being as sustainable as possible at the time. Here we placed emphasis on the usual parameters of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, which gave birth to our boxes series, where the design is based on our trend research. It serves as packaging and shipping box at the same time, has no magnetic closures or additional material, is totally easy to disassemble, and is completely recyclable.

At present, we are in the process of taking back the foil scraps generated during production. We have reduced the thickness of the carrier films, which results in massive material savings. We are currently building our own recycling plant in Fuerth, and we cooperate with companies that in turn use our recycled material for their new products.

Many in the industry have had to rethink radically and continue to do so.

Who is creative at your company, and when? And how does that show?

Annie Kuschel: In essence, every human being is creative. All employees bring their unique personalities and backgrounds to the table and make KURZ what it is today. For example, we have co-workers in R&D who work with colors and effects full-time and push them to the limit so that new products can come to life. We have other colleagues in Applications Engineering who try any conceivable adjusting screw for production so that we can achieve the best possible result. And then we have the classic creative area: our Design departments, which seek to grasp the creative wishes of our customers and team up with our Product Management and Product Development departments to come up with solutions. And if you want to find solutions, you must think creatively. Our Advanced Design and the Design Management Packaging and Print departments take this even a step further. By jointly conducting trend research, they provide the plastics and packaging industry with inspiration for new surface solutions. At the same time, they engage in conversation with future generations and learn to understand their concerns. This is the only way they can add value for them in the future.