Beiersdorf opened a state-of-the-art production center with an integrated research and development center in Silao, Mexico on July 18, 2014. The new location makes it possible to significantly increase the development and production capacity for the growing markets of North and Central America. The new facility is said to underscore Beiersdorf's commitment to ecologically responsible activity. With the focus on energy efficiency and resource conservation, the newest findings and environmentally friendly technology were part of the process going back to the planning phase. The plant opening was attended by more than 700 guests, including Germany's foreign minister Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
After an efficient construction time of less than two years, the new plant, strategically located about 350 kilometers northwest of Mexico City in the state of Guanajuato, began operation on time. With a production volume of about 280 million cosmetic products and 45,000 tons of product annually, the new factory is the second largest within the global Beiersdorf production network after Hamburg. The number of employees will increase from today's 350 to about 600 by the end of the year.
The plant in Silao will primarily produce creams, lotions, shower products and lip care from the NIVEA, Eucerin, and Labello brands for sales in Mexico, Central and North America. In order to boost regional innovation, the building complex also has its own innovation center in which 20 researchers develop products for local consumer needs on-site.
"The investment in Mexico is an answer to the increasing demand in the North and Central American regions. Our production capacity and our ability to supply will dramatically improve. Furthermore, the close collaboration with the integrated innovation center will guarantee that we develop specific products for the Latin American markets and optimally serve regional consumer needs," says Dr. Ulrich Schmidt, board member for finance, supply chain and Latin America at Beiersdorf.
Standards make the 34,000 m2 plant in Mexico an example for sustainable construction: with the focus on energy efficiency and resource conservation from the beginning of construction to completion, all the criteria for the highest possible LEED certification (platinum) were accounted for. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an internationally recognized system for classifying sustainable buildings. The categories of building site, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources and interior quality as well as innovation and planning processes are evaluated.
"The evaluation process is still ongoing. We expect to receive the certificate in a few weeks. Then Beiersdorf, with a platinum seal, will be the first company in Latin America to be able to claim the highest status for an industrial building," emphasizes plant manager Dr. Sebastian Gottschalk. In accordance with Beiersdorf's sustainability commitments, the new plant will emit 55 percent less CO2 and 30 percent less water per ton of product than comparable factories. Around the world there are only four factories that have been awarded platinum LEED certification and none of them are from the cosmetics industry.
Foreign Minister Steinmeier integrated the opening of the new Beiersdorf plant into his two-day trip to Mexico. Together with his Mexican counterpart Dr. José Antonio Meade Kuribreña, Miguel Márquez Márquez, governor of the state of Guanajuato, and Beiersdorf board member Dr. Ulrich Schmidt, he officially set the first production line in motion with the push of a button.
"I was happy to come to Guanajuato. When two countries like Mexico and Germany build a shared future that is also an important day for the Foreign Ministers. We Germans have been very warmly received in Mexico as friends, and that's something I notice on my political visits as well. German investments in Mexico are an important part of our partnership. The fruits of Beiersdorf's and many other German companies' commitment are skilled jobs and a solid training program as well as research and development. I hope that these fruits thrive under the sun of Mexico," said Steinmeier.
All the guests in attendance were happy to receive a special edition Nivea Body Lotion designed for the opening.
The relationship between the Hamburg cosmetics company and Mexico has a long history. Over 100 years ago, Beiersdorf shipped the first products into the country. Shortly after its invention in 1911, the classic Nivea Crème was also available in Mexico. After the Second World War, Beiersdorf de Mexico S.A. was the first affiliate that the company founded outside of Europe to sell its products.