Campana & Schott and Hermes Schleifmittel GmbH

Sustainable Abrasives

Description of the companies
Campana & Schott is an international management and technology consultancy with more than 400 employees at locations in Europe and the US. Working with Hermes Schleifmittel GmbH in Hamburg, we shape and develop its project management and digital vision. We now strengthen the focus with Hermes’ R&D department on sustainability projects that address the analysis and conceptualization of enablers for sustainable abrasives to strengthen Hermes’ competitive advantage and long-term sustainability performance.

Hermes Schleifmittel GmbH (Hermes) is a global, family-run manufacturer of abrasive tools with headquarters in Hamburg. In addition, the company maintains numerous production facilities and sales offices in all major industrialized and emerging countries worldwide. For more than 90 years, Hermes has been developing, producing, and marketing quality abrasive tools for the creation of functional and aesthetic surfaces for applications in the metalworking industry, automotive and aircraft construction as well as the wood and glass processing industry.

Initial situation
Modern abrasive designs contain a variety of high-quality ingredients such as paper, textiles, high-performance chemicals, and fused or sintered grains which are manufactured and combined in energy-intensive manufacturing processes. However, the current abrasive industry is a highly linear economy disposing its products at the end of the product life. As a sustainable European abrasive manufacturer (SEAM), Hermes strategically works towards the sustainable development goals. In particular, Hermes seeks to reduce the environmental footprint of products and strives for a more circular economy. By supporting the initiation and management of projects for sustainability-related challenges, Campana & Schott supports Hermes with the upcoming Sustainable Transformation.

As a SEAM member, Hermes needs to develop a detailed understanding of our products´ environmental footprint. So far, Hermes’ detailed footprint analysis is time consuming and does not allow a quick and indicative assessment of footprint drivers of its product portfolio and future development programmes.
Current abrasives’ designs imply energy-intensive drying and curing process steps and do not allow efficient reuse or recycling. Besides technical challenges, the current logistical concept does not allow sustainable recycling after product life. To improve sustainability and circularity, Hermes needs to identify key levers that help to reduce material, manufacturing, and distribution footprint. Furthermore, Hermes has a limited understanding about technological and organisational hurdles as well as potential enablers for developing sustainable abrasives and a circular economy.

Aims of the project
An interdisciplinary consulting team under the guidance of Campana & Schott should develop a method & tool to perform indicative environmental footprint assessments of coated or bonded abrasives at Hermes (abrasive footprint calculator). Based on a current sample product of Hermes, the calculator should be tested for analysing the environmental footprint and deriving scenarios to reduce the environmental footprint of the respective product. Additionally, concepts or key technological and organisational enabler towards sustainability and a circular economy should be identified. To ensure a structured project approach and achievement of deliverables, the team should apply project management methodologies.


  • Project setup: a multidisciplinary team of students, planning and execution based on project management methodologies guided by Campana & Schott
  • Literature search and review on sustainability, circular economy, and sustainability in the European abrasive industry
  • Developing and testing an Abrasive Footprint Calculator based on (a) sample product(s) of Hermes
  • Analysis of potential technological and organizational barriers and enablers for Hermes’ sustainability performance
  • Summary and presentation of the results of this consulting project

Target group (students)
To ensure an interdisciplinary project team, we welcome students with various interests (e.g., (Industrial) Engineering, Material Science, Energy Systems, Process Engineering, Product Development, Materials and Production, (Project) Management, Logistics). 

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