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On the way to the future

Change is always accompanied by opportunities.

From dealing with the pandemic to the hydrogen strategy: Wilo’s Executive Board looks back on an eventful year and forward to a promising future.

Geschäftsbericht 2020, Beyond, Obvious

“We succeeded in looking past the coronavirus and thinking ‘Beyond the Obvious’.” - Oliver Hermes President & CEO, Wilo Group

“2020 was an extraordinary year in every respect. The coronavirus pandemic is the most serious crisis since the Second World War. The Wilo Group was also confronted with a number of challenges. The health of our employees enjoyed and continues to enjoy top priority for us. Following the first phase of the coronavirus, we very quickly began looking ahead. What does the new global situation mean for us? Where do we need to modify our strategy? Where are new opportunities arising? After all, change is always accompanied by new opportunities. In other words, we thought “Beyond the Obvious”. There is no doubt that climate change is and remains the most important topic of our time. With its highly efficient and sustainable products and solutions, Wilo can make a huge positive contribution in this area. To this end, we will be providing further evidence of our innovative strength with the rollout of our hydrogen strategy in 2021 and the following years. Green hydrogen in particular is a fundamental technology of the future when it comes to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement, and it has the potential to strengthen Europe’s international competitiveness.”

“Winning the German Sustainability Award in recognition of our sustainability strategy was one of the big highlights of 2020 for me.” - Georg Weber, CTO, Wilo Group

“Our guiding principle for 2020 was to always be a step ahead. Our task force teams did excellent work in this respect. And, of course, we also met the challenges of the pandemic with technological solutions for contact warning and tracing in production. This enables our employees to work at a safe distance wherever they may be. We also optimised the air conditioning in our offices to provide near-outdoor air quality. And we identified additional digital solutions to allow us to keep working safely and more or less without interruption. Another highlight was the way in which we maintained our global supply chains even in the face of adversity thanks to the impressive dedication of all involved.”

Geschäftsbericht 2020, Beyond, Obvious

“In 2020, we presented our new corporate strategy in which we set out the further diversification of our product portfolio.” - Dr. Patrick Niehr, CCO, Wilo Group

“It soon became clear to us that dealing with the pandemic would be a marathon and not a sprint. That made it important to think about employee motivation. The crisis may present opportunities, but it remains a crisis first and foremost. Fortunately, we had already started to establish working from home and remote working as an integral part of Wilo’s work culture some years ago. Among other things, we offered various e-learning programmes and provided psychological counselling as part of our occupational health management, as we were well aware that we were all having to cope with a stressful situation in many respects – not just for those working remotely, but for all our staff members who were unable to work from home, like our production employees.”

Geschäftsbericht 2020, Beyond, Obvious

“One particular personal highlight for me was the acquisition of the Abionik Group in late 2020.” - Mathias Weyers, CFO, Wilo Group

“One of the biggest challenges in 2020 was to reduce planning uncertainty and make it tangible. During the year, we prepared various scenario calculations which we adjusted to reflect the latest developments, allowing us to respond quickly and flexibly with corresponding measures. It was important for me to find a balance even amidst all the uncertainty. That meant reducing expenditure and investment while continuing to press ahead with strategically important projects and being open to new opportunities. In this respect, one particular personal highlight for me was the acquisition of the Abionik Group in late 2020, which will expand our expertise as a provider of solutions for water purification.”