Innovative solutions for greater sustainability
With our innovative product solutions, we strive to offer our customers technological progress combined with an active contribution to sustainability. To this end, we are increasingly using recycled and bio-based raw materials in our products and packaging. Our goal is for 70% of the materials for our products and packaging to be made from recycled or bio-based materials by 2030. In addition to product development, our understanding of product sustainability also includes the utilization phase by our customers.
Through our “Project Sustainability Assessment,” we already established a tool back in 2020 that we use to evaluate projects in the field of product and technology development at an early stage in terms of their contribution to sustainability. During the reporting year, we revised the assessment methodology and adapted it to reflect the strategic action areas included in our sustainability strategy. All new development projects must undergo the assessment. We use the results to further manage our development portfolio.
We have already been offering adhesive rollers, adhesive films, packing tape, glue sticks, and correction rollers, among other products, under the tesa ecoLogo sub-brand since 2010. These are made predominantly from recycled or bio-based materials; the packaging used for these products is also predominantly recycled. This product line is also manufactured without the use of any solvents.
The entire life cycle in focus
The core ideas of the circular economy include reduced material use, increased reuse, and, ultimately, recycling. If the product or individual components can be recycled or reused, resources can in turn be saved elsewhere. To achieve this, we consider the end of the product life cycle at an early development stage and are investing in further research on this topic. One focus here is on removable adhesive bonds.
In addition, we are currently conducting a number of analyses, in particular to determine the carbon footprint of our products. To this end, we set up a database during the reporting period in which all major raw materials and packaging solutions are linked to primary or secondary emission factors. We also regularly discuss this topic with our suppliers to improve the accuracy of our calculations through primary data. We use the compiled data primarily for internal management and reporting purposes.
We use the results of our analyses to identify relevant emission sources throughout the value chain and to be able to reduce our emissions in a targeted manner through suitable measures. Alongside this, we are working to further standardize our methodology and produce more advanced life cycle analyses (LCAs) that integrate additional environmental impacts such as acidification or eutrophication. We also plan to further reduce our use of solvents in production.
Our understanding of product sustainability goes further, however. Whether in the industrial, electronics, or wind and solar power sectors, selected products can help our customers operate efficiently and drive the adoption and expanded use of sustainable technologies. For example, our adhesive solutions can help save resources and energy as well as make it possible to repair or recycle products. In this way, our customers can reduce the amount of waste they produce and cut their GHG emissions.
Paper products that contribute to sustainability
Since we use large quantities of paper for our products and their packaging, we also pay attention to sustainability in this respect and increasingly source paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC® C148769). tesa SE was FSC®-certified in 2019 and successfully passed its annual monitoring audit in 2022. Our production sites in Offenburg, Suzhou, Concagno, and Hamburg are also FSC®-certified. During the reporting year, we also launched new products with our own certification, such as the paper adhesive tape tesapack® PAPER ULTRA-STRONG ecoLogo®. Looking ahead to the future, we are striving to obtain certification for further sites and to develop more FSC®-certified products.
We aim to make our packaging more sustainable, above and beyond the usual optimization measures. We currently believe paper and plastics offer the greatest potential in this regard. By 2025, we aim to use 50% less virgin fossil-based plastic in our packaging (compared to the 2018 baseline). In this context, we have already made good progress in 2022: We switched all blister caps at our Offenburg facility from non-recycled PET to recycled PET (post-consumer recycled PET, i.e., PCR-PET). In addition, we reduced the thickness of the film, resulting in material savings of 20%. For fiber-based packaging materials such as paper and cardboard, we aim to achieve a share of 80% FSC® certifications by 2025.