Using resources efficiently is a top priority at tesa. We are committed to promoting the circular economy and to using materials that can be recycled or otherwise reused at the end of their useful life. At the present time, we have yet to succeed in completely avoiding waste during the production of our products. We are, however, committed to reducing it effectively in order to preserve precious natural resources. We are therefore working to raise all stakeholders’ awareness of the need to avoid unnecessary waste and to recycle properly.
Measures to increase resource efficiency are an integral part of our corporate environmental protection efforts. Moreover, we continue to improve our environmental management systems and exchange information with external experts for this purpose.
Avoidance and recycling
When it comes to managing our waste and raw materials, we base our approach on the “waste pyramid,” in which top priority is given to waste avoidance and reduction, followed by various recycling options. Waste is only disposed of where this is unavoidable. Our sites are pursuing the objective of “zero waste to landfill” by 2025, i.e., eliminating the disposal of waste via landfill sites. We have already achieved this status for six out of seven of our facilities.
In order to use materials efficiently and recycle wherever possible, our production plants are committed to minimizing production-related losses of the raw materials we use. This applies equally to adhesives production as well as to coating tapes and cutting rolls. Among other objectives, we want to technically upgrade equipment in which solvents are used by 2030. The aim is to completely recover the solvents at the end of the process – and thus keep them in the cycle.
We are also reducing the quantities of waste we produce through ongoing improvements to our machinery and manufacturing processes. For example, during the reporting period we introduced a new recycling process for release liners at our Hamburg site. This allows us to recycle around 15 tons of carrier material per year. Production waste is collected separately on a site-specific basis according to various waste categories and then the materials are recycled to the greatest extent possible. Waste is divided into categories based on whether it is nonhazardous or hazardous and whether it is disposed of or recycled, and the relevant figures are published in our annual sustainability report. tesa recycles almost all nonhazardous waste as well as hazardous waste containing solvents.
Active involvement of employees
At tesa, we leverage our employees’ expertise in developing additional waste-reduction measures. This is why in 2022, we once again continued the successful “Great Ideas – Not Waste” campaign at our site in Offenburg. Driving this campaign is a long-term project through which we intend to continuously reduce energy and resource consumption, with the participation of employees from Production, Process Development, and Technology.
As part of these activities, regular project meetings are held both within and across departments. They serve to coordinate the concrete utilization of improvement potential and to share best practices. Moreover, the project includes communication measures designed to raise awareness of the issue among employees. In 2022, we implemented 15 projects targeting resource efficiency. These projects resulted in savings of € 286,000.