Annual Report 2023

Annual Report 2023

Product Sustainability



Innovative solutions for greater sustainability

With our innovative product solutions, we aim to offer our customers technological progress and at the same time make an active contribution to greater sustainability. This is why we are increasingly using recycled and renewable raw materials for 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. Moreover, we want to further reduce the use of solvents in our production, with the aim of either eliminating solvents altogether or fully recovering them by 2030. Our understanding of product sustainability extends beyond product development and also covers the use phase for 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. All new development projects must undergo this assessment. We use the results to further manage our development portfolio.

Under the tesa ecoLogo sub-brand established in 2010, we offer adhesive rollers, adhesive films, packing tapes, glue sticks, and correction rollers, which are made primarily from recycled or bio-based materials; the packaging used for these products is predominantly recycled as well. This product line is also manufactured without the use of any solvents. We are constantly adding new products to the tesa ecoLogo range. One example from the reporting year is our new tesafilm® Eco & Crystal, the first product to use a carrier film consisting of 90% post-consumer-recycled (PCR) PET material. This material content is certified in accordance with the UL 2809 Environmental Claim Validation Procedure (ECVP).

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 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 area of focus here is releasable adhesive bonds, which allow bonded parts to be repaired or reused.

In addition, we continue to carefully analyze the CO2e footprint of our products. To this end, we steadily expanded our databases in the reporting period, where all of our key raw materials and packaging are linked to primary or secondary emission factors. Another aspect we are working on is the further standardization and validation of our methodology. Here we are cooperating with AFERA, the European adhesive tape industry network, that is helping to harmonize the calculation of CO2e footprints across the industry.

We also regularly discuss this topic with our suppliers to improve the accuracy of our calculations through primary data. We use the collected data not only for internal management and accounting purposes, but also to provide information to our customers. In the reporting year, we carried out life cycle assessments for various products and had them validated by external partners. For example, we were able to obtain confirmation of the CO2e savings achieved with our double-sided adhesive tape tesa® 4965, which has been improved in terms of raw materials certification and 40% CO2e reductions (cradle-to-gate incl. absorption of biogenic carbon).

We also use the results of our assessments to identify relevant sources of emissions along the value chain and to reduce our emissions through targeted measures.

Our understanding of product sustainability goes further, however. Whether in the industrial, electronics, or wind and solar energy sector, some of our products can help our customers operate more efficiently and drive forward sustainable technologies. Our adhesive solutions, for example, can allow products to be repaired or recycled, allowing customers to reduce their waste volumes and cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Paper products made from certified raw materials

Since we use large quantities of paper for our products and their packaging, we also pay attention to sustainability in this area and increasingly source paper that is certified in accordance with the criteria of the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC® C148769). tesa SE has been FSC®-certified since 2019, as have our production sites in Suzhou, China, Concagno, Italy, Offenburg and Hamburg, Germany. In addition, the first eight European sales organizations were certified in the reporting year. We also consistently launch new products with FSC® certification on the market – increasing the number of FSC®-certified products to 51 in the reporting year.

First step toward using mass-balanced raw materials

We have had our facility in Hamburg certified in accordance with the ISCC (International Sustainability and Carbon Certification) PLUS standard – it is our first site to receive this certification. This means that, in addition to using recycled or directly bio-based raw materials, we also apply a (bio) mass balancing approach there. In accordance with the ISCC PLUS standard, we are introducing certain amounts of bio-based raw materials, e.g., from agricultural waste, into our previously fossil-based production process while maintaining a certified and transparent chain of custody at our Hamburg site. We are thus retaining the same processes and product properties. The balancing is intended to ensure that the quantities of non-fossil raw materials used are recorded correctly across supply chains. The mass balancing approach enables us to progressively replace fossil-based raw materials with bio-based ones, reduce our CO2e emissions, and transform our production sustainably. For example, we have now switched the adhesive for our tesa® 4965 product to ISCC-certified, mass-balanced raw materials. Combined with the use of a recycled carrier film, this has enabled us to achieve CO2e savings of 40% compared to the predecessor product – a fact that has been externally confirmed and verified. Further details are presented in a customer report.

Optimized packaging

In our efforts to make our packaging more sustainable, we intend to go beyond the usual level of optimization. We currently believe paper and plastics offer the greatest potential in this regard. Where fiber-based packaging materials such as paper and cardboard are concerned, our goal is to achieve 80% FSC® certification by 2025. In addition, we aim to use 50% less virgin fossil-based plastic in our packaging by 2025 (compared to 2018). We made further progress toward both of these goals during the reporting year. For example, the polyethylene (PE) shrink film used at the site in Offenburg, Germany has been converted to 50% PCR material. In addition, the sites in Hamburg and Offenburg, Germany have converted their PE roll packaging bags to 80% PCR material and their film sleeves to 40% PCR material. And at our site in Suzhou, China, we have established a closed loop for the plastic end caps used for roll transportation, with the end caps being collected and returned by our customers and then reused at the site.

CO₂e – (CO₂ Equivalents)
Unit of measure to compare the effect of different greenhouse gases. It converts the amount of a greenhouse gas into the corresponding amount of CO2 that causes the same warming over a given period.
  • Topic filter

    Results for