TRESPA AND SUSTAINABILITY
Sustainability is not something you dream about but something you do. It’s about actions. That’s why Trespa always acts to provide a win for the environment, our business, our company and our clients. It’s how we continuously improve and materialise sustainability. Sustainability at Trespa is about common sense, a fact-based approach and a complete integration into business planning.
Our sustainability policy is based on a deeply felt motivation to shift from ‘being less bad’ for the environment to being good and creating new value.
Do No Harm. We comply with safety, product and sustainability regulations and guidelines set by the countries in which we operate. We are focused on materialising opportunities that minimise the environmental impact of our operations and products.
Do Good. We support our suppliers and customers in meeting their sustainability challenges. The environmental properties of Trespa® products are mentioned in the EPDs available to the market. We will continue to look for opportunities and initiatives to support and promote longer-term sustainability beyond the direct scope of our current operations.
Do Better. We believe that investing in sustainability should be beneficial to the long-term position of the company. Many sustainability challenges constitute good business opportunities that will allow the company to continue to grow.
Materialising sustainability requires a realistic vision, hands-on action and an approach that's integrated throughout the entire company. We have defined 3 principles that shape our way of thinking and acting:
Common sense. We use a common-sensed approach to sustainability. We believe it’s a balancing act between “zero impact” and over-functionality. In other words, it means working to reduce impact without losing sight of functionality.
Fact-based approach. We believe that you cannot manage what you do not measure. Addressing sustainability and environmental protection starts with the quantification of impacts. Through the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology, we measure three key environmental indicators: water footprint, global warming and primary energy demand.
Integral part of planning and the review cycle. We set our priorities based on our LCA studies and realistic-but-challenging targets. All of our sustainability initiatives have been integrated into our rolling business planning and review cycle.
THE DRIVERS TO HPL SUSTAINABILITY
Our main driver of sustainability is durability. The longer the product lasts, the longer the period of time to spread the environmental impact associated with the production of raw materials and the manufacturing process. By needing fewer replacements, long-lasting products entail less use of resources, lower emissions of pollutants and a smaller amount of waste than short-lifespan goods.
The exceptional quality of all of our products is a result of this vision. They are, by definition, extremely durable and long-lasting materials.
Building on durability: cradle-to-gate approach. We aim to further build on durability by making the manufacturing of our products more and more sustainable through the reduction of the impacts arising from the cradle-to-gate part of our materials life cycle – from raw materials extraction to our plant gate.
WHAT WE’VE DONE SO FAR
Over the past years, we’ve embraced a sustainable approach by measuring and improving our environmental impacts. Since our journey towards sustainability started in 2010, we put in place several improvements aimed at reducing onsite energy consumption and waste generation, including: replacing high-energy-consuming electric motors, converting to low-energy-consuming LED lighting and linking it to detection sensors in infrequently visited areas, replacing high-energy-consuming vacuum pumps in the press department with a more efficient Venturi system, and adopting a more efficient steam boiler.
Contribution analysis. Each step of production contributes to a different extent to the total environmental impact of our laminates. The picture below shows the contribution of the main manufacturing stages (as a percentage over the total materials production’s impact). Such contribution is in turn split (doughnut charts) into the share attributable to the production process itself (the energy and water consumed, waste produced and emissions generated onsite) and the one due to the materials used.
SUSTAINABILITY ROAD MAP
Lifetime extension: the Trespa Second Life programme. In light of the environmental benefits arising from lifetime extension, we launched the Trespa Second Life programme, in which Trespa® Meteon® exterior panels are collected and given a second life after dismantling instead of being disposed of.
Cradle-to-gate targets. Over the next five years, we plan to implement a series of activities and projects to reduce our environmental impact (compared to the 2015 results) as follows:
- Global warming: 8%
- Primary energy demand: 4%
- Water footprint: 5%
Engaging our stakeholders. We aim to encourage our stakeholders to embrace a consistent approach to sustainability. Trainings and regular updates will be given to our top management, R&D team, production coordinators and sales department. Our sustainability philosophy and approach will be explained to every new employee coming aboard.
Improving our LCA model. Data quality is at the forefront of our priorities. In the next five years, we aim to get data from our paper and chemicals suppliers. At the same time, we will put continuous efforts into increasing the accuracy of data collected in our plant.
Cradle-to-gate impact reduction. We are putting a lot of effort into reducing the amount of energy required to produce our laminates, aiming at decreasing the consumption of natural gas by 20% over the next five years by carefully optimising the HPL manufacturing process. In order for that to happen, a thorough energy monitoring plan is being put in place across all production departments.
Furthermore, we will increase the use of wood chips in place of the more energy-consuming paper, affecting – and lowering - the impact associated with raw materials production.