Taking corporate responsibility is part of tesa’s corporate philosophy. Based on the conviction that all sides win, we take action at several levels worldwide, in the form of donations, supporting memberships and sponsorships as well as through volunteer engagements on the part of employees.
As a company in the chemical industry, we are aware of our responsibility toward people and the environment. Careful use of natural resources and raw materials is our stated goal as a company. Our aim in making these efforts is to leave an intact environment for subsequent generations while at the same time safeguarding the basis of our business success.
Environmental Protection: A Proven Concept
Environmental protection has been a key element of our corporate responsibility activities for years, and our environmental guidelines firmly establish it throughout the Group. Environmental management systems are the key point of departure. We use these systems at all sites that have significant impacts on the environment. The tesa environmental program was put in place in 2001. It sets Group-wide targets for us to continuously reduce our environmental impact.
Our Environmental Guidelines
Our Concept: Boost Efficiency - Reduce Emissions
We save energy wherever possible: Seven production sites and the Group headquarters now have environmental management systems certified under ISO 14001. The Group headquarters and the sites with the highest CO2 emissions (Hamburg and Offenburg) have not only an environmental management system, but also a certified energy management system pursuant to ISO 50001. Introducing the energy management systems paved the way for further increases in the energy efficiency of the systems and equipment in use there. We strive to offset possible increases in CO2 emissions as a result of production activities with these kinds of efficiency gains. Further strategic approaches include efficient generation of our own energy through cogeneration (combined heat and power, CHP) and obtaining electricity from renewable sources.
Less Is More: Fewer Solvents
Since launching the first large-scale facility for solvent free coating at tesa’s Offenburg plant (2002), we have continued to rigorously develop this patented tesa technology. Our factories in Offenburg and Italy, among others, have operated largely without the use of solvents for several years.
The facility for environmentally friendly production of double-sided acrylate adhesive tape at the tesa plant in Hamburg is the only one of its kind in the world and provides an exemplary case: With ACX technology, solvents are used only in the first process step and are immediately extracted in the subsequent drying process and put back into circulation. This is a patented process developed at tesa and it provides the following environmentally relevant reductions in comparison to conventional methods:
- Use of organic solvents: circa -55%
- Disposal of organic solvents: circa -89%
- Process water requirements: circa -100%
Comprehensive Management of Waste and Raw Materials
Our waste and raw materials management activities are geared toward using materials efficiently and recycling wherever possible. There is no way to eliminate all waste when producing goods, but we are constantly at work on minimizing production-related losses of the raw materials we use when producing adhesives, coating tapes, and cutting rolls.
We have already made significant improvements in many areas. Within the scope of the tesa environmental program, for example, we were able to reduce emissions of volatile
organic compounds (VOCs) by 91 percent between 2001and 2015, and solvent use was down 41 percent in the same period. The volume of non-recyclable waste has also decreased by 77 percent, and the recycling rate was over 90 percent in 2017.
Our goal is to reduce the specific volume of waste per ton of end products by a further two percentage points by 2020 compared with the reference year, 2015