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Protecting the environment is a core element of our corporate strategy. We have therefore designed the production of our corrugated base paper and packaging as resource and energy-efficiently as possible. Our measures include investment in renewable energy sources as well as strict energy management within our plants, careful use of natural resources and use of state-of the-art machinery. The success of these measures speaks for itself: around 47,000 tonnes of carbon emissions have been saved every year since the year 2000 by the entire Klingele Group. This equates to a reduction in our carbon footprint of 39.6 percent per tonne of paper, while our production output has increased by 78 %.
Our sustainability strategy extends well beyond the manufacturing of our products and is also applied to upstream and downstream processes. This begins with the purchase of environmentally-friendly materials and ends with efficient logistics, avoiding empty runs and ensuring optimum use of freight capacity.
We manufacture corrugated base paper for different fields of use at our site in Weener (East Frisia) and in our new BluePaper paper mill (Strasbourg). The related processes are all geared towards optimum conservation of natural resources and maximum energy efficiency:
We use 100 % waste paper in our corrugated base paper, which we clean in a complex procedure before processing. Our paper mills are also certified with the FSC® Recycling Seal. This is our guarantee that the raw materials used are secondary raw materials - with a traceable origin.
Water is a vital resource for papermaking. Our state-of-the-art treatment plant purifies wastewater biologically in a two-stage process. Bacteria known as anaerobic digesters convert organic matter in the water into biogas. A combined heat and power plant then burns the gas, producing electricity and heat that are used in the paper mill, completing the energy cycle.
Use of renewable energy sources and non-recyclable production waste form the central pillars of the energy concept in place in our production sites. The best example is our paper mill in Weener which is supplied with heat and electricity by its own power plant which runs on refuse-derived fuel (RDF).
Our paper mills are genuine recycling plants: waste paper makes up 100% of the primary resource and raw material for production. Production itself is also organised according to the principles of closed loop recycling management: waste material generated at paper machines is recycled and reintroduced into the production process.
Our logistics system guarantees short distances and optimum freight capacity. This applies to the planning of transport routes between our own production sites and to supplier management. Our paper mill in Weener, for example, is primarily supplied with waste paper from two local districts, and long-term delivery contracts guarantee sustainability. Regional proximity to our suppliers shortens transport routes and reduces road traffic.
We supply corrugated base paper to our southern plants from our BluePaper paper mill - and use the return freight to transport waste paper from these plants to BluePaper. This completes the cycle again - and is another reduction in our carbon footprint.
Our paper mills are certified to ISO 14001 (environment management), ISO 50001 (energy management) and ISO 9001 (quality management).
Paper production consumes a lot of energy, so we established our own refuse-derived fuel (RDF) power plant, Weener Energie, at the Weener site. Since mid 2008, Weener Energie has supplied all the thermal energy required for paper drying. Refuse-derived fuel is mainly procured locally - reducing transport costs and carbon emissions. Weener Energie is also fuelled with waste material from our paper mill.
Our paper mill is also supplied with additional energy from renewable sources around the plant. This includes our own company wind turbine which supplies an output of 3 MW after repowering in 2015. The electricity generated is fed into the public grid. Thanks to this energy concept, we not only protect the environment and our budget but also secure our long-term independence from international energy markets.
Systems and processes in our four box plants are geared towards maximum energy and resource efficiency. Our presence in four different regions of Germany not only guarantees customer proximity but also ensures efficient logistics and saves carbon emissions. Internationally-recognised certificates confirm our high standards of energy and environment management.
Our consistent sustainability strategy:
We focus on the best possible use of resources when designing or expanding our production installations. Cutting edge machinery reduces our consumption of water, dye and energy, and improves noise protection in our plants.
Compressed air systems in all our factories play a key role in reducing energy consumption. These have been continually improved over past years to achieve greater carbon emission savings - for example, the carbon footprint of our Hilpoltstein plant has dropped by 77 tonnes a year! In winter, we heat our production halls and warehouses with the warm air recovered from compressed air generation.
Our production processes aim to achieve maximum energy and resource efficiency. One example is the disposal of production waste: central refuse conveyors in production halls replace individual extractor systems - this supports systematic waste disposal and saves energy. A number of our innovations clearly exceed industry standards: our box plant in Delmenhorst, for example, was awarded the Environmental Award of the City of Bremen for its wastewater treatment plant. The plant extracts fresh water from wastewater contaminated by ink after the production of printed packaging - without the use of harmful chemicals - creating a closed cycle.
Our plants are certified to ISO 14001 and ISO 50001 (energy management). Environment and energy officers in each plant ensure the continuous monitoring of relevant processes and further development of these issues. Analysis of consumption data is an essential element of our energy management system: installation of an energy monitoring system enables instant access to the most important process and energy data of the production installation at any time - guaranteeing transparency and a solid foundation for the optimisation of our energy efficiency.
Our packaging product is already sustainable by definition; 90 percent of our production is manufactured from corrugated base paper made of recycled waste paper. The remaining ten percent comes from sustainably-managed forests and other controlled sources. Corrugated board can also be 100 percent recycled: after use of packaging, the board is collected via the RESY recycling system and delivered to paper mills for re-use. We also ensure that our additives are “clean” substances: for example, we use starch-based adhesives, and solvent-free, water-based flexoprinting inks - in the interests of the environment and the consumer!
Corrugated board is a genuine recycling product: 90 percent of it is made from recycled material such as used corrugated board, waste paper and cardboard packaging. It remains a valuable raw material after use: almost 100 percent of used corrugated board packaging is recycled with waste paper and made into new packaging (again).
It should be added that corrugated board packaging is single-material packaging, making it easier to recycle. This is a major advantage for sectors in which packaging is a critical factor for success and is in high demand, e.g. e-commerce.