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01.09.21

Hager Group is looking to reduce the use of plastic

Simply lots of plastic
It’s a big number: as a group, we purchase more than 65,000 tons of plastic raw material every single year. If you think about what we’re producing, it’s not surprising that we are a big user of this phantastic, versatile and durable material. However, we’re all very aware of the environmental problems associated with plastic.

Modern businesses cannot afford to ignore the environmental issues resulting from their activities. For us, this means looking to reduce our CO2 footprint as much as possible and reducing waste. An endeavour which must mean reducing the overall use of plastic. We have already started with a few initiatives which we’d like to share with you.

Corona – a step back in time
When it comes to fighting unnecessary use of plastic, Corona definitely put a spanner in the works. Masks, made mainly of plastic, are suddenly everywhere. Single use plastic crockery and cutlery as well as single use drinking cups have made a dramatic comeback.

We took the opportunity to think of ways of avoiding plastic waste even under these circumstances. In France, we’ve found a partner who takes the used plastic masks we collect and turns them into school aprons for young children. We are also looking into Covid-safe ideas of how to reduce canteen waste. The decision to phase out plastic bottles with the immense dedication of the Service Generaux team is saving around 11.500 bottles a year.

In Blieskastel, takeaway food is no longer offered in plastic packaging, which has been replaced by paper alternatives. We know these aren’t always perfect, but bear with us; we’re looking into better options as we write. Also, in Blieskastel, there’s an ongoing project to separate waste more efficiently and to reduce the use of plastic bags.

Non-Recycled Plastic Packaging
Every year, Hager Group uses around 880 tons of plastic for packaging only. This is something we definitely want to change. Our Non-Recycled Plastic Packaging (NRPP) project aims to reduce the amount of virgin plastic in our packaging by 10% as early as this year and by 100% by the end of 2023. It’s a group-wide project, involving 40 amazing colleagues from areas such as sourcing, industrialisation, logistics, marketing, controlling and D&I among others. The goal is certainly very ambitious, but the team is highly motivated and first changes have already been implemented in Italy and Germany.

Recycled plastics in the production line
Plastics, as mentioned before, play a vitally important role in the manufacture and design of our products. We cannot compromise on quality, so any change here must be especially carefully researched. As things stand at the moment, we’ve started by using recycled plastics in some internal parts of our enclosures at La Roca. It’s a small step, but it takes us in the right direction.

Think! Plastic?
You may remember our 2019 Think! Plastic? Initiative from pre-pandemic times. There hasn’t been a lot of news about it since, but it’s still going ahead. In January this year, the four highly dedicated colleagues who had been working on it have handed the initiative over to the Environmental Sustainability team who have looked at all the ideas which came out of the 2019 push. The canteen actions to reduce plastic and the NRPP project both stem from the work done back then.

An ongoing process
Plastic, its smarter use, and the reduction of it are key topics for us as a group. We are constantly working on new ideas, looking for better end-of-lifecycle management for our products, more use of recycled plastics or entirely new materials. If you feel concerned about the topic, don’t hesitate to talk about it with your family, friends, colleagues: they might have some good ideas to share, and appreciate yours, too. Tell us here in the comments below what you do to reduce your plastic use. You never know, your contribution could become another step towards a low-carbon and waste future for Hager Group.

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06.10.21

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Hager Group and its subsidiary Hager Energy are supporting the IMOCA Globe Series skipper Fabrice Amedeo on his journey to the next Vendée Globe in November 2024 under the banner of competition and low-carbon energy.

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