From the procurement of raw materials to recycling, tesa SE assumes responsibility at all stages of the value chain, expecting suppliers to follow suit and conform to the same sustainability standards. tesa’s approach to sustainability focuses on four strategic areas of activity and improvement; the environment, products, employees, and society.
Treating the environment and natural resources with care is one of tesa’s key corporate goals, with emphasis placed on protecting the climate by reducing CO2 emissions. The company has been able to make a wide range of products more environmentally friendly in recent times with the help of energy efficient, solvent-free manufacturing processes. Renewable and recycled materials are used whenever possible and production waste is limited with resource efficiency considered during the early stages of development and manufacturing processes.
tesa uses energy and resource saving technologies such as generating their own energy through cogeneration (combined heat and power, CHP) and an energy management system, certified in accordance with EMSt 50001, that is implemented at the sites with the highest CO2 emissions and has significantly increased energy efficiency at these sites. Another strategic approach is obtaining electricity from renewable sources. The business continues to work towards its 2015 set goal of reducing specific CO2 emissions per metric ton of end product by 10% by the end of 2020, as well as reducing specific waste volume by two percentage points in the same timeframe.
tesa aims to make safe products that satisfy the highest quality requirements but cause as little environmental harm as possible over the entire lifecycle. Product safety management therefore is an essential component of quality management at tesa. Additionally, the use and consumption of raw materials is managed to be as efficient as possible in order to preserve natural resources. In this context, tesa use a holistic lifecycle approach for selected products, which helps discover what environmental impact products have and how this can be reduced. Where possible and sensible, the company use renewable and recycles raw materials.
tesa has continued converting many double sided acrylic adhesive tapes to its unique ACX technology which forms highly durable adhesive bonds and are predominantly used in the automotive, electronics, wind, solar and construction industries. 50% less solvents and energy are used for the manufacturing of tesa® ACXplus tapes compared to conventional production processes. Automotive manufacturers use tesa ACXplus to produce lighter and therefore more energy efficient vehicles by replacing rivets and screws with this lightweight bonding solution.
Adhering to the current global demand for increased air quality in vehicles, many tesa tapes have been engineered to be low volatile organic compound (VOCs) compliant. The company also contributes to sustainability in paper production in the printing industry by offering a broad range of solutions such as tesa® EasySplice and the tesa® ecoLogo sub-brand, which offers adhesive rollers, films, packing tape, glue sticks and correction rollers all manufactured from primarily recycled or natural materials. The company now uses alternative raw materials for the manufacturing of individual products, using a biomass balance approach that conserves fossil resources and reduces green-house gas emissions.
The skills of employees are paramount to providing customers with the best possible service. tesa continually invests in the development of staff, both professionally and personally, at all levels and in all areas. A portfolio of tesa specific training has been developed and features programmes tailored to areas such as sales and marketing, research and development, purchasing and supply networks. Methodological training is also provided covering topics such as project management, communication and presentation skills. In order to provide clear progression routes, retain valuable experience and leverage capabilities for long-term success, the company fills vacancies from within wherever possible.
Ensuring staff are doing what they enjoy results in increased satisfaction, energised performance and a deeper connection to the company. In the UK, further measures to promote optimised internal performance have been implemented including equipping all workstations with height adjustable desks to minimise back strain and providing access to a sports club that offers a wide range of fitness and relaxation benefits.
Also, a safe working environment is essential for any employee, so tesa has implemented occupational safety guidelines and prioritised ‘prevention and awareness’ of potential risks and hazards, with a strategic aim of reducing the number of work accidents on-site to zero. Part of this strategy includes training videos, e-learning courses and campaigns on general safety and fire prevention.
Voluntarily assuming social responsibility is part of tesa’s corporate philosophy and firmly anchored in the corporate values. As a technology company, tesa supports young people in STEM subjects by inviting them to project days, giving them insight into the different occupational fields available to them. Moreover, all affiliates are encouraged to undertake volunteer work and donate portions of sales to social projects in their area. For the last 10 years, tesa UK has supported The Walnuts School in Milton Keynes, UK and recently began an ongoing partnership with Ride High, who work with some of the most disadvantaged and isolated children in the area.
Regarding environmental protection, tesa supports several projects that promote the preservation of nature and sustainable lifestyles, such as cooperating with an environmental centre in Hamburg and supporting the ‘Million Tree Project’, a tree-planting campaign in Mongolia.
“What we produce is not all that matters, it is also how we produce it. tesa has been known as a pillar of innovation and high product quality for many years, but we also have a long tradition of being ecologically and socially responsible. However, we steadily work on improving our performance, identifying potential savings in energy consumption and reducing emissions. We see sustainability as a continuous ambition and something very important to everyone connected to tesa,” said Jeremy Smith, trade marketing manager, tesa UK.
Sustainability is an integral component of tesa’s business processes. The company, with its UK operation headquartered in Milton Keynes and global headquarters in Norderstedt near Hamburg, Germany, operates in over 100 countries worldwide and has been a member of the United Nations Global Compact since 2006. In 2018, tesa also reaffirmed its goal to make its contribution to the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Having joined the magazine in 2012, Claire developed her knowledge of the industry through the numerous company visits, exhibitions and conferences she attended both in the UK and abroad.
Claire prides herself on keeping readers well informed and up to date with the latest industry news.