This is why we have been considering the ecological impact of our own activities for many years now and are undertaking efforts to reduce it step by step. For example, we regularly refine our environmental and energy management systems and have them audited and certified by external institutes; we invest in energy-efficient systems and machines; and we implement measures to lower our energy and water requirements, as well as to avoid and reduce waste.
The protection of our environment is in line with our values and our long-term approach to business. It is important to us to leave the next generations with ecological systems at least in the same state as when we took custody of them. Moreover, we want to be an example and driver for environmentally friendly production processes.
Energy concept of the future
Our long-term goal is to become climate-neutral in line with the requirements of the “Roadmap to Net Zero” approach of the Science Based Target Initiative SBTI. To achieve this, we have set ourselves the following sub-targets:
- By 2025, we will achieve climate neutrality for all emissions caused by the Melitta Group itself (scope 1) and for all emissions caused by the energy we purchase (scope 2).
- By 2030, we will achieve climate neutrality for all emissions resulting from transport directly caused by us or directly commissioned by us, as well as for mobility in scope 3.
- By 2045, we will achieve climate neutrality for all emissions caused by preliminary work and third-party services which we purchase (scope 3).
In order to achieve this objective, we apply the principle of “avoid – reduce – offset”. We use the offsetting of emissions that cannot be avoided at the particular time as an interim solution.
Our most important measures include the generation of our own power, the procurement of renewables, the steady reduction of our energy consumption, and investment in modern machines and systems. In our value chains, we also rely on innovative cooperation projects with our business partners in the field of climate protection. The goal is to publish our “Net Zero” roadmap in 2022 in line with the SBTI requirements.
The power of the sun
We have a photovoltaic system in operation on the roof of one of our production buildings in North America. It supplies a substantial proportion of the site’s energy needs and reduces our annual CO2 emissions by around 462 metric tons.
Eco-friendly extraction system
The extraction system at our filter paper production plant is a world first and a true all-rounder: it saves around 60 percent of the energy previously required, reduces the amount of residual dust produced, and decreases CO2 emissions by around 1,200 metric tons a year
CO2 reduction for transport and logistics partners
We prefer to work with logistics partners who convey goods in a particularly climate-friendly manner. With a partner in Austria, for example, we were able to ship more than 130 truckloads by optimally combining transport via rail and water, thereby reducing CO2 emissions by around 132 metric tons. Our Danish logistics partner is converting its fleet to vehicles which run on biodiesel. This is produced from vegetable fats and oils and uses hydrogen as a catalyst: a particularly environmentally friendly alternative to conventional diesel.
Optimized production processes reduce energy consumption
Thanks to various process improvements in production, our operating division Neu Kaliss Spezialpapier has reduced its energy consumption and saved 80,000 euros annually – without any loss of quality or performance. By replacing key components of its production systems, our operating division Wolf PVG has achieved energy savings of around 830,000 kilowatt hours per year.
We need water to manufacture our products. This applies in particular to our paper production process. As water is extremely valuable from both an ecological and an economic perspective, we have been using this resource with great care for many years now.
We therefore regularly introduce technical innovations and optimize our production processes. For example, we have saved a lot of water by setting up recirculation systems and thus re-using the water we need several times. We also use state-of-the-art filters and water treatment plants that are ideally suited to our purposes. For paper production in particular, this has enabled us to further reduce our water consumption over recent years.
Our aim is to continue this steady reduction in water consumption – and we see further potential for this at our various paper production sites in particular. Our target is to reduce the water requirements at these sites by a further 25 percent by 2025.
Optimized water circulation systems
Water plays an important role in the production of filter paper – as a transport medium, to dissolve pulp, as seal water, or for rinsing. To save water and reduce the amount of waste water, we catch it, filter it, and feed it back into the production process.
Waste avoidance and reduction
Many tons of waste are generated every year during the manufacturing of our products. We have already succeeded in significantly reducing this amount over the past few years. At the same time, we have also increased the proportion of waste that can be recovered.
Several years ago, we launched a Group-wide waste management project. This has enabled us to realign many of the previous waste paths and use large quantities of waste as a secondary input. We are also examining the possibility of introducing further multiple-use systems and improving the separation and recovery of waste.
By 2025, we will have developed a comprehensive management system for reusable materials and introduced it in all relevant operating divisions. We are adopting a concept based on the circular economy approach.
Reducing paper waste
Thanks to an extraction system developed largely in-house, we are able to suck up the paper residues in our coffee filter plant – and then feed them back into the production process. In this way, we not only save 10,000 metric tons of paper waste per year, but also recover 28,000 metric tons of paper dust, which can be recycled into briquettes.
Eco-friendly ink-mixing machine
The disposal of ink residues represents a particular challenge for the environment. Our operating division ACW-Film has therefore acquired an ink-mixing machine that not only mixes and measures out inks fully automatically, but also stores left-over ink for subsequent production lots – thus reducing waste, costs, and emissions