The company is developing and adhering to exacting strategies, investing in its facilities and R&D, and working together on a global scale to achieve this goal. The latest progress made as a result has been to implement numerous, successful local initiatives, achieve new environmental certifications and employ a set of new tactics that will support a circular economy.
“The industry is and must move towards more sustainable raw materials if it is to combat climate change,” said Benjamin Lux, chief technology officer, Actega. “We need to transform every element of our global economies’ “take-make-waste” system and ask ourselves how we want to manage resources, make and use products, and what we intend to do with the materials afterwards. With this in mind we have detailed and implemented five strong tactics to move the company and its products towards a circular economy model.”
In a circular economy approach, there is no waste. Everything has a new use and continues within the product cycle. Actega’s five tactics to achieving this model includes:
Recycle: Ensure Actega’s products can effectively, and with minimal impact on the recycling process, contribute to end products that can be recycled.
Reduce: Invest in new technologies and innovative product solutions to reduce material and waste volumes, lower energy consumption and to make processes more efficient.
Displace: Aim to remove materials that are difficult or impossible to recycle by creating innovative product solutions and contributing to the development of better processes.
Replace: With Actega’s expertise in chemistry, formulation, and application, the company is committed to the development of innovative and safe solutions that make everyday products better and more sustainable by replacing CMR (cancerogenic mutagen reprotoxic) and hazardous substances in product formulations.
Degrade: If individual packaging components cannot be kept in the cycle, complete degradability should be a target. To achieve this, Actega is forming strategic partnerships to develop new supply chains. Working with brand owners, raw materials suppliers, and regulatory agencies, this partner-centric approach utilises the best and most innovative technology and expertise available today.
Closely linked to tactics 1, 2 and 5, an initial raw materials investigation into the carbon footprint of Actega’s products concentrated on selected paper and board coatings. These first findings concluded that reducing the carbon footprint of binders within Actega’s water-based products can significantly reduce the products’ overall carbon footprint. This could be achieved by incorporating either exclusively bio-based materials or biomass balanced raw materials (using both the original components and a certain amount of certified renewable feedstock within existing chemical pathways).
Lux added, “Obtaining this information is just the first step. Actega is now exploring exactly how we change the composition of these products, without compromising their renowned high quality or functionality, to reduce their carbon footprint. It’s an ongoing process and one we are fully committed to.”
Individual Actega facilities are also developing and implementing numerous projects, designed to boost each sites’ environmental credentials. As part of the Let’s ACT! campaign within the business, teams are working together to minimise their local environmental impact. Such initiatives range from significant investments, like the installation of solar panels at Actega in Vigo, Spain, to utilising specialised skills within the Lehrte, Germany, team to promote biodiversity and nature at the site, including successfully nurturing six bee colonies.