Ontex is committed to sustainable business practices and continues to demonstrate their commitment to the environment through activities and product development.
Ontex specifies that its own activities and those of its suppliers meet both environmental codes of practice and codes of fair and ethical conduct.
All Ontex factories are introducing an Environmental Management System based on the principle of:
- Continuous search for improvement and minimization of the impact of its activities on the environment, giving particular consideration to the following areas:
- Waste management
- Electricity consumption
- Transport efficiency
- Packaging optimisation
- New product design (eco-range)/weight reduction
- Ongoing search for ways to minimize the effect of our products on the environment after use.
- Working in partnership with our suppliers to achieve the sustainable use of natural resources, raw materials and energy.
Ontex International and its two production plants in Belgium, Buggenhout and Eeklo, which manufacture Euron® products have already successfully been ISO 14001 certified.
Life cycle analysis (LCA)
Ontex is considering LCA with focus on cradle-to-grave approach, as a key tool in providing a complete picture of a product’s environmental over its life cycle. This analysis can then be used to either make an informed decision on selecting a specific product or identify processes where environmental improvements can be made.
Ontex is also continuously searching for new developments to improve LCA with a particular emphasis on recycling and energy recuperation from our products after use.
Key environmental impact
As part of the introduction of the Environmental Management System, Ontex has identified key environmental aspects.
Fluff pulp sourcing
The main raw material in our products, fluff pulp is used to form the absorbent core. Product development has enabled us to drastically reduce the amount of fluff used in our production processes.
- Ontex continues to reduce the total quantity of fluff in its products.
- All fluff pulp used within Ontex products comes from suppliers who subscribe to responsible sourcing programs such as the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI/PEFC) and the Forestry Stewardship Council® (FSC).
- One of the key priorities of Ontex is to make sure only wood from well-managed forests is used with respect for the applicable regulations, water quality and important habitat elements for wildlife.
Energy consumption / recuperation
Ontex considers electricity consumption as an important eco-efficiency parameter (economical / ecological). As such, electricity consumption is one of its “Key Performance Indicators (KPI). To lower the cost of its activities and their environmental impact, every plant has an action plan to cut electricity consumption (with focus on low carbon footprint).
In addition, its Belgian production plants are certified as running exclusively on energy from renewable energy. As part of this project Ontex’s plant in Buggenhout has deployed a large number of solar panels on the roofs of its major warehouses. All other plants are looking into installing solar panels or expanding their use.
A special energy recuperation unit is operational at Ontex Buggenhout since 1996. It recuperates the part of the mixed waste fraction that is not recycled by an external company. This process can heat the entire site during winter and cool (with an inverse process) during summer.
Ontex is an assembling company and recognises transport as a key environmental challenge and therefore wants to limit the impact of its activities through optimised packaging solutions, compacter products and an optimised ‘truck fill factor’.
Within Ontex Buggenhout a first special energy recuperation unit was installed in 1996. A modern version of this installation became operational in 2000. The idea of this unit is to recuperate part of the mixed waste fraction (PE/PP/fluff/ PES), which is less interesting to be recycled by an external company. This waste fraction will first be compressed into combustible pellets, which will be incinerated in a multistage oven. Due to the high caloric value of the plastics, the incineration warmth can be used to heath all premises during winter and cool (with an inverse process) all premises during summer. Due to a sophisticated system of flue gas treatment, the impact of this process is less than with a traditional heating system.
New Product Design
Eco-efficiency (economic / ecological) is one of today’s drivers in all R&D projects. This approach will enable Ontex to deliver high performance products with a clear environmental advantage at an acceptable price.