The topic of sustainability evokes associations such as adherence to principles, thinking about future generations or the economical use of natural resources. Areas in which we have a lot to show for ourselves in our long company history. LESER now has a broad repertoire of engagements relating to our environment and sustainable products. Below you will find articles about our efforts.
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FSC® - Certification and Products
Sustainability - for LESER far more than just a slogan. Therefore, in October 2018 - in addition to a series of further commitments - the FSC® certification of our company followed. Following the DIN EN ISO 9001 (quality management system) and DIN EN ISO 14001 (environmental management system) certifications, it completes the profile of the LESER Group and thus manifests our values. Since then, our portfolio has included products with the FSC® label whose wood fibre materials originate from sustainable forestry.
But what exactly does the FSC® represent?
The Forest Stewardship Council® was established in 1993 following the Rio de Janeiro Environmental Summit. As a non-profit organization, it is committed to the environmentally sound, socially responsible and economically viable use of the world's forests. The FSC® also sees itself as a platform for communication between the various stakeholders. In this form, social and ecological standards are developed that must be adhered to, for example in the cultivation of forests. On its mission in the fight against the progressive overexploitation and destruction of forests the FSC® finds more and more supporters. The fields of activity of the FSC® are meanwhile manifold and range from the integration of indigenous peoples, occupational health and safety and species protection to a democratic principle for all actors. Watch the video to find out more:
What does this mean for LESER?
Since our industry in particular uses wood fibres on a large scale, we are committed to sustainable forest management with a comprehensive chain of custody. As an internationally operating company, we are also aware of our responsibility to protect the environment. In concrete terms, this means for us the proof of certified product and supply chains - from the forest to the consumer. Because the complete control of the wood chain guarantees end products that meet our demands towards ourselves. The FSC® label thus guarantees consumers the certainty of positive end products from sustainable forestry. For LESER this is a further step towards responsible future planning.
LESER products labelled with the FSC® label
Since then our product range has included several series and products bearing the FSC® label. Would you like to find out more? Then ask for the FSC®-certified products in our range! We will be happy to help you.
GreenPack by LESER
Already in 2012 LESER GmbH developed the series EARTH. A world novelty, because LESER was the first company in the industry to introduce bioplastic packaging to the market. Since then, our standard range has included the indispensable boxes made from this renewable, vegetable raw material. After all, organic boxes are enjoying increasing popularity!
But why is that?
Some may say that we live in times of great change. Topics such as sustainability, responsible behavior and the economical use of natural resources are becoming increasingly important. And as a result, consumers are becoming more and more aware of the importance of sustainable product packaging. Wherever you look - examples of this can be found everywhere in everyday life. Contemporary packagings range from organic carrier bags from well-known supermarket chains to packagings made of algae - the assortment seems almost endless. Of course, we also conform to this awareness! Reason enough, therefore, to also develop plastic boxes in environmentally friendly variants. The result was the EARTH series of bioplastic boxes. Successful since development and market launch in 2012!
And how much organic is really in there?
100 percent! 100%! Because the body of our products of the series EARTH consists of bioplastic to this part. Bioplastics are plastics that are produced on the base of renewable raw materials. In the case of the EARTH series, this is the bioplastic PLA (polyactide), which is produced from sugar in a multi-stage synthesis process. Due to its physical and mechanical properties, it is a genuine alternative to petroleum-based plastics! But it is not only the production that has positive aspects towards our environment.
Advantages of bioplastic boxes
While bioplastics can be processed and used exactly like conventional plastics, they have a much more positive effect. They are biodegradable and decompose into naturally occurring and completely non-toxic starting products. Microorganisms such as fungi, bacteria and enzymes ensure that only water, carbon dioxide and biomass remain, which are further utilised by nature. Thus, nature is ultimately allowed to run its course. Because the packaging made of bioplastics is compostable, can alternatively be processed into biogas in the biogas plant or simply serve as a CO²-neutral energy source through thermal recycling.
A fully closed material circuit - based on the clever example set by nature!
Environmental Management System DIN EN ISO 14001
In 1998, LESER GmbH was the first company in the industry worldwide to be certified according to DIN EN ISO 9001 (quality management system) and DIN EN ISO 14001 (environmental management system). LESER thus committed itself very early on to sustainable management and the associated efforts. Because with the implementation of the holistic environmental management system we are endeavouring to ensure environmentally compatible behaviour of the company at all times.
The background - environmental impact
Many industries are already experiencing the effects of climate change. Climate-related complications of supply networks in industry or confrontations with extreme heat or cold periods in tourism are already a reality today. Signals from the environment, the origins of which we decisively counter by means of the environmental management system. After all, companies are significantly responsible for the consequences of climate change. However, the motives behind certification are complex and range from environmental protection to responsible future planning. On the one hand, environmental management helps to reduce our CO² emissions, for example - but at the same time we can save energy costs and thus operate sustainably.
International standard for environmental management
Companies go one step further than legal requirements with their operational environmental management and bundle all of the company's environmental protection activities in it. The most widespread environmental management system is DIN EN ISO 14001 - an international standard for environmental management. It defines how an environmental management system is to be structured. In Germany, around 12,200 companies and organizations are currently certified according to ISO 14001. The environmental management system serves to define the responsibilities and procedures for operational environmental protection. The focus is often on several temporary measures to improve environmental performance.
What does the environmental management system mean to LESER?
LESER has therefore undertaken to regularly evaluate the condition and effectiveness of the management system. Accordingly, the quality and environmental officer prepares an annual management report which presents the environmental and quality-related events of the past year. To implement the goals and activities, all relevant activities are described in process, work and workplace instructions - and the corresponding responsibilities are defined. Our environmental guidelines include the use of advanced processes and the environmentally compatible design of products. We continually reduce environmental pollution, for example by selecting the materials we use. We consider communication with our stakeholders to be essential. We set our own standards, which are higher than statutory regulations or official requirements.
What specific measures are these in the case of LESER?
In practice, for LESER this means a series of sustainable efforts in the environmental aspects of production materials, energy, water, emissions, noise, soil and waste. Many of these aspects were already taken into account when the new plant was built in 1986. Only materials that are classified as non-hazardous in the Ordinance on Hazardous Substances are used in our production. Polystyrene, for example, is 100% recyclable. For this purpose, two recycling mills were installed in the company, by means of which unusable parts, such as sprues, are ground and can thus flow back into the production process. Our packaging materials are also recycled by a nationwide collection and disposal system. The low energy consumption of our company results - among other factors - from the heat recovery of the injection moulding machines, screw compressors and refrigerating machines. The integration of light strips for the use of daylight at the workplaces and the targeted use of night electricity also contribute to this. In short, there are currently around 20 energy recovery and energy saving processes in use, some of which have been developed and optimized in-house. The company uses water primarily for sanitary purposes and to cool its injection moulding machines. The water requirement is partly covered with rainwater, which is collected via a cistern and used by a pump system for flushing the toilet. In order to minimize dust emissions for the benefit of our employees, appropriate extraction systems were installed in the various production areas. In addition, the carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions generated in the heating system are kept very low through the use of natural gas and strong heat recovery. By taking precautions such as collecting troughs for water-polluting substances or an automatic fire alarm system with a water extinguishing system, the damage to the environment is kept as low as possible in the event of a malfunction.
The environmental management system provides us with continuous monitoring of our ongoing environmental effects. Internal audits, management documentation, training and further education of our employees guarantee the assurance and further development of internal standards. This enables us to produce sustainable packaging - in every aspect!