Sustainability & Innovation

Sustainability strategy, targets and results


Since 2013, sustainable innovation is a key driver at the heart of our Group strategy. Sustainability shapes our portfolio strategy and our innovation priorities, and as a result, it nourishes our long-term competitiveness. The long-term needs and challenges for our sectors and our society such as climate change are our compass.

Growing together towards a PUre future expresses our firm commitment to reducing any negative effects of our activities and to optimising Recticel’s positive impact throughout the value chain. We focus our R&D efforts on finding innovative solutions to the major challenges in society today, such as global warming, a growing and ageing population and conservation of natural resources.

Sustainability has always been at the heart of our activities. Our thermal Insulation solutions for building renovations and new construction make a significant contribution to a low-carbon society. We estimate that in 2020, the CO2 emissions avoided by our insulation solutions offset over 46 times our carbon impact throughout the entire value chain.

Sustainability is also an important element in our Engineered Foams business line, where innovative lightweight solutions have been developed for speciality applications in car engine compartments which require superior silencing properties.

In other markets, the traditional focus has been on durability and on providing optimal comfort during the use phase. In recent years, we have directed our research efforts to eco-design and repurposing our valuable polyurethane materials after their usage phase. Mechanical and chemical recycling are the two routes we follow towards circularity.


Two pillars: Sustainable Innovation Plan, People Priority Plan

Innovation and people are key in achieving our sustainability strategy. As a result of a stakeholders’ consultation, we defined the six most important material aspects for Recticel and clustered them in a Sustainable Innovation Plan and a People Priority Plan. We subsequently selected key performance indicators and targets 2020 for each material aspect (see below, Results 2020). 


Growing together towards a PUre future expresses our firm commitment to reducing any negative effects of our activities and to optimising Recticel’s positive impact throughout the entire value chain. We focus our R&D efforts on finding innovative solutions to the major challenges in society today, such as global warming, a growing and ageing population and conservation of natural resources.


Renewed sustainability strategy and roadmap 2025

In 2020, Recticel started the revision of the two pillars of its 2015 – 2020 sustainability strategy. 
After internal and external stakeholder consultation, we redefined the six material aspects or priorities, their KPIs and targets for 2025 (see below, Targets 2025). The renewed strategy will maximise our positive climate impact, boost circular efficiencies and help to protect and engage our employees and external stakeholders. 



Our guiding goals

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set in 2015 are universal targets and indicators designed to help countries and end poverty, protect the planet and ensure global prosperity as part of a sustainable development agenda.
As part of its 2015-2020 Sustainable Development journey, Recticel identified the five SDGs that are most impactful, relevant and embedded in our company’s Sustainability Strategy:


As part of the renewed Sustainability Strategy for 2021-2025, focus will also be given to a sixth SDG: sustainable cities and communities.


European Green Deal

The European Green Deal is a set of policy initiatives by the European Commission with the overarching aim of making Europe climate neutral by 2050. Effective insulation plays a crucial role in meeting this objective by reducing the amount of energy used to heat and cool buildings.



Readying polyurethane for the circular economy

Our products are predominantly, though not exclusively, based on polyurethane (PU). This versatile material allows us to develop long-lasting high-quality and durable solutions that promote comfort in our daily life such as insulation panels or mattresses. Preparing them for the transition to a circular economy is an important challenge. 

Our strategic Corporate Sustainability Innovation Programme, led by our Sustainable Innovation Department, the R&D Center of the Group, focuses on discovering new ways of making polyurethane more sustainable in every phase from raw materials, to production, to end-of-life.


We are proud to participate in and be the project leader of the PUReSmart project funded  by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Innovation and Research programme to develop a complete circular product life cycle and turn polyurethane into a truly sustainable material.

New mechanical and chemical recycling processes will allow us to reuse materials for more advanced value-added applications. 

Reduced usage of raw materials is complemented by the use of more sustainable raw materials. In partnership with Covestro, formerly Bayer MaterialScience, Recticel is the first company worldwide to use a CO2 based polyol in our flexible foam production process for products such as mattresses. This helps to conserve natural resources and combat climate change. Such societal sustainability challenges will continue to drive our future innovations.

Results 2020

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For more details about our progress made in 2020, see the Non-Financial Information Statement in our 2020 Annual Report, page 98 – 125.


Targets 2025

Our Roadmap 2025 defines the targets we have set to achieve our ambitions by 2025.
We will report on these as well as our commitments in our Annual Report 2021.

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