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 focuses on discovering new ways of making polyurethane more sustainable in every phase from raw materials, to production, to end-of-life. This requires close collaboration with partners within our industry and with knowledge institutes.
Innovation and efficiency initiatives have reduced our use of raw materials and are complemented by our choice of more sustainable raw materials. In partnership with the company, Recticel is the first company worldwide to use a CO2-based polyol in its flexible foam production for products such as mattresses.
Including sustainability in our production processes helps reduce our carbon footprint and increases operational excellence. Together with industrial partners and knowledge institutes, we explore ways to reduce production waste and design products that are eco-friendly and easy to dismantle.
Sustainability is also tactical. It means less waste and greater resistance to material shortages and price fluctuations. We have developed a fiber-bonded foam technology to transform polyurethane production waste into new applications: Simfofit® acoustic insulation panels reduce sound by up to 12 dB while also helping to conserve energy. The production waste from these panels can be reused, thus closing the materials loop. We continue to explore the possibilities of fiber-bonded foam for other application areas such as bedding, automotive and industry.
Replacing production waste by end-of-life material is an important target to achieve resource efficiency. New chemical and mechanical recycling processes will allow us to reuse materials, paving the way for new value-added applications. 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.