As we spend June increasing awareness in the environmental impact of plastic and share recent innovations in plastic recycling the announcement of ege’s environmental achievements are perfectly timed!
Whilst the warmest spring in centuries in Denmark witnesses climate changes a few selected companies have just received environmental awards from the EU for their work in securing a more sustainable future. 22 years’ goal-oriented environmental work secures ege the award Management Award for Sustainable Development.
“We are incredibly proud of the recognition it gives receiving an award for environmental management”, says ege’s CEO, Svend Aage Færch Nielsen. “In 2013 we decided to become the carpet manufacturer in the world best at CSR. We believe that sustainability pays off and we see this award as a sign that we are on the right track”.
Sustainability in the core business
ege receives the award because the company has made the work with environment a part of the core business – both on a strategic level and on a quite concrete production level. Since 1996 ege has worked systematically in minimizing the impact on the environment. “When we started working with environmental management in 1996 it was a voluntary additional choice. Today we look at it differently. As a company we have a responsibility of not having a negative impact on the world”, says Svend Aage Færch Nielsen.
Consequently ege uses the certification Cradle to Cradle as a sustainability frame for the work with environment. Cradle to Cradle is the vision of a world where human beings make a positive as opposed to a negative footprint on the environment. It is one of the most demanding product certifications existing.
The result of the work with Cradle to Cradle is among other things seen in ege’s product portfolio which to a high degree consists of recycled materials. The carpet yarn consists of recycled fishing nets and other industrial waste and the tile backings are made of recycled plastic bottles, Svend Aage Færch Nielsen explains. “The tubes on which we wrap the carpets during delivery are made of recycled plast and the boxes for carpet tiles are made of recycled cardboard. We clean and use our waste water and apart from this we reuse the heat from our production plant as district heating. All initiatives contribute to reducing pollution, increasing recycling and advancing circular economy”.
Partnerships accomplish the result
In order to live up to the heavy demands in Cradle to Cradle ege has entered into a close partnership with among others Vugge til Vugge, Denmark. The purpose of the collaboration is to help ege achieving the highest vision: to have all carpets Cradle to Cradle certified. Ørsted is another important partner. Via a climate partnership they have since 2013 helped ege finding energy-saving focus areas.
EU’s environmental awards are presented every other year to the most environmentally conscious companies in Europe. The purpose of the awards is to furtherance innovative and sustainable initiatives within the environmental area.
ege has today 47 Cradle to Cradle certified products which in total make out 87% of the company’s sale to the contract market which among other things accounts for offices, hotels and stores.