Minebea Intec: towards a better ecological footprint together
Issues such as resource management and sustainability are becoming increasingly important, while climate change and the energy crisis are all-pervasive – Minebea Intec is fully aware of its responsibility and is working towards improving its ecological footprint. This includes collaborating closely with its parent company to achieve their ambitious goals together.
As a leading global provider of weighing and inspection technologies, Minebea Intec is striving to bring environmental awareness to the fore in all divisions. In light of this, the company has adopted the goals set by its parent company to achieve a better ecological footprint. From the start of the new fiscal year, binding targets will apply for the three core issues identified: reducing CO2 emissions, waste and water consumption.
An active approach to environmental protection: internal campaigns to improve sustainability
In this respect, the Group’s international set-up is paying off: with 20 locations worldwide and an extensive network of more than 220 partners, Minebea Intec uses short delivery routes, helping to avoid unnecessary emissions. The high quality and long life of the products manufactured ensure a longer product cycle, therefore reducing the environmental impact. The service life of products can be extended even further thanks to a long-term spare parts service, while the return system ensures parts are disposed of properly. To support the campaigns of MinebeaMitsumi beyond these elements, Minebea Intec has set specific targets to help improve its ecological footprint. The production sites in Hamburg, Bovenden and Aachen have taken a particularly leading role here.
Using synergies: the advantage of MinebeaMitsumi
The Aachen site has swapped traditional plastic chips for fully recyclable material (EPS chips from FloPak) as the filling in spare part packaging. Waste is used as a raw material here, reducing the consumption of natural raw materials. In addition to the ecological advantages, the company is benefiting from a financial saving of around 15–20 %. The project, a collaboration between Aachen logistics company Green Line Logistik & Handelsgesellschaft mbH and the Logistics Handling & Processing division, started in July 2021 and is now being implemented fully following a successful trial.
It is not the only project aiming to reduce the company’s environmental impact, however. Colleagues in Aachen are currently testing alternative packaging for overseas shipping using cardboard pallets instead of wooden crates, which would further reduce the company’s carbon footprint and is more cost-effective.
The Hamburg site is constantly working on reducing packaging waste. It introduced a cross-department “zero-waste” initiative two years ago. Under the scheme, all product packaging has been reviewed to assess whether the plastics used are really necessary or whether there is a more environmentally-friendly and sustainable solution. Besides swapping materials, the site has also examined whether packaging material can be dispensed with altogether. For example, canister load cells no longer use plastic bags for the load cells or plastic pouches for cable ends. In addition, the cardboard material is now thinner and the “Paperplus shooter paper” filler used previously has been swapped for moulded fibre packaging. This involves fibre mouldings that are made from natural fibres and can be recycled. As the next step, this plastic-free approach is now being adopted at the Bovenden production site too.
MinebeaMitsumi: taking the lead in environmental protection
Our parent company, MinebeaMitsumi, is also supporting the cause of environmental protection. One of its stated goals is for 90 percent of its products to gain a “Green Product” certificate by 2029. The certification reflects the fact that packaging significantly contributes to environmental protection, but also that the products themselves are both energy and material-efficient, low-emission and have a long service life. All Minebea Intec product groups (bench and floor scales, checkweighers, metal detectors and vessel and silo scales) have recently been certified as “MinebeaMitsumi Green Products”. This certificate is based on the Group’s own standards, compliance with which is checked at regular intervals.
In addition, Minebea Intec is involved in other MinebeaMitsumi campaigns that are driving forward environmental protection. For example, Minebea Intec is participating in “Reducing Impacts on the Environment” (ISO 14001), “Preventing Global Warming” (lowering CO2 emissions) and “Effective Use of Resources” (less waste). These goals illustrate the fact that measures such as cutting down on printer paper are no longer enough: companies must pursue more ambitious targets, such as carbon neutrality. In this respect, MinebeaMitsumi plans to cut its CO2 emissions by 30% in an initial step. Achieving such targets will require considerable effort from all divisions – but this is vital in view of the current situation.