2020 Sustainability Report

50 Ecology At Girsberger, we look at the full life cycle of a piece of furniture – from the procurement of the materials right through to its disposal. The aim is for the least possible burden to be placed on people and the environment at every stage. We therefore choose materials that are produced in an eco-friendly way and can be disposed of in their pure form, and we avoid those with poor ecological properties, such as PVC, heavy metals or azo dyes. Metal All steel products that we use or process, such as tubes and steel sheet, contain a high proportion of recycled metal. At the end of its product lifespan, steel is fully reused as steel scrap for new alloys. Wherever possible, surfaces are finished without chromium 6. We use aluminium almost exclusively in the form of die-cast aluminium parts which, if the component size permits, are marked with the relevant material identification code. Aluminium alloys are very strong, have good casting properties and can be finished in many different ways. It is also a material that can be recycled practically ad infinitum. A large proportion of the aluminium used in manufacturing today has been in circulation for decades. Thermoplastics Wherever possible we use in our plastic parts only a single type of polymer such as poly- propylene, polyamide or ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene). Depending on the particular application, we also use fibre-reinforced plastics for some components. We use CFC-free steam-foamed polyurethane foam for foam padding. We mark every plastic part with an identification code so that parts can be identified and sorted into the different types of material at the time of disposal in order to facilitate recycling. A certain proportion of recycled material is always used in suitable components. However, for quality and safety reasons it is not always possible to use recycled plastics. Seat cover materials Our seat cover fabrics satisfy Oeko-Tex Standard 100 or the EU Ecolabel criteria. Together with the whole product, they are checked against the EU’s list of banned emissions and chemicals as part of annual compliance audits for the “Tested for harmful substances – TÜV Rheinland Certified” certification. The durable high-quality cover materials we offer may be made of wool, synthetic fibres, or a mix of natural and synthetic fibres. Seat covers made of synthetic materials can be recycled after use. The cutting department in Endingen monitors waste volumes continuously. The textile cutting on our modern upholstery cutter is optimised and nested via the control station (nesting of the cut parts) and thus enables us to minimise waste upholstery material by just under 10%. In 2019, a 90% conversion to the upholstery cutter has taken place. This measure will enable us to further reduce waste volumes in the coming reporting period. Our leather is processed exclusively in tanneries certified to ISO 14001. Waste volumes are continually monitored and optimized. Small leather offcuts are recycled by the shoe and handbag industries. Paper Our total paper consumption has been reduced by over 20% in the latest reporting period. Measures such as switching to duplex printing as the standard setting and digitising certain processes such as archiving, using a document management system (DMS), have all contributed to reducing the use of paper. During the next reporting period we aim to try switching to using recycled paper in our administration department. We will also continue to raise awareness among our staff of the need to reduce paper consumption, by inter- nal information campaigns and talking to them about it directly at our bi-monthly “notice board” meetings. Resources and raw materials