We produce most of our raw materials ourselves in order to have less waste. The choice of producing yarns, woven fabrics, films and pigments ourselves has a high economic value, but also has an ecological value. This is a double reinsurance both for quality as well as for sustainability. In all our factories, we aim for zero waste, and we have strict policies regarding the use of raw materials and energy.
Sioen’s value chain is vertically integrated, meaning that all of our raw materials are produced in-house. We have, for example, a no-waste policy when it comes to the extrusion lines where we produce high tenacity polyester yarns. The PES waste is always recycled into new yarns. In case our high quality requirements aren’t met, the whole batch is recycled. This process is not only applied for the production of our yarns, but also for our woven fabrics, fibres and films.
Further, during the pigment paste production and the direct coating process, all cleaning agents are recycled. The rest paste and PVC residue is collected and re-used as a raw material for new products, both ours and third party. Even in the final part of the process, transportation, the packaging is recycled.
Our gas and electricity consumption has fallen sharply in recent years thanks to the optimization of our machinery on the one hand and to installing solar panels at our production facilities on the other hand. At our headquarters in Ardooie, where our membranes are produced, 10% of the total annual electricity consumption comes from the solar panels on the roof. In addition, we only purchase green energy.
In all of our coating plants, the air above the machines is extracted and purified in incinerators. The energy that is released is used to preheat the furnaces. The optimization of this process is one of the reasons why our gas consumption has decreased so much over the years.
At Sioen, we aim for a zero discharge status, except for sanitary water. Our online coating plant at Ardooie and our chemicals production plant at Bornem have already achieved this.
We use cooling water in both coating plants and in the production of yarns, pastes and inks. This is done in a closed circuit where we use groundwater. For our toilet facilities, we use rain water, supplemented with tap water in case we run out of rainwater.
Since 2016, we have been calculating our CO₂ footprint annually, as we want to reduce our impact on the climate, and we want to improve our social responsibility. In addition, it inspires us to go for a waste-free production process.
We work with CO₂ Logic, a local young and dynamic company, that helps us calculate the CO₂ footprint of all our sites, interpret results and make green choices. We want to reduce our impact and by using CO₂ Logic’s climate and energy consultancy services, we also create sustainable socio-economic benefits.