Efficient use of input materials

Efficient use of input materials is extremely important to all Sika companies, as production processes are material-intensive and use high volumes of nonrenewable resources. Efficient production in this context means reducing and reusing production scrap, reducing and reusing packaging materials, and improving packaging design, leading to higher productivity and lower material use.

Target: 3% less waste per ton and year

This includes all waste material sent to external contractors for disposal – except for materials returned to suppliers – and covers all Sika operating companies and units, including industrial and nonindustrial sites. In 2016, this target has not been achieved.

Implementation

With an increased production volume, the company generated some 74,000 tons of waste (previous year: 70,000 tons). This corresponds to 17.8 kilograms of waste per ton sold (previous year: 17.3 kilograms per ton sold) or an increase of 2.9%. Various factories producing concrete additives had to dispose of the rinsing water as waste due to a change in the local sewage treatment plants acceptance conditions. Rinsing water, which contains even the smallest amounts of concrete additives, was thus recently declared as waste. Nevertheless, the total waste volume has decreased by -1.2% since 2013.

However, since 2013 the amount of waste has been reduced overall by -1.1%.

Material efficiency will continue to be a priority in 2017. A large part of the waste – particularly from polymer and adhesive production – is recycled by external companies. Extensive measures such as the efficient and economical use of raw materials, process optimizations, improved waste sorting, and the recycling of packaging materials have contributed to global waste efficiency.

These measures and the reduction of waste in mortar production through recycling are set to further boost efficiency. Reducing and reusing adhesive waste is one of the keys to efficient production. A mobile recycling machine was developed by Sika at the Düdingen plant in Switzerland for recycling adhesive residues from Unipacks and cartridges. The reduction in the manual workload and annual adhesive waste savings of 27 tons are likely to translate into savings of around CHF 90,000 per year.

Sika Thailand had already won a Silver Award in 2014 for its continuous improvements in waste management. In 2016, further refinements to its waste-handling system earned Sika Thailand a Gold Level Award. Project case studies from around the globe detailing how Sika managed to reduce waste at its plants can be found at www.sika.com/sustainability.