Sustainability Report 2020

News & Stories

Our value chain in detail

Greiner Bio-One (logo)

Greiner Bio-One is a global medical technology company. Its customers are laboratories, hospitals, medical practices, blood banks, universities and healthcare companies. Plastic granulates are a key raw material for manufacturing products used in the injection molding process such as blood tubes, petri dishes, pipettes, plates and bottles. One example of these base products is the thermal plastic polyethylene terephthalate, generally known as PET. Other plastics such as polystyrene are also used in production. With production sites in the US, Brazil, Thailand, Austria, Germany and Hungary, plastic granulates are purchased by petrochemical companies from around the world. Granulates from Asia are transported using container ships, whereas transport over land and in the EU uses trucks. Delivery logistics to Greiner Bio-One customers also use this means of transport. After use, most products are incinerated due to their use in medicine and in research.

Greiner Packaging (logo)

Greiner Packaging produces plastic packaging for food and other areas. Typical products are yogurt pots and drinking bottles, but technical plastic parts used in household appliances or garden equipment are also produced. Granulates are the base products for this product portfolio. Masterbatches are used for decoration. Common plastic granulates include polypropylene and polyethylene. The granulates are delivered by the major petrochemical companies almost exclusively by truck. As part of value creation at Greiner Packaging, the raw materials are turned into high-quality packaging solutions and technical components made from plastic. The various types of packaging are produced in thermoforming or injection molding processes. Outbound logistics are similar to inbound logistics, also using trucks with only a few exceptions. After being filled, for example at dairy factories, and sold to end customers by wholesalers and retailers, the packaging is either incinerated, in some parts of the world sent to landfill or recycled and returned to the production cycle. This depends largely on the disposal infrastructure in the market in question.

NEVEON (logo)

NEVEON’s product range is as diverse as the individual raw materials needed to produce tailor-made foam solutions. The mattresses, upholstery, aircraft seats, trim parts for the automotive industry and for heat or acoustic insulation materials are mostly made out of polyurethanes, commonly known as PU foams. Optimizing product properties in the various areas in which these products are used also requires a number of additives, such as vegetable oil, activators, catalysts, filler materials, adhesives, colors, flame retardants, antibacterial substances or plastic-coated paper needed for the foaming process. Other examples include steel for inner springs, various textiles, non-woven materials, decoration and many other necessary components. Inbound and outbound logistics also rely on transporting freight on the roads and by rail. Ocean freight is transported in container ships. At the end of their life cycle, which is long thanks to their high quality, the products are either incinerated or sent to landfill – and to a less extent recycled. Here, too, the disposal method depends chiefly on the market-specific disposal infrastructure.

Greiner Extrusion (logo)

The raw materials used by Greiner Extrusion are steel and smaller quantities of aluminum. These are used to produce extrusion lines, i.e. tools and machinery for the production of plastic profiles. This molding equipment can be used, for example, to manufacture plastic windows, cable ducts and plastic cladding for the construction industry. Most steel used to produce machinery is made in Europe (Germany, Austria, Croatia) and is delivered by the distributor by truck in the quantities requested. The tools and machinery are also distributed by truck or, if sent by sea, on container ships. Thanks to the high-quality steel used in production and protective coatings, the tools’ useful life is upwards of ten years. The extrusion lines are even used for up to 30 years. Energy saving retrofitting is offered to ensure that energy technology remains up to date. At the end of their use-phase, the machines are broken down and recycled.

Impact of our business

The impact our business activities have on the environment and on society varies from one area of the company to another. Yet it depends mostly on statutory regulations, as well as the infrastructure through which our products are brought to market. For example, the disposal of medical products is regulated across the world by transnational and national laws. In many countries, they must be incinerated. There are also differences in the existing infrastructure for the disposal of plastic packaging. While in some countries, packaging is collected separately and sorted before it can be recycled, in others waste is sent to landfill and so no further life cycle is possible. We intend to further expand the number of sites with an environmental, energy or occupational safety management system. An overview of our management systems can be found in the corresponding chapters in the section “Our impact along the value chain”.

As a company, we have made it our goal to continually measure our environmental impact. Where this effect is negative, we are determined to reduce this. We want to accelerate and expand areas where we make a positive impact. Environmental and social impact is not only positive or negative; it can also be short term or long term, irreversible or reversible and, in particular, the effects can reinforce each other. As a conglomerate, we even find areas of the company with contradictory effects. The primary aim of this report is to present the negative environmental effects transparently and openly and to show how we would like to reduce our impact. To find solutions, it is important to ascertain whether we have a direct or indirect influence in the respective vision and whether the environmental impact is high, medium or low. We present our impact assessment below, with the environmental impact focusing on emissions, water and waste. Social impact centers mainly around knowledge and skills, health and wellbeing, employment, training and education, privacy, safety and protection and social inclusion or exclusion.

Impact / division

 

Greiner
Bio-One

 

Greiner Packaging

 

NEVEON

 

Greiner Extrusion

Materials & Sourcing

Environmental impact

 

High
(direct)

 

High
(direct)

 

High
(direct)

 

Medium
(indirect)

Social impact

 

Medium
(indirect)

 

Medium
(indirect)

 

Medium
(indirect)

 

Low
(indirect)

Inbound and outbound logistics

Environmental impact

 

Low
(indirect)

 

Low
(indirect)

 

Medium
(indirect)

 

Low
(indirect)

Social impact

 

Low (direct and indirect)

 

Low (direct and indirect)

 

Low (direct and indirect)

 

Low
(indirect)

Production & Operations

Environmental impact

 

Medium
(direct)

 

High
(direct)

 

Low
(direct)

 

Low
(direct)

Social impact

 

Medium
(direct)

 

Medium
(direct)

 

Medium
(direct)

 

Medium
(direct)

Use-Phase & End-of-Life

Environmental impact

 

High
(indirect)

 

High
(indirect)

 

Medium
(indirect)

 

Low
(indirect)

Social impact

 

Medium
(indirect)

 

High
(indirect)

 

Medium
(indirect)

 

Medium
(indirect)

Extrusion
Based on the Latin “extrudere”, meaning “to push out”, extrusion describes a process where the solid to viscous, hardenable masses are continuously pressed out of a molding opening (known as a nozzle, die or mouthpiece). This creates bodies with the cross-section of the opening, known as extrudate, theoretically of any length.
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Granulate
Plastic granulates are the typical delivery form for raw material manufacturers’ thermoplastics for the plastics processing industry. Plastic supplied in this form, which is similar to sand or gravel, is easier to transport because it can be poured.
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Impact assessment
This is the name given to systematically identifying the positive or negative impact of economic, environmental oder social activities, projects or policies in place at companies or organizations and assessing these using pre-defined criteria.
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Life cycle
A basic model of the product life cycle defines five phases that a product passes through from market launch to eventual market exit: Introduction, growth, maturity, saturation and decline. The duration of a cycle depends largely on factors such as quality and the supplier’s innovation.
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Logistics
The job of logistics is to ensure the transport, storage, provision, procurement and distribution of goods, people, money, information and energy. This goes hand in hand with the need to manage and control all related tasks.
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Masterbatches
Masterbatches are plastic additives in the form of granulates that contain color or additives. Masterbatches are mixed into plastics to color them or impart other product properties.
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PET
The abbreviation stands for polyethylene terephthalate. PET is a thermoplastic from the polyester family, produced by polycondensation, with a wide range of uses including the production of plastic bottles, films and textile fibers.
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Value chain
The value chain describes the steps along the production chain in order. These activities create value, consume resources and are interconnected in various processes.
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