Ecological Responsibility

Our business activities and our production processes in particular are associated with the consumption of natural resources. It is the stated goal of the companies of the Röchling Group to keep this consumption as low as possible. The consumption of electricity and other forms of energy is extremely important in this context. We regularly determine and evaluate our environmental and energy performance, which we continuously improve with a range of measures and energy management systems. The commitment of our employees and management also supports this cause. All divisions conduct a wide range of activities in this area. Röchling analyzes material and energy flows, monitors differentiated waste management and derives improvement potentials from this that are gradually implemented with the help of action plans. Through consistent adherence to relevant legislation, regulations, and the internal instructions derived from these, we can prevent or reduce ecological impacts.

Röchling encourages the environmental and energy awareness of its employees by actively exemplifying values for each other, by providing training for employees and by creating transparency.

The protection of the environment as well as the improvement of living and environmental conditions are key corporate goals at Röchling. Many of the Röchling Group’s locations are already certified to the highly respected environmental and energy management systems ISO 14001 and ISO 50001. These globally recognized standards confirm that we operate effective environmental and energy management systems and deal with natural resources such as air, water, raw materials, and energy in an environmentally conscious manner.

To measure the effects of our business activities on the environment, Röchling relies on CO2 emissions and CO2 equivalents, which result from energy consumption at Röchling itself. The CO2 emissions shown include indirect emissions released by purchased energy.

Environment, energy, quality, health, occupational safety – many Röchling locations are certified.

In percent

Röchling Automotive – Certified to IATF*

In percent

* IATF: International Automotive Task Force (global quality standard in the automotive industry)

Röchling develops customer solutions for the use of technical plastics in long-lasting applications. Röchling wants to make a lasting contribution to the protection of the environment and respects the applicable laws. Our company values, ­company policies with reference to quality, environment, energy, occupational health and safety as well as our Code of Conduct are an expression of these endeavors. We try to substitute hazardous substances wherever possible. We avoid or reduce waste and emissions.

Röchling is aware of its responsibility as a global supplier and is committed to complying with applicable legislation and ordinances.

The chemicals regulation of the EU known as REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals) aims to ensure improved protection of human health and the environment by ensuring better and earlier identification of the intrinsic characteristics of chemical substances. The regulation (EC 1907/2006) came into force on 1 June 2007, and has a direct impact on every player in the plastics value-added chain, including additive manufacturers, plastics manufacturers, plastics processors and the plastics retail industry (plastics­europe.org). In the event of changes to the directive, primarily changes to the SVHC (Substances of Very High Concern) list, the Röchling Group companies check whether listed substances are contained in the articles to be delivered. If so, they inform the customers and initiate all necessary steps.

Likewise, Röchling is committed to adhering to Directive 2011/65/EU (Restriction of Hazardous Substances/RoHS 2) and consequently contributes to customer satisfaction and to the reduction of environmental impacts.

Notifiable Environmental Incidents Within the Röchling Group

Hazardous Waste at a Constant Level

Hazardous waste (in kilograms) relative to the raw materials used (in kilograms) in percent

Examples of Activities at the Röchling Group
As a plastics processor that purchases a variety of raw materials and converts them using special formulations into plastic products, Röchling has a major interest in using these raw materials as efficiently as possible. Thermoplastic materials have the unique characteristic whereby products or product residues made from them can be crushed and reprocessed. For this purpose, Röchling operates a large number of technical facilities that already ensure homogeneous separation during the production process or even direct recirculation into the process. For instance, unsellable product quantities that are unavoidably produced for technical reasons when extrusion lines start up are collected by type and sent to a regeneration department, where they are converted into raw materials suitable for reprocessing. For the manufacturing process using presses, the filling quantities for the compression molds are optimized to minimize the loss of material due to spew. When machining takes place in the form of lathing or milling, the semi-finished products used are already cut prior to machining so that they are close to the final dimensions of the finished component. This means that only a small amount of material needs to be removed. The chips produced during the machining process are suctioned off directly at the milling head and collected by type. The resulting chips are crushed during the regranulate preparation and sent to be reprocessed as semi-finished products. These processes have been optimized at Röchling so that more than 90 percent of chips and leftover pieces produced are sent for reprocessing within the company. Products manufactured from recycled material have virtually identical technical properties as new, pure material. Even sheets produced from chips of different colors can still be used in reasonable applications in which a non-homogeneous appearance is not important.

• Biofilter Plant
At the Haren location, Germany, Röchling has been operating a biofilter plant since 2004 for the exhaust air produced in the pultrusion process. When profiles are manufactured from glass fibre reinforced plastic (pultrusion), the solvent styrene serves as a reactor for the curing process. After the resin system has cured, the styrene escapes as a gas into the exhaust air and is suctioned off directly and fed via a pipe system to what is called a biobed. This consists of a three-meter thick accumulation of filter material made up of root wood and bark humus, which serves as a bio­carrier for bacteria and fungi. The surface of the filter material is coated with a moisture film that binds the air-polluting substances. The ­bacteria and fungi absorb the monostyrene as nutrition, breaking it down chemically into carbon dioxide, ­oxygen, and water. In order to thrive, the bacteria and fungi need constant conditions with regard to moisture, pH value and temperature. For this ­reason, these factors are continuously monitored. The filter material is replaced at regular intervals.

This is how much energy the Röchling Group consumes ...

... relative to the raw materials used.

Energy consumption (in kilowatt hours) relative to the raw materials used (in kilograms)

... relative to generated sales.

Energy consumption (in megawatt hours) relative to sales (in millions of euros)

• Federal Energy Scouts Award 2018
On 28 June 2018, the best Energy Scouts projects of the year 2018 were acknowledged by the German Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Berlin. On this occasion, the prize in the “medium-sized companies” category was won by apprentices at the Röchling Automotive location in Worms. The team of industrial and process mechanics, machine and plant operators, as well as IT specialists had determined that switching off the contact heating of a specific press becomes worthwhile from downtimes as short as five minutes. In the future, this heater will be equipped with a standby function and a display showing the required heating time. The investment amounted to 2,000 euros. The optimization of electricity consumption is expected to yield annual savings of up to 150 metric tons of carbon dioxide and 49,000 euros. The “Energy Scouts” project is a qualification program for apprentices under the small and medium-sized enterprises initiative “Energy Transition and Climate Protection” organized by the Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Germany. The apprentices are encouraged to work as energy scouts at their training companies to detect and document energy saving opportunities as well as to suggest and implement improvements (rheinhessen.ihk24.de).

This is the level of CO2 emissions produced by the Röchling Group ...

... relative to the raw materials used.

CO2 emissions (in kilograms) relative to the raw materials used (in kilograms)

... relative to generated sales.

CO2 emissions (in metric tons) relative to sales (in millions of euros)

*excluding Röchling Precision Components companies