With its global foothold, Kurz is conscious of its responsibility to mankind, the environment and the sustainable development of the earth’s natural resources and therefore meets the challenge of continuously optimising its manufacturing processes to minimise the impact on the environment. Simultaneously it claims to offer an environmentally-friendly, non-toxic, product.
In today’s environment, characterised by ever increasing energy prices and a shortage of resources, Kurz has set itself a goal to increase the energy efficiency of its manufacturing processes as well as its supply and disposal processes. This requires a knowledge of every energy flow within the organisation, which includes energy saving within its plants.
And, with ongoing product development, processes require continuous optimisation to ensure emissions are maintained below globally-defined statutory limits.
Looking back on ten successful years of its environment management system (EMS), practised every day by each employee, it’s unimaginable to the Kurz team that this could be anything but a permanent element of its management structure.
Known as the Environmental Circle, a team of Kurz personnel meets regularly to discuss key environmental issues that have an impact on operations. These include raw and auxiliary materials, air emissions, the soil and waterways, energy, waste, transport and occupational safety.
In terms of materials, Kurz only uses those with a low hazard potential, in other words that contain no poisonous or carcinogenic substances. Exhaust air flows and the optimisation of thermal efficiency (up to 96%) is used to return energy in the form of heating, which results in a substantial proportion of production-related energy being recovered and the use of natural gas is reduced and therefore lower CO2 emissions.
Additionally, Kurz’s waste management system ensures waste water and residual lacquer is distilled in vacuum facilities. Waste is stringently separated as it’s collected so that certain fractions can be recycled and others, even special waste, are processed for energy recovery rather than being dispelled. Careful handling of water-polluting substances is essential for active soil and ground water protection and Kurz has many precautions in place to ensure this.
Materials and products need to be delivered, distributed and dispatched. To this end clever warehouse design allows Kurz to receive large packing drums. Bulk delivery not only has a related price-aspect but also reduces delivery traffic. Additionally, reusable, stackable metal racks are used to save on packaging material for product delivery to subsidiaries and large customers.
In relation to occupational safety, Kurz cares for the health of employees and not just for the organisation. Through training and informational measures Kurz encourages its employees to direct their energies towards taking responsibility for their own health and safety, as well as that of fellow employees and their immediate work area.
According to Peter Kurz, a Kurz board member, the company’s voluntary participation in EU Eco-Audits ensures Kurz not only profits from an improved company image, but also strengthens its position of trust with customers and the public. In addition, he notes, it also improves material and energy flows and creates better organisation regarding environmental protection issues while minimising emergencies and incidents.
With the consistent positive experience at its German plants, Kurz has now introduced its EMS at its Asian operations. Both locations, KST China and KPM Malaysia, are ISO 14001 certified.
‘We consider it our obligation and responsibility to continue improving our performance in environmental protection in to the future.’ Peter Kurz concludes.
Locally, Synchron is also focused on its environmental impact. According to Synchron’s MD, Sarah Sonnenberg, the company has embarked on a programme to recycle its cores from certain customers. ‘Depending on its success, we’ll extend this roll out,’ explains Sarah.
Additionally, all outer packaging on the foil received from Kurz is completely recyclable and pallets are given to a neighbouring transport business in Montague Gardens .
‘We have also provided our staff with various domestic recycling bins and hope that this, too, will make a difference,’ Sarah concludes.
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