The comprehensive initiative, under the motto “blue vision – responsibility designs future”, is based on minimising the use of raw materials, reducing emissions and increasing the health protection of its employees.
“It is not only about saving ten or twenty percent of energy, but about creating sustainable, environmentally compatible and hence competitive production sites and products, including sustaining health and performance of the employees at the workplace,” commented Reinhold Mühlbeyer, chairman of the Arntz OPTIBELT Group’s management board.
Since 2005, the company has been certified according to the environmental management standard DIN EN ISO 14001 and since then, has continuously improved its environmental performance. “This year, we are planning to introduce the energy management standard DIN EN ISO 50001 at all of our German locations,” added Konrad Ummen, managing director of Arntz OPTIBELT Group. “Next in the process, the energy flows in the company will be recorded in detail. Afterwards, building on this, further measures for energy conservation will be implemented.
In order to monitor the enforcement of its objectives, the company has created an energy manager position. With the HSE department (Health, Safety, Environment/Energy), operating at a group-wide level, a staff unit has been established to coordinate and implement company goals. Through this, activities are consolidated and synergies are created.
By means of measures taken in the area of energy efficiency improvement at the Höxter location, the heat energy requirements in the sales administrative building, for example, have been decreased by approximately 50 percent since 2011. This corresponds to a savings of more than 2,000 litres of heating oil or 6,500 kilograms of CO2 per year.
The energy efficiency of the newly established office space for marketing, product development and quality management has been optimised according to the German Energy Saving Ordinance, EnEV 2009. The introduction of motion detectors for light and exterior lighting based on LED technology add to these measures. At the same time, optimised production processes have been developed to minimise the use of raw materials and fuels during production of the high-performance drive belts.
In this way, OPTIBELT has developed an innovative process to increase the material flow management of high-quality resources using rubber recycling. The process has been distinguished and supported by the Federal Environment Ministry. In the meanwhile, a related plant has just been successfully put into operation at the Höxter location.
Rubber recycling plant at the Höxter location
In the spring of 2013, the company also introduced the development study of a carbon-free ribbed belt at the most important industry trade fair in Hanover. “This is technically impressive due to the reduction of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. The PAH content is under the analytical detection limit,” explained Konrad Ummen. “With this, we continue our exemplary endeavours to produce innovative and, at the same time, lasting drive components.”
Regular employee trainings on how to use resources sparingly, specific energy conservation tips, as well as initiatives for heath protection compliment the company’s sustainability offensive. For example, trainings are carried out on protection of the skin, careful handling of forklifts and many other topics. Subsequently, the measures are also extended to international locations such as China and Romania.
“Our commitment goes much further than merely complying with safety requirements. We support our members of staff with the promotion of their health, for example, with individually tailored hearing protection, custom-made safety boots, and sponsoring sport activities. In addition, an internal employee suggestion system promotes employee corporate identity and motivation,” explained Reinhold Mühlbeyer.