Responsible Use of Resources
Last week was Earth Overshoot Day. By this day of the year, humanity has consumed as many resources as nature can restore in an entire year. As of now, humanity is living and working on loan for the rest of the year. To help to ensure that the loan is smaller in the future, RKW is working on concrete measures to conserve and save resources.
Natural resources form the basis for a functioning society. However, we are using natural resources to such an extent that they will no longer be available in sufficient quantities in the near future. This makes it even more important to develop strategies to restore the balance of ecosystems. To do this, we need to fundamentally change the way our society produces and consumes goods. As the RKW Group, we are aware of our special responsibility and we are making an active contribution to the further expansion of the circular economy.
Sustainable and economical consumption helps to save resources. However, it is even more important to use resources as efficiently as possible as early as the production of goods and commodities. For years, the use of natural resources has been increasing worldwide: Since 1970, the use of primary materials (i.e. minerals, ores, fossil fuels and biomass) has more than tripled. From around 27 billion metric tons in 1970 to around 92 billion metric tons in 2017. If this trend continues, the world's population will have grown to as many as ten billion people by 2060, and resource use is estimated to be between 143 and 190 billion metric tons.
The extraction of raw materials is usually energy-intensive and involves interventions in the natural and water balance. This generally also results in emissions of pollutants into water, soil and air. The entire value chain of goods has an impact on the eco-balance, as greenhouse gases are released and water is consumed during production, for example, as well as for logistics and sales. Even the recycling of products requires energy or resources. While at the same time, greenhouse gases and other pollutants are emitted when waste is recycled.
The RKW Group is committed to its responsibility to give plastic products a sustainable perspective. We are working to further expand the circular economy for this indispensable raw material. To this end, we are guided by the guiding principle "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle".
Own recycling facilities in all plants
Sustainability means only consuming as much as can be regrown or regenerated within a foreseeable period of time. Resources that are not consumed do not have to be recovered or saved. This principle applies to energy and water consumption as well as to the handling of fossil resources, production waste, consumables and packaging materials.
The RKW Group has been implementing a large number of resource conservation measures in these areas for years. The energy and water consumption of our plants and products is continuously monitored, our production and logistics processes are subject to continuous improvement processes and are regularly put to the test as part of internal audits. (Results: Sustainability Report SDG 12 ). Plastics are usually derived from crude oil and are therefore based on a fossil, finite raw material. The RKW Group is committed to using this resource as sparingly as possible at all its sites and across its entire product range.