An Environmental Mindset
Responsibly handling resources and managing energy is a key component of our corporate philosophy. Our continued work to adhere to environmental laws, while continuing to develop our technology and the impact it has on the environment will continue to be a major part of our company’s development.
During our production process, it is important for us to have a considerate handling of raw materials that are running short. We do not only focus on the spunlace technology – that can manage without chemical binders, but also the processing and reutilization of the required water.
Since 2014, Norafin has operated using a certified energy management system according to DIN EN ISO 50001. It is our goal to use energy consciously and efficiently throughout our production process.
To live up to this obligation we
- measure and analyze the consumption of all types of energy used and energy input.
- define, analyze and document our manufacturing process and develop measures to continuously improve energy efficiency.
- provide the necessary resources to achieve our energy goals.
- involve employees at all levels in achieving our energy goals.
- make our processes and analysis transparent.
- seek and acquire energy-efficient products and services while economic criteria are considered.
- review regularly the measures of our energy policy and adapt it to current conditions.
- adhere to legal requirements.
Potential savings and measures to increase energy efficiency are planned and implemented with the help of performance indicators (EnPI). The operation of heat recovery systems on our production line is vital and the optimization of continuous recipes are the upmost importance.
We pay special attention to the continuous optimization of our production processes as well as other energetic optimization measures.
As an environmental conscious company, we see it as our duty to keep the environmental impact of our production as low as possible. Our production facilities, the thermal aftertreatment (heat setting) and the textile finishing plant meet the requirements of the Federal Immission Control Ordinance (4th BImSchV).
We attach great importance to keeping emissions of unwanted substances in the exhaust gas as low as possible in our production processes. Exhaust gas scrubbers remove unwanted components and purify the exhaust gas, which is then released into the environment. We work closely with the county environmental authority and an accredited testing laboratory to continuously optimize the process of exhaust gas purification.
During wet solidification, the substances contained in the fibers (e.g., textile lubricants) are rinsed and filtered out of the water through a multi-stage filtration process.
The water treatment takes place exclusively with the water treatment agents approved for drinking water. Water treatment agents are eliminated from the water during the filtration process. On a range-based criteria up to 90 % of the process water used is purified and returned to the solidification process.
The waste water is subjected to regular checks by our internal laboratory, as well as by the competent authorities. Waste water produced is quantitatively measured, partially treated, filtered and in a controlled manner returned to the public sewer network.
In terms of sustainability the goal is to dispose waste of secondary materials as little as possible. These materials are sold to private end customers as well as to commercial customers. To make an optimal recycling process cooperatively sustainable, certain by-products are bought back by fiber suppliers for fiber recovery. In compliance with quality requirements internal by-products are, by means of a special tearing process, processed into recycled fibers and returned to selected products.
With our longtime suppliers, we set value on:
- consistent excellent quality
- retraceable and reliable delivery sources
- effective and short supply chains
- appropriate labeling giving information about origin and production of gray goods
- the compliance with ethical principles and the conformity with our Code of Conduct
- the denouncement of animal testing
- the procurement from sustainable sources or the cultivation under stable price development
We, amongst others, pay attention to the following labels/conformities when procuring our raw materials:
- REACH compliancy
- viscose from sustainable managed forests according to the FSC™-Standards for sustainable forestry
- STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® certified fibers (viscose, polyester, LENZING™ Lyocell, PLA, flax)
For nonwovens made of 100 % viscose, we do also provide product-related food grade certificates.
Renewable raw materials
The use of renewable raw materials is important to us in terms of sustainability of our production chain. It is not only the use of gently produced (natural) fibers being in the foreground, but also the sustainability of the entire value chain with regards to procurement, storage, production, functionalization, and packing of nonwovens as well as the prevention of waste and its recirculation and finally the transport of the raw materials.
We look for alternatives to man-made fibers and the resultant nonwovens. We develop functional materials with further developed features that are not only multi-usable, but also biodegradable at the end of their lifecycle.
Renewable raw materials already processed at Norafin are for example:
- LENZING™ Lyocell
- Sheep Wool
New fibers can be tested and verified in cooperation with our Research & Development department.