uvex protects people and the planet
#protectingplanet – uvex protects people and the planet
uvex’s corporate mission of "protecting people" is more relevant than ever!
uvex’s commitment to protecting people also includes responsibility with respect to society and the environment. As a family business, sustainability has been at the forefront of the company‘s thoughts and actions for many years.
uvex has set itself ambitious goals in terms of the environment, the economy and society. In its manufacturing facilities, uvex is working hard to increase energy efficiency and doing everything it can to become carbon-neutral in the near future.
High quality standards for products are combined with the development of recycling concepts and the use of bio-based materials. The durability and long service life of uvex products helps to reduce waste and conserve resources.
Under the motto "protecting planet", uvex is presenting a complete product system of environmentally friendly products for the first time.
We have been protecting people in sports, leisure and at work since 1926. "protecting people" is our mission.
"protecting planet" is the natural continuation of this mission when it comes to treating people, society and nature responsibly.
With "protecting planet", we have created a label that offers maximum transparency and information about our sustainability activities: from resource-saving products and innovative measures in our factories through to social commitment and social projects.
Michael Winter, Managing Partner of the uvex group
The uvex sustainability label: a promise to people and the environment
"protecting people" is the mission behind all uvex group brands.
The aim is to offer people exactly the right protection they need with uvex products. Protection in this regard takes on meaning in a wider social, ecological and economic context. protecting people therefore naturally leads to protecting planet, i. e. expanding this promise to include protecting society and the environment. To communicate these numerous measures, a label concept has been developed that describes the uvex group’s sustainability projects with compelling statements.
Examples for the new "protecting planet" label:
In order to conserve resources and protect the environment, the uvex group processes various types of recycled materials. These include, for example, recycled polyamide from production surplus and recycled PET plastics from drinking bottles, which in turn are used to manufacture frames for our safety glasses and eyewear products, headbands, as well as reading glasses made from at least 70% post-consumer recyclate.
The uvex group refrains from the use of substances that are hazardous to health in accordance with the REACH regulation (EU). In addition, the group has developed its own list of Restricted Substances. The uvex group pursues a corporate policy of exclusively offering products that are free from hazardous ingredients, so that neither the user nor the environment is impacted in an adverse manner. In particular for products that come into contact with the skin such as PPE, the uvex safety group enforces the most stringent criteria that go beyond the applicable EU directives.
To protect the environment, the uvex group works to cut waste at as many different places as possible. To this end, we regularly scrutinise the use of resources in our production facilities on site in order to verify to what extent procedures and processes can be improved. The first specific example of a measure we are implementing in this context is a concerted effort to reduce cardboard material by changing packaging sizes and reusing shipping boxes. In the case of trade fair equipment, the uvex group also relies on loan concepts – this guarantees that the materials can be reused by other companies at a later date.
Environmental protection starts with electricity. For this reason, the uvex group uses green energy across its locations in Germany. This also applies to the locations of uvex safety Cagi in Italy, Swedsafe in Sweden and Heckel in La Walck (Alsace), France. ISO 50001 obliges the uvex group to verify that it has made continual energy savings. However, the uvex group does not simply rest on its laurels there: saving electricity along the value chain also has a high priority. The uvex group ensures sustainable production by continuously implementing sustainability measures at its own production facilities around the world. Individual measures include, for example, LED lighting, state-of-the-art machinery and heat recovery processes.
The uvex group believes that plant and bio-based materials represent the future. For this reason, bio-based HDPE (high density polyethylene) made from sugar cane, Lavalan (pressed wool), Prolan (pressed Bavarian sheep’s wool), rapeseed oil-based PU foams, textiles made from recycled PET bottles in addition to bamboo fibres, bio-based polyamide and other plastics developed on the basis of castor oil are already used in a wide variety of uvex products.
The uvex group stands out from the competition by offering improved product quality that can be empirically verified. This can be seen in the coatings used for our safety glasses, for example. Accordingly, uvex group customers have to buy new products less often because the products can withstand everyday use for a longer period of time. This not only saves money over the long term; it also saves valuable resources and generates less waste.
The uvex group has set itself the goal of continually reducing its own CO2 emissions across various levels. For example, within Germany the uvex group sources green energy on the basis of 100% renewable energies in addition to CO2-neutral gas. In so doing, the uvex group uses infra fürth gmbh to offset CO2 emissions produced by gas combustion processes and supports climate protection projects. Innovative products are produced and services for the global market offered at uvex’s own production plants, many of which are located in Germany and Europe. This firstly guarantees high quality, while also ensuring that transport routes are kept as short as possible. The uvex group makes a key contribution to reducing its ecological footprint by regularly implementing sustainability activities at its production facilities.
As part of its sustainability strategy, the uvex group has defined a target of continually increasing the proportion of environmentally friendly packaging it uses. In this context, for example, climateneutral (a status achieved with the use of offsetting measures achieved by way of climate protection projects) and 100% recyclable packaging is used, which is occasionally even plant-based in the form of grass-based cardboard. Further examples include the use of grass and stone paper in addition to recycled packaging film and bags made from renewable raw materials such as Tencel.
The uvex sustainability label protecting planet can be found on products and their packaging, as well as at trade fair stands or in uvex group catalogues, for example. With this approach, uvex wants to not only emphasise its commitment to these areas of sustainability, but also raise awareness of environmentally friendly and socially responsible business practices.
39 percent of the lens and frame material is made from bio-based material. Castor oil plant is used as the renewable raw material and the energy used in the glasses production is from biomass sources. The soft face seal of the guard version is made up of more than 35 percent recycled granulate, which comes from production waste.
The helmet shell is made of up to 30 percent bioplastic. The organic raw material, sugar cane, is converted using a process that complies with the strictest quality requirements and achieves high stability and strength. 50 percent of the material for the headband is made of helmet shells. This significantly reduces process-related waste during production.
By using bamboo viscose uvex is utilising a renewable raw material and recycled polyamide. Together, these sustainable materials account for 45 percent of the material used. The gloves also offer greater protection to the health of the wearer than stipulated by REACH regulations as they comply with the uvex list of banned substances and the skin compatibility has been dermatologically approved by the proDERM institute.
uvex safety gloves are certified according to both Environmental Management ISO 14001 and Energy Management ISO 50001 and has CO2-neutral production rating. The new block-type thermal power station (BTTP) will further reduce the energy consumption of the Lüneburg plant thanks to the high energy efficiency of > 90% of the new technology. The BTTP already meets the official emission regulations that will become legally mandatory from 01.01.2024 and is therefore one of the first in Germany to meet this standard.
The upper part of the safety shoe is made from 100 percent recycled polyester made from PET bottles. The penetration resistant midsole is also made from 100 percent recycled materials. 40 percent recycled TPU is used for the TPR scuffcap. The shoe’s distance mesh lining is made from 52 percent recycled polyester and 18 percent bamboo fibres. The replaceable comfortable climatic insole is also made of 100 percent recycled PU foam and polyester. The entire safety shoe is manufactured without using any harmful substances as listed in the banned hazardous substances list created by uvex and goes beyond that of REACH.
The uvex plant in Ceva, Italy, was already completely converted to green electricity and green gas a few years ago and hasbeen certified according to the environmental management system ISO 14001 since 2017. In addition, the plant uses renewable energy with a photovoltaic system. uvex places a special focus on waste prevention. For example, some years ago, the shape of the soles were redesigned and as a result significantly reduced the amount of waste. The cleaning and injection process is also continuously optimised. For some time now, all PU waste is collected and processed into granuals ready for reuse. For example, it is used to create our shock absorbing insoles. Up to 10 percent recycled PU waste from uvex’s production is used for the TPU outsole of the uvex 1 G2 planet.
All of the material components of the clothing are completely compostable and all products carry the cradle to cradle™ seal of approval. In addition to the cotton, the use of a special polyester stands out for its ability to decompose when the garment is composted. The cradle to cradle™ clothing uses only substances that have been proven to not affect human health. Furthermore, the cradle to cradle™ Gold certificate ensures that no process chemicals enter waste water. When the clothing has been worn, the components of the clothing can be fed back into circulation by composting.