Our Sustainability Certifications
Our aim at Coats is to make our own business activities as sustainable as possible and also to provide products and services that provide sustainable options to our customers and all subsequent users.
The textile supply chain is complex and multi-tiered, and we strongly believe that only by working together across networks of formal and informal groupings, can players in the supply chain significantly improve compliance standards and retain the industry’s licence to operate while also winning the competitive battle for consumers’ hearts and minds across the globe.
Managing precious resources wisely
Without water we could not make thread. Most of the water we use is in dyeing our products, but it’s also used to produce the raw materials we need and throughout the manufacturing process. It is a vital and shared resource and we need to make sure we use it efficiently, particularly as water is scarce in some parts of the world.
We have made considerable reductions in water consumption over recent years, achieving a reduction of 28% in the 6 years up to 2018, our new base line. We have committed to a higher rate of reduction over the next period up to 2022. In 2019 we achieved a reduction of 2% as we introduced and trained people on new approaches to water management that will facilitate increased reductions in the coming years.
These reductions will mainly be through changes to processes we use, but also through increasing awareness amongst our employees.
In all the new dyeing machines that we install, we are now able to dye with half the amount of water used in traditional machines, so as we replace old machines or expand capacity, we will utilise increasingly less water. We have also been developing new approaches that allow us to get some of those same benefits on existing machines.
We have also increased the amount of water we recycle, which now represents 24% of the total amount we use. For example, at our manufacturing unit in Sevier, in the US, we have started to recycle water discharged from the water-cooled air conditioning system saving 10% of the site’s total water use every year.
Renewables for sustainable future
The use of fossil fuels and the associated greenhouse gas emissions contribute to climate change. Climate change can potentially damage our business and the communities we serve, as global temperatures increase and weather patterns are affected. We clearly have a responsibility to reduce our contribution to this and thus help to mitigate these risks.
In the 6 years to 2018, our new base year, we reduced our total emissions by 19% while production increased, so our emissions intensity dropped by 25% over this period. In 2019, we generated 275 thousand tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. This is a reduction of 3% compared to the same period the previous year, while production volumes dropped by 2%, so the net reduction in emissions intensity was 1%.
Our aim is to increasingly use renewable energy, mainly in the form of electricity. Last year, 32% of our energy mix was renewable.
Protecting our planet
To ensure sustainable growth, now and in the future, it is important that we use resources efficiently. We reduce, reuse and recycle our waste, using resources economically and limiting the disposal of waste to landfill.
Since 2018, we have been focusing on extending our waste reporting to include all areas of our business activities and to form the basis for our future reduction targets. In 2019, 9% of our purchased materials became waste of which 71% was reused or recycled.
Furthermore, we are increasingly using others’ waste to produce innovative new recycled products. For example, we manufacture our recycled EcoVerde threads from discarded plastic (PET) drinks bottles. Coats EcoVerde was the first globally available 100% recycled range of premium sewing threads on the market and offers the same proven level of performance as the industry’s leading non-recycled threads. The core products in this range were launched in 2018 so sales are currently small but demand is growing rapidly. We also manufacture recycled metal and plastic zips; Opti M EcoVerde and Opti S EcoVerde. We have also increased the use of recycled material in our product packaging and this now accounts for 60% of our packaging. We are also engaged in trials with customers to try to reduce the amount of packaging that we use for our products.
We also work closely with our customers to help them use more sustainable materials and reduce their waste. For example, we have developed advanced, high-performance thermoplastic products that are lightweight yet extremely strong for use in the automotive and aerospace industries, which can help reduce the weight of vehicles thus making them more efficient to run. These materials can be formed into the right shape and size, with virtually no waste, and they are also recyclable at end of life.