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igus® Ltd.

Caswell Road

Northampton, NN4 7PW

01604 677240

Sustainability at igus®


When we first developed high-performance plastics for motion, the topic environmental protection was admittedly not our main focus. We wanted to develop products that drove our clients' manufacturing, improve technology and reduce costs. Despite this, recycling has always been an important topic, enough so, that now we reuse 99% of plastic waste by processing it to make granulate material and feeding this material back into the production process.
 
Today we know that products that last longer and do not require lubrication contribute to preserving our environment. No lubricants means less environmental pollution, less abrasion means less pollution with microplastics and less weight means less energy required for movement.
 
As producers of special plastics, we have clients in many industries as well as the sensitive area of medicine. We are aware of our responsibility and the possibilities that plastic offers in many areas compared to steel and we continue to research into new materials and products, for our clients and for our environment.

We have already accomplished this with our products

Sustainability - durable products  

Our products are particularly durable and are rarely replaced. This is an advantage of our products as our customers run their machines maintenance free and long lasting.

Sustainability - less friction  

Our plastics are tribologically optimised, i.e. they cause less friction. Hence, less energy is required and less microabrasion pollutes the environment.

Sustainability - no lubrication  

Producing 1 ton of plastics uses less energy (160 megajoule) than producing 1 ton of aluminium (600MJ) or 1 ton of steel (320MJ).

Sustainability - 99% recycling into granules  

Since the company was founded, we have been recycling our plastics ourselves and process about 99% into granules, which are then used for production.

Sustainability - bearing exchange  

Not having to replace the entire application when wear occurs was one of the leading ideas when we developed our exchange bearings for linear guides. The practical advantage: The rail is not damaged and the bearing housing can be reused. This conserves resources - and simultaneously results in lower costs.

Sustainability - smart plastics  

Components are not replaced until they have reached the end of their product life cycle - this is the idea behind our smart plastics product range. Sensors indicate wear and parts are replaced when necessary therefore, resources are utilised carefully and rationally.

More sustainable - less weight  

Plastics are lighter than steel and save weight and therefore also energy that has to be used for movement. In an aeroplane, this amounts to roughly 4kg if iglidur plain bearings are used instead of traditional steel based bushings. This again positively impacts kerosene consumptio

Sustainability - plastic vs. aluminium and steel  

Our bearing technology does not require additional lubrication. This does not only keep the application clean, it also avoids pollution of the environment with lubricating oil. 350,000 tons of which end up in the environment every year -  in the UK alone.

Sustainability - iglidur N54  

With iglidur N54 we have developed a standard plain bearing that can be used universally and consists largely of renewable raw materials. The bearing of biopolymers demonstrates that components can be sustainable and motivates us in our future product development.

This is not all we do to conserve resources


We are continuously looking for better solutions, better materials, better product properties. Therefore, our test lab is an inherent part of our product development. But apart from our products there are still many things that we can do to protect our environment and contribute to sustainability. Where new injection moulding machines are to be used in production, we pay greater attention to energy consumption and use models that consume 40% less energy than the existing ones.
 

Sustainability - the chainge  

the chainge: The recycling program for igus energy chains. We take back old energy chains, irrespective of their manufacturer. The customer that returns them is given an igus voucher based on the value of the material.

Sustainability - ISO standard 14001  

In order to make our environmental policy transparent and comprehensible, we have certified ourselves to ISO standard 14001, a recognised basis for environmental management systems. This helps us on our way towards a CO2-neutral factory.

Sustainability - start-up Muro Technology  

The Catalytic Hydrothermal Reactor technology can be used to recycle plastic waste to mineral oil within 20 minutes. In order to support the circular economy of plastics, igus has now invested 4.7 million Euros in a company that plans to start up the first commercial Cat-HTR plant.

Sustainability - task force  

We have started a task force that works on projects dealing with environmental protection in our company.

Sustainability - ride-sharing  

Ride-sharing: employees with the same or a similar way to work can coordinate here to share rides.

Sustainability - recycling into bags  

We recycle trade fair banners into trendy bags we use as giveaways.

Sustainability - planting trees  

Together with two school classes, we have planted 2,500 trees near Chemnitz, which will grow as new mixed woodland in an area of 0.65 hectares. For less carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and greater protection against flooding.

Sustainability - producer responsibility  

We encourage our customers to consider the environment before disposing of any packaging, particularly non-recyclable packaging. 

green-path-award

igus® UK received Greener Path Award certificate - zero to landfill.