Choose your country / language

Sustainability is an integral part of Oerlikon's strategy

Sustainability is an integral part of Oerlikon's strategy. As a global innovation powerhouse for surface technology, polymer processing and additive manufacturing, sustainability is not just a concept, but a living principle.

The 10th issue of Beyond Surfaces is all about sustainability. In each article, you will learn about the diversity and possibilities in which this principle becomes a reality, whether customers are making it happen in their projects, employees in their daily work, in research projects or at the annual AMTC event.

We spoke to Georg Stausberg, Chief Sustainability Officer, Oerlikon, and Dr Sven Hicken, Chief Technology Officer, Surface Solutions Division, to learn more about the background to communicating sustainability proactively and transparently as well as the sustainability goals for 2030.

Flip through the magazine

Great change also evolves out of smaller innovations that reflect a creative mindset and a commitment to making sustainable contributions to the health and well-being of our planet. With Oerlikon’s history of creating sustainability solutions for its clients, green thinking is already integral to Oerlikon’s mission. Teams all around the world are intensifying their efforts to bring this perspective to their own workplace, operations and personal conduct.

Aurangabad, India

Aurangabad, India

Catch and release snakes

For the Oerlikon team in Aurangabad, India, green thinking translated to supporting nature and wildlife conservation in the forests and hills surrounding the facility. Snakes play an important role in the local ecosystem by controlling invasive species and preventing overpopulation of rodents and poisonous snakes. In collaboration with forest officials and licensed trainers, team members learned to catch snakes that ventured onto the property and release them back into their natural habitat.

Vadodara, India

Vadodara, India

Solar initiative

Oerlikon’s site in Vadodara, India, installed a grid-connected rooftop solar photovoltaic power generating system at the facility in 2018. The panels produced about 40% of the electricity used at the facility in 2019, and that rose to 50% in 2020.

Suzhou, China

Suzhou, China

Energy efficiency improvements, zero wastewater and reuse of packaging material

Sustainable systems and processes have also been an area of focus in Suzhou, China, where the Oerlikon team identified energy reduction, water cleaning and reuse of packaging as areas in which it could have the greatest impact.

Equipment updates led to efficiency improvements there that lowered electricity consumption by 430,000 kWh, which translates to 302 tons of reduced CO2 emissions annually. In addition, the Zero Wastewater Project updated the water cleaning system from ultrasound to plasma, which lives up to the target of producing zero wastewater, down from 30 tons per year.

At the same time, a packaging redesign is reducing the use of wood materials by up to 500 m3 annually on initial use — and because the packaging material can be reused up to five times, an additional annual saving of up to 3,500 m3 in wood and an additional 38 tons in metal can be achieved.

Remscheid, Germany

Remscheid, Germany

45% drop in CO2 emissions thanks to a combined heat and power plant

At the Oerlikon facility in Remscheid, Germany, energy consumption provided another context for sustainable innovation. The facility implemented a combined heat and power plant that redirects waste heat produced during the process and uses it in the heating system.

The initial system went live in 2016 and was so successful that a second was built in 2019. Today, these systems are achieving a 45% reduction in CO2 emissions compared with traditional power generators.

Balzers, Liechtenstein

Balzers, Liechtenstein

Fully CO2-neutral

Oerlikon Balzers’ headquarter site in Liechtenstein provides an example to follow not just in greening operations, but in fully achieving CO2-neutrality, although a lot of electricity is needed to operate the coating systems. Heat is provided by the local wood-fired heating plant in Balzers since 2014, and electricity is supplied exclusively from renewable sources (water, wind, solar). In addition, two photovoltaic systems that Oerlikon Balzers invested in as early as 2013 produce around 83,000 kWh per year. There are also several charging stations for electric vehicles installed at the site.

The company has had its own mobility concept for employees for several years, including public transport tickets and a platform for carpooling. As part of the PET recycling program, over 1.1 tons of PET bottles were collected in 2019 — equivalent to savings of around 3,429 kg of greenhouse gases and around 1,086 liters of petroleum.

Contact

Petra Ammann

Petra Ammann

Head of Communications Oerlikon Balzers

Feedback or questions? Get in touch with us!

keyboard_arrow_up