23 July 2024, 21:24
By Furniture News May 05, 2022

Foam provider issues first sustainability report

The Vita Group, one of Europe's leading providers of flexible PU foam, has achieved a landmark green goal and has launched its first sustainability report, which details how the business has balanced commercial objectives with morally and ethically sound business practices.

Over the last two years, the company has reduced its direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions by -50%, an accomplishment verified in the report.  

The Manchester-based manufacturer’s other key sustainability successes include reducing waste sent to landfill to just 2.01% and launching its first foam range made from raw materials extracted from end-of-life products. 

These environmental achievements have been outlined in Vita’s Sustainability Report 2021 Enhancing Everyday Life, which was launched this week. The sustainability strategy outlined in the report has been created in collaboration with Schneider Electric UK, a global leader in the digital transformation of energy management and automation. 

The environmentally friendly approach outlined means Vita’s methods align with a number of green industry bodies and accreditations. This includes meeting the Paris Climate Accords greenhouse gas targets and signing up to both the Science Based Targets initiative (SBT-i) and the United Nations Global Compact, which commit Vita to ambitious standards of sustainable manufacturing. Vita has also been awarded a silver sustainability rating from EcoVadis. 

The sustainability report outlines how strategic partnerships have been an important part of Vita’s ability to meet its environmental objectives. These partnerships include collaborating with Dow Chemicals and Evonik to repurpose end-of-life foam into new raw materials, such as using RENUVA polyols to create the Orbis range of flexible, revitalised foam. 

Ian Robb, CEO of The Vita Group, says: “The Enhancing Everyday Life report is a testament to what can be achieved by committing to responsible standards of manufacturing aimed at driving circularity in our sector. This sustainability journey has seen us partner with a wide variety of like-minded organisations, ranging from universities to chemical experts, suppliers, and clients, in order to develop advanced solutions. We have also taken many steps to enhance our own R&D capabilities to identify new and innovative products and processes, including investing in four state-of-the-art innovation centres.  

“I am proud to say that the steps we have taken have seen us lead the ESG agenda in our industry. However, our new report doesn’t just outline what we’ve done, but it also sets out how we are going to make our operations even better. This includes some really creative and ambitious targets, such as making sure that all our plants only use sustainable polyols – a key ingredient in the production of foams by 2030 – and sending zero manufacturing waste to landfill by 2040.” 

Dave Kowal, chief people and sustainability officer at The Vita Group, comments: “Alongside our sustainability commitments, we are actively finding ways to empower our employees and enhance the quality of life for our staff and the communities in which we operate. The goals we’ve set ourselves to achieve this and the tangible differences that we’ve already made are also outlined in our recently launched report. 

“Safety plays a primary role in making sure that our facilities and operations support our employees’ physical and mental wellbeing. As the report shows, our safety record has gone from strength to strength in recent years, with the lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) decreasing from 0.79 per 100,000 hours worked to just 0.39 in only three years, and we’re looking at an even lower number this year.” 

Philippe Diez, head of Schneider Electric’s European Sustainability Business, concludes: "We want to congratulate The Vita Group on the publication of its new sustainability report, Enhancing Everyday Lives. Over the course of our work with Vita, we have seen the company take significant strides towards a more sustainable, more responsible, and more circular way of doing business. We are proud to be Vita’s partner in this journey and look forward to seeing what they achieve next.” 

Click here to read the report in full.

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