In Harmony with Nature
As the world’s leading manufacturer of premium upholstery leather, BOXMARK considers it essential to produce highest quality products in harmony with nature. Environment-friendly production processes and active environment and climate protection are integral parts of our corporate strategy. BOXMARK’s forward-thinking, ecological and energy-efficient overall concept ensures that our business activities have as small an impact as possible on the environment. In this way, we guarantee that resources are used sparingly, waste and emissions are reduced, and legal regulations and standards are complied with.
BOXMARK´s Ecology Center
BOXMARK’s in-house Ecology Center ensures that the standards introduced into the company not only exist on paper, but are put into practice in our everyday business. Our employees, who are responsible for ecological issues, guarantee environmentally-oriented, state-of-the-art production. Due to the high level of education, appropriate support and ongoing training these environmental experts are always up to date in their field of expertise. In addition, they exchange their experiences in internal and external working groups and thus regularly expand their knowledge.
Environmental Management System
Quality and environment go hand in hand at BOXMARK. In addition to the quality management systems ISO 9001and IATF 16949 that we introduced many years ago, we have also used the environmental management system according to ISO 14001 at BOXMARK since 1998. Environmental management audits are conducted at regular intervals.
Environmentally-friendly Leather Production
BOXMARK sets standards in leather production worldwide, especially as far as ecology is concerned. For us, sustainable tanning means forcing the use of vegetable tanning agents. Due to the consistent development and research activities it has been possible to replace the traditional chromium III tanning procedure with a vegetable synthetic production process.
BOXMARK has also succeeded in converting the leather dyeing process to using heavy-metal free pigments. The finishing of leather articles is done with solvent-free varnish. BOXMARK meets all EU requirements for end-of-life vehicles with all its products.
Optimized production methods, sensible energy recovery, closed cycles of material and energy flows help to reduce the use of resources in all areas of our business. The efficient control and renewal of numerous facilities and systems in the plants saves a lot of energy and CO2.
The Feldbach facility has been powered by solar energy since April 2015. A system with 588 modules and a nominal output of 149.94 kWp was installed on the factory roof. The expected annual electricity production is about 168,000 kWh, equivalent to the average power consumption of 40 Austrian households per year. The goal is to generate enough energy to cover most of its own needs in the medium term.
The prevention of waste is a top priority at BOXMARK. Our ecology concept has enabled us to reduce our total waste by more than 80%. By-products from production, such as tissue residues, are processed into animal fat or alternative fuels, pieces of hide are used as raw material by the collagen industry and leather scraps are sold to bag and belt manufacturers. With the appropriate waste management of the remaining waste BOXMARK has standards above the stringent legal requirements.
The environmental aspect noise is a priority in the company. When purchasing machines and equipment, attention is paid to a noise-reduced version. Noise emissions, which could negatively influence the environment, are prevented by constructional measures. Officially prescribed limits are not only observed but stay far below.
Fully Biological Sewage Treatment Plants
BOXMARK runs state-of-the-art biological sewage plants for tanning waste water at all its leather production sites. Each plant runs a chemical-mechanical pre-cleaning system as well as a fully biological treatment of all waste waters where nitric and phosphate remains are removed. The respective plant areas are permanently monitored electronically. Perfect plant construction, professional operation and maintenance and regulated monitoring of the entire plant, has improved the cleaning performance to a remarkable 98 %, way above the required legal limits. The technology for the “tertiary purification stage” was developed in-house and has yet to find its match in any other tannery. Compliance with the limit values is checked daily in the in-house laboratory and additionally validated by external monitoring.
The reconstruction of the floating aerators and the optimization of the blower stations for the production of process air in the sewage plants reduced energy consumption by around 36%. The annual savings is about 2,100,000 kWh, equivalent to the average power consumption of 475 Austrian households per year. In addition to the enormous energy and CO2 savings (595 tons annually), this also resulted in a reduction in noise emissions and even greater operational reliability.
The implemented sludge dewatering system has significantly reduced sewage sludge accumulation. The successful conversion to chrome-free leather production has resulted in the removal of heavy metals as well as optimized conditioning. This has the added benefit of allowing the sludge which occurs during waster water treatment to be used as compost.