What was once considered something only select companies committed to, sustainability has now become a societal expectation. While some companies make a surface commitment to satisfy their customers, others have embraced sustainability in plastics as part of their identity — aligning sustainability objectives with core values. Ensinger falls among the latter.
We’ve all seen the images of plastics piled in landfills or washing up on shore, harming wildlife. With the negative press plastics get, it is easy to assume that plastics cannot play a role in a sustainable world. However, plastics can take a seat at the table. In fact, plastics can be a more sustainable option than other materials. Plastics require less energy to manufacture, produce less waste during production, and are easier to recycle than some materials. While the properties of plastics and the products they are used in can contribute to the sustainability story, manufacturers also have a pivotal role in reducing the environmental impact.
The Plastics Industry Association encourages manufacturers to use scientific data to incorporate sustainability into all facets of their operations, including reducing the impacts on natural resources, minimizing waste generation, and shifting toward renewable energy options. The industry has dedicated billions of dollars to fund innovation and advocacy to reduce the environmental impact of plastics.
Ensinger’s Commitment to Sustainability
For Ensinger, our commitment begins with the engineering plastics we use. The semi-finished products and components we manufacture are used in various applications. When properly designed and used, these components often go into parts and products that reduce the negative impact on the environment. For example, many engineered plastics have desirable properties of metals but are considerably lighter. When used in automotive or aerospace applications, fuel consumption is reduced. Engineering plastics can also eliminate the use of lubricating oils and greases on parts and minimize assembly and maintenance costs.
Our Manufacturing Facilities
Sustainability is an inherent part of our core values. We have taken company-wide steps to use materials, energy, and water as efficiently as possible, to avoid water and air pollution, and to minimize hazardous chemicals’ use and waste. Production facilities optimization has been a critical focus, including using optimized tools to improve output and reduce the reject rate, and reducing energy consumption using new and more efficient drive motors and the optimized use of compressed air.
Recycling or scrap reprocessing is a vital component of our sustainability plan. Maintaining the material’s technical properties, i.e., ensuring no impurities are introduced and polymer chains are not broken down, requires careful process management and knowledge. In-house processed materials are added to specific recipes, and materials that cannot be processed in-house are sold to external companies.
Looking Toward the Future
We acknowledge our responsibility toward tackling climate change and commit to contributing to this goal. We have committed to the Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi) to design our targets in conformity with the Paris Climate Agreement. The SBTi has an ambitious goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels using scientific methods. Our current plan includes the goal of reducing greenhouse-relevant emissions by 45% by 2030 and achieving Net Zero by 2045, which means reducing the emissions in our sphere of influence to a large extent in absolute terms.
To learn more, read our 2022 Sustainability Report, which reinforces our family-owned company’s commitment to a sustainable approach and comprises four areas: Strategy and Processes, Environment, Social Affairs, and Corporate Governance.