Injection-moulding specialist Bekina Indurub invests in product range based on Cradle-to-Cradle principle

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Bekina Indurub, based in East Flanders, has been producing synthetic products for 45 years. The company truly believes in the philosophy of sustainable entrepreneurship. "We have earned a bronze C2C certificate, which is proof of our successful total approach," explains Vanessa Verbeken, Area Sales Manager at Bekina NV.

“Bekina Indurub was a pioneer within the Bekina group. In the future, we will use the experience we now gain to assist our sister companies Bekina Boots and Bekina Compounds. We wanted to have the various facets of sustainability objectively evaluated and accredited by an external body. ”

Getting suppliers on board

One of the biggest challenges that Bekina Indurub faced was to convince suppliers about the Cradle-to-Cradle approach. “They were required to share a lot of information, e.g. the composition of their raw materials, with the certification body. A thorough investigation was also carried out into their Code of Conduct, particularly when it came to the ethical treatment of employees”.

Bekina Indurub has deliberately chosen to work with a limited number of suppliers, with whom it had collaborated for many years, and who also saw the benefits of the C2C concept.

Harmless raw materials

“We have consciously selected raw materials that offer greater added value, so they can be processed into high-end products.
This means sustainability and high quality are perfectly compatible.

All raw materials and colorants used, from basic components to additives, were evaluated to be free of elements that are harmful to people and the environment. This is strictly monitored both by Bekina Indurub and the organisation responsible for independent screening.”

Energy management

Bekina Indurub uses solar panels to generate the energy needed to produce its C2C products; and this is perfectly in keeping with the sustainable C2C philosophy.

The company has also introduced several energy saving measures. For instance, heat released when producing synthetic products is used to heat the production area and the warehouse.
Another example involves placing sensors for automatic lighting in areas that are not in continuous use, such as toilets, the packaging department, warehouse, etc.

Water management

Responsible and well-informed water management is an aspect that should not be overlooked. Bekina Indurub is proud that its production process does not use drinking water and does not generate waste water. The entire production takes place within a closed circuit. The next step could involve in-house purification and re-use of water from sanitary facilities at the company’s premises.

Restriction of waste flows

By default, all sprues are recycled inline as standard so that no waste is generated during the production process.
However, the first few products encountered after start-up are often of sub-standard quality. This is currently
being addressed via a pilot project, where we are working with a partner to see if this waste can be sorted and reused for new purposes.

BRAVO project for employees

The final evaluation criterion addresses “social fairness”, which basically means treating employees with respect.
This is about improving ergonomics in the workplace, but also about correctly appreciating and remunerating employees. We also provide tips for leading a healthy lifestyle: We offer electric bikes to encourage physical exercise among employees. We provided a stop smoking course and a coach was deployed to provide information about healthy eating. And the effects are clear to see. For instance, I now see people swapping recipes.”

“What does the future hold for us? We have recently added an extra material to our certificate, so we can offer an even wider range of products. Next month we will be attending a trade fair, which will give us the opportunity to showcase our C2C capabilities. At this moment, we want to expand our range and upgrade our certification to ‘gold’, but our strategy will partly be determined by the response of our customers.

Our hard work has not gone unnoticed. VOKA (the Flemish network of entrepreneurs) screened Bekina Indurub (as Business Unit of Bekina nv) for 5 underlying values: Peace – People – Planet – Prosperity - Partnership. We were thus recently awarded VOKA’s sustainable entrepreneurship charter, which has reinforced belief in our policy.

We are also reaping the first commercial benefits, our bronze Cradle-to-Cradle certificate has already led to new projects. It thus really offers a competitive advantage.”

“How were our efforts received internally?

Everyone supports them, and that’s necessary too; because everyone is expected to do their fair share. This applies to the whole supply chain, from procurement and production, to quality control and marketing - all employees are involved.

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