Ensuring sustainability throughout the value chain is important for ITAB. Projects often begin with ensuring that the Group's suppliers conduct their operations in accordance with ITAB's sustainability requirements. ITAB has worked for some years with a supplier policy applicable across the whole group. The policy describes basic requirements that ITAB sets for its suppliers, and includes requirements on their environmental work. In 2019, approximately 721 (715) suppliers have had their environmental credentials examined.
For a producer such as ITAB, it is important to both reduce energy consumption overall, and to increase the proportion of renewable energy used. Active work in these areas is undertaken from both an environmental and cost-effectiveness perspective. The group's production facilities are equipped with modern systems to reduce energy consumption and increase efficiency of various resources. The majority of the group's operations employ systems in which renewable energy is used. Reduction of energy consumption is pushed for across the group, and coordination of this work takes place at group level. There is a simultaneous and ongoing exchange of knowledge with customers, as well as conversations regarding ambitions and expectations in terms of sustainability. There are multiple projects leading to reduced energy consumption, one of which aims to reduce heating costs in the group's powder facilities. Examples of measures taken include using circular facilities for water supply and working with methods allowing for reduced heating in the pre-treatment process. Another ongoing project is to switch all lighting to LED, which offers 30-40% lower energy consumption.
A significant part of the group's indirect emissions arise from transport to and from production facilities. Group companies work actively to reduce emissions while ensuring effective transport, and transport options are considered from both a cost and environmental perspective. For long-distance transport, for example from China to Europe, sea and rail freight is preferred, while air freight is avoided where possible. As itab has a local presence of production facilities close to its customer base, reduced freight distances to customers are achieved. The opportunity to produce locally, and minimize the environmental impacts of freight is a consideration gaining more traction in contract negotiations with customers.
As a supplier to the retailsector, ITAB can contribute to improved resource efficiency and better conditions in relation to environmental responsibility and working conditions in the value chains.
As far as ITAB is concerned, this is mainly taking place within the focus area Value Chain Efficiency, which relates for example to efficiency in respect of energy and material issues along with overall social and environmental responsibility in the value chain.