A Focus on Sustainable Product SolutionsIncreasing environmental awareness, resource scarcity, and growing costs play a large role in just about every branch of industry today. Lawmakers are also enacting binding regulations that must be adhered to. In the automobile and commercial vehicle industries, these take the form of stricter emissions controls or material requirements. NORMA Group therefore places a great emphasis in its product portfolio on value-adding solutions that help its customers to reduce emissions, leakage, weight, space, and assembly time.
NORMA Group products contribute to greater sustainability in various ways. By preventing leakage, for example, they help to conserve resources and increase efficiency. Use of our products also helps reduce emissions that have negative climate impacts. In addition, they support efficient use of water resources. Seen against the backdrop of global megatrends, in particular, NORMA Group products make a substantial contribution to sustainable development. GRI [G4-EN27]
The German Scientific Advisory Council on Global Change (Wissenschaftlicher Beirat der Bundesregierung Globale Umweltveränderungen, WBGU) is one of many institutions examining global megatrends. It was set up by the German government as an independent advisory body in 1992 in the run-up to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. The WBGU found that mankind is increasingly testing the planet’s limits and in so doing is threatening the very basis of human existence. These threats include growing climate change and the destruction of biodiversity.
Companies are among the key players driving the necessary transformation to a sustainable society. For NORMA Group, the crucial megatrends are climate change – caused by the emission of greenhouse gases – and the increasing scarcity of resources. They make it necessary to use natural resources such as water efficiently and sparingly.
At an international level, comparable initiatives have been developed by the World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD), which established the “Action 2020” platform, and the United Nations (UN), with its programme of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
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Sustainability across the Entire Value Chain(1) Procurement of Raw Materials
NORMA Group takes care to procure manufacturing materials with the lowest feasible environmental footprint. At the same time, the products we manufacture must meet the high quality standards of our customers. (Sustainable Supply Chain Management)
(2) Use of a Comprehensive Environmental Management System at the Group Level
Internal production processes are continually being optimised. We have also introduced a fully integrated environmental management system for the entire Group. (Environment)
(3) Recycling Manufacturing Waste
Metal waste in particular is almost entirely recycled. (Waste and Recycling)
(4) Functionality of NORMA Group Components in End Products
NORMA Group product solutions in the categories clamps, fastening elements, and fluid systems are used in the construction of various end products. The primary purpose of our products is to ensure the efficient transport or use of fluid or gaseous materials. The functionality of these joining solutions focuses above all on the aspects of emissions, leakage, weight, and space.
Many of our products are used in emissions reductions. For example, our products can be used to reduce nitrogen oxides in emissions from internal combustion engines. Joining technology produced by NORMA Group prevents leakage of liquids and gases, and thus contributes to the proper functioning of drinking water, sewage, and drainage systems.
Alongside the actual functionality of our product solutions – joining and sealing – their physical weight is playing an ever greater role in environmental sustainability today. Our most recently developed products are therefore often lighter and contribute to a reduction in the weight of end products such as cars or airplanes. Significantly less CO2 is released as a result.
As a rule, our customers are involved in the development of our products and are therefore thoroughly familiar with their use. If this happens not to be the case, NORMA Group provides the purchasers with detailed instructions on the product’s possible applications and conditions of use. Consequently, there have been no instances in which NORMA Group has been accused of failing to comply with regulations concerning product identification, of labelling products in a way which is incorrect, incomplete or misleading, of violating product-related regulations, or of disregarding non-binding codes of conduct. GRI [G4-EN7, G4-PR2, G4-PR3, G4-PR4]
(5) Recycling NORMA Group Products
NORMA Group products are integrated in end products in such a way that it is virtually impossible to remove and return individual components. For this reason, we are generally not involved in the recycling of our own products. (Waste and Recycling) However, many of our components are developed and integrated in such a way that the end products themselves can be recycled. In the automotive industry and other technical sectors, in particular, we support the requirements of regulatory agencies as well as additional expectations that may extend further. The objectives of the return systems are to ensure that waste is processed properly with respect to the environment and to recover and recycle raw materials. GRI [G4-12]
Resource-Efficient Products in All Segments
Among the resource-efficient products of NORMA Group are its Urea Transport Systems (UTS). UTS systems are pipes for transporting liquid urea. They help to reduce nitrogen oxides and lower emissions of harmful exhaust gases, thus making a valuable contribution in the fight against climate change. Legal regulations encourage the use of this solution – both European requirements such as the Euro 6 standard regulating exhaust emissions in the EU automotive industry as well as standards in other countries, including China, Brazil, and the US.
Energy must be conserved to protect the climate. There are two ways to support this objective in automotive manufacturing, either by reducing weight or by decreasing installation space. With this mind, we redesigned the PS3 connection system for cooling water systems. These efforts have resulted in a very compact connection system that can be used even in tight installation spaces. More generally, optimisation of our auto manufacturing products is not restricted to reduced weight and installation space; the assembly process has also been simplified and recyclability improved.
Another example can be found in the NORMA Group water meters used in Vietnam. After all, water is a valuable resource and must be protected. The more we reduce unnecessary water consumption, the better it is for the environment – and that is exactly what our products help to accomplish. Drinking water pipelines in Ho Chi Minh City are currently undergoing a complete overhaul and expansion. NORMA Group water meters are our contribution to this extensive project.
Water Resources Increasingly Relevant for Business ActivitiesA sign of how very important water resources are for NORMA Group can be seen in our acquisition of the US water management company National Diversified Sales (NDS) toward the end of 2014. This has allowed us to significantly increase our water management activities and advance the diversification of our business. Because of the increasing scarcity of water – a phenomenon that can be seen in many areas around the world – and the resulting need to use this important resource responsibly, water management continues to gain in significance. We aim to systematically pursue the resulting business opportunities.
Conserving Water in California
Households and companies in many different regions around the world – for example, in California – are being called on to convert to newer technologies and reduce their water consumption. At the same time, innovation is being promoted and economic growth accelerated in these markets. With its efficient solutions for water supply and infrastructure, NORMA Group is meeting these needs. In California, the use of drip irrigation systems has proven very successful. NORMA products such as irrigation and drainage systems as well as product solutions for rainwater treatment can make a significant contribution to water conservation, especially considering the increase in extreme weather conditions around the globe.