Environmental Protection

Environmentally sound production and active environmental and climate protection are essential components of our corporate strategy. In order to ensure that our economic activities affect the environment as little as possible, BOXMARK puts a pioneering, ecological and energy-efficient overall concept into everyday practice. In this way we ensure the careful use of resources, reduction of waste and emissions and compliance with legal regulations and standards. Emission data is made public.

Environmentally-friendly leather production
Consistent development and research activities have allowed us to replace the traditional chromium III tanning procedure with a vegetable-synthetic production process in the last few years. This tanning process has allowed us to combine our idea of sustainability and our high quality standards.
BOXMARK has also managed to switch over to heavy metal free pigments in our dyeing operations and only solvent-free coatings are used in the finishing process. This means we meet the EU requirements for end-of-life vehicles, for example. But we do not want to stop there.
That is why we continue to conduct research on new tanning agents and methods with the aim of making our production even more environmentally friendly.


Natural tanning agents

BOXMARK als Technologieführer
BOXMARK kann sich schon seit Jahren als Technologieführer in der lederproduzierenden Branche behaupten. Die Ausführungen der europäischen Kommission im Rahmen der Industrie-Emissionsrichtlinie über den besten verfügbaren Stand der Technik (kurz: BVT oder BAT), werden von uns nicht nur erfüllt sondern bei weitem übertroffen. Um einen kontinuierlichen Verbesserungsprozess zu gewährleisten, investiert BOXMARK permanent in Forschung und Entwicklung.

Qualität und Umwelt gehen bei BOXMARK Hand in Hand. Neben den seit vielen Jahren eingeführten Qualitätsmanagementsystemen ISO 9001 und ISO/TS 16949, wird bei BOXMARK bereits seit 1998 das Umweltmanagementsystem gemäß ISO 14001 angewendet. Umweltmanagement-Audits werden in regelmäßigen Abständen durchgeführt.

BOXMARK´s Ecology Center
Das hauseigene Ecology Center stellt sicher, dass die bei BOXMARK eingeführten Standards nicht nur auf dem Papier existieren, sondern im Unternehmensalltag gelebt werden. Durch entsprechende Förderung und permanente Weiterbildung sind diese Umweltexperten in Ihrem Fachgebiet auf aktuellem Stand. Darüber hinaus tauschen sie ihre Erfahrungen in internen und externen Arbeitskreisen aus und erweitern damit regelmäßig ihr Wissen.

Energieeffiziente Nutzung von Ressourcen
Optimierte Produktionswege, sinnvolle Energierückgewinnung, Kreislaufschließung von Stoff- und Energieströmen helfen mit, den Ressourceneinsatz in allen Bereichen zu optimieren. Ziel ist es, den Anteil an erneuerbarer Energie nach und nach zu steigern.

Neue Photovoltaikanlage im Werk Feldbach
Seit April 2015 wird der Standort Feldbach mit Sonnenenergie versorgt. Auf dem Dach des Werks wurde eine Anlage mit 588 Modulen und einer Nennleistung von 149,94 kWp installiert. Die jährlich zu erwartende Stromproduktion liegt bei rund 168.000 kWh, das ist der durchschnittliche Stromverbrauch für 40 österreichische Haushalte pro Jahr. Ziel ist es, mittelfristig den Großteil der benötigten Energie selbst zu erzeugen.

Photovoltaic system on the roof of BOXMARK Feldbach

Wastewater treatment
Since BOXMARK implemented a three-stage wastewater treatment method in its purification plants, the purification performance has been as high as 98%, far exceeding the required limit values. The technology for the “tertiary purification stage” was developed in-house and has yet to find its match in any other tannery.

Waste recycling

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.

Soil, noise and air
We were able to put an end to soil contamination by proper disposal and thermal processing of wastewater sludge by means of biomechanical treatment. The compulsory use of ear protection, safety training and instructions protect our employees against noise pollution. In order to prevent odor nuisance, all exhaust air is cleaned by biofilter plants.

Biofilter plant in Feldbach

Environmental protection projects
BOXMARK has realized a number of projects in the past few years in order to improve our environmental and energy performance and take the basic idea of sustainability into account, in both an ecological and economic sense. Below are some examples:
• Partial flow treatment of tannery wastewater – hair saving and thus reduction of sludge
• By using O2 probes and a new control system in both purification plants, the energy demand was reduced by 30%
• Installation of a photovoltaic system in Feldbach
• Extraction and use of biogas from wastewater sludge
• Minimizing salt loads in wastewater
• Increasing energy efficiency through conversion of drying tunnels
• Implementation of a new sludge dewatering system
• Substitution of oil burners
• Reduction of waste through increased Recycling
• More precise control of input quantities and measures for sludge reduction
• Optimization of purification processes in order to ensure process reliability
• Installation of a laboratory purification plant to test the products used regarding their compatibility with wastewater purification, among other things
• Recycling of wooden pallets and IBC containers

Purification plant in Feldbach

BOXMARK's goals for the future:
· Heat recovery from wastewater
· Conversion of the ventilation system for additional energy savings
· Further reduction of residual dyes in wastewater
· Feasibility study of “short floats” in the dyeing process
· Green fleshing and increased fat yields
· Further reduction of waste
· Continuous improvement and further development for a “greener” future

Employees in external programs
Work group BAT documents
BOXMARK has been involved in the national work group for revising BAT documents for plant guidelines for EU tanneries. The group determines the state of the art in the industry and this is then recorded in documents that are binding for all companies.

ÖWAV Sample and measurement procedure
BOXMARK developed a standard sample and measurement procedure for surface tension. The measurement procedure was presented to the Austrian Water and Waste Management Association, where it was recognized and is now used as a working tool. This has resulted in increased legal certainty in terms of surface tension measurement.

Purification plant community
The purification plant community is a platform for the exchange of information by municipal and industrial purification plants in the region. The aim is to enhance quality and exchange information, news and solutions to problems. There are also bi-annual meetings that are organized by a different purification plant each time.

ARGE for revising the “Abwasseremissionsverordnung Gerbereien” (wastewater emission regulation for tanneries)
A BOXMARK representative is participating in the revision of the above-mentioned regulation, the basis of which are the “BAT Conclusions”.

Blauer Engel
The “Blaue Engel” (Blue Angel) is an eco-label that has been awarded in Germany since 1978 for particularly environmentally friendly products and Services.

Reach is an EU chemicals regulation that stands for “Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals”. BOXMARK can provide all the declarations of conformity that it requires for all of its products.

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