Reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and achieve cost savings at the same time. This is the challenge taken up by Sincoplas, this French converter specialized in plastic injected parts intended for perfume and cosmetic packagings which employs 100 people on its production site. "The carbon footprint evaluation was undertaken for several reasons", explains Patrice Lhomme, Sales Director, "it was implemented first of course to offer our modest climate-friendly contribution, to act responsibly against global warming, but also to meet customer demand and, why not achieve savings."
Unlike companies with more than 500 employees , French SMEs do not have specific obligations regarding their carbon footprint. But for Sincoplas it was a strategic choice. "Beyond environmental issues, we thought it could be a good opportunity to reduce costs, while anticipating financial risks in connection with rising energy prices and the implementation of a carbon tax."
To succeed in bringing together these different objectives,Sincoplas turned to the Discover company, a service provider specialized in cost reductions and value for money for which, in a competitive market, responsible commitment must be reconciled with the companies necessary development. "Our approach was that, based on the carbon balance, we could identify sources of overconsumption and thus more easily achieve our goals of cost reduction. This fitted perfectly with the approach of Discover who earns a return through its energy saving recommendations," added Patrice Lhomme.
Using the Carbon Balance method developed by the ADEME (French Environment and Energy Management Agency), Sincoplas was able to evaluate its GHG emissions to about 2,107 tons of CO2 equivalent with, as main processes responsible for GHG emissions, inputs (38% of total), followed by future packagings (26%) and energy consumption(15%).
To reduce these emissions, four priority work areas were defined:
energy consumption (equipment upgrading, a better insulation of the production site, etc.),
packagings (finding alternatives to thermo-shrink films, a reduction in the use of thermoformed material),
travels (setting up of a training on eco-driving),
raw materials (a study on alternative materials leading to a lower emissions of GHG emissions while preserving the same mechanical and physical properties).
Once implemented, all of these actions should generate a diminution in GHG emissions by 19% in the short and medium term. "For several processes we will also save some resources by reducing some wastage. Even though we didn’t find a considerable pool of cost reduction at the end of this carbon balance."
Sincoplas will be performing a new carbon balance in two years, in order to evaluate the impact of actions taken. But this experiment is already positive, according to Lhomme. "In terms of motivation first. All the services were involved, results were presented to the whole staff and the action plan was prepared with all team leaders." Above all, Sincoplas considers this type of action as an investment for the future. "Our customers increasingly tend to integrate their supplier’s environmental impact in their selection grid. The reduction in GHG emissions, along with eco-design, will become the norm. One or both of these requirements is now included systematically in the briefs that we receive."
So why not jump the gun straight away to not have to rush and bear the brunt afterwards. Especially since it is not always easy to bring together sometimes opposing demands. "In our industry, the environmental variable adds up to strong price pressure, combined with a requirement to remain uncompromising on luxury codes. The only solution is to act methodically by giving oneself the time to find the best technical solutions," Patrice Lhomme.