The topic of sustainability takes a very high position in TenCate’s expansion, positioning and reporting.
TenCate perceives the implementation of an incorporated sustainability strategy dedicated to biodiversity and the company’s natural surroundings to be the most significant element of the environmental dimension of business enterprise. Throughout this strategy the next subjects are the most appealing:
- Energy control and CO2 emissions. From the beginning of 2013, more than 15 percent of the energy consumed by TenCate came from sustainable sources, including renewable electricity. Environmentally friendly energy sources, like wind energy, hydroelectricity or solar energy today make up more than 15 percent of the company’s electricity consumption.
- Water intake and wastewater. In 2013, water intake by TenCate was decreased by a little over 15 percent as compared to 2012, and wastewater was lowered by almost 16 percent in comparison to 2012.
- Rejects and waste material. TenCate makes use of raw materials as effectively as they possibly can. Inevitable waste components are taken away and dealt with in an ecologically responsible way and handled by highly regarded waste processing businesses. Compared to 2012, TenCate realized a decrease of 5 percent in 2013.
Innovative materials generally come with beneficial environmental impacts, including a decrease in CO2 footprint, and this can be an integral demand booster for superior functional products and materials. Excellent illustrations are automotive composites and a number of geotextiles.
TenCate’s Innovation Strategy
All innovative developments at TenCate typically have a technological background. Good examples are the creation of thermoplastic composite technology (TenCate Cetex®), or technological process development as a result of the application of digital inkjet technology. Innovative developments likewise derive from combinations of pre-existing technologies, as happened with TenCate Defender™ M and TenCate GeoDetect®.
Technological innovative developments are essential to guarantee a company’s future, and it is also essential to continue to improve existing products by integrating and incorporating new technologies. TenCate aims at continuing progress with the intention to allow for or initiate new guidelines and specifications.
The innovation policy of TenCate is centered on revolutionary innovative technological developments that may establish new standards. This process generally requires several years, and the desired outcome is that TenCate acquires a sustainable technology position, typically backed up by patents, resulting in long-term revenue improvement. TenCate holds an energetic intellectual property strategy and now boasts over 670 patents.
The key value drivers for technological innovation are:
- Extensive technological base
- Connections and links with universities, colleges and other knowledge communities and networks
- Membership of many open technological innovation networks
- Internal co-operation and knowledge exchange between the company’s market groups (internal social innovation)
- Knowledge rankings and intellectual property rights
- Market-enticed (applied) innovation targeted at problem-solving
The key targets in the improvement of innovative product-market-technology permutations are:
- Digital printing and finishing technological innovation
- Revolutionary synthetic turf systems
- TenCate ABDS™ active blast countermeasure system
- Automotive composite materials
Significant steps were made in 2013 in all of these sectors of development. Therefore, TenCate is growing dynamically, even in the middle of difficult market conditions. Technological innovation is, on the other hand, a long-term process which is guided toward long-term progression and a sensible CSR policy.
TenCate is operating in several innovation networks where the company offers its own particular expertise, know-how and practical experience.
TenCate additionally works closely together with a large number of universities, colleges, and institutions. In open innovation, TenCate is working on essential structural components of thermoplastic composite materials. Here are a few examples of knowledge networks:
- the Thermoplastic Affordable Primary Aircraft Structures consortium (TAPAS)
- the ThermoPlastic composite Research Centre (TPRC)
- the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC)
- the Aachener Zentrum für Integrativen Leichtbau (AZL)