Gelita reports strong sustainability progress

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10 Oct 2017 --- Gelita AG’s recently published second sustainability report provides information on the company's environmental, economic and social commitment and illustrates the progress the company believes has been made. This includes a reduction in emissions, despite an increase in production volume.

Gelatin, collagen and collagen peptides are natural products. This is why the producer of collagen proteins, based in Eberbach, says it attaches great importance to the responsible use of resources.

“Our goal is to combine economic success with ecological and social responsibility,” says Dr. Franz Josef Konert, Chief Executive Officer at Gelita AG. The company reports that it is continuously seeking new ways to minimize the impact of its business on the environment at all 21 locations throughout the globe.

Wide-ranging commitment
Gelita's commitment to sustainability covers a wide spectrum, the company notes. Investments in new, energy-saving technologies and improved production processes are said to be just as much a part of the strategy as measures to increase occupational safety or social initiatives for staff members at Gelita locations around the world.

The recently published sustainability report showcases projects that Gelita launched last year and provides information on the progress made. The measures in the plants include, for example, the recovery of water from production, the use of electricity from renewable energy sources or the utilization of residues from gelatine production as compost.

The report also presents the development of some important key figures. For example, despite an increase in production volume, energy consumption, the quantity of fresh water used, the wastewater volume and emissions such as the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) were all reduced.

Looking to help with quality of life
In addition to the continuous improvement of production processes, the focus is on the development of innovative products. “The quality of our products also helps to conserve natural resources, for example, when they are used in fertilizers or detergents. And they contribute to health and well-being," says Michael Teppner, Head of Marketing and Communication at Gelita.

From year to year, life expectancy is increasing. Many people want to remain active and mobile in their old age. Collagen peptides in dietary supplements provide for strong bones and supple joints. In combination with regular weight training, they help to maintain muscle strength. Gelita also produces products for smooth skin, shiny hair and firm fingernails. Numerous scientific studies demonstrate their effectiveness, Gelita adds.

When processing animal raw materials – by-products of meat production, such as cattle hide or pigskin – for gelatin and collagen peptides, fats, functional proteins and minerals also arise.

Gelita points out that it has developed complex processes to produce quality products from these materials – fertilizer, animal feed or biofuels, for example. “Our modern manufacturing processes mean that the raw materials are almost completely utilized in a sustainable and efficient way,” says Teppner.

Focus on people
Sustainable economic management also includes dealing with employees in the right way, the company notes, saying that occupational health and safety are top priorities at Gelita. Among other things, the company notes that improving work processes or investing in safe facilities have contributed to a continual decline in the number of work-related accidents at the sites despite an increase in the number of employees globally.

In 2016, Gelita says it supported 96 projects worldwide, ranging from sporting events and aid for socially disadvantaged people to educating young people. The commitment includes cooperation with schools and study trips or music lessons for talented children and youngsters.

However, sustainable commitment at Gelita means more than just material support, according to Teppner: “Our employees themselves get actively involved in providing help.”

FoodIngredientsFirst recently featured a podcast with Teppner. You can listen to it here.

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