Our sustainability pledge

Being at the heart of people’s lives, comes with a responsibility towards our ecosystem. Sustainability has always been a large part of what we do and who we are. That is why we are taking a stance on sustainability by telling the story of what it means to us.

Our conviction

Sustainability has always been a large part of who we are. Ravago has been committed to various aspects of sustainability since the company was founded in the 1960s. Today, the word sustainability has become a different animal, politically charged, polarizing, often misunderstood and misused.

We want to take a stance on sustainability by sharing our interpretation, what it means to us and how we aim to make a difference on a global scale. Like our core values – entrepreneurship, humility, professionalism, and human focus – our sustainability pledge is at the heart of our company and strives to reach a balance between people, the environment and business.

In other words, we are making a promise to our employees, customers, suppliers, and everyone who is a part of our company’s ecosystem. Together, we will make an impact through our four sustainability principles: recycling excellence, community engagement, environmental footprint, and strategic partnerships.

Our 4 sustainability principles

"We want to give back to the world what it has given us."

Axel Roussis

Recycling excellence

Giving waste a second life, that is how it all started for Ravago. When our founder Raf Van Gorp saw the potential of discarded products, he started recycling avant-la-lettre. Today, as one of the leading plastics recyclers, Ravago continues to push the boundaries in recycling technologies and applications.

Through technological advancement, we are able to recycle more and more types of plastic waste. Together with product manufacturers, we help design for recycling and develop new applications for recycled plastics. Step by step, Ravago is working towards solving the plastic waste issue and making plastics truly circular.

Examples:

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From carpets that are soft underfoot to types that are suitable for industrial functions, Ravago’s expertise in re-purposing end-of-life nylon carpeting allows us to redirect landfill and create value instead.

fishing-nets

Similarly, we recycle the nylon fibers from used fishing nets from fish farms. Our recycled nylon compounds can be used for filler reinforcement, UV stabilization, and impact modification, and are found in familiar markets such as automotive, furniture and sporting goods.

Along with post-industrial plastic scraps, we use different post-consumer waste streams in our compound formulations. Caps, closures and end-of-life crates are recycled back into polypropylene automotive compounds, whereas used bottles are the main ingredient for our recycled polyethylene blow molding compounds. Despite the difficulties posed by input materials with contaminations and abnormalities, we are able to deliver consistent quality for demanding, high performance applications.

Community engagement

Since the early years, giving back to the community has been embedded in Ravago’s DNA.

We organize and support non-profit initiatives in all the local communities in which we are present and encourage our employees to be actively engaged.

Ravago donates to charities across the globe every year, with a specific focus on medical research, education, and community building.

Examples:

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Habitat For Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope. They organize events such as the Home Builders Blitz, where they build five complete homes in five days, mostly with donations from local builders. It is truly incredible to see it all come together so quickly, every time. Ravago contributes annually by donating, and many more employees volunteer their time to support the organization.

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During Diwali in India, the five-day festival of lights, the gifts we receive from our beloved customers are ceremoniously auctioned to our employees. The proceeds are later given to charitable organizations and the gifts the employees receive are also passed on to the needy.

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Furthermore, Ravago India provides basic necessities to neighboring slums by conducting charity drives to distribute meals, clothes and other household items they require. Important to know is that these goods are collected from and distributed by our Ravago employees.

Environmental footprint

In a world where natural disasters and animal extinctions are all too common, we try to do our part by minimizing the footprint we leave on our planet and balancing by encouraging innovative initiatives to protect it.

We have invested in solar, biomass, and wind energy to ensure that a large part of the energy that our factories consume is renewable. We continuously optimize our warehouse network in order to minimize the distance that our products have to travel. Our building solutions division manufactures insulation materials to better insulate homes, resulting in lower energy bills and less carbon emissions.

Together with our employees we initiate projects, small and large, to foster a better environment for all – from planting trees and installing beehives, to supporting electric mobility and cleaning up waste.

Examples:

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Near the port of Volos, Ravago built and now operates Greece’s largest and most modern biomass power plant. The plant produces renewable electrical power to supply the production facilities in the Volos industrial zone through the combustion of olive pomace and other agricultural waste.

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Ravago invested in solar parks –and panels close to and on its manufacturing sites and warehouses across the globe. The goal is to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Strategic partnerships

Being the intermediary between the chemical industry and product manufacturers puts Ravago in a unique position to partner with both sides to develop effective and innovative solutions for sustainability.

We are working with suppliers to introduce recycled pallets and bags into the supply chain, and to devise forms of logistical integration in order to eliminate truck transports. Together with our customers, we’ve developed ways to reduce the weight and thus the environmental impact of their products, to incorporate recycled plastics or bioplastics in them, or to make them easier to recycle after use.

In our entrepreneurial and impact-driven spirit, we will continue to innovate along the value chain to make our industry valuable for society.

Examples:

sustainability-chair

Ravago Chemicals companies InAqua and Phoenix enable state-of-the-art water management internationally by supplying products and equipment for different types of water treatment facilities. At our own manufacturing plants, Ravago uses closed-loop water circuits employing our own filter elements and pressure vessels.

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We develop and produce anti-fog additives and UV-light stabilizers. In agriculture and packaging applications, for example, these additives have great benefits such as prevention of crop damage and extended shelf life, which result in less food waste.

sustainability-caps

Our logistics terminal right next door to one of our suppliers’ production site represents a triple win. A direct hydraulic pipeline now delivers the supplier’s plastic granules directly to our terminal, where they are stored on-site, replacing reliance on intensive truck transport. This not only reduces CO2 emissions, but eliminates risk and damage to the product. In addition, the new layout has allowed our supplier to significantly reduce its logistics cost base at its facility.

sustainability-caps

One of Ravago’s distribution channels and two of its key supply partners, have successfully completed a project together with a strategic customer in the protective packaging market, resulting in a 30% reduction in the polymers used in a majority of the applications. Down-gauging overall film thickness through innovative formulations and replacing traditional materials not only enables enhanced performance but also a reduction in the carbon footprint and landfill content. This is a concrete example of Ravago connecting crucial partners in the industry.