Ecological sustainability

As one of Europe’s leading textile recycling companies, TEXAID is strongly committed to meeting its great responsibility towards the environment, people and society. Consequently, continually improving climate and environmental protection is an integral part of the company's strategy. With this in mind, TEXAID has been optimising its work processes and quality standards for years and is proud to offer sustainable solutions for used textiles.

Environmental and energy policy
TEXAID continually seeks to enhance its environmental, sustainability and climate strategy in order to carry on fostering and expanding its environmentally-responsible and climate-neutral corporate culture. It develops and implements measures to reduce energy consumption in the long term. On this basis, we have developed the TEXAID environmental policy and defined specific key objectives.

TEXAID’s environmental and energy policy is based on the following key objectives:

  1. Increasing employees’ environmental awareness by offering targeted training and further training. It also offers explanations about topics related to the environment and energy and provides information about the company’s value-adding activities, so that all employees can perform their tasks and activities in a responsible manner. Our objective is to ensure that every employee sets a good example for protecting the environment and saving energy through his or her personal behaviour.
  2. Guaranteeing the resource-friendly collection, high-quality sorting and ecologically sustainable recycling of textiles. The motto here is “use before recycling”. In cases in which this is no longer possible, textiles are taken as an intermediate product or raw material to make new products using innovative and environmentally friendly methods.
  3. Aiming to establish active partnerships with relevant stakeholders and together continually increasing environmental and energy efficiency, fostering close collaboration with municipalities, local authorities and the retail trade in the field of recycling and waste management.
  4. Paying attention to the environmental impact and economic efficiency of the products and services procured.
  5. Where possible, using vehicles with environmentally friendly engines (hybrid, gas or electric) from our own vehicle pool or, where this is not possible for technical or economic reasons, at least using vehicles that comply with the current European exhaust standards or higher.
  6. Taking into account ecological and economic aspects, offering customers services involving combined transportation (road-rail) wherever possible.
  7. Advocating sustainable climate protection and the active reduction of CO2 emissions.
  8. Obtaining energy from renewable sources wherever possible and avoiding the use of nuclear power.
  9. Adhering to all laws, directives and restrictions relating to environmentally-oriented and energy-efficient management, as well as to the company’s own environmental and energy policy.
  10. Regularly measuring resource consumption, emissions and other environmental protection data, verifying compliance and ensuring continuous optimisation on the basis of new findings by conducting surveys and audits, whilst issuing information about our efforts both inside and outside the company.

Reduction of CO2 emissions
TEXAID is constantly expanding its sustainability strategy and reducing its consumption of resources. It has set itself the goal of reducing the CO2 emissions caused by its own activities. In 2018, TEXAID saved 44 percent of CO2 per tonne of used clothing collected (in relation to the survey base year 2013). This was achieved by measures such as purchasing electricity from renewable energy sources, using collection bags with a proportion of recycled granulate and cooperating with Swiss Post for street collections.

TEXAID Switzerland hired the environmental consulting firm Swiss Climate AG to prepare a greenhouse gas balance analysis and defined measures which will allow TEXAID to continuously reduce greenhouse gases and develop a comprehensive climate strategy. The system parameters for the analysis cover all the operational activities conducted by TEXAID Switzerland. 

Transportation and consumables are the main sources of emissions
The majority of TEXAID Switzerland’s greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation (70 percent) and the use of consumables (19 percent). TEXAID Switzerland was awarded the “CO2 Neutral” quality label by Swiss Climate in 2015 for its comprehensive climate management. This label is the highest quality standard for companies which are committed to long-term climate protection. TEXAID climate management has been verified by the SGS (Société Générale de Surveillance SA).

44 % less CO2 emissions
As a certified textile recycling company, TEXAID is required to define a climate target, regularly conduct risk and opportunity analyses and implement specific measures to improve its greenhouse gas balance and compensate for unavoidable emissions. In 2013, TEXAID announced that it would seek to reduce the amount of its CO2 emissions per ton of collected second-hand clothing by 15 percent by the year 2020. This commitment to an environmentally friendly corporate culture has continued to grow in a positive direction. Since 2013 TEXAID Switzerland has already succeeded in reducing its CO2 emissions by 44 percent.

CO2 compensation project
TEXAID has supported a biomass project in Bulgaria since 2017 to compensate for the remaining emissions. This climate-protection project involves transforming sawdust into steam. A closed life cycle of pulp production and the recycling of biomass to generate heat have allowed 90,000 tons of CO2 emissions to be saved per year. This project was verified and awarded the Gold Standard VER for its modalities and processes. Further information about this project can be found here.

CERTIFICATIONS

The quality management system at TEXAID Switzerland and Germany is certified in accordance with ISO 9001:2015.

The environmental management system at TEXAID Switzerland is certified in accordance with ISO 14001:2015. 

The greenhouse gas balance analysis of TEXAID Switzerland was drawn up in accordance with the ISO 14064 standard. CO2 emissions are identified and recorded in accordance with the principles of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. TEXAID Switzerland has been awarded the “CO2 Neutral” seal of approval by Swiss Climate AG. This label is the highest quality standard for companies which adopt a long-term approach to climate protection. Compliance with the label’s certification guidelines was verified by the independent audit company Société Générale de Surveillance SA (SGS).

In addition, the energy management system at TEXAID Germany is certified in accordance with the ISO standard DIN EN ISO 50001:2011.