Sustainable production Practical guide for tool and mould makers: VDWF to publish “Sustainability Compendium”

Source: VDWF

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The Association of German Tool and Moldmakers (VDWF) has dedicated a working group to the topic of sustainability. The participants have now jointly produced a “Compendium for the Assessment and Design of Sustainable Business Practices in Tool and Mould Making” as a guideline that supports companies in the industry.

Dr. Wolfram Heger, Head of the VDWF Sustainability Working Group
Dr. Wolfram Heger, Head of the VDWF Sustainability Working Group
(Source: VDWF)

No one can ignore the topic sustainability these days: In addition to a widespread coverage in the media, it is also becoming increasingly important for companies in the tool and mould making industry to develop and implement appropriate concepts. Already, solutions for the path to climate-neutral production are being actively developed in the industry. And the “Sustainability Compendium”, written by a team of seven expert is one of them. The English-language edition will be available in spring on the association’s website.

The guide comprises practical implementation aids to effectively integrate sustainability into their operative business. “We want to make a contribution to solving global sustainability challenges, while at the same time strengthening the competitiveness of tool and die makers,” explains working group leader Dr Wolfram Heger. Economic considerations are an essential part of this: “There is no way around proactive and company-specific sustainability management in tool and mould making,” explains the management consultant.

Sustainability as a competitive factor of the future

The compendium offers sustainability concepts tailored to tool and mould making companies. For this purpose, priority topics were defined in a materiality analysis, their most important requirements were explained, control indicators were compiled, evaluated for their suitability in tool and mould making and, in addition, frameworks were presented that can be used as orientation for companies in the sector. The spectrum of topics ranges from “heat recovery” to “internal and external logistics” to “bioplastics in the injection moulding process”. The enclosed appendices provide concrete tips and implementation information for practical use. The compendium is designed as a living document that takes up current legal, ecological and social requirements for sustainable management, but also expressly focuses on further development in the sense of changing framework conditions and user feedback.

However, many companies, especially smaller ones, are still at the beginning of the necessary path towards more sustainability. Therefore, it is often necessary to act quickly, considering that in the foreseeable future data on a company's CO2 footprint and energy consumption will be demanded more and more by business partners: Suppliers will be selected on the basis of their eco-balance, standards and guidelines will be introduced. Because whether it is climate change, resource conservation or human rights responsible supply chains — the associated challenges are finding their way into laws (EU Green Deal etc.) or the lists of requirements of customers and capital providers at a dramatically accelerated rate. Those who do not want to be left behind in the long term must therefore act urgently. “But even beyond that: addressing sustainability challenges in a targeted manner and with reference to one's own core business is part of corporate responsibility,” explains Heger. The "Sustainability Compendium" can be a first step in the right direction.

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