Year in Review: Schur Flexibles Group
Back in August, we spoke to Martin Berlekamp, Head of Sustainability at Schur Flexibles Group, about the firm’s proactive sustainability drive that has brought environmentalism to the forefront of its decision making.
Having won FlexiClose’s 2018 German Packaging Award in Sustainability, the firm is striving to realise a five-point green strategy across its operations. Recycling, Replace, Reduction, Renewable and Responsibility comprise the 5Rs outlining the strategy for its sustainability transformation.
“We see our current sustainability transformation as a challenge because society is keen to change the treatment of plastics,” says Berlekamp. “As packaging takes up a high percentage of plastics being produced, we have to find a responsible way to handle sustainability along the value chain. As Schur Flexibles is well prepared with its current and new product portfolio, we can help our customers fulfil their sustainability goals which are often much more demanding than the ones requested by the legislation.”
One of the many areas that Schur Flexibles is focused on is marine health, particularly in ensuring its products don’t find their way into our oceans, and it is bent on establishing a circular economy for plastics within its operations. “Everyone has become a lot more aware of what’s going on in the oceans,” says Berlekamp. “Since that time, customers are more sensitive about packaging materials, particularly plastic ones. It’s become a key reason why the whole community is now looking for sustainable alternatives. They’re coming into a circular economy and it has been one of the biggest challenges because, in the past, the flexible films industry was really developing thin films using multiple polymers. Recyclability is not a given if you have different polymers, and this is why we’re trying to do more for less.”
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.