Materials and circular economy
Vision for a circular economy
The circular economy is a topic that is high on the agenda of Beter Bed Holding. It is however also a topic on which success will not be readily achieved. Mattresses in the mainstream market are manufactured on the basis of chemical products and petroleum. Also, collection of mattresses takes place in a range of completely different ways locally and in each country. That makes it difficult for the organisation to make its mark on the return of mattresses and other bedroom furnishings.
The key step that needs to be taken is for the most hazardous raw materials to be phased out. Beter Bed Holding engages in continual dialogue with its strategic suppliers to reduce the environmental impact of mattresses. In the period ahead, the organisation will itself state clearly which materials need to be replaced most urgently with environmentally benign components.
The company attaches importance to reducing its amount of waste and recycling where possible.
The total volume of waste fell by 18% to 3,800 tonnes in the past year. The decrease was attributable to the relatively large volume of waste in the preceding year, during which extensive remodelling of stores was carried out at Beter Bed. The figures are in line with the trend; waste volumes have decreased by 35% since 2010. The target to collect, separate and reuse all packaging material in the Netherlands after delivery was again achieved in 2015. In order to improve its contribution to circular economy, the organisation will continue its dialogue with waste-processing companies to find a solution in which used mattresses can be recycled into new products.
Cardboard and paper
When it comes to the actual processing of waste, Beter Bed Holding is dependent on its service providers. In procuring waste management services, a guarantee is sought to ensure the proportion of waste recycled is as high as possible. Beter Bed Holding has set itself a target of achieving a recycling rate of 75% in 2016. The percentage of recycled waste has risen slightly. Yet without targeted action by the waste industry, it does not seem that this target will be achieved in the short term. Based on discussions with waste management companies, it appears that they are not able to monitor waste streams for individual customers. Accordingly, the figure reported to Beter Bed Holding by the waste management company is the recycling percentage of the whole waste management company. Beter Bed Holding therefore considers the recycling rates to have little value. The CSR steering group will propose how it can report on waste in a meaningful manner in the future.
Application of the precautionary principle
Substances that are not permitted according to European standards and regulations may not be used in products sold by Beter Bed Holding. If and when it is determined that a substance does not comply with European standards and regulations, suppliers must discontinue its usage. In such cases, the organisation will discuss with the supplier what joint action can be taken to find better alternatives. Suppliers must conform with the REACH regulations in manufacturing their goods. One characteristic of REACH is that if an event takes place or will take place while there is strong evidence suggesting this event will have severe effects on the environment, measures must be taken, despite scientific uncertainty.