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KE Fibertec runs a sustainable business with focus on growth

At the company KE Fibertec in Vejen, sustainability has become the cornerstone of the business. Since 2012, the company has worked purposefully to reduce resource consumption through environmental mapping throughout the value chain. However, sustainability requires courage and, not least, political support, says the director.

Needed a unique story

- For many years, we produced quality products with all the correct certifications within both environment, quality and working environment - but we needed to sell the story. So therefore, we started looking at how we could differentiate ourselves, and the Cradle to Cradle certification was interesting, says the CEO at KE Fibertec, Carsten Jespersen. The Cradle to Cradle certification deals with material health, reuse and recyclability, use of renewable energy, management of water resources and social responsibility.

Own weaving = easier documentation

- Many of the standards we already lived up to in advance. But concerning material health, we could optimize. Moreover, this is where our weaving mill came into the picture, says Carsten Jespersen. Because with a company-owned weaving mill as a subcontractor, it is to a very high degree possible for KE Fibertec to document how the materials are produced. It required some internal adjustments, and the process resulted in the world's first Cradle to Cradle certified textile channel after quite a short time.

Green mindset throughout the organization

The small steps in the green transition at KE Fibertec have primarily taken place at the management level, but the core of success lies in the entire organization. - My clear view is that sustainability must be part of the whole organization. If it is not an ingrained part of everything you do, then it is just a CSR report you submit once a year, says Carsten Jespersen.

Ideas from the employees are implemented.

At the Vejen company, the employees also ask wondering questions and come up with ideas for new sustainable initiatives. - It is our employees who drive sustainability forward. An example of an employee idea is recycling residual materials from our weaving mill. With the help of two newly purchased machines, the residual materials are now converted into ridges used in the ventilation ducts. Seven tonnes of waste have been saved, says Carsten Jespersen. The sustainable business model is now so incorporated at KE Fibertec that the company is working purposefully towards the next significant milestone: to be CO2 neutral by 2030.