Tackling waste head on


Trelleborg Seals & Profiles: Tackling waste head-on

In a world where environmental concerns are growing daily, companies across all industries recognize the need to prioritize resource efficiency and circularity. Trelleborg, a global leader in engineered polymer solutions, is setting an example by prioritizing these principles in its operations. In March 2020, the Trelleborg Seals & Profiles facility in Bielsko-Biala, Poland already took bold steps by signing a contract with a local energy supplier to convert its production site to 100% renewable electricity. Now, it’s well on its way to achieving another milestone as it tackles oil-contaminated waste.

A milestone in reducing oil-contaminated waste

The Bielsko-Biala facility has made remarkable progress in reducing oil-contaminated waste. Over the course of three years, from 2019 to 2022, they successfully decreased oil-contaminated waste from 16 tons to 4 tons, resulting in an impressive 75% reduction. This achievement highlights Trelleborg’s commitment to minimizing environmental impact and fostering a circular economy. One of the driving forces behind this commitment has been the implementation of several pivotal measures to reduce oil-contaminated waste. These measures have not only helped to identify the sources of contamination but also improved waste management practices, paving the way for a more sustainable future.

Putting the squeeze on waste

Trelleborg Seals & Profiles understands that dealing with environmental issues starts with responsible waste management. Bielsko-Biala has implemented a comprehensive waste management system that tackles oil-contaminated waste head-on. This system includes proper segregation of waste streams, rigorous monitoring of processes, and efficient disposal mechanisms. By implementing strict waste management protocols ensures that oil-contaminated waste is handled responsibly from production to disposal.

Trelleborg Seals & Profiles knows that to be a champion of sustainability, it needs to keep up with the times. That’s why the facility has embraced advanced manufacturing techniques that prioritize efficiency and minimize waste. State-of-the-art machinery, cutting-edge automation technologies, and an effective maintenance plan have significantly reduced the potential for oil contamination throughout the production process. These technologies are a win-win for product development as well as the environment, enhancing precision and quality on the one hand and minimizing the risk of spills and leaks on the other.

One of the measures that Trelleborg has introduced is ending the practice of using single-use cloth and paper for cleaning machines in favor of washable cloth. These washable cloths are specifically designed to handle oil-contaminated waste and are subsequently washed by a specialized company. This change not only reduces waste generation but also ensures that the oil-contaminated cloths are managed and treated appropriately.

Custodians of sustainability

Recognizing that environmental stewardship is a team effort, the Bielsko-Biala facility places great emphasis on educating and raising awareness among its workforce. Regular training sessions instill the importance of waste management, proper handling of oil-related products, and the consequences of oil contamination. By empowering employees and promoting a culture of environmental consciousness, the facility is ensuring that every employee becomes a responsible custodian of the environment.

Indeed, Trelleborg prioritizes effective communication with its employees. Information about waste management is displayed on TV screens throughout the facility and incorporated into employee training programs. In addition, Trelleborg has introduced transparent bags for oil-contaminated waste collection. This simple yet effective measure enables easy visual verification, ensuring that the correct waste is disposed of in the appropriate bins. By promoting transparency, Trelleborg is encouraging a culture of accountability and facilitating proper waste disposal.

Giving waste a second chance

Trelleborg Seals & Profiles realizes that waste isn’t just waste – often it’s a valuable resource waiting to be reinvented. The facility in Bielsko-Biala actively seeks opportunities to recycle oil-contaminated waste whenever feasible. Through partnerships with specialized recycling facilities, the company recovers valuable resources from waste streams, reducing the amount of waste destined for disposal. But that’s not all, it is also exploring innovative ways to reuse certain materials internally, cutting down on new production and keeping waste at bay.

Commitment to sustainable development

Trelleborg's dedication to sustainable development, growth, and governance is deeply embedded in its strategic approach. The company has aligned its goals with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and its efforts in reducing oil-contaminated waste align particularly with SDG 12 (Responsible consumption and production) and SDG 13 (Climate action). By actively engaging in resource efficiency and circularity, Trelleborg contributes to the transition to a more sustainable and resilient future.

Sustainable development is an ongoing journey at Trelleborg Seals & Profiles. The facility encourages a culture of continuous improvement by regularly assessing its operations, identifying areas for enhancement, and implementing innovative solutions. The company actively invests in research and development to explore alternative materials, processes, and technologies that further reduce the risk of oil-contaminated waste. By staying at the forefront of industry trends, Bielsko-Biala – just like the wider Trelleborg business – continues to raise the bar for sustainable manufacturing practices.

Trelleborg's commitment to sustainable development, growth, and governance is firmly embedded in our Group-wide strategic approach. Visit the Trelleborg website for further insight into our sustainability ambitions and how we plan to achieve them.