Sustainable operations

 
 
For XANO, sustainability means accepting responsibility for the way the Group’s operations affect society from an environmental, social and economic perspective. Sustainability is a natural part of business. We have to use all our resources with care and work efficiently at every stage in order to be profitable.
 
The XANO spirit is based on the Group’s origins in the southern Swedish province of Småland. The most important common denominator for the Group’s companies is entrepreneurial spirit with a strong drive. The companies have flat organisations with rapid decision-making paths and short times before arriving at solutions. Leadership is down-to-earth and close at hand, with clear demands for participation from all employees, a working climate with stakeholder relations characterised by openness and a high ceiling.  

In order to achieve success, we believe in strong relations, which is the background to our long-term investments in our companies. This provides each unit with the scope to develop its own resources. For XANO, this is sustainable development.
 

Read more in the sustainability report.

XANO_2018_HR.jpg     2018
     
XANO_2017_hallbarhetsrapport.jpg     2017
 

 

Recovery of propane produces environmental benefits

By collaborating with a neighbouring company, Cipax in Norway gains rapid access to propane in its production. Residual propane from used gas cylinders is recovered and transported directly to one of Cipax’s production lines via a gas line.  
     “We can see several environmental benefits,” says Dag Eirik Thomassen, Managing Director. “We make use of residual propane that would otherwise have gone to waste. At the same time, the number of transport operations is also reduced, as the residual propane does not need to be transported for destruction.”
     Deliveries of used cylinders arrive at Cipax’s neighbouring company, where they are emptied of residual propane. After oil separation and particle filtration, it is then transported to Cipax through an underground gas line that runs between the companies. 
     In order to succeed with the recovery, several different technical solutions have been tested. It has been essential to find the right mix and perform risk assessments. The gas that is used must be stable and must satisfy particular specifications. 
     Today, the residual propane makes up 10–15 per cent of the gas that is used in Cipax’s production. The recovery operation works extremely well, and Cipax believes that the conditions exist to increase the use of residual gas in future. It could act as a potential energy source for other processes within manufacturing.

Investments for lower energy consumption

Mikroverktyg’s production facility in Södertälje comprises large premises that have a considerable need for both heating and cooling in order to keep operations going. The company has previously had separate systems for heating and cooling, which have proven to be relatively ineffective. For example, some parts of the premises have had a heat surplus, while in other parts it has been too cold at the same time. In order to utilise the energy more efficiently, a new ground-source heating system was installed in October 2018. 
     “With this new system, our energy consumption will diminish by 360 MWh a year, which will give annual cost savings of SEK 390,000,” says Kjell Wallin, Managing Director. “This also means that our carbon dioxide emissions will decrease by 17.5 tonnes annually, while significantly improving the indoor climate.”
     The installation is also enabling Mikroverktyg to monitor its energy consumption easily, which was not possible before. 
     “The checks regarding the way we use energy are now much better. We can see that there are great opportunities for continued optimisation of our facilities in order to further reduce energy consumption,” concludes Kjell.

Lifecycle perspective at Resinit

Over the course of a couple of years, Resinit has focused on introducing a lifecycle approach into its environmental work. In spring 2018, partially thanks to its work on the lifecycle perspective, the company was awarded its updated certificate according to ISO 14001.
     Resinit is part of XANO’s Precision Technology business unit. The company’s plant in Västervik manufactures machined components made of plastic and laminate. 450–500 different items are delivered each month to customers in fields such as medical technology. Resinit has long worked with environmental management systems, but in 2015, when the updated ISO 14001 environmental management system standard was released, they had a bit of a headache regarding the standard’s new demands for a lifecycle perspective.
     “The first question we had to ask ourselves was: What does the lifecycle perspective mean for Resinit?” says Kurt Johansson, quality and environmental coordinator at the company.
 

Both through its own research and with the aid of an environmental consultant, ​Resinit was able to ascertain the meaning of the term. Working on the basis of a lifecycle perspective entails a broader approach in respect of products’ environmental impact, and covers the entire process from procurement of raw materials to final waste management. The aim is to give consideration to and minimise the environmental impact throughout the product’s lifecycle.
     In order to identify the company’s environmental impact from a lifecycle perspective, Resinit began to subdivide its operations into various lifecycle stages. After that, the environmental aspects present in each life-cycle stage were identified. 
     “We now have a clear model where we can assess the environmental impact, risks, stakeholder requirements, legal requirements, etc., based on a lifecycle perspective. This creates clarity in our environmental work and is also easy to communicate within the organisation,” considers Kurt.

The work has resulted in more effective environmental efforts, as the lifecycle perspective makes it easy for the company to identify which environmental aspects it can influence. It has also led to more dialogues with customers in respect of material and chemical choices. 
     “Our production is controlled to a great extent by demand from customers. Their wishes occasionally entail the use of e.g. chemicals that have a negative impact on health and the environment,” points out Kurt. “In that instance, we initiate a dialogue with the customer in order, where possible, to switch to more environmentally friendly and healthy alternatives.”
     The work in relation to choice of materials contributes to a reduced environmental impact during the product’s usage phase, but also when it becomes waste, which is fully in line with the requirements set out in ISO 14001 and the company’s ambition to work for sustainable development.
     “In the beginning it was difficult, but once we had figured out what the lifecycle perspective entails for us and had identified the right approach, it became easy and was absolutely worth all the work,” concludes Kurt.

Secure skills provision through diversity & integration

During 2017, LK Precision launched a collaboration with Haninge Municipality’s labour market unit, with the aim of securing LK Precision’s skills provision through diversity and integration. 
       During spring 2017, LK Precision needed to take on more employees, but was having difficulty finding personnel for its production process. After surveying and testing various recruitment channels, production manager Fredrik Marknäs came across details regarding an offer of collaboration from Haninge Municipality. Fredrik made contact with the recruitment agent Jens Gustafson von Zeipel and together they looked at LK Precision’s specific opportunities and needs. Around a week later, Fredrik was contacted by Jens, who announced that he had a possible candidate for a work placement position, called Hassan Beddel. Hassan had been awarded his residence permit in Sweden two years previously, and since then had been trying to find a job. Hassan was offered and accepted the work placement, which lasted for two months.  
       “Hassan immediately became an asset for LK Precision. He did very well and was very keen to learn,” says Ebrima John, who acted as Hassan’s mentor during the placement period. Fredrik agrees, adding: 
       “We invested our time but nothing else, and this started to pay off as early as the second week.”
       In December 2017, Hassan was offered a permanent position at LK Precision. When Hassan is asked what this has meant to him, he says: 
       “I am now self-sufficient and no longer dependent on welfare. By getting a job, I am becoming part of Swedish society.” 
       At the end of 2017, the municipality and LK Precision launched another collaboration project. With the support of the municipality, the company hopes to be able to secure the provision of skills in the long term.

 

       “This collaboration is undoubtedly a win-win situation,” says Fredrik. 
       “Our contacts with the commercial sector are incredibly important,” emphasises Jens from the municipality’s perspective. Ebrima agrees, stressing: 
       “Everyone who comes to Sweden has something to offer that can benefit companies, and it is important for us at LK Precision to see and attract them before someone else does.” 
       “There are undoubtedly approaches we have not thought of before when it comes to identifying potential labour. The people are out there – it’s just a matter of finding them – and we found Hassan,” concludes Fredrik.

Recyclable and recycled plastic – an obvious choice for Cipax

Through conscious, strategic initiatives at all stages of the value chain – within its own organisation as well as in the supplier and customer stages – Cipax aims to assume greater environmental responsibility. One important ingredient in this work is to manufacture products that are as environmentally friendly as possible. 
       Cipax’s products are made from recyclable materials such as polyethylene, polyamide and polypropylene, whereas several competitors are using fibreglass in their manufacturing process – a material that usually becomes landfill waste after use. 
       The production of plastic components results in waste material, which is negative for the environment if it is not dealt with and recycled. Cipax has developed technology and process flows for ensuring that surplus material and used components are reused for the manufacture of new products – a lifecycle approach that benefits both the environment and the company’s profitability.
       At present, Cipax’s own volume of recycled material is not sufficient to meet the every higher demand. Through extended collaborations with customers and other external parties regarding collection and handling, Cipax will gradually gain access to larger quantities for reuse.
       Cipax is distinguishing itself on the market by manufacturing plastic products that are as environmentally friendly as possible. The picture shows a compost container made from 100 per cent recyclable polyethylene plastic and where part of the raw material comprises recycled material.

Mikroverktyg – employer branding via development and solidarity

Mikroverktyg is part of XANO’s Precision Technology business unit. The company manufactures precision components and transmission parts, as well as tools, fixtures, prototypes and special equipment. Generating commitment at work is one of Mikroverktyg’s areas of focus.  
       The EMO trade fair is one of the world’s largest meeting places for manufacturing industry and arranged in Hanover in September 2017. Mikroverktyg’s participation generally relates to keeping an eye on competitors and monitoring new technology. Prior to the fair in Hanover, the company’s management offered all personnel the opportunity to attend, both to aid skills development and to strengthen the sense of solidarity.
The activity was voluntary, and out of a total of around 50 employees, some 30 opted to take part. They were given the opportunity to meet trade colleagues and acquaint themselves with the latest technology.
       Mikroverktyg’s CEO Kjell Wallin’s vision for the trip was that it would contribute to skills development and create a stronger employer brand. 
       “We have to dare to invest in our personnel, as they are the company’s most important resource,” concludes Kjell. 

Long-term collaboration for a more sustainable operation

An important aspect of the sustainability concept is a long-term approach that includes responsibility for products, solutions and relations. An example of the latter is Fredriksons collaboration with Tetra Pak, which has extended over many years. Fredriksons is a leader in the development and manufacture of conveyor systems for the packaging industry. The company’s customers can be found in the food, medical technology, environmental and other technical industries.
       Tetra Pak – a company that was established in 1951 and is now a world leader when it comes to processing and packaging solutions for food – is one of Fredriksons’ customers.

The business relationship between the two companies began back in the 1960s. Thanks to a long-term approach and mutual trust, they have worked together over the years to make food safe and accessible and, as far as possible, to eliminate adverse effects from a sustainability perspective.
       Tetra Pak’s goal as regards their supplier relations is to minimise negative effects and instead supply something positive to the companies, people and communities with which their supplier chain is associated. As part of this work, Fredriksons undertakes to comply with Tetra Pak’s code of conduct for suppliers. The code sets out Tetra Pak’s expectations in respect of its business partners based on the ten principles in the UN’s Global Compact.
       In order to evaluate how well the conditions in the code are being followed, Tetra Pak has drawn up a control framework. The company demands that selected suppliers sign up to Sedex (Supplier Ethical Data Exchange), through which Tetra Pak gains access to detailed results regarding the level of compliance. Furthermore, Tetra Pak use an internal scorecard to continually follow up results in relation to quality, lead times and price, for example. With the aid of an independent party, financial audits are also conducted.
       Tetra Pak is extremely satisfied with Fredriksons as a supplier, as can be seen from the collaboration that has now lasted for more than 50 years. The potential for improvement exists within all relationships, however. Fredriksons is currently achieving 100 per cent compliance with the code of conduct, and has limited its dependence on Tetra Pak by extending its customer portfolio.
       Within all the sectors in which Fredriksons operates, business customers stipulate high demands as regards sustainability, professionalism and quality in their supplier chains. Fredriksons appreciates these demands – together with its customers, the company is striving to create more sustainable business and, in the long term, a more sustainable society. 

Skills development


XANO’s objective is for all employees to possess the correct skills. The Group’s companies are constantly striving to increase the skills of their employees, for example through training programmes within XANO Academy.
       XANO Academy is the Group’s internal training arena. The purpose of the academy is to strengthen and profile XANO as an employer, to invest in employees, to facilitate a platform for internal networks, to achieve increased competitive advantages and to create a forum for the communication and implementation of XANO’s core values.  
       The development programmes usually run for a period of six to twelve months and are divided into six modules, the content of which is adapted according to the target group’s structure and skills requirements. To date, various groups of production personnel as well as employees with a sales focus and executive leaders have attended internal training courses.