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Case study: How Desso designs and produces recyclable products containing recycled content

Case study: How Desso designs and produces recyclable products containing recycled content

As a leading carpets and carpet tiles company that operates in over 100 countries, developing products for hotels, homes, cruise liners and airlines, government, education, corporate offices and healthcare, Desso, committed to sustainable development, strives to design and offer products that can be recycled infinitely, without quality losses.

This case study is based on the 2015 Sustainability Report by Desso published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate that CSR/ sustainability reporting done responsibly is achieved by identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment and stakeholders and by measuring, managing and changing. 

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FBRH Sustain Case

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Sustainability reporting using the Global Reporting Initiative’s Standards is essentially a four-step process: Identify – Measure – Manage – Change.

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Abstract

Believing that commercial success is inextricably connected to environmental and social responsibility, Desso strives to ensure that its products are made from materials that are both recycled and recyclable. In order to design and produce recyclable products containing recycled content Desso took action to:

  • ensure products meet the requirements of the Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Standard
  • increase recycled content contained in carpets, carpet tiles and sports pitches
  • use eco-effective design for products
  • offer customers the option to lease rather than own carpets

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2015 Sustainability Report Desso identified a range of material issues, such as customer health & safety, product environmental impact, material health, environmental impact of supply-chain, natural & social capital accounting. Among these, designing and producing recyclable products containing recycled content stands out as a key material issue for Desso.

Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:

“The organization should identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations.”

Stakeholders must be consulted in the process of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.

Key stakeholder groups Desso engages with:   

Stakeholder Group
Academia
Consultants
Customers
Employees
Governments
Industry and trade associations
NGO’s
Reporting agencies
Shareholders
Suppliers

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

To identify material topics, Desso carried out a stakeholder survey, sending out a total of 198 surveys, of which 62 were completed by stakeholders (a 31% response rate).

What actions were taken by Desso to design and produce recyclable products containing recycled content?

In its 2015 Sustainability Report Desso reports that it took the following actions for designing and producing recyclable products containing recycled content:

  • Ensuring products meet the requirements of the Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Standard
  • Desso ensures its products are certified according to the Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Standard which, among others, requires designers and manufacturers to:
    • maximize the percentage of renewable materials or recycled content in a product
    • maximize the percentage of materials that may be safely reused, recycled or composted
    • designate products as biological (may safely return to nature)
  • Increasing recycled content contained in carpets, carpet tiles and sports pitches
  • In 2014, the amount of defined recycled content for carpets, carpet tiles and sports pitches more than doubled from 5% in 2013 to 10.5%, and doubled once more in 2015, to 20 per cent.
  • Using eco-effective design for products
  • Desso, in accordance with the Cradle to Cradle philosophy, puts a lot of emphasis on the early phases of product design, striving to achieve a better design in the first place, to make sure materials used will be healthy for use and recycling.
  • Offering customers the option to lease rather than own carpets
  • By leasing carpets, Desso controls recycling and helps customers minimize their own impacts.  Tweet This! In 2014, Desso and DLL, a global financial solutions partner, offered Desso’s customers the option to lease rather than own the carpets they require, which makes Desso better able to ensure products are returned for recycling.

Which GRI indicators/Standards have been addressed?

The GRI indicator addressed in this case is: G4-EN2: Percentage of materials used that are recycled input materials and the updated GRI Standard is: Disclosure 301-2 Recycled input materials used

 

References:

1) This case study was compiled using published information by Desso which is located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses but made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original please revert to the following link:

http://static.globalreporting.org/report-pdfs/2016/f4c52fd95d5311a3252a2f62bd356ac3.pdf (August 2016)

2) http://www.fbrh.co.uk/en/global-reporting-initiative-gri-g4-guidelines-download-page

3) https://g4.globalreporting.org/Pages/default.aspx

4) https://www.globalreporting.org/standards/gri-standards-download-center/

Note to Desso: With each case study we send out an email to your listed address in request for a comment on this case study. If you have not received such an email please contact us.

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