Committed to sustainability

Glue-less, plastic-free, and lower energy consumption: Machines from the Körber Business Area Tissue enable environmentally friendly and sustainable tissue production. 

The drive to the Körber Business Area Tissue headquarters in the Tuscan city of Lucca is a journey through a traditionally strong industrial landscape. At the end of a street that runs through a neighborhood just outside the ramparts of the historical city center, a very different and ultramodern world comes into view. The production plant’s light-flooded halls are surrounded by extensive green spaces. It’s clear to see that the Körber, which develops and builds production lines for hygiene tissue paper, is committed to green environments. That can also be seen in the central administration building, whose interior courtyard is graced by an olive tree.

The focus on “going green” has been part of the company’s corporate strategy for a long time. “Since the late 1980s we’ve been paying close attention to making our production processes sustainable. That was long before this topic became popular,” says Enrico Zino, the Head of Global Marketing. These many years of experience are benefiting the Körber Business Area Tissue today, in an era when consumers are increasingly attaching importance to environmentally friendly products and the legal requirements for production are becoming stricter. “Our customers’ demands for sustainable tissue products are growing. And we’re delivering exactly the right machines to fulfill these demands,” Zino adds.

Sustainability is nothing new for the Körber Business Area Tissue, as Head of Global Marketing Enrico Zino knows. Körber has been working on this topic since the 1980s.

lNature is a perfect technology, and our technology needs to be perfect for nature.r

Enrico Zino, Head of Global Marketing at the Körber Business Area Tissue

A pioneer of environmentally friendly production

In 2010 Körber became the first company in its sector to offer glue-free solutions for toilet rolls. This technology made it possible for tissue production to gradually use less and less glue, which is very difficult to biodegrade. At Körber the lamination between tissue plies can be done in a process that uses water. This technology, which is called Aquabond, has an additional advantage for manufacturers: It significantly reduces the amount of cleaning that is needed for the machines, because there is no glue residue to be removed. Today, Körber is the first company that developed a new solution to use water for lamination for kitchen towels, too.

Zino is especially proud of yet another environmentally friendly innovation, which he reveals by pulling out the core of a roll of toilet paper. In the traditional rolls, the core used to consist of a glued cardboard roll and lots of air. Now it consists of a small additional roll of tissue. “Consumers can take it with them when they’re on the go or stash it away at home as a reserve supply,” he explains. The Solid plus system that was developed and patented by Körber also reduces the CO2 connected to transportation: It increases the tissue product per roll by 16 percent while maintaining the same volume.

more paper

fits on toilet paper rolls by Körber, since the glued cardboard roll that was in its core has been replaced by an additional paper roll.

An alternative to plastic packaging

The packaging of the company’s tissue products is also becoming more environmentally friendly. Most manufacturers still pack these products in plastic. “We’ve done a great deal of research in this area in recent years and looked for alternatives,” says Zino. The result is a paper coupled with ecologic bioplastics, derived from vegetable starch and waste. “The material repels moisture in a way that’s similar to plastic, and it’s 100 percent compostable,” says Zino. An extra benefit is that our packaging  machines can process it just as fast as plastic.  

The engineers at the Körber Business Area Tissue set great store by energy efficiency when they develop machines. State-of-the-art motors and power inverters reduce electricity consumption, and energy-saving LED lights are used to illuminate the interiors of the machines.

Less glue, no plastic, and lower energy consumption — the machines at Körber make environmentally friendly and sustainable tissue production possible.

A deeply rooted sense of responsibility

“In view of the way things are going on our planet, this is our responsibility as a company,” says Zino. “Nature is a perfect technology, and our technology needs to be perfect for nature.”

This attitude is deeply rooted in the workforce as a whole, and it can be seen outside working hours as well. For example, many of the company’s employees volunteered in a campaign to clean the banks of the Serchio River of garbage. “It was incredible to see how much garbage was along the river that flows through our city,” Zino recalls. “The campaign was a big success, and we wish to repeat it again during the summer.” Here too, it’s clear that  Körber has a green strategy.

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