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igus® inc.

PO BOX 14349

East Providence

RI 02914

+1 800 521 2747
+1 401 438 7270

Our Commitment to Sustainability


When we first developed high-performance plastics for motion, the topic of environmental protection was admittedly not our main focus. We wanted to develop products that bolstered our clients' manufacturing, improveed technology and reduced costs. Despite this, recycling has always been a sincerely important topic, and we now reuse 99% of our plastic waste by processing it into granulate material and recycling it back into the production process.
 
Today, we know that products longer lasting products that do not require lubrication contribute to preserving our environment. Eliminating messy, external lubricants means less environmental pollution, less abrasion & less pollution with microplastics, and less weight—meaning less energy required for movement.
 
As producers of special plastics, we have clients in many industries as well as the sensitive area of medicine. We are aware of our responsibility to the environment along with the possibilities that plastic offers in many areas compared to steel, and we continue to research new materials and products that will benefit our clients and our environment.

How our products already provide sustainability

Sustainability - durable products  

Our products are particularly durable and are rarely replaced. This is an advantage of our products as our customers run their machines maintenance free and long lasting.

Sustainability - less friction  

Our plastics are tribologically optimised, i.e. they cause less friction. Hence, less energy is required and less microabrasion pollutes the environment.

Sustainability - no lubrication  

Producing 1 ton of plastics uses less energy (160 megajoule) than producing 1 ton of aluminium (600MJ) or 1 ton of steel (320MJ).

Sustainability - 99% recycling into granules  

Since the company was founded, we have been recycling our plastics ourselves and process about 99% into granules, which are then used for production.

Sustainability - bearing exchange  

Not having to replace an entire application when wear occured was one of the leading ideas when we developed our linear bearings and guides. The practical advantage: The rail is not damaged and the bearing housing can be reused. This conserves resources - and simultaneously results in lower costs.

Sustainability - smart plastics  

Components are not replaced until they have reached the end of their product life cycle - this is the idea behind our smart plastics product range. Sensors indicate wear and parts are replaced when necessary therefore, resources are utilised carefully and rationally.

More sustainable - less weight  

Plastics are lighter than steel and save weight and therefore also energy that has to be used for movement. In an airplane, this amounts to roughly 4kg if iglide® plain bearings are used instead of DU bushings. This again positively impacts kerosene consumption.

Sustainability - plastic vs. aluminium and steel  

Our bearing technology does not require additional lubrication. This does not only keep the application clean, it also avoids pollution of the environment with lubricating oil. 

Sustainability - iglidur N54  

With iglide® N54 we have developed a standard plain bearing that can be used universally and consists largely of renewable raw materials. The bearing of biopolymers demonstrates that components can be sustainable and motivates us in our future product development.

This is not all we do to conserve resources

We are continuously looking for better solutions, better materials, and better product properties. Therefore, our test lab is an inherent part of our product development. But apart from our products, there are still many things that we can do to protect our environment and contribute to sustainability. Where new injection molding machines are to be used in production, we pay greater attention to energy consumption and use models that consume 40% less energy than the existing ones.
 

Sustainability - the chainge  

the chainge: The recycling program for igus energy chains. We take back old energy chains, irrespective of their manufacturer. The customer that returns them is given an igus voucher based on the value of the material.


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Sustainability - ISO standard 14001  

In order to make our environment policy transparent and comprehensible, we have ourselves certified to ISO standard 14001, a recognised basis for environment management systems. This helps us on our way towards a CO2-neutral factory.


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Sustainability - planting trees  

Together with two school classes, we have planted 2,500 trees near Chemnitz, which will grow as new mixed woodland in an area of 0.65 hectares. For less carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and greater protection against flooding.


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Sustainability - task force  

We have started a task force that works on projects dealing with environmental protection in our company.

Sustainability - recycling into bags  

We recycle trade fair banners into trendy bags we use as giveaways.

Sustainability - producer responsibility  

We encourage our customers to consider the environment before disposing of any packaging, particularly non-recyclable packaging.