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New energy competency centre for Hartmann

How a new energy competency centre in Kolding, Denmark, aims to achieve our ambitious sustainability targets

Hartmann is a world-leading provider of moulded fibre technology and packaging machinery. We’ve spent decades developing systems for optimising processes, production flow and energy consumption, which puts us in the vanguard of the industry’s battle for sustainability - and we’re utterly committed to reducing our climate footprint.

This was underlined by our submission of near-term carbon emission reduction targets to the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi) in 2022 – and their validation in November 2023. The initiative demands a huge, concerted effort – including rethinking the end-to-end production flow, plus optimum use of energy sources. But we’re keen to act now and drive positive changes.


So how do we find the right tools and innovate for the future?

The answer lies in Hartmann’s new technology competency centre, recently established in Kolding, Denmark. Working separately from the daily business, its brief is to find the best practical solutions for innovative, energy-efficient machinery and processes.

And Kolding is a great place to do it. A modern city in mainland Denmark, it has an extremely advanced infrastructure. The triangle area around Kolding has more industrial workplaces than Copenhagen, Aarhus, and Odense combined.

Historically a centre for silver production, textile design and fabrication, Kolding has burgeoned into a vibrant creative hub and a significant high-tech centre for Denmark and Northern Europe.

“There’s a growing need for new ways to deliver ecological responsibility, inclusive and responsive socio-economic development – and Kolding is delivering that through its innovative process engineering,” says Henning Bekke Frisk, SVP at Hartmann Technology.

“And since Kolding is only an hour’s drive from 4 main universities and technical colleges, it’s also a great place to attract the high performers and creative minds we need for our journey.”

It's also just a short commute from Hartmann’s Danish factory in Tønder - the test and development centre for the new systems and technologies.

A quick look back at what we've already accomplished

Biodegradable moulded fibre packaging produced from recycled paper has been the foundation for our business since we started production in 1936.

We’ve been operating a sustainably managed business for over a century, and since the 1990s, we’ve been running our business to strict ecological management standards.

In 2007, we signed the UN's "Caring for Climate" agreement, long before other companies started looking at sustainable business management.

In 2021, we conducted a structured materiality assessment. It was identified that climate change is a highly important issue for our stakeholders and for us. Since then, we’ve been working diligently to reduce the footprint of our production – but also right across the value chain.

We continually invest in new production technology, optimise our existing equipment, and systematically reduce waste. To summarise the most recently implemented measures from last year:

  • The installation of a new industrial boiler in one European factory is expected to reduce up to 10% of the factory’s total annual natural gas consumption.

  • A comprehensive upgrade of an existing drying oven - fitted with new pumps and an updated control system - should lead to a 10% annual reduction of the oven’s total natural gas consumption.

  • The completion of a pilot solar energy project at one European factory will im-prove the factory’s energy mix and consumption. Going forward, we will ensure that new buildings are compatible with smaller solar panel installations,

… and this is just to name a few.

New goals, new needs 

However, our goal to reduce absolute Scope 1 and 2 CO2e emissions by 50% in 2030 will require the development of new systems and technologies for our drying ovens and other production machinery to reduce electrical and thermal energy consumption.

So, the key questions are how to:

  1. Get GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions down and ultimately become a net zero-emission company?

  2. Save even more water and energy?

  3. Increase the share of recycled material even further?

  4. Reduce the amount of waste?

Again, that's where the influential new team of product designers, engineers, technicians, constructors, mechanics, and environmental managers will bring their influence to bear in the Hartmann Competency Centre.

This impressive new facility is part of Hartmann’s Technology unit, which drives new developments in the Hartmann group.


Advantages of the split site 

Having some of the development located on a different site brings further benefits, with a more agile and focused approach and dedicated effort. The teams use the latest learnings and experiences from project planning and execution, enabling faster and more robust results.

“Especially here in Kolding,” says Henning Bekke Frisk, “sustainability and the green transformation are top of mind for many companies. The city offers a great network for companies that focus on environmental change and reducing the CO2 level. This initiative will significantly speed up our efforts to lower Hartmann’s climate footprint and accelerate our green transition”.

01 November 2023
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