The company’s quality-assured products and services create sustainable value for customers and partners, as well as long-term profitability for the Group. The efficient and innovative management of resources helps to strengthen customers’ sustainability efforts and benefits society as a whole. The Group’s unique research and development work is an asset to the value creation of tomorrow. This is carried out in collaboration with customers, universities and other partners, in order to develop and deliver solutions that contribute to a circular economy.
Recycling has a decisive role to play in circular economics, as well as creating value throughout the entire lifecycle of materials - from product design to the return of raw materials into circulation for use in the manufacturing industry.
For the Group’s recycling companies, the goal is to find the most resource-efficient and valuable ways to utilize customers’ waste products and increase the proportion of materials that can be used as new raw materials. This offers overall environmental benefits, while helping to achieve customers’ environmental goals and increasing their profitability. During the financial year, the Group inaugurated the most modern recycling facility in the Nordic countries. The Stena Nordic Recycling Center is the result of comprehensive processing developments that enable customers’ resources to be utilized more efficiently than ever before.
In the 2016/2017 financial year, focus has increased on getting more involved in customers’ value chains. In order to achieve this, several new services have been introduced. Stena Recycling in Sweden has set-up its new Sustainable Business department in order to support customers’ sustainability projects. In collaboration with customers, waste management is optimized by realizing previously hidden value. This reduces waste, improves working conditions, saves time, frees up space and increases the overall value of their waste. The Design for Recycling service offers disassembly analyzes and advice on how to make products more easily recyclable in the design and construction phases.
Reuse forms an important part of the circular economy and waste hierarchy. In dialogue with customers who supply electronic waste to Stena Technoworld, new reuse initiatives are being developed. During the year, customers have been found for reusable microprocessors and other computer components in both Europe and Asia.
Digitalization is providing opportunities to develop new services and increase collaboration with customers. The transparency it brings is vital to the circular economy, as the ability to share information makes it possible to deepen our understanding of customers’ businesses and contribute to their sustainability efforts. Many of Stena Recycling’s customers use a customer portal that provides waste statistics, among other features, and gives an overview of their waste streams. This information provides a foundation for their strategic improvement work.
In 2016, a company called New Ventures was formed to identify and develop new business opportunities - many of them designed to meet specific customer needs. The first of these is Repur markskiva (ground sheet), an insulation and dehumidification product used in the construction industry. Repur is made from recycled polyurethane extracted from end-of-life refrigerators and is one example of the important work being undertaken to transform waste into useful products.
One example from Stena Recycling is ProFuel. This energy-rich fuel is manufactured from a waste fraction that was previously difficult to recycle and was often deposited on landfill sites. ProFuel, delivered in pellet form, can be used in energy-intensive manufacturing processes, as a replacement for fossil fuels, or in the production of district heating and electricity. During the financial year, Heidelberg Cement carried out tests using ProFuel, which will potentially help them achieve their sustainability goals. Large-scale testing has been carried out at Chalmers University of Technology in order to research the potential of ProFuel as a raw material in the manufacture of new plastics.
New products and materials are not only challenging for manufacturers, they also make demands on recycling companies. By analyzing trends, it is possible to develop recycling methods that will meet future needs and create even more value. Collaborating with colleges and universities is the key to finding these solutions. Stena Recycling undertakes research projects with a number of leading institutions, often in tandem with its customers.
The research platform developed by the Stena Metall Group and Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg celebrated its ten-year anniversary in 2016/2017. The professorship in industrial recycling at Chalmers is a unique collaboration that employs two professors and ten PhD students in a variety of projects.
Supplying high-quality, customer-specific products and services is a priority in all Stena’s business areas. The work begins with customers and in their need for quality products and services.
Stena Recycling offer customers the security of monitoring material throughout the whole chain.We have our own laboratory that develop new solutions and ensure specific customer requirements are met. Improving the laboratory work is an ongoing project at the Stena Nordic Recycling Center.
In order to expand its expertise in specific material types, Stena Recycling has established a number of material centers around Sweden in 2016/2017. These concentrate expertise in the inherent characteristics of different materials, as well as logistics and technology. Having large quantities of material in one place enables investment in improved technology and thus increased material value. For example, aluminium can be supplied in a grade for direct use in primary works, which helps customers achieve their sustainability goals by using more recycled raw material.
We invested in new material halls during the year. When material is stored indoors, it is protected from moisture and temperature differences, which makes it easier to use in smelting furnaces and recycling processes.