World's first company to be awarded with the Circular Globe Label - Raimund Beck KG from Austria
Picture: Awarding Circular Globe Label, left to right: Werner Paar, CEO Quality Austria; Alexander Nolli, Director Quality & Operations Raimund Beck KG; Christian Eder, Quality Manager Raimund Beck KG; Christoph Mondl, CEO Quality Austria; Axel Dick, Branch Manager Environment and Energy, CSR Quality Austria © Anna Rauchenberger
The 118-year-old fastening specialist Raimund Beck KG from Mauerkirchen (Upper Austria) is the first company worldwide to receive the Circular Globe Label for circular economy. The label was developed by Quality Austria in cooperation with the Swiss Association for Quality and Management (SQS) and evaluates the entire system of a company for its circularity. On the product level, Beck was particularly convincing with LIGNOLOC, the collated nail made of wood, and with nail screw fasteners called SCRAIL, which combine the advantages of nails and screws.
Raimund Beck KG is a leading premium manufacturer of fastening systems. The fourth-generation family business was founded in 1904, today employs around 450 people and sells its products in 60 countries. Now Quality Austria presented Raimund Beck KG with the Circular Globe Label for circular economy as the first company ever. Christian Beck, General Manager & CEO, is enthusiastic about the award: "As a pioneer in fastening technology, we are particularly pleased to now also take bold steps forward in the field of circular economy and to serve as a benchmark in our industry in the field of sustainable management."
Nails made of compressed wood
Two assessors of Quality Austria have examined the company from Mauerkirchen (Upper Austria), which is internationally known under the umbrella brand "Beck", regarding its circular economy. Birgit Gahleitner, Product Expert for Circular Economy at Quality Austria, was one of the two assessors: "At Beck, two techniques played a particularly important role in the assessment procedure at the product level: On the one hand, SCRAIL nail screw fasteners, which, like nails, are pneumatically shot into the material to be fastened with a pneumatic tool and later can be simply unscrewed again like screws. And on the other hand, nails made of compressed wood called LIGNOLOC. Both products contribute significantly to energy, material and time savings and thus provide ecological and economic advantages." In total, Beck offers different products for approx. 20 industries, ranging from construction and carpentry to the automotive industry, agriculture and gastronomy.
"The intensive preparations for the assessment already provided us with important indications on how we can better incorporate all relevant environmental aspects and impacts into our considerations and planning," explains Christian Beck. The feedback received in the course of the assessment for the Circular Globe Label also provided the company with some exciting aha-experiences: "Particularly in the case of consumer goods such as nails, it is not only tremendously important for us to consider all aspects of 'closing the loop' - i.e. the possibilities of biological and technical closing of the loop - but it is also becoming relevant for more and more customers," as the CEO emphasizes.
Circular economy is more than recycling
"Circularity must already be considered in the design, because about 80 per cent of the environmental impact of a product is determined in the design phase," emphasizes Axel Dick, Executive Vice President Business Development Environment and Energy, CSR at Quality Austria. The essential factors include, for example, material efficiency, durability and recyclability. "Unfortunately, the cliché still persists that recycling and circular economy are one and the same. In fact, recycling is only one part of the circular economy," explains the environmental expert.
Transformation is not a one-time thing
"When we talk about the changeover to a circular economy, we are talking about a transformation process, because the change from linear to circular value creation in a company cannot be realized overnight," explains Axel Dick. Therefore, a series of courses designed by Quality Austria in cooperation with the Swiss SQS is also called "Circular Globe Transformation Coach - Certification Course". "The conversion to circular economy is also never a completed process, which is why the Circular Globe Label already provides for progress assessments in the companies in the second and third year and the validity has to be extended every three years," Axel Dick concludes.