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  • Whereas in Germany electricity is generated from renewable sources for a long time already (Cotonea produces its own hydroelectric power since 1855 and own solar power since 2002), in Uganda, this sunny country at the equator, solar energy is a small - but rapidly - growing plantlet.

    Whereas in Germany electricity is generated from renewable sources for a long time already (Cotonea produces its own hydroelectric power since 1855 and own solar power since 2002), in Uganda, this sunny country at the equator, solar energy is a small - but rapidly - growing plantlet.

  • Our cotton in Uganda as well as in Kyrgyzstan is carefully picked from the bushes by hand.

    Our cotton in Uganda as well as in Kyrgyzstan is carefully picked from the bushes by hand.

  • Our premises from above: The solar panels on the roofs and mainly the water of the river Erms (the canal can be seen left on the bottom of the picture) deliver more power than we need in our production. We feed this surplus into the grid.

    Our premises from above: The solar panels on the roofs and mainly the water of the river Erms (the canal can be seen left on the bottom of the picture) deliver more power than we need in our production. We feed this surplus into the grid.

Aspects of sustainibility

 

Our energy balance

In 2015 we generated a surplus of 22 % regenerative electricity (from own water power and solar) than used in our own production. Including the purchased electricity from regenerative sources, the surplus of regenerative power of the Elmer & Zweifel Group amounts to about 58 %.

The following table shows the details:

Regenerative electricity
produced from water power715 MWh
produced from solar power45 MWh
purchased electricity from regenerative sources222 MWh
Available amount of electricity from regenerative sources982 MWh
 
Used electricity
GEZ Bempflingen134 MWh
ETEX CZ488 MWh
Total amount of used electricity by Elmer & Zweifel Group622 MWh
 
Surplus of electricity from regenerative sources360 MWh

Greenhouse gas emissions in our own production:

We mainly use electricity in our production. In our weaving mill (Czech Republic) also natrual gas is used (approx. 310 MWh/year resp. 29.000 m3/year). So, the surplus amounts to 50 MWh energy from regenerative sources (i.e. 10 tons saved greenhouse emissions).

Greenhouse gas emissions in our suppliers’ production:

Emissions with effects to climate arise by using natural gas, oil and electricity upon finishing the surface. These finishing companies are in Germany and Switzerland. Cotonea cannot influence the quantity of their emissions, but the environmental regulations are high in these countries. All finishing companies, who are working for Cotonea, comply with high, modern technical standards – including methods of saving and reusing energy. Energy efficiency criteria are important upon selecting our suppliers.

There are no greenhouse gas emissions upon cultivation of organic cotton.
In Uganda and Kyrgistan no water is used in addition to natural rain.

Packaging and shipping:

We are using recycled cardboard for our wholesale- and shipping-packaging and PE-film (recyclable) for the sales packaging. Our products are dispatched in cardboard-packagings from recycled dardboard by DHL (go green) or DPD (total zero).Carrier bags are not used.

The return-rate of products bought in our own online-shop is between 10 and 12 percent.

Waste in production:

Waste is produced in our weaving mill (less than 1 % of produced tissue) and in the sewing-department. Relevant “waste” results from cutting the tissues, the quantity depends on the production-process.

Our Suppliers:

We are controlling the cultivation of our cotton ourselves. The Gulu Agricultural Development Company (GADC, Uganda) resp. the co-operative Biofarmers in Jalalabad, which was built up by the Swiss NGO Helvetas (Kyrgistan) operate the organic cotton projects.

The following suppliers are working for Cotonea:

Yarn-production:
Velener Textilwerke, Velen; Topkapi Iplik, Istanbul.

Tissue-production:
Elmertex, Velke Porici; Boneka, Teplice; Hateks Hatay Tekstil and Bodmer knitting, Balingen

Finishing:
Grenzlandfärberei, Bocholt; Weidmann, Süssen; Keller, Mössingen; Haase, Bisingen; Cilander AG, Herisau and Fussenegger, Dornbirn

Sewing (besides our own sewing-department in Velke Porici (Czech Republic):
Siko and Siskova, both in Mezimesti (Czech Republic)

Recycling:

Cotton fibres are unsuitable for reuse as equvalent products. So, recycling of used tissues makes no sense.

Fair wages:

Cotonea knows every company of the supply-chain. Each manufacturer/supplier in Germany, Switzerland and Turkey pays at least legal resp. standard wages.

Nearly all our suppliers are IVN BEST certified. This is the standard with the highest ecological and social demands that can be fulfilled at present.

» http://naturtextil.de/en/ivn-quality-seals

Cotonea is „fair for life“-certified, a label of the Swiss Institute for Market-Ecology (IMO), belonging to the Swiss „Eco-Foundation“.

» http://www.fairforlife.org/client/fairforlife/file/FFL_Flyer_2014_en.pdf
» http://www.fairforlife.org