Moving Forward Consciously
We want to move forward. To ensure this happens in the interests of society at large, Materialise runs a company-wide environmental management system that seeks to understand and above all minimize our effect on the environment. This deep-down belief is enshrined in our ISO 14001 certificate that ensures engagement, compliance and continuous improvement.
The Materialise Environmental Policy
As a 3D printing company with industrial and medical production facilities, we have a responsibility towards the environment around us. We’re helping Materialise move towards a sustainable future with our environmental management system (EMS).
How does it work?
The EMS allows us to understand, address and minimize our ecological footprint. With this policy in place at our headquarters in Leuven, we are making a commitment to protect the environment and to comply with European environmental legislation, regulations and customer-specific requirements in all of our operations, processes and services.
What does EMS focus on?
- Reducing raw material usage by controlling spills and rejected parts
- Minimizing waste through recycling and proper waste disposal
- Efficient water and energy use
- Minimizing the use of harmful solvents
- Encouraging environmentally friendly commuting
But we know we can keep doing better. We remain committed to continual improvement and each year, we set relevant targets, measure, review and report our performance. We also make sure everybody gets involved – our employees all receive environmental awareness training and are actively encouraged to participate in Materialise’s EMS.
Water & Energy
As a society, we have to reduce water and energy use – significantly. In our case, that means using water sparingly – or tapping into rainwater - and opting as much as possible for renewable energy. So our 3DP facilities use solar panels and recover the heat of the printers for our central heating system.
Intrinsically, 3D printing technology leads to lighter or less material without compromising on quality. What’s more, continuous research into new and environmentally friendly materials will further minimize the amount of material we use.
We have a complete waste management system which tracks how we handle our waste. We are also constantly thinking of new ways to reduce our waste and to re-use materials. In 2015, we recycled 90% of our waste. The recycling does not stop at the colored recycling bins. We try to reuse our print materials wherever possible.
To minimize the impact on local sites, we try to encourage as many employees as possible to come to the office by bike or public transport. At HQ for example, 1 in 4 employees cycles to work. A carpool system is in place for those that live outside public transport routes.