Cotonea has been producing its own energy using hydropower since 1855 and its own solar energy since 2002.
In 2017, we produced 49 % (2016: 30 %) more renewable electricity (our own hydropower and solar power) than we used during our in-house production. If you add in purchased natural electricity, the surplus of renewable electricity of the Elmer & Zweifel group adds up to approximately 86 % (2016: 68 %).
|Renewable electricity in MWh
|produced solar power||47||41||45|
|purchased natural electricity||201||216||222|
|SUM of available renewable electricity||1.025||951||982|
|Used electricity in MWh||GEZ Bempflingen||127||129||134|
|SUM of available renewable electricity of both locations||551||565||622|
|Surplus of renewable electricity in MWh||476||386||360|
MWh = megawatt hour
We mainly use electrical power in our production. In addition, natural gas is used for the coating of yarn in our weaving factory in the Czech Republic (2017 ca. 329 MWh/year, 2016 approx. 320 MWh). Therefore, the energy balance sheet of both energy carriers shows a surplus of 147 MWh (2016: 66 MWh) of renewable energy in 2017. We were able to achieve this wonderful balance - despite increased production - as a result of our efforts to make our production more energy efficient.
Climate-relevant emissions are produced during the refinement process by companies in Germany and Switzerland due to the use of natural gas, crude oil and electricity. Cotonea has no capability to influence the scope of these emissions. The environmental regulations of both countries are strict. All refinement companies working for Cotonea, work to the latest technological standards, including those of energy recovery and energy conservation. Energy efficiency is an important criterion when choosing our suppliers.
Our (ecological) cotton production is CO2 neutral. In Uganda we do not require water beyond the natural rains. In Kyrgyzstan we also only use rainwater and melting snow for irrigation. Ecological agriculture increasingly runs into the danger of accidentally spreading gene manipulated seeds (GMO), as these genes of course do not stop spreading at the border to ecologically cultivated farmland. Currently, we are one of two producers, who have their organic cotton, as well as the yarn randomly tested by a German laboratory to determine whether they contain any GMO residues. By using (organic) cotton, we can limit the amount of micro plastic that the oceans or our food chain.
Our outer packaging is made of recycled cardboard, the sales packaging is made of recyclable PE foil (polyethylene), the inserts are made of FSC and ECF certified paper. Cotonea does not use carrier bags. We deliver our products in cardboard packaging made of recycled cardboard with DHL (go green) or DPD (total zero). Our return shipment rate is approximately 10 to 12 percent.
We produce production waste in our weaving factory and during manufacturing in our sewing workshop. In the weaving factory, the waste is less than 1 % of produced fabric. During manufacturing, we have by-products of cutting, the amount of which is dependent on the product. The cut is optimised for each manufacturing order.
We control the cotton cultivation ourselves. The project sponsors are the Gulu Agricultural Development Company (GADC, Uganda) and the farmers’ cooperative of organic farmers in Jalalabad, Kyrgyzstan, which was built by the Swiss NGO Helvetas (Kyrgyzstan) and supervised by them until 2016.
|The following companies work for Cotonea|
|Yarn production||Velener Textilwerke, Velen|
|Topkapi Iplik, Istanbul|
|Textile production||Elmertex ks, Velke Porici|
|Hateks Hatay Tekstil|
|Bodmer Strickerei, Balingen|
|Fabric refinement||Setex Textilveredelung, Bocholt|
|Cilander AG, Herisau|
|InnoTex Merkel & Rau, Frankenberg|
|Manufacturing||Elmertex ks, Velke Porici|
Cotton fibres cannot be reused to produce products a comparable value, which excludes sensible recycling of used fabrics. When possible and sensible, we support the utilisation of used fabrics for lower value uses such as filling material.
Cotonea knows the entire production chain. Weaving, as well as manufacturing, takes place in in-house operations. Every supplier in Germany, Switzerland and Turkey pays at least the legally prescribed wages or collectively agreed wages. Nearly all our suppliers are certified by IVN Best. IVN Best defines high ecological and high social standards, which must be fulfilled. IVN Best is the standard with the currently highest demands for textile ecology and sets the highest achievable level. The guidelines cover the entire textile chain – in regard to ecological aspects and social responsibility.
Cotonea is certified by Fair For Life, a label of the Swiss Institute for Marketecology (IMO), which belongs to the Swiss Bio-Foundation.