Aiming to lead the coatings industry into the future

Now Proton Finishing’s customers can get climate calculations on the surface treatment of their products. The reporting is done at line level, for each individual item. Jan Strandesjö, Quality and Environmental Manager at Beslag & Metall, is very pleased with the arrangement. – ‘It’s great to be able to take this step together!

With the goal of leading the surface treatment industry into the future, Proton Finishing has set a number of bold goals in recent years. One of them was to be the first to offer its customers climate calculations. And now they are there. From now on, Proton Finishing can report the carbon footprint of all its production lines.

We can report the carbon footprint of products depending on which line they have been in. All we need from the customer is information about how much surface area has been

”It’s been tough”

It may sound simple, but it has required a lot of effort from all the production units.

– There is a lot of data to be dug up about our processes. The first step was tough because we chose to divide it up at line level. Of course, it would have been much easier to just get the total for the whole plant – but customers are interested in their products. To create customer and climate benefits, we had to do our homework. And once all the data is available and the method has been established, it’s easy,’ says Sandra Vatn, who is keen to emphasise that the work is also of great importance for Proton Finishing’s own improvement work. “We’ve got a fantastic basis for our own sustainability work with prioritised measures.

Pioneer in sustainability

For Beslag & Metall in Ekenässjön, Proton Finishing’s initiative came as a special order. The company is one of the market’s leading suppliers of pressed sheet metal parts to the automotive industry. Customers include Scania, Volvo Trucks and Volvo Cars.

– Proton Finishing is our surface treatment partner alongside our own paint shop. We have our own paint shop in Ulricehamn where we do the large volumes of powder coating. Proton Finishing helps us with electrolytic surface treatment but also some painting,’ says Jan Strandesjö, Quality and Sustainability Manager at Beslag & Metall. Beslag & Metall currently uses five of Proton Finishing’s six production units and Jan Strandesjö is very positive about the fact that climate calculations have been made for production with a distribution at line level.
Beslag & Metall is a privately owned family business in the third generation and we have a long tradition of developing together with our customers

– something that applies not least to environmental work. We have been certified according to ISO 14001 for more than 20 years and we are used to being scrutinised based on sustainability requirements. This meant that we were well prepared when the automotive industry began to work actively with sustainability issues,’ Mr Strandesjö concludes.

Sustainability must never become a paper tiger

Right now, we are working intensively to increase the proportion of fossil-free materials and to continue the journey towards energy efficiency. There are, of course, solar panels on the roof and in the gigantic press, which is actually one of the largest in Europe and worth a trip to Lake Ekenässjön alone, the braking energy is recovered and fed back into the system.

‘In fact, when we started up the press in 2015, it wasn’t noticeable in the electricity grid at all, even though it’s such an energy-intensive process. This is largely due to energy recovery and today we are grateful that we were so far-sighted!

“Rushing into questions”

co-operation between subcontractors.

– ‘At the moment, we are receiving a lot of questions from our customers about CO2 emissions. We ourselves have made an effort to map the climate impact of our own operations and naturally think it is very positive when our suppliers can do the same. Proton Finishing reports its climate footprint in a very clever way and we have received a great response from our customers. One of them has actually expressed that we are the first to be able to present the result in this way – which is of course the result of good teamwork,’ says Jan Strandesjö, who believes that active sustainability work and concrete results, such as climate calculations, have become a real competitive advantage.

“We recently won an order from Scania worth SEK 150 million and here good quality, high delivery capacity and successful sustainability work have been crucial.

New quote standard

Jan Strandesjö emphasises that cooperation “among subcontractors” is crucial not only for joint success but also for the development of the industry as a whole.
- ‘It is important that sustainability work does not become a paper tiger but that you really see the benefits. And we at Beslag & Metall and Proton Finishing have managed to create that benefit together. Working sustainably means creating an economically defensible business. As soon as you can avoid consuming a resource, you have actually saved money,’ says Jan Strandesjö, who is supported by Proton Finishing’s Sales Manager Anders Olsson.
- Quite honestly. It’s great fun to be first on the ball – and to get customers’ appreciation for what we have done. Even customers we don’t work with today seem to have picked up on it because we get many positive reactions and curious questions. The next planned step will be to report the climate footprint of the details already in connection with the quotation, to give customers an even better basis for decision-making.

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