Wood packaging fuels a village and boosts a sustainable supply chain

Madrid / 14 February 2022

In 2015, one of Siemens Gamesa’s long-standing partners based in Engesvang, Denmark set up a heating facility that runs on end of lifecycle wood packaging. As one of the core supplier of wood pallets to Siemens Gamesa, the company, STEA, drives sustainability in all its operations. STEA is aiming to reuse and recycle wooden pallets to extent their lifetime to a maximum. When the pallets can no longer be recycled and reused by Siemens Gamesa, STEA converts the scrap wood to biofuel that provides heating to nearly 800 households in the neighboring village. Now, that's what we call a sustainable and innovative partnership.

Communication Specialist
When a company looks into the carbon emissions of its packaging material - in this case, wooden pallets - you can be certain that it does not take its commitment to being carbon neutral lightly. Indeed, while Siemens Gamesa became carbon neutral in 2019, the company is constantly searching for new ways to improve its sustainable operations. To reach the long-term goal of net-zero by 2040, Siemens Gamesa evaluates all new projects and partnerships with the aim of improving sustainability.

On the supplier front, STEA is an ideal partner in SGRE's quest for an environmentally conscious associate. This company based in Engesvang, Denmark has been helping Siemens Gamesa to reduce its carbon footprint and is a blueprint for how Siemens Gamesa is building strong partnerships with local small businesses.
STEA has been helping Siemens Gamesa to reduce its carbon footprint
STEA is one of Siemens Gamesa's core suppliers of wood pallets. Pallets are the building blocks of logistics companies worldwide and as globalization and trade increases, demand peaks. The European Pallet Association (EPAL) that actively monitors the usage of pallets across Europe estimates that the production of EPAL pallets grew by 1.14% to 97.3 million pallets in 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The positive side is that the Euro pallet or EPAL can be used around 10 times from its first production, which makes it a sustainable tool in operations.
Repair - Recycle - Reuse

STEA is certified both by the Danish Environmental Protection Agency and EPAL assuring the commitment to reduce the carbon footprint of wooden pallets. The pallets STEA is manufacturing are put to their maximum use through repair and recycling and finally to utilize the remaining energy embedded in the wooden pallets. It all starts with STEA buying used wooden packaging materials from Siemens Gamesa's Denmark plants in Brande, Aalborg, Esbjerg.

The used materials are transported to the STEA factory premises where they are carefully sorted according to applicable laws and regulations. If the pallets can be re-used, they are treated and made into re-usable wooden pallets. These pallets are sold back to Siemens Gamesa and thus put back in the system.

"We use every opportunity to think of a better way of doing things," says Johnny Fiskbaek, Group President of STEA "In most cases, when the pallets can no longer be re-used, they end up in a waste burning unit, but not here at STEA. We chip the pallets and use them as biofuels to heat the entire village of Engesvang in a CO2 neutral way. Heating over 760 households, we have helped each family save around 270 EUR annually on heating bills."

"It's a win-win situation all through," explains Jeanette Rokkjaer, buyer at Siemens Gamesa. "We keep buying the pallets that STEA treats for us and in this manner have developed an efficient recycling system. For those pallets that are at the end of their life cycle, STEA uses them as scrap wood, chipping them for use in the heating facility."

Always looking to do more
"The business between STEA and SGRE is truly circular," said Maximilian Schnippering, Team Lead Supply Chain Sustainability at Siemens Gamesa. "The sustainability of our supply chain is a key priority for us. We strongly believe that we will only achieve our decarbonization and circularity goals through close collaboration with our entire value chain. Even our local small businesses have an important part role to play in our circularity journey and represent a catalyst for sustainable improvement".
Pallets are treated and made into re-usable wooden pallets

There is minimal wastage of space in the packaging and delivery of the pallets. STEA ensures the pallets are tightly packed in each consignment. This reduces the need for multiple delivery trips and therefore reduces carbon emissions. STEA was also the first Danish company to implement EURO6 trucks, which reduce NOx emissions and vehicle pollution.

STEA is a company that does not rest on its laurels - plans are already afoot to open a partly solar-power run warehouse in Taulov, Denmark. The project is further proof of the company's commitment to improving carbon emissions and acknowledges the innovative solutions STEA promises to deliver to its partners for years to come.


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