Enhancing value


BekaertDeslee is a globally leading specialist for the development and manufacturing of mattress textiles. From its headquarters in Belgium, the company oversees a global network of 22 facilitiess in 15 countries. Its product range primarily consists of woven and knitted textiles that are sold to mattress manufacturers in the Americas, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. BekaertDeslee works together with its customers to develop and produce mattress textiles to the customers' standard of quality in terms of both design and product features.

Assuming sustainability means offering safe, high-quality products and ensuring that business activities are environmentally friendly and socially responsible, it is an essential part of BekaertDeslee’s basic values and deeply rooted in the corporate culture through the following four guiding principles: 1. The conformity principle; 2. The prevention principle; 3. The Zero-defect principle; 4. The principle of measuring. In 2017, BekaertDeslee defined its main CR focus areas after conducting a wide range of stakeholder interviews with employees, customers, representatives of the owner and communities in which the company operates. At the conclusion of this process, the company's activities were aligned accordingly and a roadmap was drawn up: Under the leadership of the top management, an interdisciplinary team prioritises and initiates sustainability projects along the entire value chain.

Progress report on the 2017 targets

Employees: Health & Safety Management
Health and safety is fundamental for BekaertDeslee. The company’s top priority is to ensure its employees’ safety at all production units. To that end, a worldwide reporting system has been established which helps to ensure transparency. It measures the incidents and lost working days as result of accidents. In addition, it records near misses. This is important for the purpose of training employees to avoid similar incidents. BekaertDeslee analyses the average figures from the last 24 months to see whether improvements have been made or weaknesses have emerged. The Group had a 3.24 accident rate by the end of 2017 (accidents x 200,000/work hours) and a days-absent rate of 0.22 (days absent x 1,000/work hours). New targets for 2018 are set at 3.19 for accidents and 0.21 for days absent.

Value-added chain: Supplier Commitment
85% of BekaertDeslee’s total procurement volume accounts for yarn procurement. Therefore, the company is focusing on its collaboration with yarn suppliers along the entire value chain. In order to integrate sustainability aspects into yarn procurement, the company has been introducing a supplier declaration based on the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights since 2016. The project was also launched in response to increasing requirements by customers: mattress manufacturers often want to ensure that upstream suppliers have signed a document acknowledging and accepting the standards in terms of human rights and working conditions. By the end of 2018, all group-wide yarn suppliers will have signed the BekaertDeslee supplier declaration. In 2017, 75% were already covered.

Innovation: resource efficiency
BekaertDeslee ensures that waste and excessive use of energy are avoided. Should this nevertheless occur, the company is committed to detecting and rectifying abuses in a sustainable manner. At its largest location in Turkey, BekaertDeslee has launched a pilot project to avoid waste in the production process. Its aim is to raise employee awareness and thus reduce rejected goods. In the area of textile finishing, the company also aims to use resources more efficiently: the implementation of an innovative finishing technique is intended to reduce the use of water, chemicals and energy over the medium term. The goal is to implement this technique at 16 plants by 2019. In 2017, the new equipment was already operating at 5 locations.

For further information, please see www.bekaertdeslee.com/en/about/cr

This section includes the following GRI indicators: