3 June 2021

Supporting the European Green Deal

Announced in December 2019, the European Green Deal is the embodiment of how the E.U. aims to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals “to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.” One of the Green Deal’s primary goals is making Europe climate-neutral by 2050. Including its stakeholders at every point in the value chain, the European adhesive tape industry supports the policy initiatives set out in the Green Deal with its intrinsic focus on innovation, green technologies and transparency.

Focussing on the well-being of people and our planet

Just like tapes, the Green Deal is about protecting our natural habitat and improving society for the good of people, planet and economy. As multifunctional bonding mechanisms, tapes lie at the heart of many of the sustainably evolving products and technologies that touch our lives in fundamental ways, allowing us to improve the way we live, eat, work, travel and keep safe. The result is good for the planet and—what stakeholders are increasingly calling for—protects the living and working environments of our colleagues, partners, suppliers, customers and end users. Prosperity comes out of using an efficient, rational approach to sustainable development, with companies designing better products and forging healthy partnerships to help themselves, the Industry and society to reach our goals of creating a greener future.

Invisible bonds enabling sustainability in products and technologies

Tape is often the hidden green driver of product innovation in many applications and industries. Adhesive tapes can perform a variety of functions at once, meaning that products can be made thinner, lighter, and using fewer, less expensive and more sustainable materials. They are being developed to stand up to the toughest environmental conditions, to be durable and reliable, to realise manufacturing efficiencies and to facilitate recycling and repair.

Tapes and films bring design options to the table that were not even conceivable a few years ago. They empower instruments that generate alternative forms of energy, means of faster and easier communication, products that make homes more efficient, and vehicles that function, are repaired and disassemble more sustainably. Both in manufacturing and the applications themselves, adhesive tapes enable the reduction of carbon emissions, energy use and waste generation.

The Green Deal is an opportunity for flexible tape-related companies

Tapes are routinely produced by intermediate product suppliers in the supply chains of almost every conceivable industry. The considerable expertise behind today’s adhesive tapes, as well as the astoundingly wide variety of applications they have, drives an entire global Industry value chain itself. Suppliers are optimising raw materials and working on developing more sustainable adhesive chemical formulations; manufacturers are looking at more responsible types of backings and substrates; and end product manufacturers and consumers are creating and buying products that, for example, renovate buildings and construct vehicles to make them safer and more efficient, and package and protect transported goods using highly economising designs and recyclable materials. In these ways, meeting the European Green Deal’s objective of becoming climate-neutral will enable European companies to become world leaders in developing clean products and technologies.

Tape is the unseen green partner, ensuring the continuity of entire industry value chains. Afera, as the European adhesive tape industry collective, is facilitating the drive for transparency and inclusion of the supply chain in encouraging open innovation, digital transformation, utilisation of green technologies, and implementation of sustainable and circular business models for its Member companies. Launched in 2021, our flagship sustainability project “Translating the European Green Deal to Afera Members” focuses on producing standardised calculation methods, actively establishing E.U. legislated best available techniques (BATs) for waste management and reduction along the supply chain, and providing all relevant information about the Green Deal to Afera Member Companies.