Xingda published first ever sustainability report by a Chinese steel cord maker
On 28 July, Xingda, which specialises in rubber reinforcement such tyre cord, officially released its 2021 sustainability report with a special event at its headquarters. According to the company, it is the first sustainability report released by Xingda, also the first by any Chinese steel cord or bead wire maker.
In the report, compiled in accordance with the GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) criteria and aiming to address both the immediate and longer-term challenges facing the industry, Xingda disclosed the goals, plans, actions and latest progress of its key sustainability initiatives, such as green products, circular economy and low-carbon operation.
Specifically, Xingda commits to deliver “high-quality, innovative and green products and solutions, promote green transformation of the industry, and contribute to the social development and community prosperity.” To do that, the company has articulated four major areas of sustainable development: Green products and solutions; Sustainable supply chain; Shared social values; and Robust operation model.
By 2025, Xingda aims to increase the proportion of “green products” in total sales to 30 per cent. In 2021 what the company calls ST/UT tyre cord products accounted for 28 per cent of total sales.
Xingda aims to do its bit to tackle climate change by: reducing carbon emissions per unit of product by 18 per cent in comparison to 2020 by 2025. The firm also wants to reduce energy consumption per unit of product by 14 per cent in comparison to 2020 by 2025. And finally, by 2025 Xingda aims to achieve a 30 per cent green energy ratio.
Progress towards those goals has already been made in 2021. For example, carbon emission per unit of product at Xingda’s Jiangsu base was 1.42 tons of CO2, down 3.73 per cent year-on-year. Energy consumption per unit of product was 1.43 MWH/ton, down 1.38 per cent year-on-year. Meanwhile, energy consumption per unit of product of the Jiangsu base in 2021 dropped by 2.69 per cent from 2020. In order to make further progress, executives have approved the necessary capital expenditure for a 7.6MW rooftop solar power station, with an expected annual electricity generation up to 8 million kWh.
Moving towards circularity
Xingda is also moving towards circularity, with goals to raise the proportion of recycled steel to 40 per cent. In 2021, purchased steel wire rod contained 18.50 per cent recycled steel.
When it comes to responsible procurement Xingda aims to include 100 per cent of its suppliers in sustainability assessment. So far, 11.48 per cent of suppliers finished environmental and social evaluation, while the evaluation ratio of major raw material and auxiliary product suppliers was 90.9 per cent.
Investing in people provides another goal. By 2025, Xingda says it will provide on average 40 hours of vocational training for each employee per year. Employees received 34 hours of training on average during 2021.
Compliance-wise, by 2025, the company will provide “business ethics training” for 100 per cent of employees and suppliers. In 2021, 857 employees (11 per cent in total) received anti-corruption training.
In order to hit its goals and continue to raise standards, Xingda established a “Sustainable and High-Quality Development Strategy Committee” and the “Xingda International Green Vanguard Team”.
Third-party audits from CDP and Ecovadis also reflect Xingda’s progress. The company achieved B in CDP Climate Change and won a Bronze Medal from Ecovadis.
Along with the report, Xingda also shared the current status of its “from tyre, back to tyre’ project, in which steel cord and bead wire shall be recycled from used tyres to make wire rod and then new steel cord and bead wire, so as to achieve a true circular economy. At present, Xingda reports that it is “working closely with tyre recyclers, steel makers and tyre makers” to assess the technical feasibility of such cycle, and look to conclude the assessment in the coming months before moving to the mass trial phase. “Once completed, it will mark one of the greatest breakthroughs the industry has seen in recent years and offer a remarkable boost to the quest for circular economy by tyre makers around the globe”, Xingda representatives said in a statement.