Knowing that healthier materials contribute to customer health and safety, we focus on choosing materials that are both safe and environmentally friendly.
Why it matters
It has been well documented that healthier building materials have a positive impact on building occupants’ well-being. We therefore focus on choosing product materials that are both environmentally friendly and consumer safe to ensure we are simultaneously addressing any impacts to the environment and to our customers’ health and safety.
Read how we simplified the reporting process on SVHCs to comply with the new European regulation.Read story
Our products are manufactured around the world using different processes. The most utilized non-renewable raw materials include metals such as steel, brass, aluminum, nickel silver, and zinc, as well as gypsum board, glass, and plastics. Other important materials are wood, paper, and cardboard which are made from renewable resources. Metal parts are often converted, for example, into door closers, cylinders, key blanks, hotel locks, and glass fittings. Glass, wood, and gypsum board are primarily utilized in sliding and revolving door systems and movable walls.
The potentially greatest environmental risks lie in the processes used for (1) electroplating and surface finishing, (2) painting, (3) melting, and (4) zinc and aluminum die casting. These manufacturing processes are used at 35 of the 102 locations covered in this report. To reduce our environmental footprint, we focus on monitoring and mitigating the environmental impact of these operational steps. When it comes to optimizing our choice of materials, we focus on complying with international material requirements; developing environmental and health-related product declarations; and utilizing the life cycle approach whenever possible. In addition, since the primary extraction of metals from ore and subsequent refining processes are resource-intensive, we use metals with recycled content whenever possible. Further, we generally send scrap metal to recycling.
Knowing that architects and building inhabitants wish to have more transparency on the content of products, we highlight the possible health impacts of our products. We have developed various Health Product Declarations (HPDs) and regularly perform tests – for example on volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in a movable wall product or on hazardous substances in electronic products. To reduce our environmental and customer impacts related to the choice of materials, dormakaba focuses on three areas:
- Complying with international material requirements
- Health-related product declarations
- Closing cycles
Complying with international material requirements
We manage compliance issues on both an ad hoc and strategic basis. Customer and internal requests on used materials or training, for example, are addressed ad hoc; while liaising with external legal support is a more strategic endeavor in order to review changes to regulatory requirements. Through our Supplier Code of Conduct, we also set clear expectations that our suppliers should actively support ongoing efforts to manage and demonstrate product compliance with the abovementioned regulations.
In the financial year 2020/21, the major impact on our Material Compliance efforts was the amendment 2015/851/EU of the European Waste Framework Directive 2008/98/EC coming into force. This updated regulation demands all manufacturers, distributors, and importers of products in the European Union to upload information on articles and complex objects containing so-called Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) into the SCIP Database created by the European Chemical Agency (ECHA).
Health-related product declarations
We offer various health-related product declarations which transparently account for the materials found in our products. These are in the form of HPDs, Building Product Declarations (BPDs), or Declare Labels, depending on local market requirements.
An HPD provides a detailed list of the materials and contents of a building product and the associated effects on human health. The declaration is a common reporting format with which the required transparency can be guaranteed. BPDs are particularly relevant in the Scandinavian market and are based on the standard from the Byggvarubedömningen (BVB), a business association of Sweden’s major property owners and building contractors. The requirements have become more extensive in recent years. Information must be provided on chemical content and life cycle assessment, in addition to other documents such as Material Compliance Statements or Safety Data Sheets.
In the financial year 2020/21, we developed six new HPDs which all followed the new standard 2.2. We also published BPDs for the Argus half-height sensor barriers, and for the Scandinavian DEA 90x panic exit device series.
Several production sites focus on closed-loop systems in their material use, including in Australia, Brazil, China, Italy, and the USA. The manufacturing facilities recycle most internal scrap metal, either back into their own processes or by selling it to a local approved recycler. Scrap material is also sent back to the original producer, who then uses it to make our purchased materials, resulting in a closed-loop system. For over five years, the production facility in Vittorio Veneto (Italy) accomplished this with over 70% of produced scrap going back into its closed-loop system. Even intracompany trade of scrap takes place, as in the example of our facility in Bogota (Colombia) selling its brass scrap to our facility in Rocky Mount (USA). And the AS APAC facility in Taishan (China) reuses zinc alloy scrap in the die casting process, whereas in Melaka (Malaysia) aluminum chips are remelted in the foundry for reprocessing.
The AS AMER manufacturing facility in Indianapolis (USA) conducts on-site oil reclamation generated from the machining processes. The site utilizes a system whereby oil is spun off of the scrap metal and collected for reprocessing. Once the water content in the oil has evaporated, the oil is reconditioned and supplied back to the equipment for use. In the financial year 2020/21, the team in Indianapolis also converted the cooling process of a new trimmer machine into a closed-loop system where water would continuously recirculate, thereby reducing the overall water usage.
In Singapore, one machining facility has installed a closed-loop system for the metal and aluminum chips produced. All chips produced are transported via underground conveyor to a centralized system where oil and/or coolant are separated and looped back to be used in the production line. The chips are sent to the recyclers.
Downstream material cycles are also taken into consideration. In Germany, we launched a take-back program for sales and transport packaging. We report the annual packaging volumes to a regulatory body as well as a third-party partner, who then takes back the packaging from our customers and ensures it is properly recycled. We have estimated that nearly 5,000 tons of packaging material is taken back and recycled through this process per year.
dormakaba has made good progress in enhancing our products and their material composition and origin, beyond the legal requirements. In addition to the new BPDs mentioned above, we published six new HPDs for the room-partitioning systems ALTERRA ALT100, ALTERRA ALT50, and DORMA Hüppe Variflex 88/100, as well as the door closer HD8056 and HD8016, and the automatic sliding door operator ES PROLINE.
We have continued to improve on material compliance and also further embedded the Material Compliance Network which was initiated in financial year 2019/20. The network, sponsored by the Chief Technology Officer, strives to mitigate the overall risk of Material Compliance and ensure transparency, as well as a global strategic alignment of related research and development initiatives.
With the setting up of the dormakaba LCA Tool and the data collection for the SCIP database, we have investigated a wide range of Bill of Material and production data with respect to hazardous or restricted material for the different product clusters. When assessing materials, we usually follow the IEC 63000 standard and obtain laboratory tests where needed.
There are, however, still many challenges to tackle; for example, material compliance requires the extensive collection of data. Our supply chains are global and complex, which makes it difficult to conduct any necessary follow-up or investigation. And we have to ensure that changes in material composition do not impact product quality.
As a member of the Responsible Minerals Initiative, we support responsible mineral production and sourcing
Therefore, in the financial year 2020/21, we have continued our collaboration with a third-party supply chain data management provider to support product compliance for all US operations with California Prop 65, but also REACH, RoHS and Conflict Minerals requirements. In addition, we are proud to have joined the Responsible Minerals Initiative, a well-respected multistakeholder organization evolving business practices to support responsible mineral production and sourcing globally, including, but not limited to, conflict-affected and high-risk areas.
in metric tons1)
Steel (incl. stainless steel)
Plastics (parts and packaging material)
Wood (incl. packaging material)
Paper and cardboard (incl. packaging material)
1)Not included are materials and volumes which can only be accounted for in pieces or monetary terms.
Material use (%)
Raw material use (%)
We continue to stay well-informed of the upcoming changes to relevant materials regulations. Similarly, we will stay abreast of changes in the BPD and HPD standards and revise our existing portfolio accordingly in the coming financial year.
A key focus will be the rollout of a new Environment Directive which regulates roles and responsibilities at the local level across the organization regarding materials restrictions and hazardous materials management and minimization. A training module will be developed to increase awareness on best practice and support implementation of the policy. In addition, we will leverage the tools and resources from the Responsible Minerals Initiative to improve sourcing polices and processes.
Simplified reporting process with the iPoint SCIP Database Connector
In order to encourage substitution of Substances of Very High Concern (SVHCs) with safer alternatives, enable consumers to make better informed purchasing decisions, and provide information on how to best dispose of affected products, the European Union introduced regulations for greater product transparency in 2021. To be compliant and also support our customers in responding to the new regulation, we have invested in digitizing data processes.
As of early 2021, components with SVHCs in a concentration above a set threshold, which are imported or sold in the European Union, must be reported in the so-called SCIP Database, created by the European Chemical Agency. Working together with internal stakeholders, a global taskforce was setup to develop data collection and reporting processes for the European market through the iPoint SCIP Database Connector tool.
As a first step, we assessed our top-selling products in the European Union affected by the SCIP database reporting requirement. We then identified – for each product type – the “worst case scenario” of the product’s Bill of Materials, meaning all possible accessories, materials and combinations of manufacturing part numbers were included for further assessment. The newly developed LCA Tool and the Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) were the key resources for the analysis. Finally, we created the dossier data and submitted them to the central database. Currently, we have entered 25 dossiers of our top-selling products and now we are continuing with further products.
During the assessment, we took a particular focus on metal alloys containing lead, which is a known SVHC. Lead is normally alloyed with other metals to improve their mechanical properties, which allow machining and cutting and thus play a key role in our production processes and in the quality of our finished products. It is challenging to subsitute its use. But, together with a university partner and members of our internal Material Compliance Network, we are continuously searching for solutions to reduce the lead content in our products without compromising their quality. As members of the ARGE (European Federation of Associations of Locks and Builders Hardware Manufacturers), we also take an active part in industry-wide discussions on potential ways to reduce the lead content in locks and keys.
“The regulation requires us to provide an enormous amount of data, through a complex process. With the iPoint SCIP Database Connector tool we found a solution that enables us to be more efficient throughout the data collection and entry processes and ultimately to comply with the reporting obligations. We are also better able to respond to requests for data from customers, who in turn are obligated to submit information on the products and components they purchase from us.”
Christina Siemsen, Specialist Material Compliance