Interview with Dr. Joerg Seubert
Dr. Joerg Seubert, General Manager Follmann GmbH & Co. KG
Follmann GmbH & Co. KG
Dr. Seubert, could you briefly describe your company to us please?
Our family-owned group of companies, with its subsidiaries Follmann and Triflex, specialises in the development, production and international distribution of speciality chemicals for the processing industry (printing inks, adhesives, microcapsules and coating systems for the decorative and functional design of surfaces) as well as waterproofing systems, infrastructure solutions and markings for the construction sector. With more than 800 employees worldwide, the Follmann group of companies is successfully represented by a large number of subsidiaries as well as local sales partners and offices. Our mission is to create innovative products and comprehensive solutions.
The Follmann group of companies was assessed by EcoVadis, the sustainability assessment platform for global supply chains, in the fields of environment, working and human rights, ethics and sustainable sourcing. What was the result?
In the overall assessment, we achieved Gold status, placing us in the top 10% of companies assessed by EcoVadis in the industry. This means that Follmann has once again significantly improved on its certifications of the previous year. For us, the company rating represents a positive foundation for the systematic development of sustainable innovations and products.
What significance does sustainability have for your business?
For us, sustainability primarily means dealing with the challenges of responsibility in the supply chain, environmentally compatible production on-site, the integration of holistic product responsibility as well as the integration of the circular economy. We face up to corporate responsibility in order to meet the triad of economy, social responsibility and ecology.
The ISO certifications in the context of quality, environmental protection and energy management systems are helpful. We support industry initiatives such as Responsible Care or the sustainability initiative of VCI “Chemie3” in order to manage sustainability challenges holistically and in collaboration. If we understand the effects of our actions, we can take holistic measures: One success is the Sustainable Supply Chain Project. Here, we have set ourselves the goal of having our suppliers assessed by independent auditors and of reducing negative impacts in a goal-oriented approach. Our Code of Conduct for all suppliers is the basis for cooperation. We also attach great importance to raw material qualification and material compliance. Besides the obvious compliance with REACH guidelines, this includes the exclusion of hazardous substances from the value chain in order to specifically offer added value for occupational safety and product responsibility. For this purpose we invest resources in further developing our material compliance processes. In the future, we want to derive targeted measures within the framework of life cycle management in order to prepare benefits for customer communication and reduce risks in an even more targeted manner.
Which product categories do you offer in the chemical industry?
Follmann’s product range includes water-based printing inks for packaging and table decoration products, printing inks and coatings for wallpapers and for the woodworking industries, coatings for technical textiles and digital printing, wood and furniture adhesives and adhesives for industrial applications as well as the microencapsulation.
We are pioneers in the application of water-based printing inks on flexible packaging. In addition, we offer eco-based adhesives and coatings that contribute to the reduction of fossil resources.
What specialities do you offer for the laundry and cleaning industry?
For the detergent industry, we provide a portfolio of microencapsulated fragrances that add value to products and thus significantly increase their attractiveness and effectiveness: They can be used in detergents to achieve a prolonged freshness effect. For this purpose, fragrances are “packaged” in microscopically small capsules and hermetically preserved. This promotes safe transport and targeted release at the point of use. Thanks to our unique technology, the microcapsules are characterised by excellent stability, so that the substances they contain do not leak prematurely and unintentionally. The trick: The stability or tightness of the capsules can be individually adjusted according to requirements. The release of the fragrances is controlled by mechanical action - for example, when wearing washed clothes. As we see sustainability as an obligation to present and future generations, the focus of our microcapsules is also on developing microplastic-free alternatives that are biodegradable.