Grammer says it is aiming to reduce its carbon emissions worldwide by 50% by 2030.

In addition to adopting measures such as the use of renewable energy sources, the supplier is also focusing on its own products.

“We calculate the carbon footprint for each of our products,” said Grammer senior group VP R&D, Michael Borbe. “At 60% to 70%, the life cycle assessment of raw materials used accounts for the largest share of this.

“That’s why selecting appropriate materials, using recyclates and pursuing innovative lightweight designs are among our most effective levers.”

Grammer’s Materials & Sustainability pre-development team has been working with staff from the Institute of Plastics and Circular Economy (IKK) at Leibniz University in Hannover, Germany, since mid-2021. They are supporting Grammer in its search for materials and testing new manufacturing technologies and processes.

Grammer is also drawing on IKK’s experience in creating standardised life cycle assessments. “In addition to this, we are tapping into new, environmentally friendly materials via partnerships with well-known material manufacturers and investigating their suitability for our products,” added Borbe.

Recent examples from Grammer’s portfolio:

  • At Auto Shanghai, 2021, Grammer unveiled console modules and air ducts for passenger cars sustainably produced from recycled materials
  • Presented in October, 2021, the Ubility One product family for buses, trains and autonomous shuttles in urban passenger transportation, meets requirements with respect to climate neutrality due to its end-to-end lightweight construction and sustainable design: The ultra-lightweight Ubility Light seat achieves a weight advantage of 60% compared with conventional seat shells
  • In European urban train traffic, the Ubility Light could help to avoid 130,000 tons of carbon emissions per year. In addition, the Ubility Light is the first seating series for buses and trains to be ‘circular ready,’ that is, designed for recyclability and material separation, throughout its entire product life cycle. The Ubility Air dispenses with composites, relying instead on a mono-material made from recycled materials, making the seat up to 100% recyclable
  • Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the BOOST research project is exploring the possibility of a bionically inspired seating system for commercial vehicles, trains and buses

“Hemp, wood and flax as the basis for biopolymers [plastics made from renewable raw materials], fungal structures or spider webs as biological models for new construction solutions, plus aspects relating to the circular economy: On its way towards becoming a green company, Grammer is pursuing various approaches in the development of products that have an improved climate footprint,” added the supplier in a statement.