Plastiflex: aspiring to circular production

Plastiflex Group is setting the bar high. In the near future, the producer of flexible plastic hoses wants to operate completely circularly. Together with BDO’s sustainability experts, the company translated this ambition into a genuine Sustainability Transition Programme.

Plastic hasn’t really enjoyed a good reputation over the last decade. Nevertheless, Piet Gruwez, CEO at Plastiflex, believes that plastic is not a bad product in itself: “The pressure to reduce plastic use is mainly focused on single-use plastic in the packaging sector. The need to create sustainable alternatives that help reduce the garbage dump is growing exponentially.” Other market segments to which Plastiflex supplies plastic hoses will also have to follow.

“Plastiflex is striving to be the most sustainable producer of flexible hoses by eventually working in an entirely circular production process.”

Piet Gruwez, CEO Plastiflex Group

Among other things, Plastiflex produces hoses for vacuum cleaners and washing machines, and such appliances last a very long time. Yet Piet Gruwez is not waiting for pressure from his customers. “When the new European legislation on the disclosure of non-financial information comes into force in 2023, our company will not only be ready to report correctly, but we will also have a range of innovative products to offer our customers.” This includes using sustainable raw materials, consuming less water and electricity, and recycling all waste to the maximum extent into new raw materials. “In this way, we significantly reduce CO2 emissions and create a closed loop as an end goal.”

Pragmatic, enthusiastic, efficient

In order to shape this sustainability vision, Plastiflex appointed a Sustainability Officer to develop a sustainability strategy and to effectively implement the initiatives. But how do you get started? There was a need for an objective analysis by specialised ESG consultants. Piet Gruwez decided to call on BDO’s Sustainability Advisors. “Out of the three possible companies, BDO’s professionalism, enthusiasm and pitch convinced us the most,” he explains. “And I was pleasantly surprised by the passion of the BDO consultants. The team is an excellent blend of more experienced professionals with extensive sector experience and younger members with a fresh approach. Their pragmatic and enthusiastic approach ensures a pleasant and efficient collaboration. Despite the sometimes very tight deadlines, the experts always managed to deliver within the agreed time frame. That’s really nice to work with!”

Sustainability is about more than the environment

As a production company, it goes without saying that Plastiflex’s sustainability policy focuses primarily on the ecological aspect. But according to Piet Gruwez, the social aspects are at least as important: “Many of our employees work in countries where the living conditions are much less comfortable than those in Europe. Plastiflex wants to contribute its part there as well – by providing sufficient food, vaccines, and so on.”

BDO's Sustainability team is an excellent blend of more experienced professionals and younger members with a fresh approach.

Watch the video testimonial from Plastiflex on YouTube.