We are continuously working on using materials for our production as efficiently as possible and using environmentally friendly technologies. Our main emphasis is a sustainable production which also considers the entire life cycle of our products including recycling.
ORTLIEB products have the reputation of being “indestructible”. The fact of a long life is extremely important for the evaluation of sustainability of products. Our promise is 100% waterproof: we give a five year warranty on material and manufacturing; that means our warranty is far longer than any legal regulations. The extremely long life of ORTLIEB products (often longer than 20 years) allows us and our customers effectively to save resources.
ORTLIEB products can be easily repaired. This fact is a fundamental indicator for sustainability. Most of our products are designed such that individual components can be replaced. For products which are discontinued we provide spare parts for at least ten years. Most damaged parts can be exchanged, holes mended, buckles and straps renewed. Our in-house customer service repairs ORTLIEB products so that they can be used again in tough conditions. Older versions of products may be updated to new standards (price list for modifications).
Waste caused in the company and in our production is separated, recycled and disposed of according to legal regulations. ORTLIEB’s first climate balance in 2014 also considered wastes of so-called scope 3 CO2 emissions (indirect follow-up emissions). 2% of total emissions caused by us are due to waste and its disposal, in particular synthetics from our production and cardboard boxes. Despite an increase in production between 2011 and 2015 there was only a slight deviation of the amount of waste in absolute figures. The climate balance – with regards to waste – per produced piece was improved by this fact from 2011 to 2015.
The ecological weak spot of Ortlieb products is the disposal of PVC plastic waste from production and of worn out/old products. Therefore, a long product life time and the ease of performing repairs on Ortlieb products are extremely important. Normally, our products consist of various different polymers which can be separated from each other only by using large amounts of water and energy (negative eco balance). Disposal of PVC is not allowed in Germany, since small amounts of plasticizers may get into the ground water. Modern incineration plants and smart emission control systems are essential for preventing the release of toxic dioxins caused by burning PVC waste in incineration plants.
For these reasons we will allow all consumers the redemption of disused products to the end of 2017 in order to ensure professional disposal.