Mölnlycke has invested €50m in a new plant in Kulim, Malaysia, to meet future demand for high-quality surgical gloves. The new plant will start production in Sep 2022 and will generate 500 new local job positions. With sustainable manufacturing as one of the main drivers for the initiative, Mölnlycke is partnering with ENGIE for energy solutions and Veolia Water Technologies for wastewater treatment solutions to ensure best-in-class energy and waste water management at the new plant.
“The new plant is a key part of our future plans for sustainable growth within the surgical gloves business. It will enable us to expand production to meet projected demand. But the best part is that we will achieve this in a less resource-intensive way, while creating a state-of-the-art working environment for our colleagues in Malaysia,” said Zlatko Rihter, CEO of Mölnlycke.
As part of the company’s commitment to reduce their operational carbon emissions by 50% by 2030 (baseline 2016), and in support of Malaysia’s national agenda to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, Mölnlycke is focused on driving continuous energy efficiency to transition to 100% renewable electricity across all their sites globally.
Mölnlycke intends to optimise the new plant’s energy consumption by tapping digital energy management to monitor how energy is being used and where it is being lost. The increased transparency will help the company optimise their efforts to reduce consumption.
Four out of Mölnlycke’s 14 plants are already operating fully on renewable electricity; and as of Mar 2022, three of the surgical gloves manufacturing plants in Malaysia could be added to the list of factories fully powered by green electricity.
Mölnlycke’s journey to become a zero-waste company by 2050 at the latest continues with focusing on both promoting a circular economy to reduce waste in all their manufacturing processes and recycling and reusing process water both on-site, or via third parties. For instance, the new plant in Kulim is equipped with a wastewater treatment solution provided by Veolia.
“The surgical gloves manufacturing process is resource intensive. By partnering with experts in the fields of energy management and water management, we are ensuring we act to realise our ambition to become a global leader in sustainable healthcare. I am very pleased with the partnerships with ENGIE and Veolia — they are important in bringing ‘WeCare’, Mölnlycke’s sustainability transformation agenda for the Gloves business area, to life,” said Katriina Öberg, EVP of gloves at Mölnlycke.
ENGIE, a provider of low-carbon energy, will support Mölnlycke’s production operations by providing sustainable energy solutions to the new Kulim plant under a long-term power-purchase agreement spanning over 15 years.
Thomas Baudlot, CEO of energy solutions in APAC and country head for South East Asia at ENGIE, said: “ENGIE is proud to be the chosen long-term sustainability partner to Mölnlycke in accelerating their low-carbon journey in Malaysia. This will be an important milestone for our partnership, helping the Kulim plant use as little energy as possible. More broadly, the project exemplifies how industry players can reap economic benefits by accelerating their energy transition with low-carbon solutions”.
Veolia Water Technologies, a supplier of proprietary wastewater treatment technologies, will provide wastewater treatment solutions enabling water recovery and reuse, while minimising the discharged quantity. The solution also includes digital monitoring services, as well as a tailored chemical conditioning program. These services will allow the plant to further optimise energy and chemical use during treatment as well as water consumption.
Olivier Estienne, country director of Malaysia for Veolia Water Technologies, said: “Veolia is firmly committed to championing ecological transformation. We are excited to partner with companies like Mölnlycke, who seek to establish sustainable practices and integrate a green mindset into their business. Our team is proud to be part of Mölnlycke’s expansion plans in Malaysia and we look forward to more avenues to support their endeavour for greater sustainability and improved performance.”