Press release -
With a heart of green steel – meet Elmias first ambassador 2023
Sustainability. A word that takes on a deeper meaning when a company really wants to make a difference. For GLS Industries, sustainability is about a genuine and far-reaching commitment. Here, both people and the world around them are at the centre on the journey to achieving a leading position in Europe.
Meet one of Elmia Subcontractor's ambassadors for 2023, GLS industries the family business in Gnosjö that has set its sights on becoming Europe's leading sheet metal processing company.
GLS Industries provides a complete offering of sheet metal processing that includes advanced laser cutting and punching for several different types of materials and automated bending of both small, large and advanced parts. GLS has one of Sweden's most complete ranges of welding services, its own painting department and a wide range of post-processing services. Everything the company does is done with minimal energy consumption and maximum material utilisation.
"We recycle an incredible 99.9 per cent of all steel in production. The goal is for discarded material to correspond to a maximum of 0.5 per cent of the number of articles produced. In the long term, we want to offer 100 per cent fossil-free steel in our products, but neither we nor the market are quite there yet,” Jens Petersson, CEO at GLS industries, explains.
GLS Green Vision – a better future for all
The key words for GLS Green Vision are See - Think - Act. In simple terms, this means that GLS will constantly find and act on both large and small things that can contribute to a positive and sustainable development. GLS Green Vision consists of a few selected focus areas: Energy consumption, energy use, materials, logistics and personnel.
GLS works actively with all focus areas and all investments are made with the green glasses on. In connection with new installations, the company uses only environmentally friendly energy, which is an easy way to phase out old technology. The lighting fixtures in production halls and warehouses are replaced with LEDs, and oil as a heating source was phased out more than twenty years ago.
“Sustainability is not only about efficiency and sustainable production. The people have a very central place. It's about getting people to enjoy the workplace, be committed and contribute with competence. In order to achieve the vision and become Europe's leading sheet metal worker, we work sustainably and efficiently together with competent employees”, explains Jens.
Decreased energy consumption
In 2017, GLS carried out an energy audit. Although the company has doubled its workforce since 2013, expanded 4,000 square metres and increased its turnover by more than EUR 100 million, total energy consumption has still decreased by 20 per cent. 1,500 square metres of solar panels have been installed and more will be added. The goal is to have completely climate-neutral production by 2035, which is why machine investments are made with careful consideration. When machines are replaced by new ones, it is mainly because the new ones are several times more energy efficient. But it is not only about savings in production.
"Everything in a company can be optimised," says Jens enthusiastically. For example, we have reviewed our logistics to reduce unnecessary transport that contributes to carbon dioxide emissions and greenhouse gases. Our investment in a baler led us to reduce the collection of plastic, corrugated cardboard and paper by 35 per cent. The investment in bottom-emptying containers also meant that we could reduce the number of emptying operations by half! It's also safer and more ergonomic because the driver doesn't have to get out of the truck.”