Sustainability 360°

HempFlax makes proven, sustainable products for its customers

HempFlax is a company specialised in the production and processing of raw materials, semi-finished and finished products from hemp and flax. The main objective of the company from Oude Pekela is to produce renewable raw materials for industrial finished products and articles for the consumer market. And this in a proven, sustainable way, from beginning to end, from process to product.

The process

For HempFlax, it all begins with sustainable agriculture. Every year, HempFlax buys new natural fibres, in particular hemp, through contract farming with farmers in the Netherlands and Germany. The company then processes the hemp. The art lies in separating the hemp wood from the bast fibre: the cleaner the fibre, the better the quality. HempFlax is able to make fibre in various standards of quality by means of the production line it designed itself. From low quality to high quality, this includes paper fibre, insulation fibre, technical fibre and textile fibre. And it is in the area of this latter type of fibre where HempFlax makes a particular impression: it is currently the only company in the world able to produce hemp fibre that is suitable for the textile sector. The process ends logically with the consumer, who purchases a sustainable product. A product that is 100% proven, 100% sustainable.

ISCC (PLUS)

And this is no empty claim. HempFlax is able to demonstrate its sustainable credentials to itself and to its customers by means of the ISCC PLUS programme that was rolled out for the company by the certification organisation, DEKRA. ISCC PLUS, which was launched in 2012 and stands for International Sustainability and Carbon Certification System, is based on the European Renewable Energy Directive. Originally, ISCC was a certification framework for biofuels, but has now been extended to include the certification of renewable raw materials that are used for Short Rotation Crops, biomaterials, bioplastics, food and animal feed. The framework for these specific products is called ISCC PLUS.

ISCC PLUS includes the requirements which farmers must meet if they want to sell their products to manufacturers who want to carry the associated logo. ISCC PLUS also imposes requirements for tracing the certified agricultural products and all intermediate and end products in the chain.

Certification

DEKRADEKRA, which has a wealth of experience in the field of renewable raw materials for application in biofuels and bioplastics, implemented ISCC PLUS for HempFlax. By taking this step, HempFlax is demonstrating conclusively that it is taking responsibility for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, for the sustainable use of land and soil, for the protection of natural biospheres and corporate social responsibility. ISCC PLUS provided HempFlax the opportunity of extending its sustainability certification to the other products in its portfolio, such as hemp products for the equine sector, small animals, construction, agriculture and horticulture and for industry. “And this means that our customers are also able to reap the rewards,” says Mark Reinders of HempFlax. “Not only in the altruistic sense that they can produce sustainable products, but also in terms of positioning and marketing. And there is nothing wrong with that. By showing their commitment to sustainability, companies can raise their profile. And they can do this by implementing a sustainability scheme like ISCC PLUS.”

Certification process

Implementing this level of certification is justifiably not simply a walk in the park. Eric Evers, sales manager at DEKRA, knows this like no other. “Our clients and consultants are aware of that and work all out with full conviction. The bottom line is that a company is then able to demonstrate it is 100% sustainable, throughout the chain.” DEKRA and HempFlax took on the certification as follows:

Preparations for HempFlax

  • Orientation
  • Standards training
  • Registration for ISCC
  • Selection of the certification institute
  • Drafting of the area of application
  • Implementation of the system
  • Drafting of the required documents
  • Informing the stakeholders

Orientation phase: HempFlax together with DEKRA

  • Conducting the intake interview
  • Carrying out a trial audit on the elements for the ISCC PLUS system

ISCC PLUS audit carried out by DEKRA

  • Assessment of the management system
  • Assessment of ISCC PLUS
  • Assessment of submitted documents
  • Interview with the stakeholders (in the case of HempFlax, the farmers)
  • Drafting of the final report

Granting of Certificate

About DEKRA

DEKRA SE is one of the world’s leading expert organisations. The company currently operates in more than 50 countries. More than 35,000 employees are committed to ensure long-term safety, quality and environmental standards. DEKRA has an excellent reputation throughout the world in the field of renewable raw materials for applications in biofuels and bioplastics.