NEVEON.stories overview

Feb 20, 2024
Sustainability & Social Engagement

NEVEON, MATR & Betten Eberharter launch Matratzenallianz with Climate Lab

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In Austria, over one million used mattresses are disposed of every year. The newly formed alliance aims to close the mattress cycle in order to save up to 150,000 tons of CO2 annually.

Manufacture, use, dispose of, incinerate: Every year in Austria, more than one million used mattresses end up in the trash and are then thermally recycled. This releases around 150,000 tons of CO2 and destroys valuable raw materials (results report "Circular mattresses"). In order to find a more sensible way of dealing with old mattresses and to further advance the path towards circular mattresses, the successful start-up MATR, Betten Eberharter and we as a foam specialist have initiated the founding of the Österreichische Matratzenallianz and commissioned the Climate Lab to implement it.

Closing the loop for mattresses in Austria requires the involvement of as many companies as possible along the value chain. The initiators are convinced that individual companies can only offer partial solutions. "A functioning circular economy offers enormous potential for economic, ecological and social improvement. However, in order to implement it, committed cooperation between a wide range of players is required. The founding of the Österreichische Matratzenallianz is therefore of great importance." Helene Pattermann, Innovation Lead for Circularity at the Climate Lab, is convinced. She invites other companies along the mattress value chain to sign the declaration of interest and help shape the future of sustainable sleep.

From the "Circular Mattress" innovation program to the Österreichische Matratzenallianz
The foundation of the Österreichische Matratzenallianz is a result of the Climate Lab innovation program for "Circular Mattress", which was carried out on behalf of the Ministry of Climate Protection 2023 with relevant stakeholders in the industry. The Climate Lab and the initiators NEVEON, MATR and Betten Eberharter are now taking the next step by founding the Österreichische Matratzenallianz and pioneering the circular economy in Austria. The alliance will focus on developing a common understanding of circular design, clear criteria for a digital product passport and the targeted development of a voluntary marketing fee.

"We have to get to grips with product design," says Gebhard Ottacher, Managing Director of the Climate Lab, adding: "Today's waste is tomorrow's raw material. At present, many products are difficult to repair or break down into reusable components. Even the recovery of valuable raw materials is often difficult because reuse, repair and recycling are simply not considered in the design. This is where we need to start."  

MATR founder Verena Judmayer also supports this: "Around 80% of the environmental impact of products is already determined in the design phase. It is therefore essential to start right there and bring durable, reusable, repairable and recyclable products onto the market."

Focus on circular design, digital product passport and marketing fee
In addition to promoting circular design, the Österreichische Matratzenallianze will also be involved in the areas of digital product passports and the establishment of a marketing fee. While the former serves to make product information transparent and accessible over the entire life cycle, the "marketing fee" is intended to ensure the financing of the reprocessing of mattresses or the raw materials they contain. "For greater recyclability, we need a digital product passport that provides us with information such as material composition, reusability, origin and production timestamp in the form of a simple QR code," explains Roman Eberharter.

"A marketing fee (EPR - extended producer responsibility for short) is already an established means of financing the closed mattress cycle in other countries. It's time we took the appropriate steps here in Austria too," adds Michael Bednarek from NEVEON.

Further companies in the mattress industry are invited
Companies and institutions wishing to join the Matratzenallianz are invited to sign the expression of interest by the end of March. Inquiries can be sent to [email protected].

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