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Interview with our Business Development and Global Sustainability Director with Yapı Magazine

“We Offer Innovative and Uncommon Solutions with Our Sustainable Growth Strategy”

Stating that it continues its works for the benefits of environment and society for a sustainable future, Kimpur takes care that all its processes, from product management to social activities, comply with the principle of sustainability. With Kimpur Business Development and Global Sustainability Director Murat Kuzkan, who stated that at Kimpur they adopted the belief that sustainable growth is not possible without creating environmental and social value at Kimpur, and the steps to be taken to comply with sustainability standards, Kimpur’s Sustainability Report, their work for a sustainable future and In this context, we talked about the certificates they received.

This is our first interview with you as Yapı Magazine. Could you briefly tell our readers about Kimpur, its understanding of quality and its product range?

As Kimpur, we are among Turkey’s top 500 industrial enterprises. At the same time, we are a professional polyurethane system house with 100% domestic capital, with Turkey’s largest production capacity and sales volume. Our company, which has an annual production capacity of 129.000 tons, leads the sector by exporting to more than 45 countries.

We are an innovative company specialized in the production of MDI prepolymers and formulated polyols. The systems we produce; are used in footwear, automotive, furniture, heating-cooling and insulation/construction sectors. Our product groups are; shoe systems, rigid foam systems, flexible systems, prepolymers, polyester polyols and thermoplastic polyurethanes.

We are perfecting our work with the certificates we have obtained in compliance with certain quality standards, with lean management systems and disciplines such as Six Sigma and FMEA. As Kimpur, we carry out our processes without compromising our understanding of quality. We conduct risk assessments in all our processes in accordance with ISO 9001: Quality Management System standards and regulations. We systematically monitor identified risks and corrective actions, and measure our performance with internal and external audits.

Agreements such as the European Green Deal and the Paris Climate Agreement brought with them some legal obligations. How do these agreements affect the industry? As Kimpur, what steps do you take to adapt to this process on issues such as environment, energy, waste management and reducing carbon footprint?

The European Green Agreement and the Paris Climate Agreement are of great importance in terms of both removing barriers to foreign trade and ensuring the green transformation of companies within the scope foreseen transformations. I think that the targets in line with these transformations will positively affect global trade and contribute to Turkish economy.

As you know, Turkey has announced an action plan under 9 headings, including 32 targets and 81 actions, in line with the European Green Consensus. It was stated that with the “Border Carbon Regulation”, sectors such as cement, iron-steel, aluminum, fertilizer and energy would be subject to priority, followed by the chemical, automotive, packaging, plastic, textile, construction and paper sectors. Although there is no situation that directly affects our sector at the moment, as a company, we fulfill the legal obligations, and we are already adapting to the process with our efficiency studies, our priorities and targets in the environmental field.

Taking action to adapt to a green transition with the European Green Deal would be in favor of third countries that have relations with the EU. I think that the economic structure that will change with green transformation will eventually leave the EU framework and turn into a global practice. For this reason, I believe that adapting as quickly as possible will be in favor of our country and companies.

I predict that with these legal obligations that must be implemented, the awareness of the need to increase global efforts for a sustainable world in our sector by all stakeholders at all levels will be created and that companies will increase their efforts to minimize the environmental impact of their activities.

We have become one of the leading companies that invest in the necessary transformations regarding the harmonization process with the EU Green Deal. We signed the conrtact with Schmid Pekintaş Güneş Enerji Sistemleri San.Tic. Inc. for a solar power plant investment.

We carry out our environmental studies in line with product, energy, waste, water, carbon and plastic management, aiming to minimize the damage to nature in our activities.

Speaking of sustainability, how do you work on compliance with sustainability standards? What are Kimpur’s sustainability policies and documentsf received in this area?

As Kimpur, we believe that sustainable growth is not possible without creating environmental and social value. With this awareness, we set our goals; We accelerated our sustainability efforts in line with our environmental and social approaches. We received our ISO5001:2018 Energy Management System certificate. We achieved 7.08% energy savings in 2021. In 2020, this rate was close to 12%. We signed a contract for the use of solar energy system and renewable energy sources at the Gebze production facility. We continued our activities in line with the sustainability principle with the Carbon and Water Footprint Calculation steps based on ISO 14064 and ISO 14046 standards. In order to continuously improve our environmental performance, we started our infrastructure work for the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System and the SA 8000 Social Responsibility Management System, a global standard on human rights management, in order to integrate the concept of social responsibility into the corporate culture. We were awarded the “Great Place to Work” certificate with a 75% survey result.

In order to reach our targets for 2022, we are trying to increase our work this year at a high rate and move it forward.

Aiming to leave a more livable world to future generations, Kimpur has announced its 2021 Sustainability report. In this direction, can you tell us about Kimpur’s sustainability efforts?

The main components of our report, which we prepared in accordance with the GRI standards basic option, are our environmental, social and economic approaches that we have determined within the scope of our sustainability strategy that we developed as Kimpur in 2021.

We carry out our environmental approaches in line with the management of “product”, “energy”, “waste”, “water”, “carbon” and “plastic”, aiming to minimize the damage to nature in our activities, This information may be found under the heading “Our Value Added to Nature Journey” in the report. We consider all projects carried out in our R&D center in accordance with the principle of sustainability, and when the final product is detected to have an effect that may harm the society or the environment, we exclude the project in question from the scope of product management. With the investments we made with the encouragement of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), in accordance with the Montreal Protocol, an international agreement to combat global warming and climate change, we take care to completely remove inflating gases from our products that damage the ozone layer and instead use nature-friendly inflating gases. We are rapidly working on bio-based projects carried out at the Kimpur R&D Center. In 2021, we started to use bio-based raw materials in our shoe product group. In addition, we have calculated our carbon and water footprint to determine the environmental impact of our products in their life cycle. We have disposed of all our wastes in our facilities in accordance with the law. In order to combat plastic pollution, we became a member of the Business Plastics Initiative and defined our plastic commitments. We will be sharing it with the public in the coming years. Our rate of 11 58%, which we achieved with great success in 2020, when we started our work on energy saving, was maintained in 2021 with  a rate of 7,06%.

We will establish a solar power plant on the roof of our factory building in Gebze in order to accelerate our work on energy and benefit from renewable energy. Thus, we will be obtaining approximately 20 % of the energy required for our production from clean energy.

Within the scope of our social approaches, we have stated our efforts to create an ethical and reliable working environment for our employees and to find solutions to the needs of the society in the regions where we operate, under the heading “The Value Journey We Add to Our Lives”. In this context, we carry out all our work in line with our Kimpur Ethics code of business conduct. In order to provide a safe and healthy working environment for our employees, we carry out legal compliance and risk assessment activities with our ISG Unit, employee representatives and ISG Board, and systematically monitor identified risks and corrective actions. Within the principles of SA 8000, a global standard for the management of human rights of our employees, we provide equal rights for women and men from recruitment to retirement, aiming to achieve gender equality with social responsibility awareness. We proceed with the approach of spreading gender equality among all employees and raising awareness, supporting women throughout their careers, increasing the employment rate of women, and increasing the role of women in decision-making mechanisms by ensuring gender equality in leadership.

As a result of the evaluations and analyzes carried out by the Great Place to Work Institute at global standards, we are crowning all of our efforts with the Great Place to Work® Certified title, which we received by meeting the criteria for a great workplace with a positive employee experience and high trust culture.

“As the Kimpur family, which draws 43% of its strength from women in white collar, we are happy with this rate, which is well above the Turkish average.”

Apart from the works we have done within the institution, we have also supported the needs of the local people in our society by collaborating with different associations, institutions and universities.

Kimpur initiated energy efficiency projects to work towards saving resources with an awareness of environmental responsibility and took the first steps to install solar power plants on the roof of the factory building in Gebze. Could you tell us about the details of the Kimpur Gebze Factory Solar Energy Investment Project and the targets of the Project in 2022?

As the largest exporter company in the polyurethane sector, we took a pioneering step with our solar power plant investment in line with the action plans prepared by the EU Green Agreement and the Ministry of Trade. For the solar power plant investment of our factory in Gebze, we signed contract with Schmid Pekintaş Güneş Enerji Sistemleri San. ve Tic. Inc.  With this investment, our company will save on the electricity costs it will produce, while it is planned that the investment we make will meet at least 15-20% of our total electricity consumption under the current capacity and production conditions, at the same time, approximately 200-250 tons of carbon emissions will be prevented.

With this project, we aim to produce environmentally friendly solutions in the industry, to contribute to the policies of our country’s economy to reduce foreign dependence on energy, and to strengthen our company’s competitive structure in exports and domestic markets by reducing energy costs in production.

As Kimpur, you design special products that make a difference for your customers with their performance. Can you tell us about your R&D, innovation and technology studies at the point of designing special products? What are the innovative and uncommon solutions that Kimpur offers to its customers?

We have been attaching great importance to our R&D studies since the year we were founded. We have become the only polyurethane system house among the top 10 companies that spend the most on R&D in the Chemicals and Products sector in 2020 in Turkishtime’s R&D research. R&D, in which we have made serious investments for many years, has strengthened as an R&D Center in terms of both infrastructure and human resources since 2017.

“As Kimpur, we produce Uncommon Solutions in Every Area of ​​Life’ for our customers”

We see R&D, innovation and digital transformation as facilitators of our sustainability goals, primarily within the scope of sustainable consumption and production goals. In this context, we succeed in simulating customer production exactly with the machinery and mold investments we made in the simulation center we have established in order to obtain accurate analysis and fast results for customer applications, and we produce tailor-made solutions in line with the demands of our customers. We, as Kimpur, define this as “Uncommon Solutions in Every Area of ​​Life”.

Apart from the product groups that meet the daily needs of the sector, we continue to work on many new products that will enable our customers to make a difference. In this context we continued our path in the last three years with the goal of ‘’innovative products’’ that appeal to the different sectors every year, such as shoe sole and slipper product groups that allow 15-20% less polyurethane use in the studies carried out for the shoe industry, a new generation refrigerator that reduces the production time of our customers by up to 20% and in this sense enables them to gain serious production capacity. We continue on our way with the goal of “innovative product” that appeals to different sectors every year, such as panel systems with the highest fire resistance in the sector.

We took part in the 10th R&D Project Market organized by Istanbul Chemicals and Chemical Products Exporters’ Association (IKMIB) in 2021. Our expert R&D team participated in the event with one of their sustainable, high value-added and innovative projects, “Polyester Synthesis from PET Bottle Wastes and Its Commercial Use in Polyurethane Systems”, and ranked 2nd in the Plastic and Rubber category. We believe that the project will be one of the best examples of nature-friendly product ranges, as the recycled product by obtaining polyester polyol from PET bottle waste will continue to be used as a high quality material without losing its class, on the contrary, by gaining added value.

As we come to the end of our interview, how was 2021 for Kimpur? Can we learn about your 2022 goals together with your 2021 evaluations? Could you tell us about your new investments and projects in 2022?

The pandemic, which started in 2020 and continued in 2021, brought along global supply problems in the sectors. As Kimpur, we have achieved our goals without being affected by this situation by continuing to be preferred by our customers with our strong, long-term supplier collaborations, our strong position in the sector and our high purchase volumes.

“According to the research carried out by İKMİB, we became the only polyurethane system house that holds the export record in the Plastic Raw Materials Category in Turkey”

In 2020, we were ranked 314th among the 500 largest industrial enterprises. In 2021, we achieved growth in line with our budgets. With our wide product range, “shoes, automotive, building-construction, furniture, heating-cooling etc. We have exported to more than 45 countries for the sectors, and according to the research conducted by in 2020, we became the only polyurethane system house that holds the export record in the Plastic Raw Materials Category in Turkey.

In line with our business plans, we decided to invest in a second production facility in Turkey, as we are pushing the limits of capacity utilization in our existing Gebze facility. We bought a land in Düzce Gümüşova Organized Industry and designed it. With our Düzce investment, we will reach the capacity to produce 50,000 tons more polyurethane systems in the 2022-2024 period.

Apart from our investments in Turkey, we cooperated with a ready-made production facility with a capacity of 25,000 tons in Latvia, and the legal process regarding Kimpur Europe, a 75% subsidiary of Kimpur, has been completed. As of 2022, we will realize our targets for European markets from this location.

In the polyurethane sector, we believe that we will achieve a strong position in global competition as a major producer in the world, with two production facilities in Turkey and one production facility in Latvia, with a total capacity of 200,000 tons. We are going public in order to further strengthen our corporate and financial structure and increase our investments.

We will continue to produce innovative and uncommonsolutions that touch every aspect of life by creating a model corporate structure that makes a difference in the sector, on this path that we are advancing with a sustainable growth strategy.