Can you protect the environment by choosing the right cable?

Nils Jäger | 14. December 2021

Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

                                                                                                                                              Oscar Wilde

When choosing cables, people often discuss the price, but rarely the cost, which can be many times as high for a cheap cable as for a high-quality cable that has been developed for many millions of cycles in the energy chain. Especially in the current environment, in which avoiding waste and protecting the environment is an everyday concern, it is important not to look only at price. What is much more important is how long a component lasts.

The other day, a friend’s daughter said to me: “Plastic? But plastic is not good!” Explaining to her that there are big differences gave me the idea of taking up the topic of environmental protection and waste avoidance in this blog. Private citizens are not the only ones who are trying to live more sustainably to avoid waste. We at igus are also thinking about how we can contribute.

How do chainflex cables contribute to waste reduction?

Not too long ago, a customer asked me about the CF33.40.04 cable. I was very surprised because this part number had not been requested for at least 12 years. It is an old igus (4G4.0)C PUR motor cable. It was in the chainflex® catalogue until 2001, when it was replaced by the CF35.UL.

The cable worked flawlessly for over 20 years in a machine with constant movement. This clearly showed me how much a durable cable can contribute to environmental protection. What doesn’t break doesn’t need to be replaced, so it actively contributes to waste avoidance.

Choosing a durable cable not only reduces waste, but also conserves resources. Tools such as the service life calculator facilitate cable selection. They give you, the customer, a clear statement about the expected service life because producing a new cable requires raw materials such as copper and various plastics such as PVC, PP, and PUR. Then there is the energy requirement for the production machines.

What else is igus® doing in the area of sustainable plastics?

I’m glad to be able to answer this question as well. People often automatically assume that plastic is bad and harmful to the environment. But I work at igus® with a clear conscience. igus® gives a great deal of thought to sustainability, and many of its projects truly put it into practice. At igus®, we never stop learning and improving. In all sorts of ways.

You can get some insights into sustainability at igus here.

It is important to us to make our environmental policy transparent and comprehensible. That is why we have been certified according to ISO 14001, an international foundation for environmental management­ systems, since 2019. The standard helps us towards our ideal of a CO2-neutral factory.

The igus® chainge recycling programme for energy chains

Plastic isn’t always the same as trash. That is why we recycle worn-out energy chains. We accept all energy chains, even those from other manufacturers. We separate the various types and process the chains to form new granulate. Chainge, of course, combines the words “chain” and “change”.

Planting trees at igus

For several years now, igus has been pursuing various tree planting projects around the globe. Our task is not just to avoid CO2 emissions, but also to capture existing CO2 with more tree cover. We are pleased to help our planet a little bit with each of these projects.


Every year, igus produces about five tons of electronic scrap. And many of the scrapped devices are still functional. Couldn’t other uses be found for them? This is the question our IT trainees asked themselves and launched this great project with the commercial trainees. Here, discarded functional devices are no longer scrapped, but tested and offered for sale to company employees. Since April 2021, an in-house online shop has offered these refurbished devices at low prices. The proceeds are donated to sustainable projects. Linguistically, reguse is a combination of reduce, reuse, and recycle and signals the affiliation with igus®


igus® sustainability has many faces. We are thrilled with each of them. Planting trees and upgrading electronic devices remains just as much our task as providing good advice on our products, which also contribute to sustainability with their longevity. It is only when you find a long-lasting solution for your application that we can together contribute to a more environmentally friendly world.

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