The mission we have set for the Thoonsen Group is to offer practical, affordable long-term solutions that are manufactured in the most responsible way possible.
100% French Design
Thoonsen is committed to the economic and entrepreneurial life of its local area, so it is essential for us to manufacture or have manufactured locally. All our furniture, guidance, mechanical gates and our MOXO® electrically assisted vehicles are manufactured in our workshops or by local service providers, using responsibly sourced materials.
The Choice of our Materials
The design and industrial conception of Thoonsen products are part of an eco-design approach. The choice of materials is therefore highly strategic in order to :
- give preference to easily recyclable plastics,
- limit single use products,
- extend the life of products (e.g.possibility to replace batteries in our alarming tags),
- prefer 100% recyclable materials such as metal, wood, glass, etc.
In order to reduce our environmental impact as much as possible, we have selected a range of materials, mainly taking into account their method of manufacture, their origin and their composition. Our main concern is to be sure that the material used is individually suited to its usage. Thus, a durable material will be chosen for long-term use (ultra-resistant metal for our Blackline range of fittings and guidance systems, which is entirely recyclable), whereas for short-term use a lighter and easily recyclable material will be preferred (easily reusable black plastic from our range of anti-theft accessories, with a granite finish for better sustainability).
The procedure for our design office is to constantly work towards improving production, in order to control costs and quality as much as and in the most virtuous way possible, both for customers and suppliers. For example, we have just finished working on enabling battery replacement for our range of 2 and 3 alarm anti-theft tags, thus increasing the life span of our products.
Handicap Accessibility, Fire Safety and International Standards
Our responsibility as a global manufacturer and distributor requires us to prioritize security and research the French, European (CE) or international standards in force relating to the conception of our products.
The creation of the MOXO® brand of electrically-assisted vehicles in 2016 meant that our teams had to deal very quickly with the extremely demanding standards of the disability sector and the highway code.
Accessibility for people with disabilities is also an important concern for our customers' points of sale and outlets. Our products are systematically available in adapted versions
(e.g.our hydroalcoholic solution dispensing unit, designed without contact to avoid the problem of operating a pedal for a person in a wheelchair).
Similarly, our R & D office has carried out extensive research into the design of our checkout furniture, to comply with the AFNOR NF X35-701 standard relating to the furnishing and ergonomics of work areas like checkout stations in hypermarkets/supermarkets, in order to ensure the comfort and safety of employees and to prevent the risk of MSDs (musculo-skeletal disorders).We also ensure that all Thoonsen solutions comply with the M1 (flame retardant) fire standards(1) in accordance with NF P92-507.
More generally, we systematically integrate this important research and compliance work into all our product designs. To help us in this delicate task, the support of PERIFEM is of capital importance.
Innovation in partnership with Perifem
Created in 1980 to improve the construction and operation of retail premises around three areas of expertise (energy/environment, safety/security, technology), PERIFEM is a recognized organization working alongside public authorities and opinion leaders, with an impact at both French and European level.
The organization, which represents the retail and specialized trade sectors, has set itself the task of connecting these companies with solution providers, institutions and stakeholders, and contributing to information sharing, innovation and the development of regulations. We work in constant collaboration with their departments.
Responsibility for Technological or Chemical Risks
As our anti-theft systems are based on radio wave and magnetic field emissions, we are responsible as designers and manufacturers to be aware of the dangers that may be associated with the products we market, to stay informed and to take the necessary measures to calibrate our products to the highest standard. We are committed to selling only safe products that comply with European and international standards, and we refuse to market items that may represent a danger of any kind (e.g.antennas with integrated deactivators offered by competitors may represent a danger to the health of certain customers, pregnant women or persons equipped with Pacemakers).
Atypical example is the risk associated with the use of Chromium VI. This led us to make a responsible innovation, favoring a more sustainable production technique for our BLACKLINE guidance range, which does not contain chromium.
FOCUS : Chromium VI ban in Europe
Chromium exists in two forms :
- Trivalent (ou Chromium III)
- Hexavalent (ou Chromium VI)
REACH is a European Union regulation to protect health and the environment from the risks associated with chemical substances. Some substances are subject to authorization or prohibition, including Hexavalent Chromium VI (also known as chromium trioxide) used for hard chromium plating in surface treatment, as it has mutagenic and repro-toxic carcinogenic properties. Since September 2017, marketing and use of chromium trioxide has been prohibited, unless an exemption is granted (1).
(1) Special authorizations were granted by the European Commission and the European Chemicals Agency until March 2016, postponing permission to use chromium VI for 7 years in case where there are no other substitute alternatives.
Even the USA, the most polluting country in the world, is currently assessing the consequences of chromium use on human health.
Sorting, Recycling and Waste Recovery
As a full member of the French furniture industry, we are part of the Valdélia eco-labelled recycling process, a non-profit organization approved by the French Ministry of Ecology, which takes charge of the collection, treatment and recovery of used professional furniture (2) and guarantees good practice to its service provider partners.
Chrome has the disadvantage of being highly polluting during production and cannot be recycled. The same applies to Plexiglas® antennas, which are polluting and non-recyclable and must be burnt at the end of their life span. This is why we have chosen to equip our antennas with polycarbonate panels, the second advantage of which is that they comply with the M1 fire protection standard (see "2. COMPLIANCE WITH SAFETY STANDARDS" above).
As an example, our Blackline range in black metal and powder coated paint is fully recyclable : once the product is dismantled, the metal can be melted down and re-used.
In the same spirit, our numeric milling machine has been specially equipped with two chip vacuums to separate wood waste from plastic.
Finally, we meticulously sort all our production waste and recycle it at specialized collection points.
Circular Economy & Re-use
Used paper and cardboard from our suppliers' packaging, as well as pallets that are no longer usable, are entrusted to a local integration company specializing in the collection, recycling and recovery of waste : Insert Jeunes (Châteauroux-36).
We repair our used electronic equipment when it is possible, in order to save resources of precious metal and electronic components in good working condition. For instance, defective or damaged cards for our anti-theft antennas are sent back to be repaired in our partner workshops in China since 2008.
We also try to reuse as much as possible the wood and polycarbonate scraps generated by the manufacture of our fittings, by revaluing them for example for local associative projects (creation of trophies for sports events, educational projects, etc.).
Preservation of Resources
We favor strict management of our stock, including consumables and office accessories, and promote re-use whenever possible.
Printed Catalogs and Leaflet certified IMPRIM’VERT
In order to reduce the environmental impact of our printed publications, we only work with service providers who have been awarded the Imprim'Vert label, a French national label with demanding specifications, which is reassessed every three years.
FSC® and PEFC® Labelled Wood and Paper
To guarantee sustainable forest managment and combat deforestation, we choose as much as possible eco-labelled FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council) and PEFC® (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes) media, who guarantee that the wood used for the production of a wood-based product respects sustainable managment : environmentally friendly, socially beneficial and economically viable.
The wood panels used in our checkout furniture, partitions and printed papers have these labels.
We ensure that the cardboard and wood used for our shipments are environmentally friendly and sustainably sourced (FSC® / PEFC®).
Our logistics teams use 80% recycled plastic film to wrap pallets, favor the use of recycled materials and reusable alternatives to traditional packaging and also strive to eliminate unnecessary packaging in order to reduce the volume to the bare minimum.
Local & Solidary Sourcing
In order to have the lowest possible environmental impact while ensuring a quality delivery service, the pallets for our shipments are supplied by Ateliers des Fadeaux (Châteauroux - 36), an ESAT (Établissement et Service d'Aide par le Travail) managed by AIDAPHI, an organization adapted for the employment of disabled workers.
(1) For establishments subject to the safety commissions according to their ERP classification, the large furniture must at least comply with the M3 classification, according to the national and European fire safety standards defined by the decree of 21 November 2002. Plexiglas" panels attached to furniture fall into this category, but do not comply since they meet the M4 standard.
Source : www.sitesecurite.com
(2) From 1 January 2022, the regulation imposes obligations on all professionals to organize the collection and recycling of waste from the products and materials they place on the market.
Gender Mainstreaming and Equality at Work
Our priority is to create an inclusive working environment where everyone feels valued, respected and can reach their full potential. To achieve this, gender diversity and professional equality are among our main concerns (1).
Currently, 8% of our teams are made up of people with disabilities. Inclusion through work and disability are notions that we strongly defend within the company, which is why we are putting in place action plans to take account of people with disabilities, such as adapting schedules and missions, workstation ergonomics, etc.
We take care to put in place quality tools to offer the best possible physical and psychological working environment to our employees, and provide them with comfortable, pleasant premises adapted to the company's various activities.
Thoonsen considers human cohesion and participative management to be of paramount importance. It allows us to involve our teams in the decision-making process and in problem solving, to develop long-term relationships and to open up dialogue in order to build on collective intelligence.
This is where our corporate culture was born, which is why we regularly organize events, collective meals, team building and seminars, in order to maintain a high level of proximity, collaboration and sharing within our teams.
In order to make our employees as responsible as possible, fire safety and first aid training is offered regularly to train them in prevention and in the rules of good conduct for all (wearing safety protections, workstation ergonomics, psychological support for employees, etc.).
Training and Apprenticeship
We are actively involved with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Indre IUT to encourage training and apprenticeships in our business. 70% of our employees are from commercial and technical training schemes and have been supporting the company's growth for 15 years.
The THOONSEN Group : a Global Presence
We are committed to respecting and upholding the human rights (fundamental rights and freedoms) of everyone affected by our business activities, including our customers, employees, people working in our supply chain and our local communities.
The most significant human rights risks relate to our supply chain, through our subsidiaries in China, Tunisia and United Kingdom.
To ensure good practice, our local staff provide reliable and effective monitoring of production and compliance with ethical labour standards with our service partners or international suppliers.
(1) Numerous laws have been introduced in the area of professional equality: the law of 27 January 2011 on the balanced representation of women and men on boards of directors and supervisory boards and on professional equality, known as the "Copé-Zimmermann Law"; Law No. 2014-873 of 4 August 2014 for real equality between women and men; Law 2018-771 of 5 September 2018 for the freedom to choose one's professional future, or more recently the PACTE law.
Our local commitment
The choice of our service providers and suppliers is scrupulously studied: it focuses on the most local or regional companies possible, in order to reduce our production impact in France, to gain in reactivity, in visibility on the quality of our products, but also to stimulate the local activity and expertise.
The objective is to reduce CO2 emissions, but also reduce the social and financial impact in our local production areas. We are proud of our territories and actively participate in their development.
A more sustainable production, more respectful of the environment, but also the local area in which it is located, is for us a modern-day issue of the highest importance.
Profit-shared & MBO
Thoonsen's management team has developed a strong will to include our staff in sharing the company's good results, through MBO (Management By Objectives) bonuses or participation in the company's profit-sharing scheme.
In this way, our employees feel respected and involved in all the company's progress and objectives and are integrated into the company's management and steering processes.
Our teams are passionate about our business and their hobbies. This is why we are naturally involved in sponsoring local sports and disability sports associations.
In particular, we follow our local athletes and clubs in the motocross, cycling, disabled sport (track cycling), football and basketball sectors.