Innovation at The Vita Group

Sustainable Innovation positions The Vita Group at the forefront of materials and application science within our chosen markets. Delivering differentiated, sustainable materials technology that has quantifiable benefits and value for our customers.

At Vita, we believe great brands have the ability to change the culture around them and set industry standards that others try to emulate. Our brands include, amongst others, Reflex, Adormo, Pantera, Tiger Touch, Metzeler Airline, Vita Talalay, Cloud 9, and RevoSport and the latest from our stable is TCPP-free foam. Each product is renowned for its performance, consistent quality and enhanced customer intimacy.

Product innovation is the lifeblood of our business; it powers our growth and strengthens our relationship with our customers. We understand that maintaining a close relationship with our customers, anticipating their needs and proactively responding, fuels our innovative and creative spirit. This desire and relentless focus is why we are an award-winning innovator, trusted to solve complex customer challenges. We endeavour to build innovative brands that are genuine, trustworthy, and relatable. In some cases, they can even be playful.

In order to strengthen our close working relationship with customers and reinforce our leading innovative position, we have invested in four state-of-the-art innovation centres in Lithuania, Corby, Accrington and Middleton that cater for developments in chemistry, processes, material usage, new product development and sustainability. They feature a Sleep Lab for understanding the complex microclimate and ergonomics for restful sleep and will enhance our formulation/product/process development pipeline.

Technical Innovation Centre in Accrington, United Kingdom

At our Accrington site, we have invested in a state-of-the-art ‘pilot’ plant, which enables us to improve our understanding of fundamental chemistry formulations and processing parameters. This means we’re able to design products that are inherently easily recyclable and ensure our processes are optimised and efficient. The work being done in Accrington also gives us the capability to further push the performance and quality boundaries of sustainable polyols and ensure they are optimised to maximise use and product performance properties.

Formulation Innovation Centre in Alytus, Lithuania

Innovation Centre in Lithuania incorporates full chemistry and formulation activities. This enabled:

  • MDI/TDI formulations and evaluations of existing
  • New Bioloyol (e.g. caster oil and woof pulp derived)

Comfort Innovation Centre in Middleton, United Kingdom

Our Innovation Centre in Middleton incorporates full chemistry, formation activities and testing facilities helping the design of new builds and improving resilience. Which is now creating customer engagement and customer pull on sustainability.

Flooring Innovation Centre in Corby, United Kingdom

It incorporates full chemistry, formulation and testing:

  • Underlay underfloor heating
  • The greenest underlay product has been tested ready for launch

Product stewardship

Our commitment to product stewardship means substituting materials, improving their environmental performance, and lowering the need for virgin, petrochemical-derived raw materials. We work relentlessly to reduce the amount of raw materials from non-sustainable sources. Product stewardship to Vita is an environmental management strategy that places sustainable innovation at the heart of product design. We invest in innovation which embraces product stewardship and discovering materials and technologies with reduced environmental impacts. Additionally, a fundamental part of our innovation journey is finding ways to make products that can help solve existing problems in society, for example extending the life of foam, diverting waste from landfill, and unlocking the value of waste as a raw material. As we decarbonise our product range we also continue to innovate to reduce odour, to use low-emission additives, and to cut Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in our manufacturing. In addition, in the UK, our comfort foams are tested to the CertiPUR™ standard. The transition to renewable and recycled feedstock at scale is a high-impact area for our industry.

The Vita Group’s Innovation Team

The Vita Group’s Innovation Team

Vita continues to invest in R&D in this specific area and as a result, we are at the vanguard of multi-layered sustainability breakthroughs. A key challenge is understanding the true environmental impact of the raw materials used to manufacture our products. In 2022, we have made advancements in our products’ life cycle analysis (LCA) meaning we now have, at our disposal a science-based allocation of the environmental impact of each of our products, that goes beyond CO2, but also includes ozone depletion, water usage, eutrophication and more. This means we can make more informed decisions going forward, clearly identifying the raw materials that offer the biggest reduction in environmental impact both for us and our customers. An important part of our product stewardship programme is leading legislative change in product safety and environmental toxicity. To do this, we work with bodies such as Europur, and we partner with numerous universities and academic institutions, which help us accelerate our product stewardship development.

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