Annual Review 2019
CAMPAIGNING FOR CHANGE
Knauf Insulation campaigns to put energy efficiency, building resilience, green infrastructure and fire safety at the heart of policies worldwide.
The revised Environmental Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) mandates that Member States must create renovation strategies to decarbonise their building stock. With partner associations we are helping policy makers make these strategies a reality through action plans and strategic guides.
We have campaigned for higher thermal values during revisions of the International Energy Conservation Code across the US. In 2018, with our partners, we established minimum envelope levels which were 15% more efficient than proposed changes.
The Government has committed to net zero by 2050 with a reduction in emissions in new homes playing a lead role in that ambition as part of a proposed Future Homes Standard 2025. We are campaigning for a ‘real performance’ element to be central to the proposed standard with a focus on ‘learning’ how to build to real performance targets for housebuilders in the interim.
The Knauf Group is working with partners to find solutions to unsustainable urbanisation, high house prices and a lack of affordable housing such as adding 1.1 million new lightweight apartments to the top of 580,000 city buildings or providing modular affordable homes built off-site and located in designated areas.
We are campaigning to increase proposed annual renovation rates from 100,000 to more than 250,000 buildings in Spain’s Climate Change and Energy draft law and working with policy makers to improve air quality in Andalusian schools. Our General Manager Oscar Del Rio is President of the Iberian Mineral Wool Manufacturers Association which in 2019 marked its 40th anniversary with initiatives highlighting the importance of insulation.
We are supporting France’s plans to make 500,000 homes energy efficient annually to tackle fuel poverty and the national vow to bring all buildings up to low-energy class A-B. Our new Rock Mineral Wool plant in Illange and our Glass Mineral Wool site in Lannemezan, as well as Visé in Belgium, will provide a range of high-performance solutions.
We are working to put highly insulated buildings at the top of policy agendas and take a proactive role in energy efficient building campaigns. Our research with Polytechnic of Milan explored how highly efficient buildings can balance peak energy demand, support the full integration of renewables and pave the way towards smart decarbonised cities.
Knauf Insulation with representatives from South East Europe signed the ‘Ljubljana Declaration’ calling for policies to upscale energy efficient building renovation in the region at an event organised by the European Alliance of Companies for Energy Efficiency in Buildings at our Experience Center in Škofja Loka.
We are supporting new laws mandating ceiling and under-floor insulation in the country's estimated 600,000 rental properties, as well as backing a NZ$142 million government investment to improve the insulation and heating of 52,000 low-income owner-occupier homes.
Germany and Australia have set up a new energy efficiency sub-group to drive bilateral collaboration on energy efficiency policy. Our Director Public Affairs Asia- Pacific, Christoph Freiherr von Spesshardt, will chair this group in his role as a vice-chairman of the German Energy Efficiency association (DENEFF). CEO of Australian sister organisation, EEC, Luke Menzel, will represent Australia as chair. Both will work with the Australian Alliance for Energy Productivity, the Energy Transition Hub and German-Australian Chamber of Industry and Commerce, to define an energy efficiency workplan across building, industry and finance sectors.
Tackling emissions with green cities
With the World Green Infrastructure Network (WGIN) we are campaigning for ambitious green infrastructure initiatives and regulations in the European Union and beyond. Green infrastructures and natural based solutions can address major issues such as water management in urban areas, climate change, air pollution and lack of biodiversity. The European Union’s long-term emissions reduction vision listed green infrastructure as “one of the overriding priorities guiding the transition to a climate change neutral Europe”. “Green infrastructure can deliver adaptation benefits and absorb emissions and pollution,” says the European Commission.
From our public affairs bases across Eastern Europe we are examining ways to generate greater awareness of stronger building energy efficiency regulation in the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia and Hungary. The low-level of codes in these countries offers huge potential. Ambitious regulation to improve U-values and the pace of renovation would generate huge cost savings, provide enormous social and economic benefits as well as boost the contribution these countries make to curbing emissions.