Our public affairs colleagues around the world are campaigning to put energy efficiency, decarbonization and resilience at the heart of policies and buildings.
Knauf Insulation in Northern Europe with Knauf Energy Solutions has been pioneering the transition from theoretical to measured fabric performance in UK buildings policy. After two retrofit successes demonstrating the improvement well-installed Mineral Wool can offer, the Government has progressed from research and development projects to now requiring their use in at least one large retrofit subsidy programme. An expansion of real performance requirements into new build regulations — proposed for 2025 — would mitigate risks in the UK market while amplifying Mineral Wool’s real energy efficiency performance.
Slovenia's Ministry for the Environment and Spatial Planning has issued guidelines for the installation of green roofs and walls in new buildings and buildings under renovation. The recommendations highlight the importance of green infrastructure as a positive addition to communities —for example creating public places to relax or urban farms — and are aimed at investors, planners and architects. It is hoped new regulation and subsidies will follow to encourage more green infrastructure.
Our Public Affairs team has played an important role in “making fire protection measures an integral part of comprehensive renovation” in Croatia’s Long Term Renovation Strategy and Recovery and Resilience plan, unlocking over €800 million in European Union funding for building renovation. The money will be used for energy efficient renovation and to reconstruct buildings damaged by earthquakes in Croatia as well as public buildings as part of a national post-pandemic recovery plan.
We are working with the new government to ensure that housing policies create a built environment that is resource efficient, contribute meaningfully to climate action and provide more homes for those in need. Our proposals include encouraging the building of new low-cost apartments on top of urban buildings and improving subsidies for insulation.
More than €6.8 billion in European Union post-pandemic recovery funding has been allocated to energy efficient renovation in Spain following work by our public affairs team, the National Mineral Wool Manufacturers Association and Consorcio Passivhaus. Our campaigning has also led to improved regulation as part of the government’s long-term Spanish Building Energy Rehabilitation strategy to renovate three times more buildings every year and the Building Energy Efficiency Programme to increase building energy efficiency from a minimum of 30% to more than 60% particularly for social housing.
Our Public Affairs team is calling for an extension of the Ecobonus initiative which allows homeowners to deduct 110% of the expenses incurred for renovation through tax incentives. By September 2021, €7.5 billion had been admitted to the deduction with the state funding €8.2 billion. Our team together with other stakeholders are now campaigning to extend the scheme’s deadlines from 2022 to the end of 2023.
In New Zealand we have commissioned an assessment of the CO2 emissions associated with the direct shipping of imported Glass Mineral Wool into major cities compared with local manufacturing. Initial results indicate that shipping CO2 is lower than multiple local truck movements associated with local manufacture in a single location.
Knauf Insulation Australia, meanwhile, has become a founding member of the Embodied Carbon Alliance founded by the World Wildlife Fund and New South Wales Government with the goal of defining the framework for embodied carbon that will impact future Government procurement.
Maximising billions for renovation across Eastern Europe
Almost €15 billion in European Union funding for the energy efficient construction and renovation of buildings is to be unlocked across the Eastern European region. These funds will be amplified by private investment with the opportunity to double business as usual in the region, says Peter Robl, Public Affairs Manager for Eastern Europe.
While the impact is subject to implementation capacities of public agencies and the industry as well as other events in the market, the allocation gives a positive signal to investors and homeowners. The EU support represents 16% of the €93 billion from the Recovery and Resilience Fund designed to rebuild Eastern European countries post pandemic.
“It is vital the money is leveraged for maximum impact and our teams continue to work with policy makers to allow the efficient allocation of funds to projects, availability of assistance and delivering deep renovation results,” says Peter.
Meanwhile, our Eastern European colleagues have also been connecting stakeholders across the region to maximise energy efficiency and renovation policies within advocacy associations.
Chance for Buildings in Czechia and Buildings for the Future in Slovakia have already provided a powerful advocacy voice in their respective countries unlocking incentive budgets and removing barriers to major renovation projects.
In Romania, the ROENEF renovation advocacy association successfully campaigned for a €90 million programme to reduce energy use in more than 9,000 single family homes that is taking off.
In Poland, the Renovation Wave or Fala Renowacji association was set up in 2021 to bring together leading businesses to campaign for a national renovation focus.
Picture in the header:
The Park Hyatt Hotel in Auckland, New Zealand, features Earthwool in internal partitions and on external walls