Sustainability

Deliver A Circular Economy for a better world

By Vincent Briard
November 02, 2020

Our sustainability goal to Deliver A Circular Economy focuses on recycling, reusing and reducing to close the loop. What does that mean? It means zero waste. And the best possible use of our resources.

The construction industry is responsible for more than 35% of total waste in Europe and devours more than 50% of all extracted raw materials.

It is not sustainable.

At Knauf Insulation we have reduced our waste to landfill by 67% and now use more recycled content in our Mineral Wool than ever before.

We also implemented initiatives such as a new used glass facility in the UK, launching take-back schemes for wooden pallets and recycling waste from customers from Slovenia to the Netherlands (see below).

But it is no longer enough. We are not progressing as quickly as we want. So, we have set ourselves a new ambitious goal to Deliver A Circular Economy — as part of our new sustainability vision For A Better World — taking the philosophy of reducing, reusing and recycling to its natural conclusion, zero waste and optimising resource use.

You can read about our long-term commitments here and how they support the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, but our priority is now achieving the short-term concrete targets we set ourselves for 2025.

We’ve committed to using more than 25% external recycled material for our Rock and more than 65% for our Glass Mineral Wool, taking back 25% of waste from our customers job sites, using less virgin plastic packaging and, significantly, reducing our production waste to zero.

Over the past decade we have created solid foundations for these targets and we have launched several pilot initiatives that we are very excited about. Here are a few examples:

 

  • We have introduced a new pilot scheme to take back our waste Rock Mineral Wool from construction sites and recycle it into new insulation.
  • In Belgium we are examining new possibilities to recycle our Glass Mineral Wool production waste from our plants as well as waste from our customers. One day we hope to recycle demolition waste.
  • At our Wood Wool plants we are recycling the Rock Mineral Wool of our multi-layer boards at our Rock Mineral Wool plants and feeding waste Wood Wool sawdust back into the manufacturing processes of our Wood Wool sites.
  • We have been working with suppliers to explore new ways to make our packaging lighter and increase recycled content, while maintaining the same level of compression strength.
  • Our contract with recycling company Veolia led to the building of a facility in the UK which every year refines 60,000 tonnes of used bottles and jars into the raw material we need for our insulation.
  • We are reusing wooden delivery pallets in Western Europe.
  • Our plants are taking back waste from some of our modular building customers in the Netherlands.

 

ABOUT FOR A BETTER WORLD

Knauf Insulation’s new sustainability strategy For A Better World focuses on four key goals: Putting People First, Achieving Zero Carbon, Delivering A Circular Economy and Creating Better Buildings.