Sustainability

How Knauf Insulation innovations shape a better world

By Knauf Insulation
April 21, 2021

“We all have a responsibility to be creative and innovative,” says Knauf Insulation’s Marc De Roeck. “Innovation goes far beyond our company and industry. We all have a role to play. We are living in an incredible time of change and we all need to ask, What does the future hold for me? What questions will need answering in future? And how can I help?”

As Knauf Insulation’s Group Director of Innovation, Marc has been involved in shaping the products and processes that have kept our company at the cutting edge of innovation for two decades. And, as today is the UN’s #World Creativity and Innovation Day, he is well placed to discuss how creativity and innovation play a vital role in problem solving.

“Innovation is not just about new products and systems, it embraces every aspect of our company from customer excellence and  production processes to Continuous Improvement and digitalisation.”

 

Our Better World commitment

So what does the future of innovation hold for Knauf Insulation?

“In our new sustainability strategy we have made a commitment For A Better World, so every innovation we make at Knauf Insulation has to contribute to that commitment,” says Marc. “Every innovation has to minimise the environmental impact of our products and plants, deliver a circular economy by doing more with less and creating better, more sustainable buildings.”

There are already plenty of Knauf Insulation innovations in the pipeline to achieve these ambitions. We are introducing cleaner melting and fiberising technology at our plants to reduce emissions, we have introduced takeback schemes to recycle Rock Mineral Wool scrap from our customers and we are examining new processes to recycle waste Glass Mineral Wool from construction and demolition sites.

In terms of solutions, we are creating new energy-saving products for the appliance market, innovative new insulation solutions with enhanced thermal, acoustic and fire performance, new Blowing Wool concepts and we have been extending our ECOSE Technology® to our Rock Mineral Wool range.

How ECOSE redefined the market

Marc was involved in the original development of ECOSE Technology® our revolutionary binder with no added formaldehyde in 2009. When ECOSE® was launched in our Glass Mineral Wool products it marked a step change for the construction industry and has continuously won awards for its outstanding sustainability credentials ever since.

“In many respects ECOSE® was an important landmark for Knauf Insulation because it was a clear demonstration of our commitment to both sustainability and innovation,” says Marc.

“Construction is often regarded as a reactive rather than creative industry. Traditionally regulation comes into force and the industry reacts. It’s not enough. It’s not been enough for many years. A long time ago Knauf Insulation made the conscious decision to be innovative because we believe there was no other choice. Business success depends on innovation.”

installers, insulation installation, pitched roof insulation

Green roofs, pioneering renovation and Eco tools

Since 2009 sustainable innovation has been a vital driver of Knauf Insulation resulting in reductions of 23% in our energy use and related emissions and a reduction in waste to landfill of 68% as well as the creation of products to create better buildings.

Our Urbanscape Green Roof Solutions continue to enjoy success around the world, our Knauf Energy Solutions sister company is piloting new ways of making building renovation more effective and our new Eco-Design tool will soon allow customers to understand the environmental impact of our products at a glance.

“Our brand values are challenge.create.care,” says Marc. “This is not an abstract slogan we are committed to challenging conventional thinking and creating innovation solutions For A Better World. It is not going to happen overnight, but each innovation is another small step towards this goal. We should celebrate every achievement.”