Our Journey of improvement

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Our Journey of improvement
October 23, 2019

Despite a record year of production in 2018 with all our plants running 24/7 we continued to reduce our environmental impact and Lost Time Accident rate. The reason for this success? A commitment to continuous improvement by everyone, every day at every site. 

Energy and related emissions

Energy use reduced by 21.3% and related emissions by 21.9% compared to 2010.

In 2010 the company committed to reduce energy use and CO2 emissions by 20% by 2020 and we achieved these targets four years before deadline in 2016. In 2018 we improved energy efifciency by a further 0.9% and CO2 reductions by 1.4% compared to the previous year.

Philippe Coune, Group Environmental and Western Europe Regional HSE Manager, said:
“Throughout 2018 all our plants were operating at maximum capacity — 24 hours a day, seven days a week — and the company enjoyed a record year.

“Despite this we continued to reduce our energy levels and emissions, particularly at our Glass Mineral Wool sites.
This is a significant achievement and a credit to everyone at the plants.“It is also a tribute to the success of continuous improvement which has ensured we maintained sustainable momentum despite our plants running overtime."


Lost Time Accidents reduced by 52% compared to 2010

We achieved our 2020 commitment to reduce Lost Time Accidents (LTA) by 50% three years ahead of schedule in 2017.

In 2018, we continued to build on this success and LTAs were down by a further 2% to 48% — compared to our 2010 gures — as a result of zero complacency on safety rules and a full understanding of each of the incidents that lead (or not) to an injury of our employees or contractors.

The next area of safety improvement, already underway across the company, is to tackle the cultural challenge of behaviour.


Waste to landfill reduced by 68.4% compared to 2010

Since our baseline year of 2010 we have avoided sending 243,000 tonnes of waste to landfill as a result of recycling initiatives externally and internally.
Our waste reduction for 2018 was down by 68.4% compared to our baseline year of 2010 and marks a 4.7% improvement on 2017.

Unfortunately, waste continues to be huge challenge for the company and for the construction sector generally. At most of our Rock Mineral Wool plants, briquetting — the processing of residue into bricks for recycling — is done o or on-site with an environmental pay-o of SOx increases (see below).

Meanwhile, although many external companies have been using residue from our Glass Mineral Wool plants as raw material we want to get more involved in recycling initiatives. We would also like to see more support from the authorities as well as regulation to give company recycling initiatives more momentum. 

SOx and NOx

SOx down by 0.2% and NOx reduced by 51.3% since 2010

Our NOx has been reduced by 51.3% since our 2010 baseline and our 2018 gure was down by 11% compared to 2017.

The decrease is as the result of maximised output backed by eciency improvements and new equipment particularly with regard to our melting technology, better plant maintenance planning and improved settings.

SOx, however, is up by 11.9% in 2018 compared to the previous year as a result of our record production levels and inevitable use of more recycled content.
Unfortunately, processing more recycled briquettes and glass cullet inevitably results in increasing levels of SOx emissions. it is a delicate balance that requires careful management.

Water use

Water use is down by 23.5% and water discharge down by 75.4% since 2010

Across Knauf Insulation, we have cut our year-onyear water use by 0.7%. As a result of reusing more water in our closed-loop processes particularly in Glass Mineral Wool plants we have cut back our use to 76.5% compared to 2010 levels.

In 2018 water discharge was up 5.6% compared to the previous year but overall had been reduced dramatically by 75.4% since 2010. We achieved our 50% reduction in water discharge target in 2012 - eight years ahead of our 2020 deadline.


These figures relate to Knauf Insulation, part of the Knauf Group, and are based on the data from 2018 and activities from 2018 and 2019. For accuracy we may amend previous figures. 



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