Circular economy

Our environmental performance
Closing the loop of circular economy

Zero negative impact on resource use. 

Responsible supply chain.

On our way to 2020 target of zero waste to landfill.

RESOURCE USE

Knauf Insulation aims to have zero negative impact on resource use. Reducing our impact includes research and development to substitute ingredients to those with lower environmental impact and increasing recycled content as well as water management and supply chain management. Furthermore, we’re understanding all that through thorough information on product sustainability, through Environmental Product Declarations. 

RECENT HIGHLIGHTS

  • Depending on the manufacturing site, we have up to 80% recycled content in our Mineral Wool.
  • In just five years we have achieved our first 2020 sustainability target — water discharge across Knauf Insulation has been cut by 50%
  • Our Earthwool has been voted Turkey’s most Innovative Construction Product of the Year 2014 by the magazine company B2B Medya.
  • Knauf Insulation was awarded the first of the new type EPDs (Environmental Product Declaration); ECO Platform EPDs by IBU, Institut Bauen und Umwelt. ECO Platform was set up to support the provision of type III Environmental Product Declaration across Europe through the harmonisation of a core content and format based on the standard EN 15804.
  • In 2014, Knauf Insulation celebrated five years since the development and introduction of its binder technology, ECOSE Technology. With no added Formaldehyde, this binder was the first to be awarded the Eurofins Indoor Air Comfort Gold standard in 2010 for its enhanced environmental performance versus the previous Formaldehyde based binder

QHSE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

Knauf Insulation follows the important International Management Standards. We are certified by one of the leading conformity assessment organisations, Bureau Veritas.

Knauf Insulation’s management system is based on the continual improvement framework outlined in:

  • OHSAS18001 (Health and Safety Management) for all our Europe, US, Russia and CIS Plants.
  • ISO 14001 (Environmental Management) for all our Europe, US, Russia and CIS Plants.
  • ISO 50001 (Energy Management) for all our Europe, US, Russia and CIS Plants.
  • ISO 9001 (Quality Management) for all our Europe, US, Russia and CIS Plants.

RESPONSIBLE SUPPLY CHAIN

We recognise that suppliers are a vital component in helping us achieve our sustainability objectives, whether that be our commitment to a 20% reduction in CO2  by 2020 or by increasing levels of recycled content in our products.

In a time of crisis, there are many challenges but we believe collaboration throughout our supply chain is essential in advancing our sustainable growth.

When it comes to improving the sustainability of a company and doing things better, improving every detail of every part of a supply chain adds up to making a significant difference.

From fundamental changes to packaging to simple efficiencies in a process we are addressing, our supply chain impacts. Managing that chain starts with mapping it out, that’s why we’re working with our major suppliers to find out how they manage quality, safety, environment  and quality risk.

At Knauf Insulation there is still plenty of work to be done and as our supply chain management programme develops, we will increase the range of sustainability issues covered.

The newly published ISO 20400 standard on sustainable procurement offers Knauf Insulation a unique opportunity to work towards supply chain management excellence. Read more in our latest Sustainability Report 2017:

supply chain article.png

WASTE AND WATER EMISSIONS

RECENT HIGHLIGHTS

  • In 2012 we introduced a central data collection system that improved the monitoring of waste. 
  • In the UK, Knauf Insulation’s four plants at St Helens, Cwmbran, Queensferry and Hartlepool have not been sending any waste to landfill since mid-2013.
  • Since 2015, Knauf Insulation is separating the different elements of its multi-layer Wood Wool boards so that they can be recycled and reused.
  • We have invested significantly in technologies across the company that help re-use our scrap Glass Mineral Wool, reducing waste to landfill.
  • Recycling, waste reduction and water efficiency became part of our global Sustainable Workplace Initiative in 2013.
  • A new £10 million facility next to our St Helens plant will refine tens of thousands of tonnes of recycled glass into ‘furnace ready cullet’ that can be fed into the plant and spun into Mineral Wool. The furnace ready glass reduces waste to landfill and keeps high quality glass in circulation.
  • Our Stupino plant in Russia has cut the amount of waste to landfill by 80% from 2015 to 2016. Rather than sending line bale scrap to landfill, the plant is now selling it as raw material for ceiling tile production.
Ecose
CASE STUDY
LOWERING VOCS WITH ECOSE TECHNOLOGY

In 2009 we introduced a revolutionary new binder that has no added formaldehyde, which we integrated across our entire Glass Mineral Wool product range as well as part of our Rock Mineral Wool product range.

In 2010 Knauf Insulation became the world’s first company to receive the coveted Eurofins Indoor Air Comfort Gold certificate for its Glass Mineral Wool with ECOSE Technology. The environmental credentials of ECOSE Technology products help contribute towards points in Green Building Rating Systems such as LEED and BREEAM. In the new version of LEED (LEEDv4, released in 2013) our Glass Mineral Wool with ECOSE Technology is 100% compliant for the insulation category in Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) credit for ‘Low-Emitting Materials’.

CASE STUDY WASTE - MOTORWAYS, TILES AND CIRCULAR ECONOMIES

Knauf Insulation is constantly on the lookout for new ways to recycle its waste. In the UK bales of compressed Glass Mineral Wool waste are used in the construction of road foundations, across the company, this waste is also used to create ceiling tiles. There are also experiments in recycling insulation that is removed from demolished buildings – the ultimate example of a circular economy where at the end of a product’s life it returns to be recycled.

For more information, read our latest article on Waste

Resource use
READ MORE

How we improved the performance of our products without increasing the resources needed to produce them.