Best Practice Examples

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Roy Sibbald

Pipelife manufacturing excellence officer about reducing energy and water consumption:

Decreasing our impact on the environment is one of the goals we are committed to in all our production facilities. In order to achieve this, we run various improvement projects throughout the whole group with the focus on decreasing energy and water consumption.

… and the Award goes to …


Resource conservation and sustainability in production are issues high on the agenda of our colleagues from Clay Building Materials Europe. The “CBME Energy Award”, a prize awarded for improvements in specific energy consumption (gas and electricity) and specific CO2 emissions of our brick plants, has been created to highlight the contributions made by our staff to resource conservation in their plants. Once a year, the most efficient brick plant of the respective product group (roof tiles, facing bricks and clay blocks) is honored with an award that comes with a monetary prize for all the plant’s employees to celebrate their success. All plants automatically participate in the contest on the basis of their monthly energy monitoring data, which indicate their gas and electricity consumption as well as their annual CO2 emissions. The “CBME Energy Award” is yet another step towards a corporate culture of even greater openness, which inspires and encourages employees to submit their suggestions for improvements to the management.


Energy Treasure Hunt


Electricity is the main source of energy for the production of plastic pipe systems. The Energy Treasure Hunt (ETH) is a new project initiated by our colleagues at Pipelife, designed to reduce energy consumption in production. In the first phase of this Group-wide initiative, the main causes of excessive energy consumption are identified. Subsequently, measures targeted at reducing electricity consumption are elaborated and implemented at the plants. The success of the project is convincing: Pipelife Poland alone has been able to achieve energy savings of approximately 7%.


Heat exchangers to reduce thermal energy consumption


At our Wienerberger brick production site in Achenheim, France, thermal energy consumption has been reduced by 13.5% through the use of heat exchangers in production. Waste heat, which has a temperature of over 200 °C, is used as a source of energy and recycled into the production process. Thus, both natural gas consumption and CO2 emissions are significantly reduced. Currently, heat exchangers are being installed in another 15 Wienerberger production sites.


Plant Improvement Plan


Within the framework of a joint initiative, our colleagues from Clay Building Materials Europe are continuously optimizing our brick production sites. The “Plant Improvement Program” was implemented in 36 plants in 2014 and has already produced convincing results. Our production site in Hennersdorf in Austria, for instance, not only has achieved considerable financial savings, but also reports an improvement of the working climate and a 50% reduction of the scrap rate. Moreover, gas consumption has been reduced by 7% through the Plant Improvement Program. This corresponds to the annual consumption of about 140 single-family homes.


Central Laboratory for Semmelrock


The International Central Laboratory of the Semmelrock Group was opened in Klagenfurt in October 2014. Given the demanding requirements of new concrete and coating technologies, this centrally managed laboratory was designed with a special focus on sustainability. Sandra Wirkner, Head of the International Central Laboratory, coordinates quality management at Group level and ensures an exchange of knowledge. Moreover, the Central Laboratory provides technical advice for the R&D projects of the local business units of the Semmelrock Group and facilitates the exchange of information on mix formulations and raw materials. Currently, our colleagues are working on new, sustainable coating technologies for concrete blocks and on ways and means of reducing scrap in production.

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