Best Practice Examples

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Dr.-Ing. Ulrich Bohle

Head of Product Development and sustainability officer of steinzeug-keramo:

For principals and contractors, sustainability criteria are continuously gaining in importance in the selection of products. We take their reactions as confirmation of our success: Carbon-neutral production of vitrified clay pipes at Bad Schmiedeberg and Cradle to Cradle® certification are clear indicators of the course we intend to take in the future.

Product innovation ARRIS.stack


For the past two years, our American colleagues at Arriscraft have been working on the look and feel of the ARRIS.stack product line. These thin-clad products are extremely resource-efficient, not least on account of the high percentage of recycled material used in production. Moreover, the products have a long service life, are easy to transport and have a favorable infl uence on indoor air quality. Architects appreciate ARRIS.stack for its great variety of design options, both in renovation and in new construction, for outdoor and indoor applications.


Resource efficiency as an innovation driver


Wienerberger is confident to meet the ever more demanding requirements to be fulfilled by building materials through the development of innovative system solutions. Product development and optimization plays an important role in this context. Last year, our colleagues from Clay Building Materials Europe (CBME) put a great deal of effort into an innovation project focused on roof tiles. It is our goal to achieve a higher degree of resource efficiency and, at the same time, to further improve the properties of our products. By means of the finite element method (FEM), the fracture toughness and frost resistance of our roof tiles was further improved and raw material input was reduced. Since 2014, the finite element method has been rolled out in several local companies of CBME.


A pipe for 20,000 trees


Since 2011, Pipelife’s innovative NatuDrain pipes have been used with over 20,000 newly planted trees in the Netherlands. The product comes as a sustainable alternative to conventional drip pipes for tree nurseries and landscape gardeners. Once the young trees have developed enough roots, the pipe dissolves. Made from secondary raw materials from the food industry, such as potato starch, the pipes are completely compostable and 100% biodegradable.


Logistic innovations for the benefit of the environment


In an effort to minimize the environmental impact of product transport, Wienerberger Belgium developed a transport strategy based on river navigation. Since 2013, not only primary raw materials, but also fired bricks have been delivered by boat. One boat shipment saves approximately 20 trips by truck. To increase the range of river transport even further, our colleagues in Belgium use special catamarans, which can navigate also through narrow rivers. Shipments from the Wienerberger production site are loaded onto sea-going ships that can also travel on canals. Thus, deliveries of bricks to Great Britain are now made exclusively by water. A ship of this type replaces about 75 truck trips over a distance of up to 200 km. Thanks to this transport strategy, our colleagues in Belgium have significantly reduced their CO2 emissions and their environmental impact.


Carbon neutrality for the benefit of future generations


Steinzeug-Keramo’s KeraBase and KeraPro vitrified clay pipes are entirely climate neutral – from raw material extraction to delivery to the construction site. They are manufactured in Germany by means of the future-oriented fast-firing technology in one of the world’s most advanced production facilities for vitrified clay pipes. The process has been supported and certified by the energy and environment experts of the TÜV Rheinland. After the successful Cradle to Cradle® certification, our colleagues from Steinzeug-Keramo are reasserting their commitment to climate action as well as environmental protection and accountability.

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