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Green electricity for Wienerberger
SOLAR PARK AZEWIJN
Cooperation with Habitat for Humanity
On all Wienerberger sites
BIODIVERSITY ACTION PLAN
Sustainability - How we take action
We do not only talk about sustainability, we act on it in all areas - from our employees to flora and fauna, from our production processes to final products, from people in need to our clients. Our sustainability strategy constitutes an integral part of the Wienerberger vision.
Our actions taken lead to the achievement of the main targets of the Wienerberger Group by 2023:
15% less CO2 emissions within 3 years
Biodiversity action plan at all sites worldwide
100% reusable and recyclable new products
> 30% women in staff positions
View some of our best practices to see how we implement our ambitious targets.
For product-related actions, please check out the product pages.
The new Solarpark Azewijn Montferland in the Netherlands supplies a large part of the energy needs of the adjacent Wienerberger factories with 17,273 PV panels. The park was realized on a covered landfill site and supplies the factories via a direct electricity cable to its transformer building.
In normal use, the factories use 84% of the green energy generated, the remaining 16% will be supplied to the grid for approximately 1,500 households. A total of 4,750,000 kWh is generated, which corresponds to more than 2 million kg less CO2 emissions annually.
Clay is a renewable resource, infinitely and locally available. Our products are produced in close proximity to the market, as sustainable and energy-consciously as possible. The local sourcing and production help to keep the transportation distances short.
With urban mining, we can reclaim high-quality materials from demolished buildings. These materials can be provided as secondary raw materials for new products. As of now, we are able to produce a circular facing brick containing 20% of secondary raw materials from demolished bricks. We are working to increase the percentage of recycled material in the near future.
Local projects for people in need
Each year, our Wienerberger country organizations support various local construction or renovation projects for people in need. Examples include the construction of a new Caritas residential home in Austria, support of the Maggie Program vzw in Belgium and the rebuilding of destroyed homes after a tornado in the Czech Republic in 2021.
An important lever for reducing CO2 emissions is brick production. Drying and firing this construction material requires a great deal of energy in the form of natural gas, but a significant amount is unfortunately then lost in the form of waste heat. Wienerberger is taking on this challenge at its Uttendorf demonstration plant in Upper Austria.
“In 2017 we installed a powerful absorption heat pump. This technology provides heat for the tunnel dryer using steam produced by recovering heat from the exhaust air” explains Stefan Puskas, project manager in the engineering team. In this way, the energy can be used efficiently. Gas consumption is reduced by a third.
Clay is the basis for our ceramic materials. Dutch river clay is a self-renewing raw material and therefore infinitely available. Over a large number of years, less clay will be extracted than deposited by the rivers in the floodplains.
As an internationally active and successful company, we see it as our responsibility to contribute to society. Therefore, we have partnered up with the non-profit organization Habitat for Humanity to support people in need with sustainable, safe and affordable housing. Since 2012, we have not only donated various bricks and roof tiles but also provided expertise and voluntary work to help people in need.
It is a huge step to reduce the CO2 footprint: As of 2022, Egernsund Wienerberger entered into a 5-year agreement with Denmark's largest biogas producer Nature Energy. Now, biogas accounts for more than half of the energy we use for brick production in Denmark.
By 2023, a Biodiversity Action Plan will be implemented at all Wienerberger sites. What does that mean? With our biodiversity program, we want to foster the diversity of flora and fauna at urban production sites. We make old clay pits available for subsequent use and convert as much of our land as possible into high-quality habitats.