Energy efficiency and climate protection
Most of the energy used in ceramic production is thermal energy (natural and liquefied gas or oil), which is required to heat the tunnel kilns. The heat released during the cooling process is recovered and recycled into the drying process. Electrical energy plays a minor role in ceramic production. We are exploring the possibilities of substituting alternative fuels for fossil energy sources. Wienerberger implemented the CBME Energy Award to support the efforts of our employees with an internal price.
Best practice example from France
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 the production process. This was achieved in 5 months. Waste heat, which still features a temperature of well over 200 °C, is used as a source of energy and re-utilized in the production process. Thus, both natural gas consumption and CO2 emissions are significantly reduced.
In our ceramic production fresh water consumption and waste water disposal do not exert significant pressures on the environment as many of the Wienerberger plants have introduced closed waste water cycles. Waste water is collected in tanks, treated and returned into production.
Best practice example from Belgium
A zero discharge (waste water free) production has been implemented in all Belgian plants. All waste water is reused by means of the internal water treatment system. Therefore the overall water usage is drastically reduced.