The responsible use of energy and the reduction of CO2 emissions are tasks that affect all areas of the company's work – from product development and manufacturing to transport and logistics. Arbonia correspondingly attaches great importance to these issues and is determined to make a significant contribution to climate protection and resource conservation. Increasing customer expectations regarding sustainability and growing legal requirements are also causing Arbonia to strengthen its commitment in these areas.
Almost 90 % of the energy consumption of Arbonia is covered by electricity, natural gas, and the company's own heat generation plants.
Data basis and calculation methodology
The key environmental figures include the resource consumption of all manufacturing companies of the Arbonia Group as well as the headquarters in Arbon (CH). Pure distribution companies were not included due to their comparatively low environmental impact. The calculation of the greenhouse gas inventory follows the guidelines of the WRI/WBCSD Greenhouse Gas Protocol.
Scope 1: Emissions from own heating systems
Scope 2: Emissions that result from the production of purchased electricity and purchased district heating.
Emission factors used: IEA 2020 and DEFRA 2020.
Saving energy systematically
Reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions are important issues for the HVAC Division because they not only contribute to environmental protection and resource conservation but also improve its profitability and market position. By increasing energy efficiency, the division not only reduces its own expenses, but end customers also benefit from energy-efficient products. The climate packages of the European countries provide for tax depreciation and subsidies for the modernisation of house and especially heating systems in order to reduce CO2 emissions. The division is intensively pursuing the strategy of offering a holistic, CO2 -free heating system with solutions ranging from efficient heat generation and energy-conscious heat transfer up to energy storage.
Traditional heat exchange also offers considerable potential for reducing energy consumption. Radiators equipped with the "x2 inside" principle (serial flow through flat panel radiators) reduce the energy demand of conventional flat panel radiators by 11%. Overall, the energy-efficient products of the HVAC Division sold since 2010 – heat pumps, "Therm-x2" flat panel radiators, fan coils and filters, ventilation units, as well as heat exchangers – will save up to one million tonnes of CO2 annually from 2025.
Portfolio expansions for more energy efficiency
Environmentally friendly products are continuously being added to the existing product portfolio of the division. These include a new generation of heat pumps that use the refrigerant "R32", which has a lower global warming potential than conventional alternatives. The new "Hydrotower" heat and cold storage system also has a higher energy efficiency than older systems. For improved indoor climate, the division impresses with its newly developed residential ventilation in a compact design, which enables a highly efficient heat recovery.
The patented electrostatic filter system "Crystall®", which is able to remove around 95% of impurities from the air, was also very well received in 2020. Its energy consumption is up to 75% lower than that of conventional, mechanical filters, and it is compatible with fan coils, airhandling units, ventilation units, and residential ventilation and can be easily retrofitted for existing products. In addition, the system eliminates the need for energy-intensive heating of the air after conventional ventilation procedures such as opening windows. Unlike the widely used HEPA filter inserts, the filter can be easily cleaned and reused.
In order to complete its heating system, the division is working intensively on the development of an environmentally friendly, resource-saving, and cost-efficient storage system for electricity generated from solar energy. The storage is currently in the prototype phase.
In building technology, the technology used offers decisive advantages: It is currently the longest-lasting storage solution on the market because it can be charged and discharged as often as desired without losing capacity (no degeneration of the storage medium). In addition, it is non-flammable and thus guarantees a high degree of operational health and safety for use in buildings. The storage is also convincing in terms of environmental friendliness, as it does not require rare earths or raw materials from conflict areas, thus enabling significantly more ecological and resourcesaving electricity storage.
As a result of its ISO 14001 and 50001 certification, the HVAC Division has been addressing the issue of energy efficiency for years. The ISO 50001 standard requires the monitoring of key energy figures, which is why monitoring and evaluation of energy efficiency are standard. At the largest production plant of the division in Plattling (D), for example, a modern energy data acquisition system is in use that analyses weak points in production so that inefficient energy consumers can be immediately replaced. In addition, clear responsibilities and specially appointed energy officers within the division guarantee a systematic approach. With the help of energy management, the division aims to reduce energy consumption by 1000 MWH compared to the 2020 financial year.
Taking charge of our own energy production
The HVAC Division primarily focuses its energy management on the largest energy consumers. Through investments in modern, efficient production machinery and energy-saving LED lighting, electricity consumption is being reduced in a targeted manner. Various locations produce a large part of their own electricity consumption using their own photovoltaic systems, including Plattling (D), Corbetta (I), and Dilsen (BE). Extensions to the existing photovoltaic systems and the construction of new ones are planned. The Dilsen (BE) site also has its own wind turbine with a capacity of 2 MW. The plant produces around 3.7 GWh of green electricity annually.
New buildings and refurbishments of warehouses and production halls are also based on the most modern energy aspects, such as the modernisation of the welding line cooling system in Plattling (D). In addition, the division has specifically optimised its vehicle fleet so that it complies with the "Euro 6" emissions standard. Thanks to these measures, the division will reduce its CO2 emissions by at least 400 tonnes per year.
Active against avoidable waste
At the Stříbro (CZ) site, the HVAC Division is optimising packaging and switching from film and Styrofoam to recyclable cardboard packaging. At the Plattling (D) production plant, it is working on film-free packaging for steel panel radiators.
Established standards ensure efficiency
The reduction of energy consumption and CO2 emissions has been central to the Sanitary Equipment Division for many years, both in product development and in the entire manufacturing process. This makes it possible to reduce costs in the long term, improve the division's own profitability, and strengthen its market position. This is also underscored by the quality, environmental, and energy management certified according to ISO 9001, 14001, and 50001. A modern energy data acquisition system is used at the Plattling (D) site to analyse weak points in production so that inefficient energy consumers can be immediately replaced. Energy officers on site also ensure efficient processes.
Investments in energy-saving technology
The investment of the Sanitary Equipment Division in state-of-the-art production facilities and the use of energy-saving LED lighting will reduce electricity consumption in the long term.
Attention is also paid to energy-saving technology in new buildings and renovations at the locations of the division. For example, the new office building with the Shower Centre of Bekon-Koralle in Dagmersellen (CH) was designed with state-of-the-art environmental considerations in mind and equipped with the latest, most energy-efficient products from Arbonia. In addition, photovoltaic systems on the roofs of the buildings in Plattling (D) and Dagmersellen (CH) ensure environmentally friendly energy generation.
Reduction of packaging material
The Sanitary Equipment Division is very active in the areas of film-free packaging and transport in order to offer environmentally friendly solutions. To reduce transport weight and thus improve the environmental balance, it replaced wooden packaging with lighter but equally functional cardboard honeycomb panels.
Keeping heat in the house
Windows also play a decisive role in the energy demand in buildings. Modern, insulating building envelopes and windows reduce the energy consumption and thus the ancillary costs as well. Against this background, the Windows Division is aware of its special responsibility with regard to saving energy and protecting the climate. In the course of an energy-related building renovation, the insulation performance can be decisively improved by replacing windows, because old windows have heat transfer coefficients of around 3 W/m²K, while modern windows have coefficients of around 0.7 W/m²K. A modern window is therefore better insulated by a factor of 4 and further reduces heat loss by gaining solar heat. If the windows face south, it is even possible that a modern window will compensate for its heat losses through solar energy and gain more energy than it loses over an entire heating period.
Products with an exemplary ecological balance
Technical product features are continuously optimised through new developments. In particular, the new vinyl and vinyl/aluminium frames improve energy efficiency because they can accommodate wider glass packages that are thus more energy-efficient. Part of the window range is Minergie-certified and has an excellent ecolo gical balance thanks to its high quality and durability. In this way, the products positively affect the energy certification of buildings and ensure the value of real estate. At the same time, the technically high-quality windows also contribute to a pleasant living climate.
With a view to the value-added chain
A holistic process ensures that the windows meet high sustainability and quality standards. This holds for the entire value-added chain, from procurement of the raw materials and goods through development, production, marketing, sales, and logistics to disposal. The persons responsible for these areas meet regularly to optimise the value-added chain and reduce material consumption. For this purpose, the key performance figures "reject rate", "productivity", "logistics costs", and "error costs" are continuously monitored.
Recycling is becoming more important
In the production competence centres of the Windows Division, the automation of processes and the conservation of energy and material are continually improved. The division's own test laboratory ensures high product quality through quality testing. The division is guided by the international ISO 9001 quality standard. An important aspect of this is the minimisation of rejects and waste. The Windows Division processes more and more recycled plastic. It pays attention to this not only with suppliers but also in its own plants. In the Pravenec (SK) and Zambrów (PL) production plants, plastic waste is processed and returned to production. The production plant in Langenwetzendorf (D) uses wood chips that are gener - ated during production for heating or sells them to pellet manufacturers.
Optimisation of logistics and operation
The Windows Division also minimises environmental impacts by reducing transport distances. To save on travel, the division has installed its own insulating glass production facility at the Pravenec (SK) site. This "in-house" solution makes manufacturing both more flexible and higher-quality. With the Transport Logistic Optimizer (TLO), the division has also introduced a system for optimising logistics. Measures are decided in monthly meetings; among other things, it has been possible to reduce the number of vehicles because more windows are transported per truck. The division also avoids business trips as much as possible; this was the case even before the COVID-19 pandemic. In the interest of environmental and climate protection, meetings are held via video conference whenever possible. In addition, a photovoltaic system on the roof of the production plant in Langenwetzendorf (D) ensures the production of clean electricity
Energy management for continuous improvement
Energy management according to ISO 50001 is a high priority in the Doors Division. The goal is to continuously reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. An annual budget is available for corresponding measures. In 2020, for example, it was possible to eliminate a filter house at Garant by restructuring machines and systems, which made it possible to dismantle exhaust air lines and the associated motors. Furthermore, one third of the production area was converted to LED lighting. Prüm has set itself the goal for 2021 of reducing energy consumption by 100,000 kWh per year by completely replacing its lighting with LEDs.
Internal and external audits provide clarity
The energy management system raises awareness for savings, and internal and external controls make the development of consumption values transparent. Garant, for example, evaluates key energy figures defined on a monthly basis. The measuring points for monitoring and evaluating energy consumption have been expanded for this purpose. Prüm also determines the key energy figures every month. For 2020, the company set itself the goal of using a maximum of 11.09 kWh per produced part. This goal was already exceeded at the end of October. On the one hand, this was thanks to new energy-efficient equipment for the production of the premium edge and, on the other hand, thanks to an exceptionally good order situation, which meant that the energy-intensive start-up and shut-down of the machines was no longer necessary due to extra shifts. In addition to internal consumption monitoring, Prüm and Garant have their energy management systems externally checked and certified by TÜV every year. Invado in Poland also monitors its electricity consumption during operation, especially with regard to production volume. Every year, the company compares the values with those of the previous year. In accordance with regulations, detailed audits are also carried out at regular intervals. In the future, the division intends to expand and optimise its energy management further.
Energy-efficient machines pay off
The Doors Division is pursuing several approaches to reduce energy consumption. At RWD Schlatter, a new, in-house painting facility was put into operation, eliminating the need for transport to an external service provider. In addition, the company can now better control the painting processes and quality. Another important point is new, more energy-efficient machines and processes, which require a consistent investment policy. Whenever a machine needs to be replaced, the division acquires modern, energy-saving equipment. An example of this is the significantly more efficient CNC machining centre of RWD Schlatter and, in the machinery of Invado, the replacement of large motors with energy-saving electric spindles coupled to frequency converters. Savings are also being made in lighting; Invado is currently switching to LED lights, for example.
Using production waste sensibly
In 2020, Invado realised a major thermal energy project: A newly installed Biotec boiler enables the thermal utilisation of harmless production waste. The obtained thermal energy is used for heating and hot water processing. Residual materials from production – wood chips and dust – are also burned in the existing combined heat and power (CHP) plant at the Prüm door factory. The heat produced there heats a large part of the factory and drives a turbine to generate electricity. Over the year, the CHP plant produces more electricity and heat than the site consumes. Therefore, surrounding industries can buy the surplus green energy. The division is also making progress in the area of packaging; less film and Styrofoam packaging conserves resources and minimizes waste.