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Tumbled facing bricks on conveyor belt

Sustainable production

Wienerberger´s core values include minimizing the environmental impact of the clay production process. The increased use of recycled materials, the renaturalization of former clay pits, reducing fresh water consumption, energy efficiency and a responsible way of operating our clay extraction sites are part of our committment to sustainable production.

Clay supports regional business

Clay is a natural raw material, which is extracted locally, so the building materials don´t have to be transported over long distances. Brick and tile production creates local jobs and the entire value chain remains in the region.

 

In harmony with nature

Wienerberger pays special attention to the protection of the habitats of endangered animals and plant species as well as rare and fragile eco-systems during the extraction process. Resource conservation during clay extraction and the remediation of depleted extraction sites are equally important. There are various possibilities of restoring depleted sites for other uses, such as agriculture, a natural biotope, or conversion into recreational areas. If possible, Wienerberger opts for renaturalization of former clay pits; as such areas often provide valuable alternative habitats for endangered animals and plants, they support biodiversity.

 

Energy efficiency for better climate protection

A large part of the energy used in ceramic production is natural and liquefied gas or oil, which is required to heat the tunnel kilns. For working more energy efficient, the heat released during the cooling process is recovered and recycled into the drying process. Up to today, electrical energy plays a minor role in ceramic production, but we are constantly exploring the possibilities of substituting fossil energy sources with alternative renewable fuels. Wienerberger therefore implemented the CBME Energy Award to support the efforts in energy efficiency of our employees with an internal price.

 

Water consumption

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.

 

Waste management and recycling

As a natural material, nearly all the waste resulting from ceramic production is non-hazardous. It is separated, collected and recycled or disposed appropriately. The quantities of hazardous waste, e.g. oily rags, are very small.

There are existing recycling plans in all of our plants for both internal and external waste material. Internally incurred production waste, such as broken or defective products, can be reprocessed and recycled in our production. External recycling materials are used as additives for certain product groups and generally processed together with the raw material mix during preparation. Recycling materials from biogenic sources (sawdust, paper fibres, sunflower hulls, etc.) are also used as pore-forming agents in clay blocks.