Rockfon Environment Report 07


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Rockfon Environment Report 07

  1. 1. Environment 2007
  2. 2. 2 Environment 2007 Energy supply under pressure From energy crisis to efficiency. A convenient truth. Profitable Who strengthens energy page 4 We can do it again. CO2 savings await you. efficiency the most? page 5 Page 7 page 8
  3. 3. Environment 2007 3 LET’s GO! The race for energy efficiency and climate change abatement has begun! This race is not yet lost, but in all parts of society we must accelerate fast, keep on track and keep up momentum. Our climate is changing. Our reserves of fossil fuels are di- Help is at hand minishing. This report highlights some of the many positive actions that Climate experts, heads of state and the general public are can be taken in residential, commercial and public buildings. all concerned. But concerns alone don’t get us anywhere. We Although Rockwool insulation is one of the few industrial need to speed up the actions that save energy and cut pollu- products to save a hundredfold more energy in its lifecycle tion. The good news: you can make a difference – and even than is consumed during its production, the Rockwool Group save money by doing so. itself is an energy user. So this report will also tell you what we do to improve our own production processes. Buildings We all have a responsibility to keep our own house in order. Our buildings consume some 40% of the energy used in the This report provides some guidelines, but to get across the EU and the US. Heating and cooling are key energy consum- finish-line, you and I need to act. ers. But most of this energy is being wasted due to inade- quate insulation. Using well-proven energy efficiency tech- niques, we can cut the use of heating energy in a building by Eelco van Heel up to 90%. CEO, Rockwool International A/S Over time, energy costs of € 270 billion and 460 million tonnes of CO2 (more than the EU Kyoto protocol CO2 reduc- tion commitment) could be saved every year in Europe, if all buildings undergoing renovation were modernised to contem- porary (low) energy standards. Huge potential exists in other parts of the world as well. It’s too costly not to act.
  4. 4. 4 Environment 2007 Energy efficiency – mission possible! Energy has become a top political issue, and with good reason. Our buildings, accounting for some 40% of the energy use Modern society depends on energy. The safe supply of cheap in Europe and the US, are an obvious place to start. Here lies fuels determines the prosperity of billions of people. To feed probably the largest profitable energy saving potential, and this our needs, the world traditionally cries out for more energy. we can realise with existing, well-proven technology. This re- But we cannot just create more fossil fuels - nor non-renew- port provides examples of how to achieve important savings. able uranium - the sources that quench 86% of today’s energy thirst. Energy efficiency – essential for competitiveness and growth In the last few years, oil prices have multiplied from $24 a In the 1970s the energy-inefficient oil importing world was barrel in early 2003. Gas crises have also shown how vulner- taken by surprise and the world economy was plunged into re- able we are, and we see natural disasters and political conflicts cession when supplies were reduced and prices soared. Today which perennially threaten crucial energy supplies. the EU, USA and Japan still import a substantial part of their Billions of poor people work hard to replicate the quality of energy while China, India and other key economies are fast be- life seen in rich countries. This is good, but if they also copy coming huge importers of fossil fuel. Who is best prepared and our poor energy efficiency, while we don’t improve, the result least vulnerable if a new energy crisis should occur? will be catastrophic for all. The last oil - breathtaking facts Waste less • 86% of our energy comes from fossil fuels and non-renew- Economic growth can – and should – be decoupled from grow- able uranium sources. ing energy use. Most of our energy is wasted. ‘There’s a hole • Energy demand is growing. in our energy bucket!’ so we must stop those leaks - pouring • Reserves are declining fast. more energy into the system does not solve our problem. • We use several times more regular oil than we find. In 2007 the European Union decided to improve its en- • 80% of the oil producing nations are facing, or already ergy efficiency by 20% before 2020. The Chinese government struggling with, declining production. aims to improve energy efficiency by 20% in just five years, • Energy power is being concentrated in a few, vulnerable but is lagging behind its target. Even the world’s largest energy hands. Four countries control most of the world’s oil re- user, the US, aspires to become less wasteful and to reduce serves. Three countries control 56% of the gas reserves. energy imports from the Middle East by 75% before 2025. Sources: ASPO, BP How do we get across the finish line? Read more about energy efficiency – why and how: “How much energy sovereignty does a country have when it is almost totally dependent on oil and gas imports? ” EU Commission President Barroso
  5. 5. Environment 2007 5 Energy intensity (2003) - adjusted for purchasing power parity tonnes oil equivalents per million EUR of GDP (at 1995 market prices) Source: Enerdata/Eurostat If Russia achieved the same energy efficiency as Denmark (the EU’s last net energy exporter), it could increase its energy exports considerably. Rus- sia uses more than twice the energy to generate one dollar of wealth (GDP) than the world average. Gas revenues account for 26% of Russia’s GDP . HOW TO save 20% again Why save energy? Improving energy efficiency by 20% can be done but, • Security of energy supply rather than in 13 years as the EU promises, in just five • Reduce global warming years! From 1979-1984, after the first energy crises, Denmark insulated intensively and reduced its need for • Cut energy costs heating by 20% per square meter floor space. Subsidy • International competitiveness schemes, information campaigns, professional advice and • Cleaner air, better health better energy efficiency requirements were all important catalysts. Other countries can do the same.
  6. 6. 6 Environment 2007 More power plants or less energy waste? The demand for energy is growing worldwide. Hundreds of • € 270 billion in annual energy costs power plants will need to be built at high cost, both financially • 460 million tonnes of CO2 per year (that’s more than the EU and environmentally, if nothing is done. Energy efficiency is a Kyoto Protocol commitment) comfortable and economical way to reduce the need for new It would also create more than 500,000 jobs. plants. According to the EU Commission, it will cost 50%- This CO2 saving in Europe alone corresponds to 400% more to produce an extra kilowatt of electricity. • 188 nuclear power plants • an 18-fold increase in the world’s installed wind power Profitable CO2 savings: • or 88 coal fired power plants with CO2 capture and storage. If we bring European buildings undergoing modernisation up to Worldwide the potential for CO2 savings in buildings is even contemporary (low) energy efficiency standards we can, over greater at almost tenfold. time, save the equivalent of : Sources: Ecofys, CEPS, Eurima. • 3.3 million barrels of oil energy per day (some 4% of global consumption for all purposes) ”More efficient use of energy Why make buildings energy efficient • Buildings are responsible for some 40% of the energy is the cheapest and quickest used and CO2 emitted in Europe and North America. way to cut greenhouse gas • 2/3rds of this energy is used for heating or cooling. emissions” • Up to 90% of the heating energy can be saved with existing technology. Claude Mandil, Head of the International Energy Agency
  7. 7. Environment 2007 7 The Rockwool insulation sold this year will, in its lifetime, save more than 200 million tonnes of CO2. A convenient truth We can save money & CO2 emissions in buildings protocol. The EU has already given a unilateral 20% reduction A growing number of reports (from Ecofys, Stern, McKinsey, commitment, but aims at a multilateral target of 30% before CEPS, the UN’s IPCC - to mention a few) all point to the fact 2020. There is still a chance to limit the increase in average that better energy efficiency in buildings, and in particular insu- global temperatures to ’just’ 2° C. However this would require lation, is one of – if not the most cost-effective measure to 50%-85% less CO2 emissions by 2050 from the industrialised reduce CO2 emissions: “Energy efficiency options for new and world. Quick reductions have the strongest impact - energy ef- existing buildings could considerably reduce CO2 emissions ficiency in buildings is a technology immediately at hand. with net economic benefit.”, says IPCC. We are actually losing money by not saving CO2 and costly energy in our buildings. Hopefully, this emerging awareness will help to pave the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, Working Group III, ‘Summary for Policymakers’, p. 18 way for more ambitious CO2 reductions in the next climate see
  8. 8. 8 Environment 2007 How to save more energy in new buildings A building may last 100 years or more. It’s very cost-effective to incorporate optimal energy efficiency from the start, and New roof constructions - allowed energy loss very expensive to miss the opportunity for proper insulation. (U-value) Most countries have minimum insulation requirements for new Sweden 0.13 buildings. But in most cases these standards are far too slack Finland 0.16 to live up to the full environmental and economical potential. Estonia 0.16 Norway 0.18 North American ambitions Germany 0.20 The world’s biggest consumer and importer of energy is the UK 0.20 US. For decades energy guzzling habits have prevailed, but Latvia 0.20 now times are changing. Sharp reductions in the Americans’ Denmark 0.25 energy intense lifestyle are necessary, if the country is to fulfil Austria 0.25 its ambition to drastically reduce energy imports from the Mid- France 0.25 dle East. Buildings account for nearly 40% of US energy use. Ameri- Hungary 0.25 can houses are more than twice the average size of a Euro- Slovenia 0.25 pean home, and 77% are equipped with air conditioning. Bet- Switzerland 0.30 ter insulation is crucial. The US Energy Authority points to an Poland 0.30 energy savings potential of 57%-68% in residential buildings. Czech Republic 0.30 Nationwide tax credits of up to $2000 are now given to home Slovakia 0.30 owners who insulate their homes properly. Many states are Belgium 0.40 embarking on energy and CO2 saving initiatives in public build- Lithuania 0.40 ings. Even ultra-efficient ’passive houses’ (see page 10) are Spain (Madrid/Sevilla) 0.45 now mushrooming. Portugal 0.50 Canada is also speeding up energy efficiency in buildings. In Italy (Bolzano/Palermo) 0.60 the province of Ontario, energy demands for new homes have Croatia (Zagreb) 0.65 been boosted 21.5% by improved standards for wall and ceiling 0 0.10 0.20 0.30 0.40 0.50 0.60 insulation, high-efficiency boilers and energy efficient windows. Almost everywhere in Europe the energy requirements fail to take full account of today’s climate conditions and energy prices. Even these inadequate official requirements are seldom controlled (and not always followed). In old buildings conditions are even worse. In some In 2009 and 2012 even higher energy efficiency requirements countries, however, a tighter energy frame for the entire building can cause a tendency to choose lower/better U-values for roofs than the minimum requirement. will come into force. The Rockwool Group has initiated an historic expansion of production capacity to meet the growing need for insulation. At least 6 new faci- lities - factories or production lines - will be operational from 2007- 2010.
  9. 9. Environment 2007 9 Who improves energy demands the most in new buildings? HOW TO! make long-lasting solutions At least every five years, EU countries must update their Hungary 30% energy efficiency requirements for buildings. And 25% Sweden1) 30% improvements for new buildings are not unusual. Den- Denmark 25-30% mark and France have also made additional medium term commitments. The UK aims for Passive House United Kingdom residential 20% non-residential 27% standards in six years, Germany and the Netherlands in Norway2) 25% eight years. Spain 20% Italy 20% Netherlands3) 20% France 15% Germany 0% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 1) Only electrically heated buildings 2) As of August 2009 3) Residential. Non-residential not yet finalised How to stop losing money Minimum improvement in roof insulation requirements necessary for new buildings more than 200 mm extra up to 200 mm extra up to 150 mm extra up to 100 mm extra 0 - 50 mm extra Insulation standards (minimum U-value requirements) must be improved considerably in most regions in order to stop losing money on the heating and cooling of their buildings. In a city like Bolzano in Northern Italy the marginal cost savings are greatest if the roof insulation requirements were to be sharpened by more than 200 mm. But even with more insulation, the energy savings can still exceed the extra investment at today’s energy prices. Even better insulation will be relevant in countries where CO2 savings have a commercial price, where better insulation makes expensive radiators superfluous in Passive Houses, or where energy prices are likely to increase. source: Rockwool International A/S Author: SEGEFA-Ulg
  10. 10. 10 Environment 2007 Why focus on energy efficiency of buildings? HOW TO! litres of oil energy for heating, per m2 and year build a Passive House: • Proper insulation (300-500 mm) • Low-energy, triple-glazed windows • No thermal bridges • Controlled ventilation with efficient heat recovery • Air-tight with all gaps sealed • Optimal building orientation for solar gain or protection It is possible with existing and proven technology to have buildings with a fraction of the present average consumption ! • Low-energy appliances Sources: EU Commission (2001), Danish building regulations (2006) and HOW TO! make entire neighbourhoods energy efficient When the council of Stenløse in Denmark was selling land for an entire neighbourhood development, it demanded that all 750 new houses should be sustainable low-energy buildings. In this way two million kWh will be saved every year. This visionary choice has attracted much positive pub- lic interest and was championed with the Danish Rockwool Award 2007. Read more at
  11. 11. Environment 2007 11 How much energy can I save? Make the Passive House our standard choice from body heat and from appliances, is enough to heat the Are you searching for the building of the future? Either as a building. The annual heating demand may not exceed 15 kWh home-buyer, a construction professional or a building code reg- per square meter. The total primary energy consumption is ulator? limited to 120 kWh/m2 per year. The impressive energy sav- Then you can save 70%-90% of the heating costs if you ings more than compensate for the 5%-15% initial extra invest- choose the best, well-proven low-energy technology for your ment. building. Cooling costs can be minimised too. Even in refur- bishment projects, heating cost reductions of more than 80% Mandatory soon have been achieved. Currently the most widespread concept is The EU plans to make Passive Houses, and similar extremely ‘the Passive House’ - so far more than 8000 have been built. low-energy houses, the rule rather than the exception by Good indoor comfort, low energy bills and low lifecycle costs 2016. Ahead of this, Passive House standards will become make this house increasingly popular. Its design includes good mandatory in new UK homes in 2013, and in Germany and the insulation and windows, airtight construction without thermal Netherlands by 2015. In the UK, ‘Zero-carbon houses’ will be bridges, alongside efficient ventilation and heat recovery sys- the name of the game by 2016. These low-energy buildings tems. Most winter days the free passive energy from the sun, can also produce sustainable energy e.g. with solar panels. The race for energy efficient building solutions has started. HOW TO! promote energy efficiency in new buildings The widespread construction of Passive Houses does not hap- pen by itself, but needs visionary regulators. Exemplary are most Austrian regions where these buildings are given finan- cial support. The council in Vorarlberg has made Passive House standards mandatory for all buildings receiving public support. The proportion of Passive Houses among new residential build- ings is now 4% in Austria, and accelerating very fast. It required 300 million years to form fossil fuels, but it can take you less than 300 days to build an energy-saving building.
  12. 12. 12 Environment 2007 How to save energy in existing buildings New buildings typically represent 1% of the total building stock. Therefore the largest potential for energy savings lies in old buildings. Too often, economical energy savings are simply not initiated. Or building renovations neglect vital energy efficient components. There follows a series of examples of how to overcome some of the practical and legislative hurdles. “If the EU is really serious about HOW TO! energy efficiency, then the next calculate what you can save meeting of Heads of State and Try the new free energy calculator and see what you can Governments should decide that all save in your own home. public buildings in all 27 Member Sta- tes become carbon neutral by 2020.” Klaus Töpfer, former Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme
  13. 13. Environment 2007 13 Insulate roof 11% 7% Install solar heating panels Energy efficient glazing 11% Insulate external wall 30% 12% Modern heating system 6% Insulate cellar ceiling What’s the energy saving potential of a typical building? The percentages are average values, calculated for houses in Germany. They will therefore vary from house to house. Source: Deutsche Energie-Agentur Stop the leaks Over the last few years, the UK has made strong efforts to im- End-use efficiency and energy services (2006/32/EC), more prove poor energy efficiency in its existing building stock. Insu- energy companies outside the UK will be obliged to undertake lation is a key instrument for reducing CO2 emissions by 60% similar activities. by 2050, and enabling more than 80% of the energy sav- Even with these measures, the potential remains great. ings under the Energy Efficiency Commitment scheme. From There are still 9-11 million cavity walls to fill in Britain. A simi- 2002-2008 more than 2.5 million cavity walls and just as lar number of lofts have less than 100 mm of insulation or many lofts will be insulated. Further, the UK energy savings none at all. In London alone, more than 1.7 million homes target is even more ambitious for the end of 2011. have solid walls of which 99% remain un-insulated. Here a Major gas and electricity suppliers (such as British Gas) warm ‘overcoat’ of façade insulation could do wonders. have been given a key role. They must all meet an energy sav- Is your country offering similar schemes? ing target. In order to reduce fuel poverty, at least half of their savings must be made in low income households that receive state benefits. Energy suppliers are even helping to organ- ise and finance insulation measures. With the EU Directive on Read more:
  14. 14. 14 Environment 2007 HOW TO! HOW TO! make building renovations energy efficient It’s cost efficient to add extra insulation at the same time that the scaffolding and professionals are in place to renew the roof anyway. A modernisation project that does not apply the most energy and cost-efficient technology is a missed opportu- nity. It may take decades before the next chance becomes available. Small build- ings account for some 80% of the building stock. So Germany has decided that all buildings undergoing renovation, irrespective of size, must be upgraded energy ef- ficiently. The EU is also considering lowering its 1000 sq m threshold. To help fi- nance the improvements, Germany has allocated more than € 1.4 billion per year towards interest rate and direct subsidies for the energy efficient upgrade of exist- ing buildings. The renovated building must be at least as energy efficient as the minimum requirement for new buildings. HOW TO! take local initiative When it comes to energy sovereignty, the US is fight- ing to regain its lost liberty. A growing number of cit- ies and states are seeking new frontiers for energy and CO2 savings. New York wants to become the green- est city in the US, slashing greenhouse gas pollution by 30% before 2030. Sustainable buildings are one of the measures. Pennsylvania State aims to become independent of foreign fossil fuel imports. HOW TO! make public buildings energy efficient The public sector accounts for a significant part of the building stock. Far too many public buildings waste energy and tax payers’ money. But from 2008 the public sector in Europe must play an exemplary role, for instance by renting, building and purchasing only energy efficient buildings. And by using energy audits – then implementing the recommendations. The modernised Berlaymont building in Bruxelles was one of the first to be certi- fied. It’s above standard of many EU countries: 87 kWh of primary energy per year and m² for heating, according to Fraunhofer Institute calculations. A Pas- sive House uses about half that amount.
  15. 15. Environment 2007 15 HOW TO! solve the landlord’s dilemma Energy efficiency in rented buildings is a special challenge because the tenant pays the energy bill. So for the land- lord to invest in energy savings, special incentives are needed. In France a 40% tax credit is given to landlords for insulating houses built before 1977. Is your country offering similar schemes? HOW TO! renovate multi-occupancy buildings to Passive House standards This architectural heritage building from 1730 was reno- vated with Passive House techniques. Heating demand used to be 300 kWh per m2. Now 15-20 kWh per square meter is being achieved. Today, modern buildings are allowed to use three times more heating energy than this, that’s even according to the strictest EU building regulations. HOW TO! make energy efficiency easier While many home-owners know that energy can be saved in their building, un- derstanding and controlling the energy renovation project can sometimes be quite complex. Practical assistance is needed. The state of Vermont in the US provides a one-stop service. The Energy Rated Homes of Vermont scheme provides the en- ergy assessment, obtains contractor bids for the upgrade measures, oversees the contractor’s work, conducts a post-construction energy rating and prepares docu- ments to secure the energy efficiency mortgage. More info at
  16. 16. 16 Environment 2007 Comfort Good insulation and ventilation improve your indoor environment Is your indoor air quality as good at it can get? We spend Ventilate most of our life inside buildings. But moisture damage is pre- Moisture must be ventilated out of the building. An average sent in far too many homes - German studies indicate 20%. family of four members contributes up to 15 litres of moisture Moisture and fungi increase the risk of allergic reactions. to their indoor air every day. Clean, fresh air also improves What can you do? poor quality indoor air that can cause headaches and discom- fort, and can impair concentration. How to ensure a healthy indoor climate If you live in a building without an automatic ventila- Insulation, airtight construction and controlled ventilation are tion system (see page 10), open your windows briefly several essential for a better indoor environment. Properly fitting in- times a day. In this way the air is swiftly refreshed. During sulation helps provide a pleasant and stable indoor tempera- the cold winter months, 5 minutes (with radiators off) may be ture between 20-26˚C despite cold winters or hot summers. enough for a complete air exchange without a dramatic cool- Even expensive heating or cooling, cannot eliminate unpleas- ing of the warm surfaces in the building. On windless summer ant draughts caused by temperature differences. days, 30 minutes may be necessary. You can never insulate too much! But if you insulate too lit- tle, use incorrect installation methods or ventilate too little, Indoor climate labelling then there is a risk of warm humid air condensing on cold or Rockwool products are qualified to use the Finnish ’M1’ indoor poorly insulated surfaces. Condensation can create the damp climate label that has the strictest requirements in Europe, conditions that allow moulds and fungi to grow. meaning no critical emissions of odours, particles or volatile organic compounds. Furthermore the Danish Indoor Climate Label has been given to a number of Rockfon acoustic ceiling products. Seven tips to improve your indoor climate: 1. Insulate well, seal gaps, avoid thermal bridges. This im- 4. Noise is best absorbed by materials with open proves comfort and prevents condensation. structure surfaces, such as textile curtains or mineral wool acoustic ceilings. 2. Ventilate well. If the building is airtight, a ventilation system with heat recovery can do it automatically and 5. Ensure adequate light and light reflection. energy efficiently. 6. Keep the building clean. 3. Keep the materials dry, prevent leaks and keep moisture membranes intact. A moisture content below 15% in buil- 7. Choose low-emission materials that do not release ding materials prevents the growth of moulds and fungi. critical amounts of gases, particles or odours. In some countries indoor climate labels may help you.
  17. 17. Environment 2007 17 Facade insulation of these Danish flats in Århus removed the condensation and mould problems. How insulation prevents condensation and mould Old, uninsulated building Renovated building Despite a new window, condensation and mould problems can occur around 200 mm insulation (Passive House technique) window frames, the foundation, in joints and behind cupboards. new Passive House window 15.5° 19.5° 11.0° 16.1° 8.0° 16.0° 17.7° 13.0° 5.0° 16.5° 8.7° 17.8° 10.1° 16.7° Out-door temperature: - 5° C Out-door temperature: - 5° C Indoor temperature: 20° C Indoor temperature: 20° C Surface temperature: around 9° C The relevant surface temperatures are now above 16° C and no con- densation and mould problems occur. A humidity of 62% is no lon- ger a problem. Source: Passive House Institute
  18. 18. 18 Environment 2007 Reducing noise pollution Every day - and night - millions of people around the world are reduce ear-deafening noise from machines or from the activi- suffering from unwanted sound. Noise causes stress, loss of ties of people. Rockfon acoustic ceiling systems can dramati- concentration and affects well being. It can provoke stress-re- cally reduce sound reverberation and prevent echoes in a room. lated heart problems and can have severe negative social and RockDelta green noise barriers alongside roads and RockDelta economic impact. Some 120 million people have disabling vibration control under rail tracks both abate frustrating traffic hearing problems, according to the World Health Organisation. noise. This problem affects 40% of EU citizens and can reduce Lack of sound proofing not only makes life miserable for the value of property by 1.6% for every decibel above 55dB. people living next to noisy neighbours, it also prevents many A 10dB difference is perceived by the human ear as a doub- of us from free expression of music and other happy, yet noisy, ling (or halving) of the audible sound. A good wall construction activities. with Rockwool insulation can help ensure many a good night’s sleep! It can reduce noise transmission by more than 50dB (Rw Three things to remember - value) which is about 20dB more than a poor construction The elements of a healthy building must reduce noise rever- without insulation. berating inside a room, impede transmission between rooms and prevent noise from the outside penetrating the building. ABC - what class are you in? Just 30dB (A) is disturbing to sleep, while 35dB (A) interferes Noise reduction requirements have not improved fast - if at all. with the intelligibility of speech in smaller rooms. Disturbing The Danish building regulations will soon give noise quality la- ‘echo’ from too many hard surfaces must also be avoided. bels to new premises. To get in Class C (the minimum require- ment) noise dampening should be sufficient to satisfy 50% of How stone wool helps the inhabitants while no more than 35% of occupiers should Rockwool stone wool has an open fibrous structure making it be discontent. ideal for absorbing and regulating noise. Rockwool products Critical health effects from noise HOW TO! reduce noise in your building: dB • Use materials with good absorption such as mineral wool Hearing impairment of adult 140 • Install these in combination with dense materials (peak noise) • Avoid gaps, especially where walls meet floors and Hearing impairment of child ceilings 120 (peak noise) • Insulate against vibrations - be careful about details • Avoid too many hard surfaces in the room • Acoustic ceilings, textiles and other materials with open Hearing impairment structures, help prevent ‘echo’ 85 (daily noise for 1 hour) • Buy machines with low noise emissions Hearing impairment 70 • Develop a culture of respect: louder isn’t always better (daily noise for 24 hrs) • Noise screens – including well-insulated windows, walls 55 Serious annoyance (outdoor) and roof – help against traffic noise 35 Disturbance of communication 30 Sleep disturbance Learn more about how you can reduce noise at Source: World Health Organisation 0
  19. 19. Environment 2007 19 Before: “It’s very strenuous for After: “You can now hear the me. You get really stressed.” teacher much better. Especially because I sit in the back row.” Diana Lammert, teacher, Berlin pupil HOW TO! In Germany, a country which has produced unacceptable listen and learn results in the international PISA learning studies, one of four The future wealth of society is sown in our education system. children has hearing problems, and many pupils come from But ‘noise infernos’ are a reality in far too many class rooms. families who are not native speakers. Millions of school years of concentrated learning are lost due But better acoustics can prevent these noise problems. In to poor acoustics. When the teacher’s speech becomes a mud- the Droste-Hülshoff School in Berlin, Rockfon acoustic ceiling dled echo in the class room, it is difficult to understand, to & wall absorbers, plus a sound absorbing floor, have reduced concentrate - and to keep quiet. A vicious circle of noise starts. the reverberation to a third: from 1.7 seconds to just 0.5 sec- Reverberation times should not exceed 0.6 seconds. Even onds. The Rockfon solution will work for many years. Seminars at 0.7 seconds only 67% of the spoken word remains compre- are now being arranged to encourage a small investment hensible, falling to less than half (40%) at 1.7 seconds. This (€ 1000 - 2000 per class room, or less than a month’s salary) is compounded for people with hearing difficulties or for those to be made in more class rooms. without full command of a language that is not their mother tongue. See and hear the German TV report 28/0,4070,5268412-0,00.html
  20. 20. 20 Environment 2007 Own house in order The impact of Rockwool products and production Positive environmental balance Energy saving Rockwool insulation is one of the few industrial HOW TO! products with an overall positive environmental balance. Im- proving that balance is key. All our 23 factories should be able make Rockwool insulation to demonstrate efficient use of resources, local responsibility The Rockwool process resembles the natural action of and respect towards our neighbours. the volcano: stone wool is made by melting rock, lime- stone and recycled briquettes with other raw materials Once again in 2006 better results were achieved: at 1500°C in a coke-heated cupola furnace. The resul- • Seven of 13 key performance indicators were improved tant liquid stone melt is spun into fibres. Binder and from 2002 to 2006 (see p. 21). impregnating oil are added to make the material stable • The tradition of green accolades continued. Rockwool Ltd. and water-repellent. The stone wool is then heated to in the UK won another environmental award. about 200°C in order to cure the binder and stabilise • In 2006 the Rockwool Group was not involved in any the material for final processing into a variety of prod- environmental court cases. ucts. Environmental equipment – filters, pre-heaters, after-burners, and other cleaning and collection sys- Mandatory green standards tems – makes the ‘tamed volcano’ an environmentally All Group companies must fulfil Rockwool environmental responsible process. standards which specify procedures, responsibilities and as- sessment methods. In some cases the Group environment See the video ‘People & Environment‘ policy tells us to go beyond local legislation requirements. Compliance is regularly audited. Some subsidiaries have chosen certified management sys- tems like ISO 14001 or EMAS, audited by third-party ex- perts. In 2006 a total of 40 environmental, energy, and fire & safety audits were made. On average a Rockwool factory is subject to one such scrutiny at least once a year.
  21. 21. Environment 2007 21 Since 2002 the Group’s water usage per produced unit has been reduced by 19%. Environmental production figures Excluding impact from product use. The total life cycle eco-balance for a typical insulation product is illustrated in the Eco-balance charts on pages 22 and 24. 2002 = Index 100 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 Change Comments 5 years trend Page Factories included in key figures 23 20 21 21 21 Energy 100 98 95 91 90 22 Carbon dioxide 1 100 97 98 97 102 = 24-25 Carbon monoxide 1+3 100 108 132 137 141 24-25 Sulphur dioxide 2 100 106 96 105 104 = 24-25 Nitrogen dioxides 1+2+3+4 100 105 107 105 94 = 24-25 Ammonia 2+3+4 100 93 93 83 75 24-25 Formaldehyde 3 100 67 61 70 63 24+26 Phenol 3 100 100 79 70 72 24 Water consumption 100 89 86 86 81 24-25 Dust 100 120 96 102 108 25 Waste to landfill 100 70 62 47 56 27 Recycling – residual products from other industries 100 103 95 101 103 = 27 Accidents per million working hours (not indexed) 19.1 15.8 15.6 16.2 11.5 26 1 Global warming potential, 2 Acid rain, 3 Smog, 4 Nutrification The key environmental figures include consumption and emissions in the production phase at the Rockwool factories. The energy consumption is calculated in mWh and the water consumption in m3. All other key figures are calculated by weight. The key figures are indexed and shown per tonne line stone wool, except accidents among factory workers (direct personnel) which are indicated per million working hours. Three plants were closed during 2002. Our second plant in Hungary, which was acquired during the last few days before year end 2003 is included in the 2004 figures. For one of the acquired factories, some of the data was not registered. A green ‘smiley’ indicates a positive trend from 2002 - 2006. Red symbols a set-back from 2002 - 2006. = Indicates a stable trend from 2002-2006 (max 2% change in five year average).
  22. 22. 22 Environment 2007 Energy and the Rockwool impact The impact of our production Energy efficiency has been top priority for many years. It is also an important key to reducing other environmental impacts of pro- duction, such as CO2, NOx and SO2 emissions. In our acquired factories, Rockwool know-how has improved energy efficiency by 50% per produced unit, while at the same time enhancing prod- uct quality, environmental performance and delivery precision. In 2006 energy efficiency improvements of 10% have been obtained compared to 2002. The good neighbour Our environmental improvements for the many depend on a good responsible relationship with the few who have a Rock- wool factory in their neighbourhood. The new plant in Croatia is state-of-the-art built with the Best Available environment Technology (BAT). But technology alone doesn’t bring trust. The Rockwool Group always seeks open dialogue to satisfy the curiosity, and sometimes natural scepticism, of our neighbours, new and old. The positive impact of our products -1 +128 Rockwool Eco-balance: Energy Source: FORCE TECHNOLOGY/dk-TEKNIK Used in life-cycle Saved in life-cycle Life-cycle assessment (LCA) Rockwool insulation is one of the major energy savers. A typical 250 mm Rockwool loft insulation product – manufactured and installed in Denmark and used over 50 years - will save 128 times more primary energy than was used for its production, transport and disposal. The energy balance becomes positive only five months after installation. This, however, is a conservative example. For a product that insulates hot pipes, the energy payback can be less than 24 hours - the return on invested energy is more than 10,000-fold. Read the ISO 14000 compliant, peer reviewed LCA. Source: FORCE TECHNOLOGY/dk-TEKNIK International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, no 9 2004, p.53-56 & 122-129 HOW TO! save energy in industrial processes Intensify energy audits, implement appropriate measures and reap large, profitable energy savings! In the Polish plant at Malkina € 200,000 will be saved each year - that’s eight times more than the investment in better en- ergy efficiency.
  23. 23. Environment 2007 23 Summary of our Group Environment Policy With the commitment of all the subsidiary companies, and in any given area, then to inform the authorities immedi- in consultation with their managing directors, the Rockwool ately and take steps enabling compliance; Group has drawn up an environment policy. In accordance with this, our companies undertake: • to maintain an open dialogue with stakeholders – customers, regulatory authorities, investors, employees, • to carry out an environmental analysis of all projects suppliers, and neighbours – in order to ensure that relevant involving new production equipment or new products interests and requirements concerning environmental before they are initiated; issues are met; • to have an environmental management system which • via the Group’s environment department, to carry out describes responsibility and control procedures, and to audits at the plants to assist the environmental work of make constant improvements to this system; the manufacturing companies. • to ensure that the factories do not cause problems for their The Rockwool companies have acceded to the International neighbours of a more serious nature than is normal in an Chamber of Commerce (ICC)’s Business Charter for area also housing industry; Sustainable Development – Principles for Environmental Management. • as a minimum, to comply with the conditions imposed on them by the regulatory authorities; if this is not happening
  24. 24. 24 Environment 2007 Reducing air pollution Reduced use of fossil fuels is an important means of curbing the melting process, and phenol and formaldehyde from the air pollution such as smog, acid rain and nutrification. World- small amounts of resin binder used to stabilise stone wool fi- wide 800,000 deaths a year are attributable to urban air bres. The combustion of CO also improves energy efficiency. pollution that is largely the result of the combustion of fossil At temperatures exceeding 700°C, most of the airborne fuels for transport, power generation and other human activi- organic remnants from the production process are burnt off. ties. Particles and smog (photochemical ozone) can cause se- This also includes ammonia evaporating from the binder, rious lung diseases and premature cardio-respiratory deaths. thus reducing the potential for nutrification. Asthma patients are amongst those most at risk. Less waste of sulphur-rich fossil fuel also means less acid Results rain that can damage trees, corrode the surfaces of buildings The Group’s emissions of ammonia, formaldehyde and phenol, and cars and reduce the bio-diversity in lakes. which can cause smog, have decreased since 2002, whereas Oil, coal and gas also contain nitrous compounds. After CO emissions have increased. Emissions of nitrogen oxides combustion they end up in the environment partly as nutrients have not changed significantly. that can disturb the eco-balance of water and soil, choking en- At the same time, due to recycling, the amount of waste dangered plants or causing the explosive growth of toxic algae to landfill has decreased strongly. This is positive, but neces- in lakes or at beaches in seawater on hot summer days. sitates more sulphur-rich cement for the recycling briquettes. Therefore, even with improved energy efficiency and filters, the Improving the impact of our production total acid air emissions are status quo. The Rockwool factories use afterburner plants and other envi- The nutrification emissions per tonne stone wool have been ronmental equipment to minimise emissions such as CO from reduced since 2002. The impact of our products -1 no reliable data Rockwool Eco-balance: Smog (C2H4 equivalents) -1 +61 Rockwool Eco-balance: Nutrification (PO43-- equivalents) -1 +162 Rockwool Eco-balance: Acid rain (SO2 equivalents) -1 +162 Rockwool Eco-balance: CO2 Used in life-cycle A typical Rockwool loft insulation product will, in its lifetime, save 162 times more acid rain and Saved in life-cycle CO2 - and 61 times more nutrification components - than the 52.7 g, 9.6 kg and 9.6 g emitted during its production. The environmental balance swings to positive four months after installation for acid rain and CO2 abatement and after 10 months for prevented airborne nutrients. Smog is also reduced, but SOURCE: FORCE TECHNOLOGY/dk-TEKNIK the complexity of photochemical processes prevents a precise quantification. Energy savings improve air quality. A typical Rockwool loft insulation product saves 61-162 times more air pollutants than were emitted during its production.
  25. 25. Environment 2007 25 HOW TO! reduce odour In 2007 extra environmental afterburner equipment is being added to the plant in Vamdrup, Denmark. By burning off or- ganic components, emissions with a distinctive smell will be markedly reduced to the benefit of our neighbours. CO2 emissions Dust from production All Rockwool plants in the EU have implemented procedures In 2006 dust emissions have increased by 8% compared to for the detailed monitoring and documentation of their CO2 2002. The Rockwool factories use filters to collect dust and fly emissions. In 2006 the significant expansion of our production ash from the furnaces. The Group aims to recycle and re-melt made it necessary, for the first time, to purchase CO2 allow- as much dust as possible. ances. Despite improved energy efficiency, the Group has not improved its CO2 efficiency. This is not satisfactory. Sustainable fire protection Good fire protection is vital if a building is to be safeguarded Within REACH for the long-term. Safe control and handling of chemicals is a key priority. The Rockwool stone wool cannot burn, and can withstand heat Rockwool Group will ensure complete compliance with Eu- of 1000°C. It can thus prevent the spread of fire. Fewer severe rope’s new chemicals regulation (REACH). fires means less pollution of air, soil and water.
  26. 26. 26 Environment 2007 Workplace and product safety The Rockwool Group is committed to safe products and safe process virtually eliminates the release of formaldehyde from workplaces. It is also our policy to inform customers how to in- the finished product. Indoor climate tests demonstrate that for stall and handle products correctly. building use at normal temperatures, no emission problems ex- ist. Rockwool products in contact with the indoor climate qualify Safety of stone wool fibres as M1 - the best indoor climate category according to the strict The World Health Organisation concluded in 2001 that rock requirements used in Finland. It is also possible to buy Rockfon (stone) wool should be removed from classification as a ”pos- acoustic ceilings with the Danish Indoor Climate Label. sible human carcinogen“. This positive re-classification is be- During production a number of chemicals are present in the cause epidemiological studies and long-term inhalation stud- phase before the binder is cured, including ammonia, phenol ies have provided no evidence of increased risk of lung cancer and formaldehyde, which is a known carcinogen and skin irri- from occupational exposure to stone wool fibres. tant. A safety system is used to prevent our employees from having skin contact with uncured binder. Ventilation and other Skin contact environmental equipment help minimise air emissions and pro- Handling Rockwool products can result in transient itching due tect workplace safety. to the mechanical effect of coarse fibres. In 1997 the EU clas- sified mineral wool products as irritating to the skin. The min- Good ventilation at high temperatures eral wool industry has made a set of recommendations about Rockwool products have a high content of inorganic (stone) how to handle products in a way that minimises transient itch- material that cannot burn or give off smoke. It is one of the ing of the skin. safest materials when it comes to fire or extreme heat. Like all organic compounds, the small amounts of binder and oil can Binder components release decomposition products when heated. High concentra- Rockwool products typically consist of 98% inorganic (stone) tions of these fumes may irritate the eyes and respiratory sys- materials and only 2% organic material: a highly refined oil tem. To cover the special circumstances where insulation is makes the insulation water-repellent and reduces dust, and to heated up to more than 90°C, the Rockwool Group has pub- bind the fibres we use a urea modified phenol-formaldehyde lished a material safety data sheet recommending good ven- compound (also used in chipboard furniture and previously in tilation during the initial heating phase. For instance in power Bakelite door handles and telephones). plants using industrial insulation around very hot pipes. For Before the product reaches the customer, the binder has normal temperature use in buildings, no such protective meas- been cured in an oven at temperatures above 200°C. This ures are needed. Lowest accident frequency ever In 2006 the Rockwool Group achieved the lowest frequency of accidents in its history: 11.5 accidents per million per- formed work hours, a very low level for an industrial proc- ess company. This is a 40% drop in five years, and a 70% drop in 10 years. Still, every accident is one too many, so the Group’s Health & Safety organisation will continue to pursue ever safer work places.
  27. 27. Environment 2007 27 Recycling – from waste to valuable resource The EU Environment LIFE programme supports Rockwool recycling initiatives Eco-Innovation Less landfill waste Fewer waste disposal sites and less depletion of virgin raw Today, stone wool waste and residue materials from other materials - for these two reasons the EU Environment LIFE industries are compressed into recycling briquettes that are programme supports the Rockwool Group’s recycling. Our cu- melted and processed into new stone wool. Three quarters of pola furnace operates at temperatures of more than 1500°C. the Group’s stone wool waste is recycled - and our recycling This makes it ideal for substituting virgin raw materials, such is still growing. Waste to landfill has decreased by 44% from as rock and fuel, with waste materials of a suitable chemi- 2002 to 2006. cal composition: for instance olivine sand, that has been used Stone wool residue is also used in other industries, for to sand blow vessels or concrete, and some residues from instance as raw material in bricks. the metal industry. Today, the Rockwool Group turns around 400,000 tonnes of ’waste’ into a valuable resource. In 2006 see the film: our relative use of residual materials from other industries has increased by 3% compared to 2002. The impact of our products -1 +3 We recycle three times more residue materials from Rockwool Eco-balance: Recycling other industries than we deposit ourselves source: Group environment department stone wool waste to disposal sites recycling of secondary raw materials ”I would be very pleased to buy more products that are technically safe and are environmentally valu- able, because they are using recy- cled material, for instance Rock- wool products.” Christopher Allen, EU Environment LIFE programme
  28. 28. The Rockwool Group The Rockwool Group is the world leader in stone wool tech- Made of rock, stone wool is naturally fire resistant. It tolerates nology. Our Mission is to be our customers’ preferred supplier temperatures of up to 1000°C and is used as vital fire protec- of products, systems and solutions for improved energy effi- tion in buildings and for marine applications to protect lives ciency, acoustic performance and fire safety in buildings. and valuable assets. The Rockwool Group has 70 years of experience. Our Stone wool protects against noise pollution and is used in 8,000 employees in more than 30 countries cater for cus- acoustic ceilings, noise screens, around noisy machines, in tomers all over the world. In 2006, sales exceeded €1.5 bil- walls and roofs, under floors and even underneath rail tracks. lion. Stone wool is also used as a growing medium for vegetables Stone wool improves the environment and the quality of and flowers, in façade cladding boards, as reinforcement fi- life for millions of people. This versatile material is used to in- bres in cars and for other industrial purposes. sulate against loss of heat and cold. By decreasing the need The Group produces stone wool products in 23 factories to burn fossil fuels, stone wool also reduces air pollution. across Europe, North America and Asia and markets Rock- wool system solutions worldwide. The Rockwool Group’s headquarters and factories Rockwool International A/S Hovedgaden 584 DK-2640 Hedehusene Denmark CVR No. 54879415 Tel: +45 46 56 03 00 Fax: +45 46 56 33 11 Photos: (page 1) David Hancock/Alamy, (2 below) Alex Griffiths/Alamy, (4) Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters/Scanpix, (5 top) Iain Masterton/Alamy, (5 below) UPI/Polfoto, (6) Joseph Sohm/Photodisc, (7 top) Paul Cooklin/Brand X Pictures/Polfoto, (7 below) Oliver Suckling/Shutterstock, (8 - 10) Rockwool Group, (11) Elfer/mauritius images/Polfoto, (12) Klaus Sletting, (13) Socrates/, (14 top) Bente Lindegaard/Polfoto, (14 middle) Tristin Hurst/, (14 below) Luke Daniek/iStockphoto, (15 top) Fanelie Rosier/iStockphoto, (15 middle) Martin Endhardt, (15 below) Tamara Lackey/fstop/Getty Images, (17 top) Thomas Tolstrup, (17 below) Henrik Bjerregrav, (19), (21) Silvia Bukovac/, (22 top) Rick Bowmer/AP/Polfoto, (22 below) Lars Horn, (23) Rockwool Group, (24) Thomas Borberg/Polfoto, (25 top) Lauren Bess Berley/BlueMoon Stock/ Alamy, (25 below) HRF_photo/Alamy, (26) Rockwool Group, (27) Yanik Chauvin/, a.o. ROCKWOOL®, BUILDDESK®, ROCKFON®, ROCKDELTA® and ROCKDELTA Green Noise Barriers® are registered trademarks of the Rockwool Group. Graphic design, production and prepress: Boje & Mobeck as | Printed by: Vivild A/S