Sustainability – for Wienerberger, a major contribution toward economic success

In their 2010 construction-sector prognosis for Germany, OC&C Strategy Consultants advanced the view that the housing sector stands to profit increasingly from an intensified trend toward sustainability. The importance of sustainable construction and renovation is bound to increase.

Wienerberger has been interested in sustainability for many years already. At the 2009 Final Results Press and Analysts Conference on March 24, 2010, the Group presented its latest sustainability report and, in doing so, became a pacemaker for the entire branch. For CEO Dr. Heimo Scheuch, this is a subject of prime importance: “We understand sustainability as an integral component of our business and, hence, as an important contribution toward Wienerberger‘s economic success.” Scheuch stressed the fact that, all across the construction sector, the thermal insulation of existing structures and the construction of new buildings with especially well-insulated outside walls is of prime interest now, because it all helps minimize space heat requirements. However, since that only accounts for 10% of overall energy consumption, further-ranging structural measures will be required to effectively reduce CO2 emissions. The objective must be to achieve an energy-efficient system to span the entire architectural engineering scope, including the heating system, hot water generation, electricity, ventilation, etc. Wienerberger therefore intends to continue on in its systematic pursuit of technically and economically optimized overall solutions for sustainable construction.

Sustainability begins with heavy clay production. For 2010, Wienerberger is planning to reduce energy consumption and emissions by instituting such measures as low-energy drying and an optimized firing process. Where product development is concerned, new solutions concentrate mainly on energy efficiency, reduction of emissions, residential quality and technically, economically optimized products. Of course, social sustainability is also an important pillar, too. With a view to further improving work safety, Wienerberger’s 2010 Safety Initiative will include implementation of uniform safety standards throughout the Group. Another goal is to increase health awareness among the employees. Also, Wienerberger is expanding its data collection and tracking activities to make progress more visible.

With this report, the world‘s biggest brick and tile producer is not only laying facts and figures on the table, but also documenting the fact that the branch is devoting itself systematically to the subject of sustainability. More transparency and numerous “copycats” across the brick and tile industry will help ensure that bricks and tiles remain fit for the future all around the world.

Anett Fischer
Zi Ziegelindustrie International Editorial Department

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