Sustainability at ROCKWOOL

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Our approach to sustainability

Across the full range of our products and operations, ROCKWOOL is dedicated to enriching modern living. We strive to increase our positive impact on people and society by maximising our positive product impact and minimising our operational footprint.  We recognise that operating with integrity and as a responsible business is equally important and underpins everything we do.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) steer our ambitions. We committed to 10 out of the 17 SDGs – pursuing the goals where we can have the greatest impact and that are the most aligned with our business competencies.

Sustainable product impacts

We make the most impact through the use of our products.

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Circularity and recycling

Circular economy thinking is incorporated in our business.

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Sustainable operations

We strive to operate responsibly and sustainably.

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Sustainable product impacts

We make the most significant positive impact on sustainable development through the use of our products. The products that we create not only improve the health and wellbeing of citizens but they also equip them with solutions to combat climate change.

Positive societal impacts graphics from SR18

How do our products make an impact?

Our insulation saves about 100 times the carbon emitted in its production over the lifetime of its use. Our Grodan growing solution saves millions of litres of water and reduces the amount of land, water and fertilisers needed to grow plants and crops. Lapinus’ stone wool solutions help protect communities from flooding. Our Rockfon acoustic ceilings help create sound spaces for people to learn, work and recover.

Torre Bolueta, Bolueta Tower, multi family house, Passivhaus, Ventirock Duo

How do we measure our product impact?

In collaboration with different partners and organisations, we develop methodologies to measure and quantify our impact, so that we can measure our progress against the Sustainable Development Goals.

CO2 avoided
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Tonnes of CO2 avoided in the lifetime of building insulation sold in 2018

Water saved
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Litres of water saved by greenhouse growing products sold in 2018

Enhanced learning
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Students benefited from better learning environments with Rockfon acoustic solutions

Did you know?

660 million tonnes of carbon could be saved by retrofitting Europe’s buildings with stone wool insulation, which is twice the annual emissions of France. 

Case Study, Lion Farm Estate

Circularity and recycling

A circular approach is designed to feed back into itself. It looks at waste as a valuable resource that can be repurposed and turned into something new.

Embracing circularity minimises resource consumption and waste to landfill. Our circular business model helps us turn waste into new raw materials and take back and recycle construction site waste and used products.

How do we contribute to the circular economy?

The technologies that create our products also enable us to use waste from other industries as a raw material. We recycle our own waste from production and we upcycle secondary materials from other industries.

Our products are fully recyclable, and are easily disassembled and separated. We have recycling services in place that collect used products to recycle, providing others with resources to help reduce waste-to-landfill.

Rockworld imagery, circularity, recycling, reuse
Up to
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Recycled content in our products

Recycled stone wool
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Tonnes recycled from the market

Recycling services
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Countries with a recycling service offered

Sustainable operations

While we make the most significant positive impact on sustainable development through the use of our products, it is just as important for us to achieve this while operating in a responsible and sustainable way.

We have five operational goals across energy, climate, water, waste and safety to track our performance and keep us accountable to our customers, colleagues and communities. Our sixth goal is our reclaimed waste goal, to set up recycling services in even more countries. Together these six goals have been designed to drive progress on the SDGs by reducing the negative impact from operations on material issues

How do we operate as a sustainable company?

01

Water management

We are committed to reducing the environmental footprint of our operations, and have robust environmental management systems in place in all our manufacturing facilities.

The water we use at the majority of our sites is recycled and evaporates. We have a sustainability goal to reduce the water use intensity. Our production process is designed for zero waste water discharge to the environment.

Learn more in our Sustainability Report

02

Managing waste

Utilising proprietary ROCKWOOL technology, we have developed ways to increase the circularity of our factories.

Utilising proprietary ROCKWOOL technology, we have developed ways to increase the circularity of our factories. Firstly, the fact that stone wool is 100 percent recyclable presents us with a significant opportunity to have fully closed loop stone wool systems at all our factories. This means we can recycle waste wool generated during the production process and take back our products from construction and demolition sites. Secondly, we have developed ways to use waste from other industries. Thanks to these processes, we are confident we will fulfil our ambitious 2030 goal of 85 percent reduction in waste to landfill.

Learn more in our Sustainability Report

03

Achieving less CO2 intensive operations

Manufacturing any product requires using resources – particularly in our case, that means energy. And that means carbon emissions as well.

We are confident that our products are some of the most powerful solutions to global environmental challenges. But we want our solutions to leave the smallest negative footprint possible, which is why we continuously work to improve the sustainability of our operations.

We have a goal to reduce the CO2 intensity of our manufacturing facilities. We will drive this amongst others through an increased focus on energy efficiency. We’ve relaxed our standard internal payback timeframe on sustainability-related investments to ensure we give this work the resources it needs.

We also want to show leadership and set the standard in the field of energy-efficient buildings. That is why we have an ambitious goal to improve energy efficiency in the Group’s non-renovated office building stock and to build new offices with ultra-low energy demand.

Learn more in our Sustainability Report

04

Being a good neighbour

As a part of our production process, we generate air emissions.

Our production facilities are subject to strict air quality regulations that are in place to protect sensitive groups of the population, animals and the environment. Many of our factories are located close to residential neighbourhoods, schools, businesses, parks and protected greenspaces, and we have successfully operated in these neighbourhoods for decades. This is the case, for example, at Flechtingen in Germany, where we have been located for more than two decades and worked with the town to achieve a clean air resort status.

Learn more in our Sustainability Report

05

Doing more for the people behind our products

We have developed a culture that puts the safety of colleagues first, promotes equal opportunities, supports diversity and acts against discrimination.

We strive to create safe and healthy environments and conditions for all employees and people working with us globally. As an industrial company, there is potentially a high level of safety risk for our employees and we take the management of that risk extremely seriously. We have a goal of zero fatalities for people working with and for us, and have an ambition to incrementally reduce the Lost Time Incident (LTI) rate by 10 percent every year.

Learn more in our Sustainability Report

06

Creating a more diverse industry

Our industry is traditionally a male-dominated one – something ROCKWOOL would like to help change.

We have focused on increasing the number of women in different levels of management. In 2018, Group Management set a new 2020 target of 25–35 percent female leaders in executive and middle management positions. One way we maintain the gender composition is ensuring a higher proportion of women among new line managers for middle management positions.

Learn more in our Sustainability Report

07

Operating as an ethical business

And as a company with manufacturing facilities, we know that our ability to operate depends on the benefits we bring to communities.

We provide taxes and job creation in the communities we are located. In addition, we also focus on benefits to society through the impacts of our products, our responsible supply chain management, our work against corruption and in the other ways we operate a responsible business.

Our Code of Conduct serves as our most important instrument to communicate and provide guidance on the ROCKWOOL Group’s way of doing business with integrity. The Code of Conduct includes Group policies related to anti-corruption, gifts and hospitality, conflict of interest, competition law, data privacy, human rights and labour rights, health and safety, and environment.

ROCKWOOL’s Supplier Code of Conduct (Supplier Code) explains in detail our expectations of all our suppliers and of their suppliers. Accepting the ROCKWOOL Supplier Code or having the supplier’s own equivalent code of conduct approved is a prerequisite for becoming a ROCKWOOL supplier.

Learn more in our Sustainability Report

UN Sustainable Development Goals

At the foundation of our initiatives are the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We have committed to 10 out of 17 SDGs which we have used as a compass to steer our ambitions within sustainability.

Read more about sustainability on our blog

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