Sustainability

Circular Economy

The circular economy is a central pillar of Wienerberger’s Sustainability Program 2023: It enables us to ensure the long-term availability of raw materials. In the future, all new Wienerberger products will be 100% recyclable or re-usable. At the same time, we are continuously increasing the amount of secondary or recycled raw materials used in production.

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Man looking through a pipe Stoyan Hristov

Our Commitment

Longer Life Cycles, Lower Material Consumption, Circular Product Design

The circular economy is the only meaningful alternative to the linear economic model. It has the potential to reduce the burden on the environment, ensure a secure supply of raw materials, trigger intensified competition, and promote innovation. If resources are reused or recycled, raw materials are saved and emissions reduced.

Secure raw material supply: For Wienerberger, as an industrial company, the secure, long-term supply of raw materials is essential. We aim at securing our raw material reserves for a period of at least 20 years through targeted raw materials management.

Reduced consumption of resources: We save resources by reducing the consumption of raw materials. At the same time, we are continuously increasing the amount of secondary and recycled materials used in our production.

Design for a second life: In product design, attention is focused on reusability and recyclability. The possibility of sorting and separating the materials used is taken into account in the design process.

Our Goal

What We Want to Achieve

100 % of our new products are designed so as to be re-usable or recyclable.

Our Measures

What We Are Doing

  • We are focusing on innovation, research, and development. Through R&D projects, we are improving the reusability and recyclability of our products.
  • We are continuously optimizing our processes and facilities, which results in sustainable savings of resources and costs.
  • Wherever possible, we use secondary raw materials in production. We also use production waste (scrap) from our own production processes.
  • We are involved in organizations and working groups promoting a circular economy. For example, our subsidiary Pipelife, a member of TEPPFA (The European Plastic Pipes and Fittings Association), signed the Circular Plastics Alliance.
  • When designing new products, we take the properties essential for their reusability and recyclability into account, including post-use separability of the materials used for our products and system solutions.
colorful plastic granules; blue, turquoise, orange Elke Mayr

Our Success and our Challenges

Creating Products for the Circular Economy

  • In the plastic pipe segment, we outperformed our targets, having achieved them two years earlier than planned: Between 2014 and 2020, the amount of internal and external secondary raw materials used was increased from 59 kg to 83 kg per ton of products.
  • The use of secondary raw materials as a substitute for primary raw materials, for instance in ceramic production, is not always economically viable. To obtain material of the required quality, construction debris must be sorted and processed.
  • The key to products for the circular economy lies in product design. We are therefore stepping up our efforts to develop reusable and recyclable products and system solutions.

We won’t get a second chance to save our environment. We therefore are promoting the principle of circularity and continuously increasing the useful life of our pipe solutions. This enables us to save valuable raw materials and diminish the volume of plastic waste.

Zoran Davidovski

Zoran Davidovski

Head of R&D and Sustainability at Pipelife International

Useful Information

Circularity in Figures

 

Segment

Facts and figures

Secondary raw materials

Wienerberger Piping Solutions

Amount of internal and external secondary raw materials increased
from 59 kg (2014) to 83 kg (2020) per ton of products

Scrap rate

Wienerberger Building Solutions

Scrap rate in concrete paver production reduced
by 55% between 2014 and 2020

Waste volume

Wienerberger

104,637 tons of waste generated in 2020,
78% thereof non-hazardous and recyclable

Further Information

Lake

Sustainability Management at Wienerberger

On track for ESG: This is how the Wienerberger Group’s sustainability management is steered, implemented and evaluated.
Two cows on a green meadow in front of a brick factory

The Wienerberger Sustainability Program 2023

Decarbonization, the circular economy, and biodiversity: These are the environmental pillars of Wienerberger’s Sustainability Program 2023.
Clay pit, conveyor belt, two people in work clothes

Climate Change & Decarbonization

With our innovative products and systems we are providing solutions for decarbonization.
Two people walking an a green field

Biodiversity & Environment

The protection and preservation of our environment is firmly embedded in Wienerberger’s perception of its corporate mission.
Three people talking in a meeting room, two women, one man

Employees

Wienerberger’s employees are the company’s most important success factor.
Two people talking at a high table

Business Ethics & Social Impacts

The economy is an integral part of society. At Wienerberger, we take our responsibility as a corporate citizen seriously.