Innovation drives Knauf Insulation's commitment to sustainability

At Knauf Insulation innovation drives everything we do. Innovation is not only great for business but more importantly it is great for our customers and for the planet.

Portrait of Innovation Director at Knauf Insulation Marc De Roeck

As our Director of Innovation, Marc de Roeck, says: “We are in the business of sustainability — our solutions save energy, reduce CO2 and improve lives. But, to minimise the environmental impact of our products and processes while maximising their potential in line with our For A Better World sustainability strategy we need to constantly innovate.”

So, what does this mean in reality? “It means constantly engaging our customers and everyone within Knauf Insulation to find innovative sustainable solutions to old and new challenges,” says Marc.

To mark today’s United Nation’s #World Creativity and Innovation Day, we showcase the top 10 innovations that have shaped Knauf Insulation’s sustainability commitment over the past year.

1 Achieving zero waste

Last month, Knauf Insulation launched a new €15 million facility and service in Belgium to recycle scrap and waste Mineral Wool from construction and demolition sites as well as from our plant production lines. The RESULATION® initiative will help customers by taking away their scrap, avoid the need to send hundreds of thousands of tonnes of waste to landfill and enable this material to be repurposed into new products. RESULATION is one of a series of innovations helping Knauf Insulation to send zero waste to landfill.

2 Creating better products

Knauf Insulation’s success depends on finding innovative new ways to make buildings more sustainable. For instance, the company recently launched a new Wood Wool board — Tektalan Smart Tec across Central Europe — that can be installed quickly with fewer thermal bridges to improve energy efficiency. The product proved so successful, 270,000 m2 of Smart Tec have been installed in the Tesla Giga Factory in Germany. In the UK, we developed a new one-stop digital platform — KinetiK® — to provide verified data about Blowing Wool installation in line with new compliance legislation, while our Systems Division has introduced a new Cut-to-fall app that digitally calculates the precise dimensions of inclined flat roof slabs at the swipe of a screen avoiding wasted time, costs and material.

Fast Mounting Wood Wool Board Tektalan Smart Tec

4 Celebrating sustainable certification

Knauf Insulation’s Glass Mineral Wool solutions are certified by DECLARE

In the past year, the company has enjoyed significant breakthroughs in the form of international recognition. Knauf Insulation’s Glass Mineral Wool solutions with the company’s innovative ECOSE Technology®, for example, is the first Mineral Wool roll and slab product to be officially certified in Europe by DECLARE. The certification is an important public declaration that our products do not contain any harmful or unhealthy chemical ingredients on the International Living Future Institute’s Red List.

5 Pioneering sustainable research

Cutting edge research projects have also recent months at Knauf Insulation. For instance, the company has partnered with the Polytechnic University of Milan to examine how insulation can convert buildings into giant ‘batteries’ that can store comfortable temperatures over several days. In Slovenia, Knauf Insulation joined a European Union project to find new ways to upscale the deep renovation of single-family homes to save energy, reuse building materials and reduce CO2.

6 Unlocking sustainable data

The company aims to publicly launch its new Knauf Insulation Eco-Design Tool later this year. Using a wealth of data from our Environmental Product Declarations, the innovative tool will allow customers to compare and contrast the environmental impact of products and systems using one easy-to-understand simple indicator.

many printed epd certificates on a table

7 Upscaling renovation

In 2021 the innovative one-stop-renovation service, Knauf Energy Solutions, completed the biggest ever large-scale retrofit in history. A total of 184 homes were renovated for the social housing company Woonpunt Zennevallei in Belgium with the aim of reducing building emissions, saving energy and improving living conditions. Prior to the work, KES used in-house technology and cloud data algorithms to demonstrate a range of achievable energy savings based on different renovation scenarios. The housing company selected a cost-effective solution, and every aspect of the renovation was then carried out and managed by KES.

8 Showcasing green roof solutions

Slovenian pavilion at the World Expo in Dubai

2021 was the year that Knauf Insulation’s innovative green solutions took centre stage at the World Expo in Dubai. A six-metre-high Urbanscape® green wall covering almost 500 m2 and featuring 45,000 plants was installed on the Slovenian pavilion at the entrance to the Expo’s sustainable district. Despite extreme desert heat, the pavilion remained a lush and verdant example of how green infrastructure can improve the sustainability of any building.

9 Cutting company carbon

Knauf Insulation has committed to deliver net zero embodied carbon products. It is a mission that demands innovation at every single stage of product production. Over the past 12 months, the company has been stepping up its action to find new sources of recycled material, examine the potential of alternative energy sources such as hydrogen and biogas, install new sources of green energy such as wind turbines and photovoltaic panels, finance new energy saving processes and find new ways to transport products with a reduced environmental impact.

10 Inspiring innovative thinking

The business case for diversity and inclusion is clear, it improves innovation, productivity and reduces turnover. A diverse culture allows everyone to thrive and fuels creativity and that is why Knauf Insulation has committed to build on the diversity that has made the company such a success. Knauf Insulation is at the start of its diversity and inclusion journey, but it is working across every region to examine new ways to nurture the differences that make the company culture so unique.

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