Sustainability

Our responsibility towards the environment

A great responsibility that we are aware of

Sustainability plays a major role for us and our products. And not only for financial but also for moral reasons. As a processor of petroleum-based raw materials, we are committed to producing as sustainably as possible. Materials such as EPP or polystyrene contain a certain amount of recycled material. In addition, offcuts and rejects are returned to the raw material manufacturer for recycling.

Energy efficiency is our mission

Our products should reduce energy losses during use and be manufactured in an energy-efficient manner.

We pay attention to the use of energy-efficient machines and systems. Our production is not designed for mass production, but is geared towards the needs of our industry – and the carbon footprint of the company and its products plays a major role here. We also develop our own machines, e.g. in the EPP area in order to be able to produce more energy-efficiently. We capture the waste heat we produce via a specially developed heat recovery system and feed it back into our production. Nevertheless, we are aware that the raw materials we use are petroleum-based and therefore finite. As a plastics processor, we are aware of this responsibility.

We try to work as environmentally friendly as possible. Sometimes this is contrary to the topic of energy efficiency, for example. when it comes to cleaning the molds and foaming tools. We clean with dry ice for the benefit of our employees and the environment and largely avoid the use of chemicals.

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Target year for CO2 neutrality of production and processing facilities
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percent recycling rate of production waste by 2027
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Minimize heat energy losses through heat recovery and heat storage.

Our goals

  • to be able to offer our customers the best possible solutions
  • find the right insulation materials for every application
  • reconcile economic and ecological requirements
“Our products should reduce energy losses during use and be manufactured in an energy-efficient manner.”
Fred Kuhlmann,
Managing Director GWK Kuhlmann

Our measures

As a processor of petroleum-based raw materials, we are committed to producing as sustainably as possible.

Energy-efficient machines and systems

We pay attention to the use of energy-efficient machines and systems. Many of our machines and systems are specially developed and built by us. For example, our EPP machines are so efficient that they consume only a third of the energy of normal EPP machines.

Recycling of materials

Materials such as EPP or polystyrene contain a certain amount of recycled material. In addition, offcuts and rejects are returned to the raw material manufacturer for recycling.

Utilization of waste heat through own innovations

Since summer 2013, we have been using our specially developed “Effikon” heat recovery system, which has proven itself and paid off. The heat recovery system uses the waste heat from our compressor and our EPP plastic foaming machine. In this way, we generate enough heat to supply 95% of the machines and tool temperature control systems for the entire polyurethane production. The remaining waste heat heats two production halls (1800 square meters) and the office building (250 square meters). The heat is stored temporarily if it is consumed at different times than it is generated.