Energy efficiency and CO2e
Knauf works to improve energy efficiencies by significant upgrades to plant and equipment, consideration of alternative energy sources as well as by changing work practices and the education of employees.
Knauf has implemented a number of projects to take action in this area. Some examples are:
• The recovery of waste heat in the plaster mill back into the production process, improving energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions
• A heat recovery system is used to save up to 8% of overall natural gas consumption in the dryer
Knauf participates in the Energy Efficiencies Opportunities program, run by the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism. Under the program, opportunities for improving energy efficiency are identified, implemented and reported both publicly and to the federal government.
Water plays an important role within the manufacture of plasterboard. As water scarcity becomes more apparent, we aim to use water as efficiently as possible. We measure, review and report on water consumption at both manufacturing plants, with the objective of making continual improvements in production efficiencies to conserve water resources. Through our participation in the Sydney Water’s “Every Drop Counts” program, we have reduced our annual water consumption by 6%, or 14,500 litres per day.
Stormwater is harvested for use in our manufacturing processes. Whenever there is rain water in the collection system, the demand of town water required in our plants is halved in Matraville and removed from Altona. Knauf reports water usage to the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage and the Victorian EPA via the EREP (Energy Resource Efficiency Plan) program.
Management of waste and emissions
Waste management occurs throughout the plasterboard life cycle – during the production processes, on a job site and at the end of life of the plasterboard. Plasterboard is 100% recyclable at all of these stages. Knauf is committed to an ongoing process of minimising waste to landfill. We recycle waste gypsum back into the production process. Waste plasterboard is also re-used as soil conditioner for land rehabilitation and to make gluts for storage and transport of plasterboard.
To minimise the waste sent to landfill from job sites during construction and demolition, Knauf may organise a plasterboard collection service for some of its customers. Knauf measures and reports on individual waste streams in the production process, including other emissions such as noise and dust. Annual audits are conducted for noise levels. Dust levels are monitored monthly for our manufacturing sites to ensure our operations are safe for employees and stakeholders and to comply with legislation.