Wienerberger Sustainable Product Development
We add permanent value using durable and innovative products. Find out more about sustainable product development at Wienerberger.
In the brick business area, our product range conforms to sustainable building concepts. These products are guaranteed to be durable and long-lasting while contributing to climate protection due to their production characteristics. Our pipes and pavement system solutions mean that we are to tackle the challenges in water management, climate change and urbanisation. We are constantly working on this to further develop our products.
Principles, processes and tools
Creating long-lasting value with durable and innovative building materials and infrastructural solutions: this principle forms the basis of Wienerberger product development. We factor in the durability of a product and its effects on people and the environment during production, transport, processing, use and disposal.
Research and development
A strategic focus of Wienerberger is research and development. This helps us to constantly improve our production processes and product development. For this purpose, we operate several research centers in Europe that specialise in the various product groups. Our Product Management team works closely together with the Sales and Marketing business areas. The introduction of new products is centrally controlled and is rolled out to local markets from there. Successful developments can therefore be implemented quickly and efficiently within the Wienerberger Group.
Environmental product declaration and certification
For years, we have made a point of creating environmental product declarations and ecological evaluations. Additionally, the Cradle to Cradle® concept is an example of a sustainable product cycle that we enforce: old products are recycled into new products meaning nothing is wasted. All Steinzeug-Keramo pipes and fittings and selected product lines from Semmelrock are certified according to the Cradle to Cradle® concept.
In our materiality analysis, the following sustainability factors were defined as essential for Wienerberger Products, their use phase and “End of Life Phase”:
- Innovative and durable products: we constantly improve our products and develop system solutions and services for every application area.
- Recyclability, Recycling and Reuse of Products: we are increasing the proportion of materials that we recycle across all business areas – depending on the technical and economic options available to us.
Product area specific factors
- Renewable energy and energy efficiency for buildings: we focus on product and system solutions that allow buildings to contribute to climate protection.
- Easy Installation: we continually develop our products further to make them easier for our customers – architects, planners, builders and craftsmen – to use.
Aims and actions
Promoting innovative products
Considering current market requirements, we have defined the innovative nature of our products and system solutions for each product area. This ensures that group-wide comparisons are possible. In 2017, Wienerberger’s innovative products and system solutions accounted for around 30% of total sales. Specific quantitative sales targets for innovative products and system solutions have been set for each business area. For example, within our Clay Building Materials Europe business area, this target is set at 25% and has been achieved every year since 2015.
Recyclability, recycling and reuse of products
We make the most of recycling opportunities at Wienerberger. We carry out various research projects on the recyclability and reuse of our products and system solutions.
Easy installation is an important factor for the users of our products. To support this, our Clay Building Materials Europe area helps architects and planners with analogue and digital planning tools as well as personal support. In terms of our concrete pavement solutions, we strive to improve our products, so they can be more easily implemented. For years now, our subsidiary Pipelife has been working on solutions geared towards making plastic pipe systems easier to use and install.
Initiatives for energy efficiency
Wienerberger Products and System Solutions increase the energy and climate protection efficiency in building construction. In the Clay Building Materials Europe business area, we are promoting the development of insulating bricks. In the plastic pipes business area, the product portfolio for heating and cooling buildings is also being expanded.
The following table provides an overview of our product related figures.
|Targets Concerning Innovative Products||Deadlines||2015||2016||2017|
|Clay Building Materials Europe: Share of innovative products in revenues constant at 25 %||Every year||27 %||26 %||31 %|
|North America: 50 % share of innovative products in total revenues||2017 and 2018||46 %||49 %||51 %|
|Pipelife: Share of innovative products in revenues constant at 20 %||Every year||21%||20 %||19 %|
|Semmelrock: Share of innovative products in revenues constant at 30 %||Every year||39 %||37 %||38 %|
|Steinzeug-Keramo: Share of innovative products in revenues constant at 35%||Every year||41 %||39 %||42 %|
|Share of Innovative Products in Total Revenues||2015||2016||2017|
|Wienerberger Group||in %||27.7||26.9||29.7|