At the heart of Saint-Gobain strategy is sustainability. We are committed to produce sustainable materials and to cooperate with our partners to develop more sustainable buildings. We are constantly looking at ways to reduce our environmental footprint and are proud to be recognized as a sustainable leader in our sector. Two of the Danish Saint-Gobain plants have taken a green step this Spring to be even more sustainable. The Gyproc plant in Kalundborg has moved towards using more and more recycled gypsum in their production; and the LECA plant in Hinge has announced a new biomass project.
Gyproc DK has always been very engaged in the development of the green economy and conscious about their sustainable footprint. Part of the world’s first industrial symbiosis with a circular approach to production, Gyproc as since 1972 been using the waste gypsum from Ørsted as raw material for their plasterboard production.
Finding adequate raw materials for their production is a challenge Gyproc is facing daily. The progressive phasing out of the coal power plants leads to a shortage of available DSG, the synthetic gypsum obtained from wet purification procedure with natural limestone coming from the power station industry. Concretely this means that Gyproc needs to find other sources of raw materials, which can either be virgin gypsum rock and/or recycled gypsum. Virgin gypsum cannot be found in Denmark is mainly imported from Spain. The team in Kalundborg therefore decided to focus on the development of recycled gypsum, as part of Saint-Gobain sustainability approach.
In 2015, a five-year plan was put in place to increase the amount of recycled content (internal and external) used in production by 2020. In spring 2018, the target is close to be met, and even two years earlier than planned. In order to meet our objective and to go even further in the use of recycled gypsum, the Kalundborg team deemed necessary to invest in a new recycling gypsum equipment, which will be installed over the summer.
The Saint-Gobain Group rewarded the Kalundborg plant, along with its sister plants in the region for their dedication and entrepreneurship in this project. They were given an Emerald at the Diamond, Rubies and Emerald Ceremony held in Saint-Gobain’s headquarters in Paris. Each year, one plant in the world is awarded for outstanding achievements around environmental projects.
Late April LECA announced an investment of 110 million DKK for a major biomass facility at the Hinge plant. The facility will make the plant more competitive and more sustainable. The project will allow fossil fuels used in production to be replaced with biomass, which should lead to a reduction of CO2 emissions by more than 50%. At the same time, the investment opens the possibility to utilize the surplus heat for district heating in the future.
The local team has worked on the investment for many years – both internally mapping and documenting the possibilities, and externally talking to the authorities. Now that investment is in place, LECA are very happy with the result.
- This means a lot for LECA. Both because the project will ensure competitive production in Hinge for many years to come, and because it is going to have a noticeable positive effect in relation to the environmental impact, says Torben Dyrberg, CEO for LECA International.
For Saint-Gobain sustainability is a key area, and the local project in Hinge was well received by the Group as it contributes to the overall objective of reducing emissions by 20 % by 2025. Apart from the overall reduction of emissions, one thing in particular means a lot for Jesper Schmidt, who has been leading the process.
- In addition to halving our CO2 footprint, we are able to use a type of biofuel that usually ends in landfill, since it is unfit for others to use. So with this project we both contribute to a low carbon footprint and circular economy, says Jesper Schmidt, project manager at LECA Denmark.
The project is supported with 49,5 million. DKK from the VE Process grant scheme - a scheme from the Danish Energy Agency, which was launched as plant support for companies converting process energy from fossil to renewable energy. The rest is Saint-Gobain's own investment in the project, which consists of a flue gas treatment plant and a milling plant.
The project will be initiated after summer 2018 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2019.