June 8, 2020 | Updated: August 20, 2020


PORCELANOSA Group takes a step forward in sustainable waste management

The multinational has implemented measures to reduce its environmental impact and produce sustainably by recycling and reusing compounds and industrial products.

Ecology and responsible consumption are two of the strategic objectives behind Eco Conscious: a PORCELANOSA Group sustainability programme devised to comply with the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and meet other targets set by various international organisations.

PORCELANOSA Group has stepped up its research into designing and implementing a zero waste production policy, working towards the goals and approaches the UN lays out in its treaty, and following the eco-efficient and sustainable production models introduced by the main EU powers. The firm’s eight companies are already complying with the principle, through eco-friendly actions including reducing energy consumption, reusing industrial materials and improving waste management.

Waste management and the circular economy

Porcelanosa has launched a number of initiatives to combat climate change. One such initiative involves collecting and treating industrial waste which is then used to produce new ceramic collections, thereby promoting the circular economy. Proof can be seen in how it reuses scrap discarded from the pressing and glazing lines, reusing it in the design of collections such as Forest by Par-ker® (containing 95% recycled material) and Starwood Ecologic. These types of products with a high recycled material composition carry the Type II Ecolabel. It demonstrates compliance with the ISO 14021 standard that encourages organisations to obtain CREDITS in sustainable building certification programmes such as LEED BREEAM® and VERDE®.

The company has waste segregation areas at its main facilities, so that waste can be properly sorted in specific containers and subsequently controlled and managed effectively. “We have started a zero waste certification process to incentivise a more sustainable production model, based on recycling, reusing and recovering waste“, the company claims.

This eco-friendly approach is also seen at Venis, where the factories have started working on zero waste certification by prioritising external management processes based on recycling, reusing or recovering waste rather than disposal or incineration. Moreover, 100% of wastewater is purified and reused, therefore achieving zero litre discharge.

Separation of hazardous waste

L’Antic Colonial has also opted for waste segregation and management according to its origin. The company also holds the ISO 14001 Environmental Management certificate thanks to continuously improving its logistics centres. “Several collection points have been installed to manage different types of waste: hazardous (HW) and non-hazardous (NHW). Hazardous waste is examined on an ongoing basis to determine the volume generated and its toxic load. Residues of laboratory reagents, aerosols, lead batteries and adhesive residues are all deposited there. We have these solutions in place so we can reduce CO2 emissions and air pollution”, notes L’Antic Colonial.

Urbatek has the same premise in mind, taking the decision to sort waste into containers according to its nature. Waste in the dining rooms (plastic, cardboard or glass) is always separated from waste from the plant such as uncontaminated metals and electronic equipment. “All our waste is assessed by authorised managers and our packaging is reused as much as possible”, the company adds.

ECO packaging

The fight against climate change has led many PORCELANOSA Group companies to seek more sustainable solutions for their packaging. Gamadecor, for example, has reduced plastic use in production and replaced varnishes and solvent-based lacquers with water-based paint products to reduce the emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air. “We’re promoting more sustainable and ethical production methods, including replacing plastic film, expanded polystyrene and bubble wrap with other solutions such as cardboard and compressed air paint”, lists the company.

Noken has followed the same path, opting for more sustainable packaging with reusable cardboard boxes. The company is committed to the Ecoembes Corporate Prevention Plan 2018-2020 to reduce the amount of packaging in the environment by recycling and recovering waste.

Butech shows its commitment to recycling plastics with its 5mm tile crosses (100% recycled polyamide) and its new R-Eco solution. The additive, used for fitting tiles, means 250g of plastic is recovered per bag of adhesive (equivalent to 12 supermarket bags per square metre of tiles).

The same can be seen at Krion in the manufacture of its Krion® formats (Ecocycle®) that contain between 6% and 40% recycled materials and have ISO 14001 Environmental Management certification. This way, the firm is making its contribution to the award of environmental certificates such as LEED BREEAM® and VERDE®. The green philosophy is also behind Krion Shell®, sustainable bathroom furnishings containing 5% recycled plastic. “Our company is considered a small waste producer, generating less than 10 tons of waste per year. In addition, we declare all the packaging we work with to protect the environment and the health of our customers”, concludes Krion.

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