Towards a better environment. indoors and outdoors

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1 Towards a better environment indoors and outdoors

2 Photographer: Åke E:son Lindman Ecophon dates back to 1958, when the first sound absorbers from glass wool were produced in Sweden to improve the acoustic working environment. Today the company is a global supplier of acoustic systems that contribute to good room acoustics and a healthy indoor environment with the focus on offices, education, health care and industrial manufacturing premises. Ecophon is part of the Saint- Gobain Group and has sales units and distributors in many countries. Ecophon s efforts are guided by a vision of earning global leadership in acoustic ceiling and wall absorber systems by providing superior end user value. Ecophon maintains an ongoing dialogue with government agencies, working environment organisations and research institutes, and is involved in formulating national standards in the field of room acoustics where Ecophon contributes to a better working environment wherever people work and communicate. 2 Ecophon Group 2010, Cover: Shutterstock, Mandy Godbehear, Illustrations: Citat AB.

3 Our responsibility to humanity and the environment Social and economic development is beneficial and necessary for human society. However, the pace of socio-economic development has accelerated so much that it is now having an ever-greater effect on the surrounding environment. It has therefore become necessary to find new paths and methods of development that will not destroy nature and ourselves. Earth s resources are diminishing According to the environmental organisation WWF, which Ecophon partners, studies show that the unprecedented drive for wealth and wellbeing of the past 40 years is putting enormous pressure on our planet. In 2007 humanity s footprint exceeded the Earth s biocapacity by 50%, which shows that the limit of long-term sustainable consumption was exceeded long ago. Many of the environmental problems our world is facing today result from fossil fuel dependence. The use of renewable resources is therefore clearly the path to follow if we want to avoid the negative environmental impact associated with fossil fuel extraction and processing. Ecophon s contribution to a better environment At Ecophon we know that almost all production and business operations affect the environment to a greater or lesser degree. We are therefore focusing on meeting the needs in an environmentally responsible manner, and we are strongly committed to enhancing the global environmental quality of our products. Sustainable business development To achieve sustainable business development, Ecophon is working on several aspects of sustainability for a better environment, financial stability, health and safety, ethics and social responsibility. 3

4 A sound effect on people is our promise Since its inception more than 50 years ago, our company has been continuously working to improve the acoustic environment in offices, schools, healthcare facilities, restaurants, theatres, factories and other premises. People and sound An optimum acoustic and light environment, with a focus on comfort, efficiency and well-being, these are the main values hat have a positive impact on the indoor environments in which people spend time, socialise and work. This is also the basis for our production of acoustic systems for ceilings and walls. We offer what is required for an optimum acoustic environment, with sound absorption class A. Ecophon acoustic systems consist of tiles with a core of glass wool, one of the most sound-absorbing materials available, painted with various types of surface layer. Depending on the room s characteristics, human needs and the activity involved, Ecophon has also introduced the Room Acoustic Comfort concept as an approach to measuring and assessing the inputs required to achieve the best possible acoustic environment in different cases. Focusing on the environment Our promise of a sound effect on people is at the heart of our efforts to reduce our own environmental impact and to develop sustainable products, with the same passion and commitment we bring to every aspect of our business. We count on your cooperation, so that we can accomplish this goal together. Since climate change is now widely recognised as the major environmental problem facing the globe we have chosen, together with several other important efforts, to focus on the carbon footprint of our products. We will show you the areas in which we are performing well, the aspects which we want to improve, and also our environmental targets for the years ahead. This document reflects the current results of our work in identifying, describing and reducing the environmental impact of our operations and products ranging from raw and base materials and our production process to the disposal of discarded products. Gert-Jan van Doormalen Vice-President Saint-Gobain Ecophon 4

5 Photographer: Ole Jais 5

6 Account of our environmental programme and goals Ecophon s environmental programme is describing our full commitment improve our environmental performance with relation to our activities, products and services. This programme requires full implication and active participation of all our company members, and also a high degree of commitment of our suppliers and business partners. Our overall environmental goals form the basis for quantifiable environmental targets. Overall environmental goals 1. Reduce the carbon footprint of our products and systems to limit our contribution to the greenhouse effect. 2. Increase the recycling rate for discarded products and waste. 3. Save energy, water and other resources, especially those that are limited or costly for the environment. 4. Reduce or eliminate emissions to water, air and soil. 5. Develop and identify components with even better environmental characteristics for our systems and products. 6. Make environmental demands on our suppliers, their goods and services. 7. Share environmental responsibility, offer training and provide information so that everyone can contribute to our environmental programme. 8. Strive always to ensure that our customers receive the best solution with respect to both the internal and external environment. On the next page we provide some examples of detailed and quantifiable environmental targets that we intend to meet. Photographer: Photos.com 6

7 Environmental targets and a challenging equation As our field of operation is continuously expanding, there is a definite need to conjugate economic success and sustainable development. The result of our efforts to continuously reduce our environmental impact will be translated and evaluated with reference to our index acoustic panel. Volume growth Resource consumption Volume growth Landfill 60 % 80 % Energy consumption/m ² 10 % 25 % Recycling 40 % 20 % Strong increase of recycling rate Ecophon has successfully implemented a recycling technique consisting in transforming the glass wool dust from production process into EcoDrain lightweight aggregates. This technique shall be extended to whole ceiling tiles in the future. In the long term, our goal is to implement this type of units even beyond our own production plants. We envisage that in the next 10 years the majority of our acoustic panels installed today would be able to be recycled the end of their life. Cradle to grave will thus become cradle to cradle new products will be made from old ones Energy consumption to be reduced Energy consumption reduction is one of our main environmental targets; we have set the goal to reduce total energy consumption in Ecophon s plants by 25% by 2020, calculated per index acoustic panel. Index tile kg CO ² /m ² Renewable energy 60 % 2,73 20 % 2,2 Fossil and nuclear energy Share of renewable energy to increase On the basis of increased growth and output, we also intend to increase the share of renewable energy and consequently reduce fossil and nuclear energy consumption. The target is to increase the share of renewable energy at Ecophon s plants from 30% today to 60% by Carbon footprint to be reduced In addition to internal measures to reduce carbon footprint, we will require an equal level of commitment from our partners. Thus, in close collaboration with our suppliers of raw materials and base materials for our acoustic panels, and also with our transport providers, we aim to jointly reduce carbon dioxide impact of our index acoustic panel by 20% by

8 Indoor environment that s why we exist The benefit to users of a good acoustic environment is indisputable and extremely costeffective for society and companies. Everyone feels better and can achieve more, while stress is reduced a sustainability target that everyone should be able to agree on. This is the main reason that Ecophon wants to improve our indoor environments in general and the acoustic environment in particular hours in the classroom Let us say that a classroom has 25 students and a teacher. The room may be used six hours per day, five days per week for 40 weeks, that is, 1200 hours per year. A school may be renovated or refurbished after 20 years and the room has then been used hours by an average of just over 25 students and a teacher. Overall, we may be talking about user hours or more during the life of the classroom. Studies* have shown time after time that if good sound absorption is lacking, learning is impaired and the risk of occupational diseases like stress, impaired hearing and tinnitus increases. Choosing an acoustic ceiling of the best sound absorption class makes life healthier, pleasanter and more effective and reduces social costs as more students meet learning goals and staff sickness absence falls. More effective offices Communication is vital in the open-plan office. It has been shown that positive sounds come from people sitting close to the listener, up to around four metres, while speech from people sitting further away in the office, around 10 metres, is nearly always perceived as disturbing. It is possible to measure how far a voice carries in a room, which is an important parameter when designing an open-plan office. The right sound absorbers in the right place and the right quantity make the office more effective and more humane to work in. Making healthcare more humane If the acoustic environment of a hospital is well designed, patients sleep and rest better, while staff can more easily hear signals and voices and can therefore take action faster. Studies** have shown that less stress reduces admission periods. An effective acoustic environment is an extremely profitable investment, calculated on the number of admission hours, round the clock. Remember that a hospital may be intended to function for 50 years. End to hearing protection Effective ceiling and wall sound absorbers can reduce the sound level by up to 10 db in many industrial environments. This halves the perceived sound level in the room. Better sound absorption can often contribute to hearing protection being discarded, while the risk of impaired hearing is reduced. * Stress: Acoustic Ergonomics of School, University of Bremen. 2005, Impaired hearing and tinnitus: Akademiska hospital. Sweden ** Acoustic design for health a study on acoustics at a CCCU (Coronary Critical Care Unit), Karolinska University Hospital, Sweden 8

9 Photographer: Mikko Pekki, Studio Sempre Oy Photographer: Åke E:son Lindman The acoustic environment in open-plan offices affects people s psychological and physical well-being. People are easily distracted by voices and background noise, but also have a vital need to communicate. A well-designed room acoustic makes life easier for everyone and increases effectiveness. At school the more complicated the task, the more disturbing noise can be. A good acoustic environment gives teachers, students, pre-school teachers and other staff the best possible conditions for achieving their educational ambitions and reduces absence due to impaired hearing, tinnitus and stress. Photographer: Studio-e Photographer: Patrik Leonardsson In the healthcare sector, a well-planned acoustic environment is particularly important, since it increases staff well-being. Patients sleep is improved and stress reduced. A good acoustic environment also helps to increase integrity and safety. Studies show that admission periods can be shorter and repeat admissions fewer, reducing healthcare costs. A better acoustic environment can increase productivity, reduce sickness absence and the risk of workplace accidents. In many industrial environments, catering kitchens and other open-plan premises, the sound level is unhealthy and sometimes directly harmful to hearing. Effective sound absorption can contribute to hearing protection no longer being necessary. 9

10 Model for assessment of environmental impact Our approach in adopting a responsible attitude to climate change starts with the assessment of the environmental impact of each stage in the product s life, by the means of a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). LCA is representing today the core to a rapidly growing number of policies and business instruments such as eco-design, eco-labels, carbon footprints, environmental product declarations or end-of-life management. As part of its internal environmental programme, Ecophon has carried out Life Cycle Assessments for its products, in collaboration with Ecobilan SA (Pricewaterhouse Coopers), and according to the international ISO to ISO series of standards. Life Cycle Assessment also forms the basis for establishing internationally standardised Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) for the different Ecophon products and systems. Ecobilan is recognized worldwide as an innovative and technologically advanced leader in the application to Technologies, Services and Products of Life Cycle Assessment. Since March 2000, Ecobilan has joined the Global Sustainability Services department of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). Life Cycle Assessment of an acoustic panel We will consider as reference an Ecophon index sound-absorbing acoustic panel, which we defined on the basis of the most common physical characteristics of the products manufactured by Ecophon. Taking into account a square meter as basis for the functional unit* for this panel, we will give you an overview of its carbon footprint from the external production of the base materials and the manufacture of the ceiling panel at Ecophon, all the way through to its transportation to the installation site and installation process and until the disposal of the panel in landfill, or its recycling. * A functional unit (FU) represents a quantified performance of a product system for use as a reference unit in a life cycle assessment study. The functional unit of a building product is expressed on the basis of the relevant technical performance characteristics of the building product when integrated into a building. For Ecophon products, the FU is described as providing acoustical absorption on 1 m 2, during an annuity, while ensuring the stipulated product performance. Format: 1000x1000 mm Thickness: 20 mm Edge design: Edge E Surface: Akutex FT Weight 1,5 kg/m² Our systems also include other materials and components, like for example the grid systems, which are mainly made of galvanised steel and consist of around 50% recycled material. Other important components include integrated lighting. Light fittings have been supplied with high frequency control gear for many years. These components are to be assessed from an environmental perspective in the next phase. 10

11 Environmental Product Declarations EPD In the past decade there has been increasing attention to products environmental performances improvement across their life cycle. In the building sector, the development of building certification systems has lead to a more and more strong demand for information on the environmental impact of building products. The intent of the Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) is precisely to provide, in an objective and standardized manner, easy accessible, quality-assured and comparable information regarding the environmental performance of a finished product or a service along its value chain. As a standardized way of describing a product s total environmental impact, EPDs are presenting two major advantages: EPD studies allow producers to understand the sources of their products environmental impacts, and the EPD itself allows purchasers to choose products with lower environmental impacts. At Ecophon, we have decided to communicate the environmental information concerning our products through type III Environmental Product Declarations**. Nordic ecolabelled acoustic systems Since 1995 Ecophon products have been granted the Nordic Swan Ecolabel and thus comply with the criteria and requirements of the Nordic Ecolabelling Board regarding the whole product life cycle from raw material to recycling. These requirements include pollution and hazardous emissions, waste management, energy and resource consumption. The Nordic Swan ecolabelling is based on a Type I declaration*. NORDIC ECOLABEL 06/2009 Product Characterization - By considering the functions of this product, the functional unit can be described as follows: Construction product: The product in question is Ecophon Focus E whose main function is acoustical absorption. The weighted sound absorption coefficient αw of the product equals 0.9 Including: Quantity of wool for 1 m2 of product : 1.6 kg Thickness of wool : 20 mm, Surfacing : glass tissue : 50 g/m² Packaging for the distribution and transportation: o cardboard : 26 g/m² o wood pallet: pallets/m 2 Product used for the implementation (nature and quantity): None Scrap rate during the implementation and maintenance: (including replacement part if any): 5 % - 50 years - See the technical documentation for more technical characteristics. Notes : ENVIRONMENTAL PRODUCT DECLARATION in conformity with NFP and ISO series standard Ecophon Focus E JUNE 2009 Environmental impact are defined and calculated according to the French standard NF P for the fulll life cycle The total primary energy represents the sum of energy sources directly extracted from the natural resources (natural gas l, oil, coal, uranium ore, biomass, hydraulic energy, solar energy, wind energy, geothermal energy, ) The total primary energy is divided into non renewable energy and renewable energy The total primary energy is divided into feedstock energy (part of total primary energy including in the product or Lower Calorific Value of the product) and process energy (part of total primary energy used in the process within the process excluding energy input for production and delivery of this energy) The «grey energy» has no standardised definition, so it is not including in the French standard NF P Inventories of life cycle have been made in 2009 and aggregation of data is calculated from the TEAM software version 4.0. Saint-Gobain Ecophon Environmental Product Declarations will include a statement on ten environmental indicators: Consumption of energy resources (total primary energy, process energy i.e. fuel energy, and renewable energy) Depletion of abiotic resources (ADP)* Climate Change* Water consumption Waste (total, hazardous, non hazardous waste and inert waste) Formation of Photochemical Oxydants* Depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer* Air Acidification* Eutrophication** * as defined in NF P ; ** as defined in NF P Part III Environmental impact (total life cycle) (1) 1 Environmental impact Value by FU for DVT Consumption of energy resources Total primary energy Renewable energy 101 MJ 15.8 MJ Non renewable energy 85 MJ 2 Depletion of natural resources (ADP) 3 Water consumption 4 Solid waste kg equivalent antimony (Sb) 41.7 litres Eliminated waste : Recovered waste (total) kg Hazardous waste kg Non hazardous waste 2.79 kg Inert wastes Radioactive waste kg kg kg equivalent Atmospheric acidification 7 Air pollution CO kg equivalent SO2 3 8 Water pollution m 3 3 m 3 Destruction of stratospheric ozone layer 10 N/A indicator (non standard NF P01 010) Formation of photochemical ozone Another kg equivalent ethylene 11 Eutrophication 0.12 g PO4 3 equivalent For more information: Company name: Saint Gobain ECOPHON AB Contact: Alina Dulaurent Tel: (0046) Fax: (0046) E mail : gobain.com Facts about environmental product declarations *Type I declarations, e.g. Nordic Swan Ecolabel Type I (ISO 14024) ecolabelling primarily aims by means of a symbol to help consumers easily make eco-aware purchasing choices. The system is based on a number of selected criteria determined by an expert group from a life cycle perspective. Type II declarations, e.g. Material Declarations Type II (ISO 14021) declarations are self-declared environmental claims in which importers, manufacturers or wholesalers themselves describe the concerned environmental characteristics by providing relevant data for an environmental assessment. Input data is not independently checked but it is assumed that the sector carries out internal inspection. **Type III Environmental Product Declarations Type III (ISO 14025) Environmental Product Declarations are standardized and LCA based tools to communicate the environmental performance of a product or system, and is applicable worldwide for all interested companies and organizations. Here quantitative data focusing on resource consumption, emissions and the potential resulting environmental effects is used. The system is administered by an independent body and external quality assurance is carried out by an accredited certification body. 11

12 Acoustic panels from an environmental perspective Raw materials and production of base materials Raw material suppliers More than 70% of glass wool consists of recycled glass Over 70% of the base material in Ecophon s acoustic panels consists of recycled household glass and recycled glass wool. The remainder consists of newly manufactured glass from natural raw materials such as sand and soda. Paint Ecophon introduced water-based paint for the exposed surface of acoustic panels almost 30 years ago. In recent years we have developed a technique to reduce paint consumption jointly with our paint suppliers. The new surface of our painted acoustic panels, Akutex FT, is the result of our efforts. By using bag-inbox container, we have reduced paint waist and decreased our water consumption. Binder The binder agent used to ensure the cohesion and mechanical strength of the Ecophon acoustic panels is a bakelite-type one. Since this type of binder is petroleum-based, Ecophon s research and development efforts are currently directed towards the development of a renewable binder. Ecophon s production Production Energy usage and type of energy Energy used in Ecophon s Swedish plant consists of electricity broken down as follows: 55% renewable energy (hydroelectric power), 42% nuclear power and 3% fossil energy. Our aim is to increase the share of renewable energy. Recycling of production dust Ecophon has developed EcoDrain, a lightweight aggregate-type product which is used as drainage material at landfill sites in replacement of gravel. EcoDrain is created by grinding, milling and pelleting of the glass wool dust from the production process. The product is compressed to a one seventh of the original glass wool volume, which also reduces the transport requirement. Packaging Ecophon s acoustic panels and grid systems are supplied in recyclable cardboard boxes. Plastic wrap consists of polythene film (PE), which can be recycled. We are continuously monitoring the distribution of our shipments to Europe and to different parts of the world. In the yellow field in the map you can see our main transportation area. 12

13 Transportation Transport Transportation The majority of shipments of finished acoustic panels reach our customers by road, by sea or by rail freight, depending on the available transportation resources and according to customers requirements. Glass wool is a very light material and contributes to a low total weight of loaded vehicles, compared with other types of building panels, which are often considerably heavier. Fuel consumption (l/km) 0.4 Example An 18 meter long distance truck (70 m 3 / 26 tons loading capacity) can take approximately 3500 m 2 of an Ecophon ceiling system (with sound absorption class A) consisting of the index tile and the necessary amount of grids and accessories. The total weight will be 9 tons Loading capacity (t) If we instead chose to load the same truck with 3500 m 2 of a wet felt ceiling (with sound absorption class A) where the thickness of the panels is 18 mm and the weight is 3,3 kg/ m 2 the total load weight, i.e. panels plus grid and accessories, will be 15,3 tons. The fuel consumption for the two alternatives are shown in the graph. If we assume transportation distance equal to Hyllinge - Hamburg 575 km (which complies with the transportation distance used in the LCA for the index panel of Ecophon) we get the following fuel consumption: Alternative Ecophon: 167 litres Alternative wet felt felt: 196 litres I.e. an increase of approximately 17%. A third alternative of interest to compare is the case when an acoustic ceiling with an even higher weight is chosen so that the maximum loading capacity with regard weight is reached (26 tons). In this case the fuel consumption will be 242 litres for the same distance. Performance of European tractor and trailer The diagram shows the fuel consumption of a typical long-distance truck in central Europe. The data for the calculation is based on NTM* Road report, which is based on EU Artemis and the following assumptions: * The Network for Transport and Environment (NTM) is a non-profit organisation in Sweden, initiated in 1993 and aiming at establishing a common base of values on how to calculate the environmental performance for various modes of transport. Truck type: Road tractor + semi-trailer. Loading capacity: 26 tonnes. Total weight: 40 tonnes (max). Road type: Motorway. Traffic: Saturated. Installation Installation phase use Ingenious acoustic systems produce less waste Our acoustic systems have been ingeniously designed to simplify installation and reduce waste. These systems can be integrated with each other and combined. Together with our customers and stakeholders, we are constantly striving to find new and innovative ways to reduce waste at installation sites. For example, common work is often carried out together with the architects to design the waste, so that use and installation of our products in a building project could be done with minimum waste generation. Landfill, recycling Disposal Landfill and recycling Today, discarded acoustic panels are not yet systematically recycled but mainly sent to a landfill for non-hazardous waste, i.e. on the normal dumping site. But this situation is about to change, as Ecophon has successfully developed a recycling technique in the form of lightweight aggregates for soil drainage. Used initially to convert glass wool dust from production process into EcoDrain, this system will be gradually expanded to whole discarded ceiling tiles as the interest in the new product increases. 13

14 Our acoustic panel and carbon dioxide impact Here we describe the carbon footprint of the previously defined index Ecophon acoustic panel on each stage of its life cycle, generated by calculations based on internal LCA-data. This acoustic panel is representing our virtual reference, around which we will articulate our communication on future improvements and environmental targets. Based on cradle-to-grave LCA calculations, the total carbon footprint of this reference panel is of 2.7 kg eq CO 2 /m 2 along its whole life cycle, from extraction of raw materials through the end-of-life phase (landfill). This is our key ratio and represents the standard value for our future environmental efforts to limit our carbon footprint. Updated information will be provided regularly in the future to those who would wish to follow-up our environmental initiatives. Cradle to grave Carbon footprint of index Ecophon acoustic panel Disposal CO 2 = 2,7 kg Installation use Landfill, Recycling Basis for calculations 75% of Ecophon s production of acoustic ceilings and systems takes place in Sweden. The glass wool, which is manufactured externally and delivered to Ecophon s plant, consists of 70% recycled glass. The calculations are based on an average transport distance from the production site to the building site of 575 km, which may be compared with transport from Ecophon s plant in Sweden to Hamburg. The installation of the acoustic panel generates 5% of waste, which is included in the global carbon footprint. The transport distance to landfill for the discarded acoustic panel is estimated at 30 km. CO 2 = 0,003 kg Good: Our acoustic panels can be fully recycled. We have already developed a recycling technique in the form of EcoDrain lightweight aggregates for soil drainage in landfills. Currently used to take care of the glass wool dust from our production, this system will be expanded to whole ceiling tiles as interest in the new product increases. To improve: Extensive recycling infrastructure still needs to be put in place in order to ensure full recycling of our ceiling tiles in an economically and socially sustainable way. Installation phase Good: The acoustic systems have been ingeniously designed to simplify installation and minimize waste. These systems can be integrated with each other and combined. The low weight of Ecophon tiles makes our products easy to handle and easy for ceiling installers to work with To improve: Even if only very small amount of waste is generated during installation, a system still needs to be put in place to take care of it in an appropriate manner instead of sending it to the landfill. 14

15 Raw material suppliers Raw materials and production of base materials Good: Recycling. Glass wool has a high content (> 70%) of recycled material: household glass, rejected glass bottles, internal scraps from the glass wool production process. Minimal waste in the production process. The base material is custom-made to size. The short distance (15 km) between the glass wool production site and the Ecophon plant facilitates the transportation and minimizes its environmental impact. To improve: Glass wool production requires a significant amount of energy consumption for the melting of the glass. CO 2 = 2,0 kg Share: ~ 74% The binder used to ensure ensure the cohesion and mechanical strength of the product is petroleum-based. Increase the amount of recycled glass. Production Good: The finished ceiling tiles production process requires low energy consumption. Energy comes mainly from energy sources such as hydroelectric power and nuclear power. Transport Ecophon s production of acoustic ceiling panels CO 2 = 0,55 kg Share: ~ 20% Glass wool dust from production process is not discarded but used for the production of EcoDrain lightweight aggregates. To improve: All types of energy used in the ceiling tiles production process should be renewable. Work is still needed to further reduce energy consumption on site. CO 2 = 0,14 kg Share: ~ 5% Transportation Car and air travel may be a good comparison with the carbon dioxide impact of an Ecophon acoustic panel. Kg CO 2 / 10 km and person Good: The Ecophon glass wool acoustic panels have a very low weight, resulting in lower fuel consumption when transported to building sites and warehouses, compared to similar more heavy materials. Truck loading is optimised in order to leave as less empty space as possible and minimize the risk of product damage during transportation. Petrol = 1,25 kg Diesel = 1,02 kg Ethanol = 0,45 kg Biogas = 0,09 kg To improve: There is still work needed from the transportation companies to increase the number of vehicles running with renewable fuels. Our aim is to gradually increase the share of such transportation means, which would replace the trucks using fossil fuels. Aircraft = 1,4 kg 15

16 EcoDrain a new product instead of production waste Ecophon has successfully developed a recycling technique in the form of EcoDrain lightweight aggregates for soil drainage. The product is compressed to one seventh of the original glass wool volume, thus reducing the transport requirement. Used initially to convert glass wool dust from production process, this system will be gradually expanded to whole discarded ceiling tiles as the interest in this new product increases. EcoDrain is today used as a drainage layer in landfills. But this is only the beginning; we aim to extend its uses in the future to trench venting of soil gases, for collecting hydrogen sulphide, drainage layer in reinstatement, and many other purposes. The EcoDrain solution is presenting multiple benefits. There was first the opportunity to transform the glass wool dust, generated during production process, into a new product. To this we add now the possibility to use discarded ceiling panels as raw materials, instead of sending them to the landfill. And third, the use of EcoDrain is taking off the need for conventional drainage layers, which are obtained by extraction of fresh materials from the earth, such as quarrying of gravel. Photographer: Nicklas Rudfell Waste Eco Drain At Ecophon s recycling plant in Sweden the production waste from manufacturing acoustic panels is converted into a useful product EcoDrain. Pelleting compresses the glass wool waste to one seventh of its original volume. 16

17 EcoDrain lightweight aggregates are used as drainage layer in landfill. The drainage material is covered with a geo-textile membrane and backfilled with clay, which is then finally overlaid with a planted vegetal layer. Photographer: Bertil Hagberg The content of this position paper describes where we are today with regard to our environmental aspects and their improvement potential, which is a part of our promise for a sound effect on people. On the basis of our environmental policy (back cover), we have formulated eight overall environmental goals (page 12) and examples of quantifiable environmental targets (page 13) More environmental goals are to be formulated later as our environmental programme progresses. Please feel free to study and follow-up our efforts your feedback is important to us all. 17

18 Labelling health, safety and functional characteristics Ecophon s acoustic systems comply with the requirements of ecolabelling boards and building research and public health organisations. The voluntary third-party audits provide documented certainty with respect to both the indoor environment requirements and the acoustic systems characteristics. Audit of emissions to the indoor environment The Swedish Asthma and Allergy Association has investigated Ecophon s products with regard to substances that may contribute to allergic reactions and other irritation and has established that the association can recommend Ecophon s sound absorbers. Ecophon has products that are certified and comply with the most stringent requirements of the Danish Indoor Climate Label. The organisation looks for substances in building materials that have been found to contribute to allergies and other hypersensitivity and measures the length of time it takes after installation for these substances to subside to an acceptable level. In addition, a subjective smell test is carried out to assess the presence of any remaining smells deriving from emissions. Ecophon holds the first certificates issued by Dansk Indeklima, no. 001 and no. 002 from 1995, when labelling began. Audit of functional characteristics Ecophon has chosen to subject its sound absorbers to an impartial audit by SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden so that their sound absorption capacity can be P-labelled (SP s own quality label). This eliminates any uncertainty regarding more or less incomplete or home-made test values. SP annually inspects our plants and carries out check measurements, which is an important part of our quality work. CE-marking Ecophon s sound absorbers, grids and accessories are CE marked in compliance with the European standard EN 1w3964, facilitating comparison between different makes and types of sound absorbers. CE-marking includes sound absorption, fire safety and certain emissions. Our CE-marking of sound absorbers requires production inspection to be supervised by an independent body. Most Ecophon products comply with the emission requirements of Finland s leading information centre for the construction sector, the Building Information Foundation RTS. Products labelled M1, which is the best emission class, have the lowest emission values for a number of substances harmful to health. 18

19 Photographer: Photos.com We perceive our surroundings with the help of our five senses, one of which is hearing. Historically, our hearing was adapted to a life outside walls, floors and ceilings, and essentially works the same way today. Creating a pleasant sound environment in our rooms is therefore vital if we want to stay well-balanced as individuals. 19

20 Environmental policy Ecophon recognises its responsibilities to manage the nature and scale of the environmental impacts of its activities, products and services. Our overall sustainability goals describe how we will act to minimise our effects on humans and the environment. We are actively committed to: manufacture and market sustainable products contributing to a healthy working environment. decrease waste, use of energy and CO 2 emissions always select components with low environmental impact Increase our part of renewable and recycled content in our products. Saint-Gobain Ecophon AB, Box 500, S Hyllinge, Sweden, phone , fax , SE.Artnr:000000

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