Precious raw materials belong to our planet and must be used responsibly with care and appreciation.
With the world wising up to the treasured, irreplaceable nature of many raw materials, manufacturers like REHAU have a duty to work efficiently and minimize waste during the production cycle. Both we and our customers also have a shared obligation to ensure products are used correctly and for as long as possible before replacement. When obsolescence eventually comes, we must ensure that raw materials are carefully recycled and used again and again.
At REHAU we recognize that raw materials belong to the planet, not their current owner. We see a future where people no longer take precious raw materials for granted but see them for what they are: valuable assets borrowed temporarily from our planet before they can eventually be returned for use by someone else. This is the perfect circular economy; an essential, sustainable model that enables our two other MegaTrends — Personalized & Connected — to exist and to thrive.
REHAU has invested more than 65 million euros in state-of-the-art recycling facilities. For example the company routinely uses recyclates in the inner core of window profiles, delivering CO2 savings of almost 100,000 tons each year.
In support of our Circular Economy ambition, old window profile sections can be transformed into new, highly efficient window systems. Used raw materials are collected, cleaned, shredded, sorted, and partially refined before being returned to the production process to create perfect new window profiles. Thanks to process improvements, raw materials in REHAU windows can safely go through reprocessing up to seven times, giving them a useful lifespan of hundreds of years.
The next time you casually recycle a plastic bottle cap, there’s a chance its reincarnation could be as a clever underground box designed to percolate, retain, and store rainwater. The RAUSIKKO BOX is an innovative modular system that architects and town planners can specify to safely handle and filter storm water. Once captured underground, storm water can be either returned to water treatment sites or allowed to drain safely into the ground water with no risk of damage to nearby buildings and roads.
And, best of all, the RAUSIKKO BOX is 100% fully recyclable.
As Dr Steven Schmidt, Director Technology Platform Materials comments “The use of recycled materials at REHAU is not new, we’ve formed on this for more than 25 years. But in the last two years, the way society wants to deal with sustainability and recyclates has changed fundamentally.”
REHAU consumes almost 60,000 tons of recyclate each year, nearly twice as much as in 2012. By the end of 2020 it aims to use more recyclate than new raw materials across its worldwide manufacturing operations. Most recycled and recovered material is used to create durable products with lifetimes measured in decades, or even centuries. But even these long-life products will one day reach end-of-life when the raw materials will be carefully recycled for their next owner. The actions REHAU takes today will have a positive effect on our planet for many generations to come.