Our production - The kitchen is created

Sustainable raw materials and self-produced electricity are evidence of sustainability in action. On this page you can find out how we make our production sustainable.

Carbon footprint

Traces produced through business activity

A carbon footprint is a measure of the amount of CO2 emitted, for example by a company. In 2021, we produced approximately 53,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions. Based on around 830,000 kitchens, that amounts to some 65 kg of CO2 per kitchen. This is still too high for us. That’s why we’re pursuing a broad sustainability strategy aimed at improving our carbon footprint.

By the way, if we are to achieve the Paris Agreement goal of limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees, then every German will have to keep their CO₂ emissions below 1,000 kg each year. Obviously, there’s still a great deal for us to do – and we want to give it our best effort!

Solar installations

Self-generation of clean electricity for our production needs

Energy is essential for production: machines have to be powered and people need, for example, good lighting to ensure a healthy and ergonomic workplace. Some of the electricity that we require for our business activities is obtained from renewables. We have a photovoltaic system on the roof of Plant IV and another installation of a similar size on an administration building – and we’re keen to significantly increase the proportion of clean electricity we generate on site. We plan to install a state-of-the-art photovoltaic system covering all of Plant III’s roof, which we’re expecting to put into operation in 2023.

Heat recovery from air compressors

Heating in spring and autumn

We heat our buildings with wood waste when the temperatures are lowest; during the milder months of the year, we use the waste heat from our air compressors as a source of heat. Heat is produced when air is compressed in these compressors. We take the waste heat generated through friction and compression and feed it into our heating circuits. If we didn’t use this waste heat, it would simply be discharged into the air. We therefore achieve a double effect: our heating water is also warmed up. This means that we don’t have to burn any additional energy sources to heat our buildings.

Using production waste for heating

Purposeful utilisation of wood waste

We produce over 90,000 tonnes of wood waste a year. Of course, we don’t simply dispose of this, but re-use it in various ways. For example, we effectively recycle waste that can no longer be used: instead of meeting our heating needs with non-renewables such as oil, gas or coal, we utilise wood as a renewable material. This is an extremely sustainable use of our production waste. For example, it serves to heat our entire production facilities and the administration offices in Plants I, II, III and V, and therefore over 400,000 m2, primarily in winter.

Energy recovery from storage and retrieval machines

Generate electricity, reduce consumption

We generate electricity in our high-bay warehouses and reduce consumption at the same time. Our high-bay warehouse in Plant I has more than 27,000 pallet bays, for example. Fourteen fully automatic storage and retrieval machines (SRMs) are used there for pallet movements. These are in motion all day long. When such a machine carries a load from up high to down low, we make use of gravity: we utilise the motors of the SRMs as dynamos to generate electricity during braking and descending.

Reusable packaging

Circular economy for material protection

The best packaging is packaging that has not been produced in the first place. Wherever technically possible, we dispense with packaging entirely in all areas. To ensure goods are still protected, we use closed-loop systems. In cooperation with our suppliers, almost all production materials are delivered in such reusable packaging. Fittings, of which we need many thousands every day to produce drawers, pull-outs and the like, come to us in trays, like crates, instead of disposable boxes. These trays have a lifespan of many years and therefore save on disposable packaging.

Waste concept

What can’t be avoided is carefully separated and recycled

Although a great deal of waste and scrap can be avoided, there will always be a certain amount of waste. With our comprehensive disposal concept, we endeavour to collect and carefully separate the waste. For this to work as standard across all plants, nobilia has defined all of the different types of waste and introduced a colour coding system. This system clearly illustrates to all employees which waste should be disposed of in which container. The different fractions of waste that result are subsequently taken away by certified disposal companies. In this way, we are managing to achieve a recycling rate of well over 60%.

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You would like to learn more about sustainability at nobilia?

You will find a lot of additional information in our sustainability journal. Download it free of charge and find out what sets nobilia apart.