Company > Responsibility > Sustainability

The environment is important to us

We are committed to combining financial performance with environmental protection in the long term.

Combining financial performance and environmental protection is the aim of all sustainability activities at Villeroy & Boch. Key focuses include improving the efficiency of energy and raw materials, preserving resources by optimising production processes, reducing volumes of waste water and pollution, as well as emissions of CO₂ and other waste gases.

The number of customers who take an active interest in the environmental-friendliness of our production facilities shows the increasing emphasis on sustainability in business.

Efficient energy with the company's own thermal power station

Protecting the environment, reducing CO₂ emissions and ensuring the responsible use of resources: Villeroy & Boch has been making an important contribution to these issues since the commissioning of the thermal power station at the Bathroom and Wellness production site in Mettlach in 2014. The natural gas-fired thermal power station produces around 15,000 MWh of heat and 15,700 MWh of electricity each year – representing around 90 percent of the site's total electricity requirements. The environment is reaping the benefit of this energy concept, with an annual reduction in CO₂ emissions of some 4,000 tonnes. This is the result of the plant’s greater efficiency and the fact that using gas allows simultaneous generation of both heat and electricity. The Villeroy & Boch group has set itself the target of reducing its specific energy consumption (electricity and gas) by 15% across all group sites by 2024 at the latest.

Die-casting process – sustainable moulding

Two different casting processes are used in ceramic production: battery-casting and die-casting. As well as the energy-intensive battery-casting process, Villeroy & Boch is increasingly relying on the more energy-efficient die-casting method. A special feature of this process is that the water is removed from the liquid slip at high pressure and from the resin mould through a vacuum effect. Any remaining liquid slip is rinsed with water after the part has formed. While this increases water consumption, it reduces the energy required for the moulding process by a whole 90 per cent in comparison with the conventional procedure.

Integrating environmental technology in the production process with a micro-filtration plant

Increasing raw material productivity while minimising energy consumption: this is the role of the micro-filtration plant at Villeroy & Boch. The optimal procedure for recycling glazes was established as part of an environmental project. The modern micro-filtration plant will allow the recovery of several hundreds of tonnes of glaze each year. The positive energy balance is clear: with a projected annual saving of around 30 tonnes of CO₂.

Energy-efficient production sites thanks to environmental and energy management systems

All over the world, reducing consumption of energy, water and raw materials as well as CO₂ emissions is a key priority at Villeroy & Boch's 14 production sites in Europe, Mexico and Asia. A requirement for comprehensive precautionary environmental planning has been formulated in the Villeroy & Boch group's environmental and energy policy. The environmental impact of energy consumption makes reducing energy a top priority for Villeroy & Boch. The group's standards for the environment and energy consumption are based on two management systems according to an international standard.

Both management systems include the setting of environmental and energy targets, with progress checked at regular intervals. Many of Villeroy & Boch's international production sites are certified according to the environmental management system DIN EN ISO 14001 and the energy management system DIN EN ISO 50001, and regular audits are conducted to verify compliance with their requirements.
Three German sites and one Swedish site also have certification according to the EU environmental audit directive EMAS III.

EMAS, which stands for the Eco Management and Audit Scheme, was developed by the European Union and is the eco audit directive for EU countries. It is a Community-wide scheme comprising environmental management and environmental auditing for organisations that wish to improve their environmental performance. The EMAS directive (eco-audit directive) ascribes a crucial role to the individual responsibility of an economy to deal with its direct and indirect environmental impact and relates to a defined location.