Committed to the environment
Environmental protection is extremely important to Getzner. Responsibility for our shared living space is accorded the same priority as the quality and safety of the products and services.
Getzner’s infrastructure has long been primarily based on an alternative, climate-friendly energy supply:
- 100% of its power consumption is met by the Group’s in-house hydroelectric power plants (2017: 3,069.511 kWh)
- Two separate groundwater wells (no drinking water is used for production processes)
- Groundwater heat pump (heating)
- Heat recovery system with buffer tank – 90% of the process waste heat from production equipment, including casting machines, waterjet pumps and hydraulic power units, is used for heating and cooling
- A large-scale photovoltaic plant was also installed as part of the 2020 extension
Besides energy consumption, there are environmentally friendly measures in other areas of the Getzner infrastructure, too:
Supply of raw materials
- Transportation optimised in terms of both logistics and environment, as tankers loaded without packaging (storage in in-house tank farm)
- Only full tankers are ordered, with the raw materials warehouse adapted as an interim storage solution
- Delivery of Getzner products preferred in the form of rolled products without pallets
- Optimised packaging concepts
- Waste separation and prevention in all areas, including both production and administration
- Brochures, data sheets, etc. are printed carbon-neutrally and certified with the Austrian Ecolabel, among others
- For many years, Getzner has promoted the use of public transport (annual passes for employees) and particularly cycling with an annual cycling competition (2018: 250,193 km)
Getzner’s manufacturing process does not generate any odour, noise or other relevant emissions in itself.
The main energy requirements (approx. 99%) and therefore also CO2 emissions are generated by the production of primary raw materials (isocyanate and polyol) from polyurethane products (from crude oil via refining to the raw material). Production of Getzner products thus only accounts for about 1% of the total energy requirements.
Getzner does not currently use any components on the REACH list. Components that could potentially appear on the REACH list in the future are replaced with non-critical components at an early stage (e.g. low/no emissions components).
Among other things, special importance is attached to an optimised geometry from the product design stage, thus achieving a reduction in
- the use of raw materials
- production waste &
- transport volumes.
Through the continuous further development of our materials, we can achieve
- lower densities with the same performance and thus less material
- increased process reliability and precision (waste reduction)
- higher availability through shorter layover time (use of storage)
- optimised product life cycles
Waste prevention in production
The issue of waste prevention plays a very important role in the manufacturing of Getzner products. Production processes have been continuously optimised since the company was founded, and in 2018 a lean management system was also implemented across the business.
The manufacturing process is based on online dosing, so it is optimised to the extent that only the raw material required for the job is actually used.
Production at Getzner can be divided into the following fundamental areas:
- With continuous casting, rolled products (so-called base mats) are produced which, depending on the field of application, can also be assembled afterwards.
- In assembly, the design for cutting is always laid out in such a way that produces minimal residual waste. In waterjet cutting, a computer system calculates the best cutting pattern and the punching knives required for punching are already designed for optimised cutting.
- Base mat remnants are stored separately and then used up for corresponding small orders when suitable.
- Multiple small orders that require the same base mats are always combined in production planning.
Moulded part production
- For high-volume products, moulded part production is used wherever possible. This generally removes an additional manufacturing step and so there is no production waste.
Life cycle and sustainable performance
In addition to resource-saving manufacturing, the life cycle of each product must also be taken into consideration. What is the use of a product that consumes fewer resources in the manufacturing process than a Getzner product, for example, but boasts neither its outstanding performance nor exceptional durability and therefore consumes significantly more resources overall?
Through the use of Getzner products, almost every single component in the railway superstructure can be largely preserved and therefore used for significantly longer. Concrete sleepers remain stable in the track bed for longer, ballasts can be tamped less frequently or replaced significantly later, and the rail running surface needs to be grinded less frequently, thus also extending the service life of the rail in the track, etc. In addition, the logistics required for the construction and maintenance of a railway superstructure must be taken into account, such as track renewal trains, construction machinery, grinding machines, tamping machines, and planning & management resources, for example. Through the proven extension to the entire railway superstructure’s life cycle, significantly more resources are preserved than it may appear at first glance.
Noise pollution and vibrations are stress factors. Impact noise, nightclubs in a building also used for other purposes, neighbouring industrial plants and nearby train traffic are all examples of sources of disturbance. Vibration decoupling makes the use of certain buildings as well as resource-saving high-density developments possible in the first place. Using Getzner solutions and materials increases the living quality, the usability and the property value.
Getzner products therefore offer much more than pure performance, also making a significant resource-saving contribution to the protection of our environment.
Recycling of production and post-consumer waste
In terms of recycling of production and post-consumer waste, the following preferred processes are currently in place:
- Chemical recycling
- Manufacturing of high-quality granulate products
- Thermal utilisation
Given that sustainability has been one of the key issues at Getzner since the very beginning, we are constantly working on development projects to optimise our materials in the recycling loop. Current development projects include:
- Development of new products from recycled granulate materials
- Further development of chemical recycling
- Development of alternative recycling concepts for composites and disassembled/contaminated products