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Environmental Responsibility


Table of contents

Organisation, facts, figures Production sites........................................ 4 Our environmental policy........................ 6 Central environmental management...... 8 Environmental data..................................10 From raw material to ceramic product.... 12 Process-integrated environmental protection..................................................14 Tableware division: increase in energy efficiency at the Merzig plant...................16 How potential is developed at our plants..................................................18 Product-related environmental protection..................................................20 Applied research: environment and quality of life......................................24 Dry-Control..........................................25 OR-C-eram...............................................26 SIMSAN.....................................................27 Komplett................................................28 Confirmation of our environmental activities EMas.........................................................30 ISO 14001..................................................31 Occupational safety and preventive health.........................................................32 Definitions.................................................34

The scenic loop of the river Saar, the so called “Saarschleife”, is located very close to the headquarters  of Villeroy & Boch in Mettlach.


Dear Readers, Only a company with the right strategy for the future, such as Villeroy & Boch, can look back on a history stretching back more than 260 years. Our capacity for innovation, coupled with a receptiveness to new ideas while maintaining our proud traditions, has been a successful formula for the company. Today, Villeroy & Boch has production facilities in Europe, Mexico and Thailand, and employs more than 8,000 people. This brings with it a high degree of responsibility – to both our employees and the environment. In terms of environmental protection, it is our aim at Villeroy & Boch not to treat environmental issues in isolation, but to incorporate them directly into our corporate strategy and process design. The very fact that the ceramics industry is traditionally resource-intensive means that we are particularly mindful of the importance of researching, developing and applying new, innovative processes and technologies that both benefit the environment and are economically sustainable. The use of modern production methods and energyefficient kilns saves money while substantially cutting CO2 emissions. In addition, here at Villeroy & Boch, we incorporate state-of-the-art environmental technologies into our production processes.

Frank Göring

As well as during manufacturing, when we develop our products, we ensure not only that they fulfil their function in your home, but that by using them you, as the consumer, are actually helping the environment. We have managed, for example, to reduce the flush volume of our toilets to just 3.5 litres. Many successes in the areas of environmental protection and the safeguarding of natural resources can be attributed to the commitment of our employees. With this commitment, we have been able, for example, to increase the high quality recycling of glazes, and I would like to express my deepest gratitude for this. We encourage this strong identification of the workforce with the aims of our Group by affording scope for individual responsibility. As part of our Ideas Management System, employees actively provide suggestions for improvement, and in doing so help Villeroy & Boch remain an innovative trailblazer and set milestones for environmental protection with its products. At Villeroy & Boch, we understand that it is incumbent upon each and every one of us to take care of our natural world. Our intention with this publication is to provide you with some information about what we do. Yours, Frank Göring CEO of Villeroy & Boch AG



Organisation, facts, figures – production sites worldwide

America Lerma Ramos Saltillo

Asia/ Pacific Saraburi

Europe Gustavsberg Hódmezövásárhely Lugoj

Merzig Mettlach Mondsee

Roden Roeselare Valence d’Agen

Vargada Torgau Treuchtlingen

Villeroy & Boch – a premium brand with a global presence Innovation, customer-orientation and a clear alignment with the requirements of the national and international market have always been the strategic cornerstones of Villeroy & Boch as a traditional company. Established in 1748 as a pottery, the company quickly started to prosper. From its head office in Mettlach, acquired back in 1809 and now the corporate headquarters, Villeroy & Boch exported crockery ranges all over Europe. In addition to tiles, the

company produced mainly sanitary ware from 1900. The success story of tableware continued with a further product focus – the bath – and Villeroy & Boch established itself as a renowned brand in countries way beyond its national borders. Today, the focus of our internationalisation strategy is not only Europe, but Asia and America too. It is here, specifi-

cally, that there is a high degree of affinity with traditional European brands. Exports to these continents have risen steadily and will continue to do so.

Organisation, facts, figures – production sites worldwide

20 09/2010 consolidated revenue in € million Distribution by division


Bathroom and Wellness

2011* 446.6




195.3 Tableware

267.8 288.6 551.3

V&B Group

714.2 715.3 0




*Sales figures up to 3rd quarter

Characteristic of our brand is an integrated range of goods designed to meet the needs of the modern consumer around the globe. What this means is that, in the tableware division, the original range has been augmented by glasses and cutlery, while sanitary ware has been expanded by the addition of appropriate bathroom furniture, fittings and wellness products to provide a complete bathroom range. This strategy of diversifying our product range was accompa-

nied by new production sites in Europe, as well as in Mexico and Thailand.


in € million



Organisation, facts, figures – Our environmental policy

Our environmental policy Protection of the environment is one of the fundamental corporate goals of Villeroy & Boch AG. These goals are fully reflected in our Corporate Guidelines and Ethical Principles and are binding for all employees. Below are some extracts relating to environmental protection:

We have a commitment to uphold our name. Not many companies have made regional economic history as well as European and social history. Villeroy & Boch is one of them, and thus bears many responsibilities. We not only feel obligated to our employees, shareholders and customers, but also to the environment and

society. Preserving natural resources, a sensible approach to the use of energy and a long operating life for our products are all close to our heart. Great importance is attached to occupational safety and preventive health at the company.

We obey the law as well as social norms and values. The wide-ranging nature of our business in various countries and regions means that we encounter a whole host of complex legal provisions and obligations. Compliance

with applicable laws, abidance by social norms and observation of local customs and traditions are all essential components of our corporate ethics.

We take on responsibility for safety and the environment. Villeroy & Boch pursues a systematic policy of continuous improvement in safety and environmental protection management. This accords with our obligation to contribute to sustainable development. Our approach to these matters is the same as it is to any other area of business; namely, we set goals for improvement and we

measure, assess and report on our performance. Apart from complying with applicable laws and obligations, we constantly strive to achieve improvements in the corresponding key areas of products, production, technology transfer, occupational safety, and health and environmental protection.


We encourage and develop our employees. Employees and managers are a precursor to the company’s potential for development and performance. The extent to which the potential of technology, information, communication and service are recognised and used depends on their qualifica-

tions, motivation and identification with corporate objectives. For this reason, we feel an obligation to support the people working at the company in both their professional and personal development.

We demand fair and proper business behaviour from our material and service suppliers. We maintain business relations with those material and service providers that conform to our corporate ethical principles. This includes offering

their own employees fair working conditions – we especially do not countenance child labour.


Organisation, facts, figures – Central management for environmental protection and occupational safety

Central management for environmental protection and occupational safety Environmental protection and occupational safety form part of our Corporate Guidelines. In this respect, the highest responsibility lies with all managerial-level employees who have an influence on environment-related processes – from board level to the production supervisor. Management tasks in all divisions also extend to providing information for and raising awareness among employees on all aspects of environmental protection and occupational safety. They are motivated, within their respective

field, to develop potential that is both economically expedient and conducive to environmental protection and occupational safety. At the heart of the activities and projects is an improvement in the efficient use of energy and raw materials and the preservation of resources through improvements in the production process – particularly a reduction in waste water contamination, CO2 emissions and other emissions such as dust and noise in all process steps.

The setting of environmental targets is directly related to the specifications of the individual plants. Villeroy & Boch has environmental specialists at all of its sites. They are the ones who pursue and promote compliance with planning steps and the attainment of targets – in most cases in coordination with the plant managers. They report annually at group level. The development of water and emission protection, for example, has been controlled both histori-

Organisation, facts, figures – Central management for environmental protection and occupational safety

Headquarters of Villeroy & Boch AG in Mettlach (Saarland, Germany).

Organisation of environmental protection and occupational safety

Management Board Environmental protection and occupational safety management Business division management Operations management Plant management Environmental and safety managers at the sites Departmental management

cally and politically in the individual countries. National legislation is also an influencing factor in this respect. In EU member states, legislation is

gradually being standardised, yet political interests such as emissions trading remain a national matter. Central environmental management

has close ties with the respective environmental officers and specialists. All relevant plant data is analysed in quantified form. As an information platform, environmental management delivers findings and research results to the individual plants. At the same time, environmental management has both supervisory and advisory roles, concerning REACH for example. This European legislation, which is designed to strengthen consumer protection, is implemented rigorously at Villeroy & Boch as a user of chemical additives. The sites are given advisory support in the implementation of environmentrelated rules and regulations such as EMAS, ISO 14001 and EN 16001.



Organisation, facts, figures – Environmental data

Group environmental data fo r 2010

Ceramics Body (Ceramic raw materials) Glaze

Quantity Unit 136,863 13,794

t t

Furniture Wood*



Fittings Metals





Wellness (shower basins, bath tubs)

Synthetic materials

Water consumption Fresh water Recycling water

1,141,241 210,330

m3 m3

Energy Electricity Fossil fuel (gas, oil)

115,049 658,119

191,995 t

Emissions CO2


Waste water

Direct/indirect introduction




Ceramic raw materials and Ceramic fragments



Further waste

Commercial waste Special waste

9,118 475

t t

* Solid wood, chipboard, MDF boards, melamine boards, plywood boards

Organisation, facts, figures – Environmental data

Resource consumption and environme ntal data fo r 2010

Ceramic products

Basic data Unit


Specific consumption Unit


Body raw materials


136,863 Raw material consumption (body)


Glaze raw materials


13,794 Raw material consumption (glaze)



Recycling materials


36,353 Recycling share



Saleable goods




Commercial waste



Commercial waste



Special waste



Special waste



Electrical energy



Electrical energy



Fossil fuel energy



Fossil fuel energy



Elec. power consumption share



Fossil fuel energy share



CO2 emissions



CO2 emissions


Water consumption

Fresh water

Recycling water

210,330 Recycling water share


Waste water

Waste water









* t(v) = tonnes of saleable goods



Wellness products




Basic data Unit

(synthetic materials)

Raw materials





Commercial waste





Special waste





Electrical energy





Fossil fuel energy









CO2 emissions

Fresh water




Waste water






From raw material to ceramic product

From raw material to ceramic product 1. Delivery of raw materials

3. Glaze Preparation

We receive the various raw materials for the slip (feldspar, crystal, kaolins, clay) and the glaze (feldspar, crystal, zircon, chalk) and aggregates in a va-

riety of ways: by ship, silo vehicles and lorry shipments in sacks. A raw materials warehouse is used to receive the bulk goods.

Day silos for hard and soft materials Clays Soft materials

Clays Water Electrolysis Dispersing tank for clays

Vibrating screens Kaolin Aggregates Water Crystal Feldspar


Grinding media Magnetic filter

Fine screen

Drum mill

Storage tank

Correction of rheological properties

The glaze raw materials in the form of silo goods or goods shipped in sacks are ground, together with water and any coloured pigments, in drum mills and modern pearl mills. They are then mixed with glaze recycled from production and, after filtration, further additives and a final laboratory check, are used in the glazing departments.

4. Mould production The processed slip can be processed in the traditional manner in plaster moulds, but also in modern pressure casting moulds made from synthetic material. We manufacture these two types of mould from the “facilities� themselves. We use a special moulding plaster and, for the pressure casting moulds, specially manufactured artificial resins.

To casting house/ pressure casting plant

5. Moulding by casting Various casting processes are used for moulding:

2. Slip Preparation The raw materials are ground or mixed and packed with aggregates. The hard materials (feldspar, crystal and internally ground, fired sanitary items) are ground up with water in drum mills and the clay minerals dissolved in water with stirring de-

vices. A liquid slip is created from the two suspensions, together with kaolin. After comprehensive control procedures have been carried out by our laboratory, the slip is processed in the production plants.

Battery casting process Individual casting operation moulds are interconnected and filled via a central slip supply. After a defined period of time, the slip hardens by abstraction to form a hard body. As soon as the body strength has been reached, the rest of the slip is allowed to drain off. It is then collected and

From raw material to ceramic product

Tableware porcelain goes through the same main production processes such as firing.

reused. After about 60 minutes, the green piece, as it is known, can be removed from the mould. Pressure casting procedure Here, too, water is abstracted from the slip. However, this is done by means of pressure on the slip and a vacuum in the resin mould. After the body has formed and the green piece has been removed from the mould, the capillary ducts of the mould are rinsed through with water to avoid slip residue.

6. Drying the green pieces The green pieces are dried before firing. During the drying process, the moisture in the piece is reduced to a minimum.

7. Glazing the greenware The glaze complements the positive characteristics of the ceramic through the hard, tough surface (high mechanical strength, resistant to scratches, chemicals and other stains).

It is easy to clean and almost impossible for bacteria to become established. In addition, the glaze seals the surface, rendering it resistant to acids and alkaline materials. The glaze is applied by means of a spray gun operated with compressed air, either manually or mechanically with robots. Inaccessible spots are glazed from the inside.

8. Firing The glazed pieces are placed on a tunnel kiln car with a heatproof substructure. The supporting surface of the kiln car is coated with a release agent, which prevents the ceramic parts from sticking. The pieces are fired in a modern, gas fired tunnel kiln. This involves a computer controlled and monitored firing process with a defined temperature/time profile. The waste gases are cleaned in a fluorine separator.



Process-integrated environmental protection

Process-integrated environmental protection Process-integrated environmental protection constitutes all activities already scheduled in production.

Thanks to modern technologies, post-treatment strategies such as clarification systems and filters are not actually necessary at all.

The mission to optimise production processes often constitutes a search for cost-cutting measures.

Waste water volume discharged into the Saar 450.000 400.000

Waste water volume in m3


Use of raw materials

300.000 250.000 200.000 150.000 100.000 50.000 0 2000






Analysis of cleaned waste water

Statutory limit values in mg/l

Measured values 2009

Measured values 2010



< 15.0*




< 0.05*

Filtratable materials






< 0.01*

< 0.01*



< 0.002*

< 0.002*



< 0.01*

< 0.01*



< 0.01*

< 0.01*



< 0.01*

< 0.01*



< 0.01*

< 0.01*









Measured values: average per year

< 15.0*

* below the detection limit

The results of the systematically examined waste water show a considerable reduction in the level of harmful substances discharged into the Saar. The levels are well below legal limits for all relevant measured parameters. Filtratable materials, for example, amount to no more than a quarter of the permissible limit. COD pollution is under 15 mg/l, where the permissible value is 80 mg/l. The quantity of zinc measured in the waste water is below 10% of the limit value. The AOX value is below 50% of the limit. Filtration modules are the centrepiece of a recovery plant for the glaze.


One of the many projects implemented at Villeroy & Boch which vouches for process-integrated environmental protection is the integration of state-of-the-art waste water technology into the glaze treatment process. Such technology has enabled Villeroy & Boch to reduce the volume of waste water discharged into the Saar River from 407,000m続 to 230,000m続. To achieve this, the waste water cleaning system has been developed based on three different cleaning principles. In addition to a small, modern clarification plant, diaphragm technology is used to recover the homogeneous white glaze. In this way, for example, the solids that would normally be discharged into the clarification plant are not only trapped, but are also reused directly as a high-quality white glaze for the spray robot. The third pillar of the system is based on local treatment of the waste water flow directly at its source. This avoids the need for chemicals, and the waste water can be discharged into the municipal clarification plant. This process innovation can also bring about a saving of around 1,500 MWh of electricity per year at the clarification plant. This is equivalent to around 1,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.

Process control for the direct print machine at the Merzig plant


Process-integrated environmental protection â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Increase in energy efficiency at the Merzig plant

Tableware division: increase in energy efficiency at the Merzig plant Five interlocking measures are pivotal in the project. Firstly, insulation of the body of the kiln has been improved by fibre linings, which on the one hand produces a direct saving on the heat energy used and on the other reduces the heating up and cooling down phase, which in turn simplifies the maintenance work and

Kiln furniture with ware

enables the firing programme to be changed more quickly. Improved insulation accounts for around 20% of the overall saving.

The impressive potential for increasing energy efficiency can be seen in the example of the firing kiln. Optimisation based on real-life conditions can produce a CO2 saving of 4,200 tonnes per year.

A further 30% share of the energy saving can be attributed to the utilisation of waste heat from the cooling zone for drying and pre-heating the kiln run. The radiant heat generated by the firing process in the ceramic pipes is dissipated to pre-heat

Use of bulk ceramic material for the non-load-bearing part of the kiln car

other goods. This means that no external energy supply is required for pre-heating, and also helps keep the temperature of the kiln as constant as possible. Regular losses are also avoided.

Sanitaryware: emissions trading and CO 2 emissions The most energy-intensive process in the manufacture of ceramic products is the firing process in which temperatures exceed 1,200 °C, which gives rise to the typical characteristics of ceramic products.

CO2 emission during heat generation in the sanitaryware factory in Mettlach (in tonnes) 14.000 12.000

Breakdown of energy sources: over 85% natural gas and just under 15% electrical energy.


Three production sites are subject to emissions trading in accordance with the criteria set out in the German Greenhouse Gas Emission Trading Act (Treibhausgas-Emissionshandelsgesetz, TEHG). The graphics show the development of CO2 emissions at the two sanitaryware plants in Hungary and Romania, and also the CO2 emissions of the central boiler at the sanitaryware factory in Mettlach, which is subject to emissions trading.



4.000 2.000 0 2005






In the period 2005 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2010, around 48,000 tonnes of CO2


Wolfgang Schneider, technical development of tableware and initiator for the implementation of energy efficiency.

The pre-heating of air in the combustion process when the heating gas is burned can also help to produce a further 20% saving overall by absorbing energy from the indirect cooling zone.

The energy requirement is also reduced thanks to an innovative redesign of the kiln car and the use of bulk ceramic material to fill energy losing areas. This results in a further 20% reduction.

CO2 emission at Hรณdmezรถvรกsรกrhely (Hungary) in tonnes

And finally, optimised moulding and material shaping of the kiln furniture allows for an improved ware to furniture ratio, producing a further 10% energy saving.

CO2 emission

CO2 emission at Lugoj (Romania) in tonnes

CO2 emission (bought in)


CO2 emission savings of allocated quantity





22.000 15.000 21.000 10.000





18.000 2005







were saved at the three sites (after deducting the certificates initially bought in).





Process-integrated environmental protection – How potential is developed at our plants

How potential is developed at our plants The notion of environmental protection has long since made its way into all production processes, and the employees at Villeroy & Boch demonstrate their commitment in the many development and implementation measures to reduce the consumption of resources and emissions.

LED lighting reduces electric power consumption Even our youngest employees are aware of their responsibility to play an active role in helping to protect the environment. The trainees at our electrical apprenticeship workshop in Mettlach have drawn up the following example of an account based on an analysis of the existing lighting stock in the Mu-

seum, Keravision and Sanitaryware Exhibition departments. By gradually replacing the existing halogen lighting with LED lamps, the power consumption for lighting can be reduced by 80%, as modern LEDs, in terms of like-for-like light output, consume just 4.5 watts compared with the 20 watts consumed by the halogen lamps used previously. Moreover, in addition to being more durable, LEDs are both impact- and vibration-resistant, and the light emitted by them contains no ultraviolet or infrared radiation. Thanks to the low level of heat dissipated by LEDs, the output of airconditioning systems in buildings can be reduced in summer. The 1,000 lamps installed at the Experience Centre in Mettlach are expect-

ed to cut CO2 emissions by around 20 tonnes per year. The switch to LED lighting is also underway at other sites, for example in Mexico, Hungary and Romania, where substantial savings are being achieved due to lower consumption of electric power. As LED technology is continuing to develop and conversion to the new type of lighting is feasible in practically every area, this measure will be promoted even further within the Group.

Cooling using groundwater At the production facility in Roden in the Netherlands, instruments and equipment essential for the different production processes are successfully cooled using heat transfer with groundwater. This innovative technology reduces the plant’s drinking water requirement by around 50,000 m³ annually, and reduces electric power consumption for cooling units – and thus CO2 emissions – to almost zero. Relevant heating of the groundwater at a conveying depth of 99 metres does not occur because the temperature amplitude between water conveyed and pumped back is only 4°C.

Our trainees eagerly measure the energy consumption and determine the potential saving for the environment.


Silo for storing wood shavings for energy recovery in Mondsee.

Utilisation of waste heat At the Villeroy & Boch sanitaryware plant in Romania, the focus in terms of environmentally friendly technology is on heat recovery. The installation of heat exchangers in the various production lines is currently saving some 646 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. At the Villeroy & Boch tableware ceramics plant in Torgau in the German state of Saxony, the flow of waste heat from the firing kiln is used for glazing the items. The heat output by the first air/water heat exchanger installed at the plant is around 100 KW per hour. This dries the goods in the storage area prior to further processing, heats the production and storage rooms, and prepares the hot water in production and social systems. Based on the extremely positive experiences and the enormous amount of energy recovered, similar types of systems are planned for the plant’s other two kilns. This means it will be possible to satisfy the overall demand for hot water and basic heating at the Torgau site.

Roeselare plant: material and energy savings There is also investment in green innovation at the Roeselare site in Belgium, where wellness products such as bath tubs and whirlpools are manufactured. Over a two-year period, Villeroy & Boch managed

to develop a new moulding process for acrylic products at the plant. This method of manufacturing reduces both production waste and materials consumed (in the latter case by 10-15%). It also means that less energy is consumed overall in the course of the production cycle. A new horizontal stacking method is also employed in Roeselare to accommodate the extremely large bath products. The aim is to make better use of the space available in a delivery vehicle while at the same time minimising the risks to the safety of delivery personnel using a “manipulator”. Both issues – and in particular the safety aspect – have been confirmed by extensive tests.

37% CO2 reduction at the furniture factory in Mondsee In the case of exhaust systems in particular, energy consumption can be reduced by optimum plant design or subsequent modernisation of existing plants, as illustrated by the furniture factory in the Austrian town of Mondsee. A patented SEPAS system, which came into operation this year, is used to adapt the suction power to the respective capacity utilisation of the machine. The conveying and delivery system is controlled fully automatically according to the type and quantity of

the materials. The suction effect remains consistently good, even when the energy consumption is markedly reduced. An exterior temperature sensor is used to switch the outlet air or return air automatically, and the heat energy recovered is adapted to the daily temperature curve. This reduces heating costs and CO2 emissions. This environmental benefit of around 83 tonnes of CO2 per year is equivalent to the amount of CO2 emitted by 50 medium-sized cars doing around 6,000 miles a year. Another project – currently in planning – involves heat recovery for surface treatment, and is intended to do away entirely with the fossil fuels used to date. Implementation is planned for 2012. Both projects combined will reduce CO2 emissions by more than 400 tonnes per year (over a third). Much has also been done in the area of lacquering. The move away from solvent-based lacquers to water-based suspensions has helped bring about a significant improvement in health and safety conditions and environmental impact.


Product-related environmental protection

1998 1996

2 volume flush


0 litre urinal

2 volume flush

AquaReduct 4.5 litre toilet

Innovation CeramicPlus

0 litre urinal

Villeroy & Boch, in cooperation with the company Geberit, is Europe’s first provider of a 2 volume flushing system. The two button actuator offers a flushing volume of either 3 or 6 litres. The product is a clear indicator of Villeroy & Boch’s responsible attitude to the use of natural resources.

With AquaReduct, Villeroy & Boch is one of the first providers of a 4.5 litre toilet as a permanent feature of the collection: an innovation that saves water and money – without compromising the power of the flush. Villeroy & Boch currently offers a comprehensive AquaReduct portfolio.

With CeramicPlus, Villeroy & Boch offers a completely new surface refinement system that has proven its worth millions of times to date. Care is made far easier, and the saving on detergents and water makes a great contribution to individual environmental protection.

Innovative Villeroy & Boch siphon technology for minimal water consumption: the Subway AquaZero 0 litre urinal project, in addition to financial savings, also requires a reduced servicing effort.

Product-related environmental protection

Because sustainability is in our nature The time bar shows the development of sanitaryware at Villeroy & Boch by way of selected examples. We are looking to consume ever fewer resources in production, while at the same time offering our customers products that save both energy and water.


0.8 litre siphon for urinals


3/4.5 litre Subway 2.0


Water-saving O.novo collection

0.8 litre siphon for urinals

3/4.5 litre Subway 2.0

2/3.5 litre Omnia Architectura GreenGain

Water-saving O.novo collection

Villeroy & Boch has redesigned the siphon for urinals, and in doing so has set new standards for saving water: at just 0.8 litres of water per flush cycle, the new urinals are far more economical, and thus environmentally friendly, than conventional siphons that consume a flush volume of between 2 and 3 litres.

The new design of the wall-mounted Subway toilets has also optimised the inside of the toilet: the result is Subway 2.0, with a 3/4.5 litre AquaReduct â&#x20AC;&#x201C; with an optimised flushing performance. The new innovation makes the Villeroy & Boch portfolio of AquaReduct toilets one of the widest-ranging on the market.

The GreenGain toilet from the Omnia Architectura collection is revolutionising water consumption. Thanks to a new type of water distribution system with three infeeds, this toilet needs just 3.5 litres per flush cycle with excellent flush performance. With the additional economy button, consumption can be reduced further still to just 2 litres.

With the O.novo collection, Villeroy & Boch is offering a water-saving for projects of every size. The comprehensive range of toilets consists almost exclusively of water-saving models with AquaReduct technology (3/4.5 litre flushing)



Product-related environmental protection

Chrome free production of taps In addition to its bathroom series, Villeroy & Boch offers an extensive range of taps in a superb design. A highly innovative range of eco-friendly products is made at the Vargarda plant in Sweden, a leading supplier of taps and fittings in Scandinavia. This producer has been part of the Villeroy & Boch group of companies since 2000. It distributes water- and energy-efficient fittings under the Gustavsberg brand, the “Col-

oric” range being a particular highlight. Its decisive advantage lies in the choice of material – aluminium – which makes the fittings lighter by two thirds, significantly reducing energy use, and thus emissions, for transport. A further advantage of using aluminium is that no environmentally harmful chrome at all is used during the entire production process. And finally, aluminium is a sought-after recycling material.

Product-related environmental protection

Drinking water – a precious commodity Other patented product innovations with a green impact from the Vargarda plant include innovative water- and energy-saving taps. A large number of product ranges are equipped with these solutions. When assembling such products, the water flow and/or water temperature can be regulated – according to the consumer’s requirements – via a pre-setting.

water are metered relatively low, but still at a pleasant level. However, if a greater quantity of water or a higher water temperature is required, the tap can be opened further by applying gentle pressure. As soon as the tap lever is released, the water volume or temperature is automatically regulated back to the pre-set volume.

This means that when the tap is being operated, it initially opens only as far as the pre-set opening point so that the quantity and temperature of the

Ultimately, this not only saves energy, but also increases comfort thanks to individual specification of a body-friendly water temperature.

Full flow ≈ 10° C

55° C

Comfort flow Off

≈ 43° C Comfort temperature

Water saving of up to 40% and energy saving of up to 50% compared with the two hand mixer Water saving

Energy saving Cold water


Hot water

200 1903





38 %


31 % 28 %




34 28

100 26 50

26 %


42 %


48 %

62 0

0 Standard

with eco effect

with eco effect and Low-flow head


with eco effect

with eco effect and Low-flow head

A study of consumption in 65 apartments in Göteburg, Sweden (117 residents) confirmed by the SP Swedish National Testing and Research Institute Energy Technology, System and Ventilation Technology



Applied research: environment and quality of life

Applied research: environment and quality of life Environmental awareness benefits not only nature and the environment, but also results in a greater quality of life for us and our children. This is one of the most important goals to which Villeroy & Boch is committed.

The path to achieving this goal is primarily via research and innovation, both of which have been important aspects of our corporate strategy for decades – even during the crisis. This is because progress on environmental issues goes hand in hand with strengthening competitiveness for an international ceramics producer. We have already outlined a number of important innovative achievements at various sites within the Group.

At its Mettlach plant in particular, Villeroy & Boch has been able to build on its research expertise. It was here, for example, that the energy-saving pressure casting technology was developed, which saw the conventional shaping of products using plaster moulds give way to pressure casting in resin moulds. The graphic on the right-hand side shows how energy consumption shifts, or is significantly reduced, when pressure casting technology is introduced.

Cross-sector research This example documents our production know-how and process optimisation that is orientated towards ecological sustainability. Since results combined with further research goals – external to Villeroy & Boch – can be made generally useful for ceramic

manufacturing processes, we have been working for a number of years with leading scientific institutes, academic institutions and enterprises to achieve progress in environmentrelated areas. In the following pages, the spotlight is on comprehensive research projects conducted by Villeroy & Boch over a number of years with the support of the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung).

Applied research: environment and quality of life â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Dry-Controll


Dry-Control New drying technology and process design for ceramic products This is based on the use of microwaves, an area that has already been researched but about which little is known in the minerals industry. Central to the project is the still energy-intensive drying of large ceramic parts such as toilets, the disadvantage of which is that, with some parts, due to small damp areas, cracks form in the firing process

Initial situation 100


Glazing 47 %

4% 18 %


3% 40 67 % 43 % 20

Special microwave sensory systems enable these damp areas to be detected and then selectively dried through targeted application of microwave radiation. The end result should be reduced scrappage of pieces.

Resource analysis of a toilet model Input

output Ceramic raw materials




which can lead to the pieces having to be scrapped. The objective of the project is to significantly increase the quality of products from the stone and earth industry by using targeted microwave drying and process-integrated, nondestructive testing methods, and thus bring about a marked improvement in raw material productivity.


43 kg

Loss: 7.9 kg Recycling: 12 kg

Glaze: 4.3 kg

Loss due to firing: 2 kg

Energy and water Gas: 170.43 KWh Electricity: 32.13 KWh

Emissions: CO2: 56 kg NOx: 103 mg/m3 HF: 2.7 mg/m3

Wasser: 364,2 l

Waste water: 159 l


Plaster casting

Pressure casting

Following essential changes and optimisation of processes, the focus is now on drying and the quality of semi-finished products.

The increase in process safety that the project aims to achieve will be obtained using robots. A fully automated robot system will detect damp areas and perform local microwave drying. This increases process safety and raw material productivity at the same time. The Mettlach site is expected to see a saving of 1,550 tonnes of ceramic raw materials worth several hundred thousand euros (15,000 MWh of energy) and some 2,200 tonnes of CO2 emissions



Applied research: environment and quality of life – OR-C-eram

OR-C-ERAM Electricity recovery from waste heat The aim of the project was to develop an integrated technology for energy and CO2 reduction. The low temperature utilisation of waste heat was to be applied for the first time in the ceramics industry with the ORC (Organic Rankine Cycle) procedure. Using the example of this project, both feasibility and efficiency were tested and demonstrated. This involves unused waste heat in the temperature range 220 – 260°C.

How does the ORC system work? The warm exhaust air from the cooling zone of a tunnel kiln is directed into the plant. In the ORC system’s direct evaporator, this waste heat helps vaporise an organic coolant and generate a pressure of around 25 bar. This steam drives a high-frequency generator coupled to a turbine. Electricity is generated, fed into the Villeroy & Boch network, and consumed.

From left to right: CFO Villeroy & Boch AG, Jörg Wahlers, Environment Minister of the German federal state of Saarland, Dr. Simone Peter, and Dr. Wolfgang Lust, Managing Director of ADATURB GmbH.

What is special about this ORC system? No other system in the world has a direct evaporator that operates in this performance range. Most ORC systems to date operate in a performance range far above 100 KW. This system was developed for a performance of 30 KW. When a test phase has been successfully completed, it is possible to transfer the findings gained from research and a pilot operation to other production facilities.

Even small energy savings produce both ecological and economic benefits. This means a significant reduction in CO2 of some 4,500 tonnes per year – equivalent to around 10% of the previous CO2 emissions. Apart from generating electricity, the heat produced by condensation of the coolant can also be used.

Applied research: environment and quality of life â&#x20AC;&#x201C; SIMSAN

SimSan Scientific findings as a basis for optimising the production of sanitaryware In sanitaryware production, energy efficiency and productivity have been increased significantly in the manufacture of geometrically complex articles. A key technology in this respect is moulding using the pressure casting method, which in turn imposes very high requirements of the quality of the ceramic raw materials used and of the slip produced. Fluctuations in the mineralogical composition, but also in the particle size distribution and the particle morphology of the natural raw materials used (such as with clays, kao-

lins and feldspars), can result in unstable processes and, consequently, to scrappage of intermediate and end products. The aim of the SimSan development project is to avoid the losses of energy and resources and the CO2 emissions associated with it. A further aim is to now manufacture models â&#x20AC;&#x201C; that could previously only be produced in plaster moulds â&#x20AC;&#x201C; using pressure casting based on recent innovations. This, in turn, would mean a considerable improvement in the energy efficiency of the production systems.

The raw materials and mineral surfaces are examined using the latest analysis techniques, including X-ray diffraction and electron microscopy. On this basis, and supported by computer simulations of flow behaviour, optimised raw material compounds and slips are then developed. These enable trouble-free, robust process management with a greatly reduced loss of raw materials. Implementation of this more environmentally friendly production method strengthens the position of Villeroy & Boch in terms of cost savings thanks to the reduced energy requirement and the associated reduction in the demand for CO2 certificates. Both economic and ecological benefits also come courtesy of savings in drinking water, raw materials, chemicals and landfill volumes.



Applied research: environment and quality of life – Komplett

KOMPLETT Development of a key technology for water circulation and material cycles Approximately 1.2 billion people do not have access to clean drinking water, while around 2.5 billion people have no access to sanitary facilities. An ever increasing number of regions around the world will suffer from water shortages and poor water quality in future. The provision of hygienically pure water will therefore become even more important in future, and will represent a major challenge facing the world’s industrial nations.

A project consortium, known as “KOMPLETT”, has set about addressing this task. The objective of this project, which is promoted by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung), is the “development and combination of innovative system components from materials processing, information technology and ceramics to create a sustainable key technology for water circulation and material cycles”. It is possible here to distinguish at local level between grey (for example shower) and black (toilet) water.

Both water flows are cleaned using newly developed procedures. The accumulated solids and urine material contained in the waste water are processed such that, depending on the initial conditions (countries, infrastructure, geological conditions, regional drinking water supply/facilities, prices etc.) and taking into consideration cost-effectiveness, it is possible to generate soil conditioners and/or energy. Depending on respective requirements, the water recovered is returned to the water circuit, for example to irrigate fields or to use as shower and bath water.

Applied research: environment and quality of life – Komplett

The application potential is very diverse, covering: Arid areas and areas with low precipitation l Regions with bottlenecks in the water supply l Remote regions l Areas with high drinking water prices (a low-cost alternative to energy-intensive seawater desali nation) l

The project’s high degree of innovation is based on two factors: firstly, all “potential recyclables” are actually recycled by taking the broader economic view. Secondly, the KOMPLETT system is largely independent of the supply and disposal infrastructure, which means that, for areas of the world that are dry and difficult to access, it represents an alternative to a central water supply and waste water disposal.

Part of this system includes watersaving systems and special sanitaryware developed by a research group at Villeroy & Boch. The sanitaryware features low water consumption and an antibacterial, sanitising effect.

The KOMPLETT project, which met with great acclaim at IFAT (the International Fair for Environmental Technologies) held in Munich, was concluded with a demonstration system in the German city of Oberhausen.



Documentation of our environmental activities

Documentation of our environmental activities

EMAS is the acronym for the Eco Management and Audit Scheme. EMAS was developed by the European Union; it is a Community 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 specific location. Two Villeroy & Boch production facilities have been validated in accordance with the EMAS Guidelines: Vargada (fittings) in Sweden

and Mettlach (sanitary factory) in Germany. The Torgau and Merzig sites in the tableware division are planning EMAS validation for 2012.


ISO 14001 ISO 14001 is an international environmental management standard which defines globally recognised requirements for an environmental management system. It focuses on a process of continuous improvement as a means to achieve the respective defined objective in relation to an organisation’s environmental performance (companies, service providers, authorities etc.). The continuous improvement process is based on the planning-executionmonitoring-optimisation method.

The following Villeroy & Boch sites have been ISO 14001-certified: l Mettlach (Germany) sanitary ware factory l Magyarország Rt (Hungary) sanitaryware factory l AB Gustavsberg (Sweden) sanitaryware factory l Nahm sanitaryware factory in Saraburi (Thailand) l AB Gustavsberg Vargarda (Sweden) fittings factory l Sanitaryware factory in Valence d’Agen (France) in November 2011

The Saar Environmental Pact is a voluntary agreement between Saarland’s state government and its economy to extend dialogue in the field of environ-

mental protection. Villeroy & Boch is party to the Saar environment pact, and operates proactively with various environmental projects.

The Torgau and Merzig sites in the tableware division are planning ISO 14001 certification for 2012.


Occupational safety and preventive health

Occupational safety and preventive health

An important part of our environmental strategy also concerns our employees’ immediate workplace. Health and safety – in both production and administration – are at the heart of our activities. Here too, Villeroy & Boch has a tradition that dates back to the early 19th century. We have systematically achieved continuous improvement in safety management at the production sites. In addition to the legally prescribed safety measures, occupational safety management focuses

on full prevention and a methodical raising of awareness of occupational safety among employees. Employees are actively included in the determination and avoidance of risks. The success of this is evident from the accident statistics. For example, the number of accidents resulting in non-productive time exceeding three days has been drastically reduced at the sanitary factory in Mettlach, where no accidents at all have been recorded in the last three and a half years.

Health days in Mettlach: training exercise in first aid measures


Health days in Mettlach: training on the ergometer campaign “Driving for a good cause”

As manufacturers of ceramic products, we are aware that emissions generated by the use of additives have an impact on both the environment and occupational safety. Therefore, for example, we have not used any lead compounds in the production of sanitaryware for more than 20 years. The lead oxide still used in the ceramics industry is no longer used at Villeroy & Boch.

Fitness – an engine in life and at work But health is more than just avoiding risks. It contributes to a general feel-good factor among employees – both at the workplace and in their leisure time. It is therefore a subject that Villeroy & Boch has focused on intensively. The first “health days” were held at the Mettlach site in 2010. All employees from production and management were invited to participate in the campaigns, including personal expert consultation. The aim was not only

to raise the level of awareness of health issues, but also, more importantly, to communicate methods for remaining fit and healthy at a practical level. The extensive services provided ranged from medical checkups, massage and back screening through to workplace ergonomics, first aid measures, a driving simulator and an explanation of defibrillators for life-saving measures.

Children on the farm in Saarlouis interacting with animals – their favourite playmates

These health days were an enormous success, with over 450 employees taking part. As a result, these campaigns were conducted at a further six sites in 2011, with each programme tailored to requirements. In Mettlach, the health days were held in conjunction with a small competition. The person recording the highest speed on the bicycle ergometer was rewarded with their amount in euros. The total amount raised by Villeroy & Boch was used for a children’s farm in Saarlouis, where young children can learn about nature – particularly animals – and therefore ultimately learn to respect the environment through play.



Definitions Waste:

All mobile objects that the owner wants to (or must) dispose of.

Waste water:

Water whose composition has been changed through domestic, commercial, industrial, agricultural or other use and that often contains harmful substances.


Absorbable, organic-bound halogens. Standard measurement for the pollution of a body of water or waste water with extractable halogen compounds.

Process water:

Water that is not of drinking water quality, but may be used for industrial and commercial purposes.


Carbon dioxide; the main emission from thermal processes (in ceramic manufacture principally in the firing process).

COD (Chemical oxygen demand):

Standard measurement for the quality of a body of water or waste water. COD covers the oxygen volume required to break down persistent organic substances.


EMAS is the acronym for the Eco Management and Audit Scheme. EMAS was developed by the European Union; it is a Community scheme comprising environmental management and environmental auditing for organisations that wish to improve their environmental performance.


The air pollutants, noises, vibrations, light, heat, rays and similar environmental impacts generated by a plant.


Research and development.

Fresh water:

Spring, well and drinking water.

ISO 14001:

ISO 14001 is an international environmental management standard that defines globally recognised requirements for an environmental management system.


Storage of ceramic slip to improve rheological properties.

Environmental Product Design:

Product development in which all economically, ecologically and technically realisable methods are considered in order to minimise the environmental impacts that arise over the life cycle.

Environmental Process Design:

Production process in which all economically, ecologically and technically realisable methods are considered in order to minimise the environmental impacts.

REACH: Rheological properties: Pollutant:

Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals. A European Union regulation. Deformation and flow behaviour of ceramic slips or suspensions. Substance that has been generated by human activity, is released into the environment, and harms it.

Environmental impact:

All changes to the environment â&#x20AC;&#x201C; whether of a positive or negative nature â&#x20AC;&#x201C; that are the result, in full or in part, of a human or operational action.

Environmental index:

Environmental data that focuses on a manageable number of meaningful key pieces of information. It enables the formulation of quantified environmental targets.

Saar Environmental Pact:

The Saar Environmental Pact is a voluntary agreement between Saarlandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s state government and its economy to extend dialogue in environmental protection.

Environmental policy:

Environment related targets and operational principles of a company, including all relevant environmental regulations.

Environmental targets:

Specific, time-delimited company targets for operational environmental protection.


Imprint: Villeroy & Boch AG Environment/Safety/Research PO Box 1120 66688 Mettlach, Germany Telephone: +49 (0)6864 81 1332 E-mail: Web site: Facebook: Twitter:


Villeroy & Boch AG SaaruferstraĂ&#x;e 66693 Mettlach Germany Web site:

Villeroy & Boch Environmental Responsibility  

Villeroy & Boch Environmental Responsibility

Villeroy & Boch Environmental Responsibility  

Villeroy & Boch Environmental Responsibility