Sustainability
Thinking ahead. Sustainability at Solarlux

As a DIN EN ISO 14001 certified company, we are constantly improving our sustainability performance, and are always on the lookout for ways of reducing our impact on the environment. At Solarlux, we recognise that sustainability is an ongoing process.

Our company headquarters, the Solarlux Campus in Melle, north-west Germany, is in itself a statement in terms of sustainability. This is was recognised in 2019, when it won the Osnabrück Regional Conservation Fund’s Environmental Award.

Sustainable processes are of the utmost importance to us at Solarlux, which is why our in-house wood production facility uses FSC® and PEFC-certified woods. In addition to this, our aluminium production plant is powered using hydro-electric energy (aluminium profiles), and we are a member of the A.U.F., a German association focused on the responsible recycling of aluminium.

Sustainability on the Solarlux campus

Solarlux Campus
Embodying corporate culture

What might future-proof commercial architecture look like? What kind of work environment do the employees feel comfortable in? How do we want to communicate? How can we help to conserve resources? What simple techniques can we employ to make use of the sun, heat, cool and the properties of our materials? And how can we design the building and the surrounding premises in a way that also benefits visitors? Even before construction began, Solarlux was considering fundamental questions about how an industrial building could be made modern and future-proof.

Nachhaltigkeit auf dem Solarlux Campus
Geothermal energy

The entire campus is more sailboat than motorboat, making gentle use of the forces of nature. Despite being well concealed, the building and energy technology is at the heart of the concept. One of the most important pillars of the design in terms of energy supply is its use of geothermal energy. This technology is built around a field of 80 geothermal probes extending 80 metres into the ground. These conduct the higher temperatures found deep inside the Earth up to the surface via a heat transfer fluid – in this case, simply water.  A heat pump is then used to channel this energy – around 300 kilowatts – into the facility’s heating system, where it can be used for heating in winter and cooling in summer. This helps us save significantly on energy costs, and also benefits the environment.

Nachhaltigkeit Betonkernaktivierung
Concrete core activation
Nachhaltigkeit Photovoltaik
Rooftop photovoltaics system

Turning sunlight into electricity with photovoltaics – the approx. 3,800 m² photovoltaic system on our roofs is also an important part of our energy supply concept. The sunlight captured by the system is used to generate electricity which flows into our on-site power grid. Once this is full, the rest goes into the public grid. The system has reduced our CO² emissions by approx. 415,000 kg per year. What could be more appropriate for a company whose name means “sunlight”?

Nachhaltigkeit grüner Außenbereich
The green outdoors

Most of the interconnected outside area on the Solarlux Campus is made up of spacious patios and terraces. These are home to a wide variety of native plants, with a total of 520 trees, 4,800 square metres of shrubbery, and 4,600 square metres of green ground cover on the site in total. Instead of traditional lawns, we have opted for wildflower meadows that provide an important source of nutrition for bumblebees, butterflies and honey bees. This has even led one beekeeper to set up their beehives on the campus. The site is also the perfect habitat for larger animals, such as hares, storks, ducks and cats.

Nachhaltigkeit Dachbegrünung
Roof greening

Ein Großteil der Dächer des Solarlux Firmengebäudes sind großflächig begrünt und bilden nur eine optische Bereicherung für die sichtbaren Dachflächen. Begrünte Dächer schützen die Dachhaut und wirken schall- und wärmedämmend, bei Starkregen entlasten sie zudem die Kanalisation. Durch Verdunstung und Regenrückhaltung sowie Bindung von Schall und Luftschadstoffen beeinflussen sie das Mikroklima der Umgebung positiv und sind Ersatzlebensraum für Pflanzen und kleine Tiere.

Sustainable production and materials

Nachhaltigkeit Prozesswärmenutzung
Utilising process heat

Solarlux’s Melle facility is the first to include an in-house powder coating plant for aluminium profiles. Due to the constant high temperatures required, the coating process is highly energy-intensive, which means it generates a lot of heat. But while conventional powder coating facilities would let this heat go to waste, Solarlux recycles it. A portion of the heat generated during powder coating is channelled back into the coating system, thus reducing its power consumption. Another portion helps to heat the site’s large production halls, almost completely eliminating the need for any additional heating energy, particularly in the autumn and spring.

Certificates

 

ISO 14001 environmental certification

Here at Solarlux, sustainable production and work processes are our top priority. Solarlux has introduced an environmental management system in its Development, Design, Production, Installation and Sales departments in accordance with the requirements of DIN EN ISO 14001:2015. Our certificate from Kiwa International Cert GmbH is proof that we comply with these requirements.

 

A.U.F.

The A|U|F is an association of German companies whose aim is to promote the sustainable disposal and treatment of dismantled aluminium building components/profiles, windows, doors and facades so that the material can be recycled. In addition to this, the association also promotes the collection, treatment and re-use of profile scrap and chips generated during production.  The A|U|F promotes sustainability and environmental awareness, and helps to ensure that aluminium scrap generated during production and elements that are dismantled are fed back into the aluminium cycle for re-use. Examples of such material include both old aluminium windows and newer products.

 

PEFC

Forest conservation is environmental awareness in action. PEFC strives to preserve our forests and their natural equilibrium. By obtaining PEFC certification, companies demonstrate their dedication to the environment and their drive to handle wood – one of our most essential raw materials – responsibly. PEFC follows a comprehensive and integrative sustainability concept that incorporates ecological, social and economical factors. In addition to this, PEFC is also a guarantee of a controlled processing chain that is independently monitored, completely traceable and sustainable – from our certified forest to woodworking facilities to the end product on your shelves.

 

FSC

The aim of the FSC® is to establish global standards for economically, ecologically and socially sustainable forestry. To this end, it has drawn up ten principles as a benchmark for forest cultivation that can be applied to every inch of forest land on the planet. The FSC® seal of quality guarantee that every step of the process involved in making a product (planting, logging, processing, transport, sales) has been checked in line with FSC® requirements. The FSC® logo signals to the consumer that the wood product they are looking at has been made using wood from sustainable forests and in accordance with the internationally recognised FSC® guidelines. The aim of this scheme is to actively increase the demand for environmentally and socially sustainable wood.