Environment, energy and construction
The fourth of six fields of activity with regard to corporate responsibility
Environmental protection, energy management and sustainable construction are closely linked with one another. Because besides treating the environment with care, the economic and efficient use of energy in the face of advancing climate change is a key task of the current era. At Festo, the energy management system and the overall ecological objective go hand in hand.
Innovation meets sustainability: The AutomationCenter in Esslingen
A skyscraper that makes an exclamation mark and enables top performances day after day: with the AutomationCenter, an outstanding building has been developed – one whose architecture communicates company values such as responsibility and vision. But more than that, the AutomationCenter is also a clear commitment by Festo to Germany and the region.
From the very start, the AutomationCenter was linked with the aim of setting a milestone – both in an architectural respect and with a sustainable energy concept. The perfect coordination of different technologies enables a maximum level of energy efficiency to be achieved, with no need at all for fossil fuels.
Platinum certificate from the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB)
The award attests that the Automation Centre reaches the highest building technology standards – the centre is based on a comprehensive construction concept with ecological, procedural and sociocultural aspects. The award covers aspects such as energy efficiency, workplace layout and the latest high-technology standards. Critical for the award by the DGNB is largely the sustainable design of the Automation Centre. What was impressive here, for example, was the 8,500-square-metre glass facade, which is designed as ventilated facade and thus achieves energy savings of up to 35 per cent. In addition, an ice storage system with a volume of 1,300 cubic metres regulates the building temperature all year round.
Evidence of the use of the latest technology is the fully automated building management system, which covers all areas of the technical infrastructure – from the heating and ventilation technology and electrical installations through to lighting and shading aspects and a comprehensive safety and energy management system. The fully automated air conditioning concept ensures energy efficiency on the one hand and also provides the employees with optimal comfort in the workplace on the other.
In addition to its functional aspects, the Automation Centre also features impressive architecture: in October 2018, the building received the Beispielhaftes Bauen (‘exemplary building’) award from the Baden-Württemberg chamber of architects. This makes clear that, with its unique appearance, the building also enriches the cityscape of Esslingen am Neckar.
Sustainable construction: the Scharnhausen Technology Plant
Sustainable concepts, which promote productivity and creativity, start at the building planning stage. With the Scharnhausen Technology Plant, Festo not only sets standards in terms of energy efficiency, but also uses a holistic concept to achieve the utmost that factory buildings can do these days for people, technology and the environment.
Award-winning – built sustainably
For Festo, sustainable construction means paying equal attention to the needs of people and the environment and implementing this in both energy-efficient and future-oriented buildings. Besides groundbreaking energy, light, waste and training concepts, particularly low-pollutant construction materials are used in the buildings. By using areas that had already been built on, we were able to avoid a further land sealing process. A high percentage of the materials from the previous demolition were reused for construction. An external accolade was also awarded for this: the plant completed in 2015 received the platinum certificate from the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB), the highest award for sustainable construction.
Overall ecological objective: an outlook for 2020
With the overall ecological objective, which goes up to 2020, Festo is setting out the relevant ecological fields of activity and specifying targets. The spectrum covers operational environmental protection at the individual sites, the issues of energy, CO2 and resources plus the supply chain.
Global and local environmental management
A high level of environmental awareness among our employees is a prerequisite at all locations for conserving resources. In our other plants and national companies too, environmental protection is a major factor. For example, our locations in Hungary, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, China, India and Brazil are always organising environmental days and competitions and increasing awareness among their employees. The tree-planting initiative in the Indian national Festo company is one of many environmental measures worldwide.
Energy management world-wide
In 2013 an interdisciplinary team composed of production, research, development, purchasing and facility management introduced an energy management system. By 2020 the team wants to reduce the energy-related CO2 emissions at Festo AG & Co. KG by 20 per cent.
Transparency at all levels
In the large production plants we have set ourselves energy targets and established energy teams and standardised energy management procedures. We have also set up a comprehensive and intelligent measurement infrastructure. More than 1,500 energy meters are used these days at nine locations for electricity, heating, refrigeration, compressed air and gas as well as a joint software platform. These allow us to identify in real time how efficiently our facilities are working.