It’s time to build a better future

At ROCKWOOL Group, we believe that by decarbonising our business and value chain, we can reinforce the fact that we’re a net carbon negative company. That’s why 2020 saw us join a group of pioneering companies committed to the SBTi.

To meet the Paris Climate Agreement’s goal of keeping the temperature rise well below 2°C, we need to act now. There is no quick fix in the fight against climate change. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a team effort, with governments, companies and citizens all doing their part. A lot has been achieved up until now, but there is a long way to go and we need to speed up the process. Even companies who are in the energy saving business must do more.

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ROCKWOOL decarbonisation, It's time, globe

Net carbon negative in a ratio of 100:1

ROCKWOOL is a net carbon negative company with our stone wool insulation saving 100 times the energy consumed and CO2 emitted in its production. Our other stone wool products support sustainable modern living within water management, sound insulation, building aesthetics, and horticultural growing solutions for professional greenhouse growers. Stone wool is circular by nature and can be fully recycled indefinitely with no loss of performance. Still, it takes energy to save energy, and we are committed to do more.

ROCKWOOL Group Sustainability Report 2020, 1:100 ratio, saving energy

Taking energy saving further with SBTi

ROCKWOOL has signed up to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and committed to a verified and approved plan for an ambitious one-third reduction of our lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by 2034, using 2019 as the baseline. This includes reducing our factories’ absolute emissions by 38 percent and our non-factory absolute lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent. The SBTi is a partnership among CDP, United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute, and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), and has been created to drive ambitious climate action in the private sector by mobilising companies to set science-based reduction targets.

ROCKWOOL decarbonisation infographics

Saving energy, slashing emissions

According to the Paris Climate Agreement, 42 percent of the carbon emission reductions should come from energy efficiency. For decades, ROCKWOOL has focused on energy efficiency in our factories, and this continues to be our main priority. After all, the best kind of energy reduction is energy that is not used. In 2020, there was a decrease in sales, which is also reflected in ROCKWOOL’s product impact metrics. However, we will save an impressive 874 TWh (terawatt hour) of energy in the lifetime of building insulation sold and a whopping 3,572 TWh in the lifetime of technical insulation sold.

Factory, City, Plants, Trees, Pollution, Emissions

Investing in innovation

Reduction of our factories’ direct emissions is a key focus of our technological innovation. That is why we’re pioneering large scale electric melting technology, well suited for countries where the electricity grid is already low carbon. In Norway, we’ve chosen our factory in Moss to be the pilot project for what is the industry’s largest electric melter. This will reduce the Moss factory’s carbon emissions by approximately 80 percent.

For years, ROCKWOOL has also made substantial investments in developing fuel-flexible melting technology. Now we’re reaping the benefits, as this technology allows us to transition from coal and coke to less carbon-intensive fuels in the facilities where it is used. Our two Danish factories are shining examples of this. The shift to natural gas in 2020 and to biogas in 2021 means that we’re able to reduce our absolute carbon emissions in Denmark by 70 percent as soon as 2021.

2021 will also see the conversion of one of our factories in Poland to natural gas, and operations at our newest facility under construction in the United States will start up using natural gas instead of coal. But this is just the exciting beginning. As we learn and further develop these new technologies, we plan to convert additional factories over the coming years.

Getting the proportions right

Through our insulation products we have truly significant positive impact on the climate change:  

  • Our building insulation sold in 2020 will save 874 terawatt-hours of heating energy during its lifetime and as a result save 186 million tonnes of CO2 This is equivalent to 100 times the carbon emitted in its production.
  • Our building insulation saves more than 60 times the PM emissions related to the production of ROCKWOOL insulation during the 50 years average lifetime of a building.
  • Our technical insulation sold in 2020 will save more than 3,500 terawatt-hours heating energy during its lifetime and as a result save one billion tonnes of CO2.

We are committed going forward to minimizing our own carbon emissions in production and maximizing the saved energy and carbon through the use of our products. 

How is the saving calculated?

To assess the energy, carbon and air emission savings from the usage of sold ROCKWOOL insulation products, there is a need for a robust and transparent calculation methodology. Therefore, ROCKWOOL asked Navigant to develop a methodology to calculate the energy and CO2 emission savings of its building and technical insulation as well as the SO2, NOx, and particulate matter (PM) savings for building insulation. Navigant developed the methodologies independently of ROCKWOOL and endorses that the annual savings calculated by ROCKWOOL correctly follow these methodologies.

The CO2 and other air emissions emitted during production of ROCKWOOL products have been calculated by ROCKWOOL.