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Operational environmental protection

Generally

Environmental protection is regarded an important topic at PAPUREX since many years. Managing Director Rudolf Biebl already set the goal of a CO2-neutral production until 2025 in PAPUREX’s most recent environmental declaration. Last week, another big step towards this goal was taken: Additional to the photovoltaic system on the roof of the office building, which is already operating for several years, a new, larger, and more powerful system recently got assembled on top of the production building. Initially, the commissioning was planned for May 2021, but the generally bad raw material supply situation delayed the project by multiple months.

Green Power – no novelty at PAPUREX

PAPUREX has exclusively purchased green electricity from the provider Lichtblick for 18 years already and hereby saved many tons of CO2 compared with the usage of a conventional electricity mix. In the case of Lichtblick, the term green power refers to electricity that gets generated to 100% out of renewable energies. However, according to a report by the German Verbraucherzentrale (translated consumer center), especially in Germany, it seems sensible to change to self-generated electricity. 

Photovoltaic – important part of operational environmental protection

Another advantage of the new photovoltaic system is the positive influence on the electrification of the PAPUREX company fleet. As nowadays sufficiently known, the environmental friendliness of electric vehicles (EV) largely depends on the energy mix used to recharge during its life cycle. A study by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), which also contributed to the clarification of the Diesel Scandal back in 2015, attests EVs up to 81% less CO2 emissions than a comparable combustion-powered car over the whole life cycle. It is noteworthy that this includes battery production, which is often outlawed as a criterion for exclusion by electromobility critics due to its high greenhouse gas emissions. Nevertheless, the words “up to” already tell that this effect vanishes to a large degree if the energy generated by CO2-intense methods is used to charge the EV (to the study by the ICCT). Thus, the synergy between changing to electromobility and installing the new photovoltaic system is of great importance.

Planned usage of the solar energy

Due to this fact, the additionally generated energy is planned to fuel the electrified company vehicles to a large extend. Thereby, the maximum advantage in terms of environmental friendliness comes into play. Excess electricity will get used to making the manufacturing of our polyurethane tubing even more environmentally friendly. In case that there are no cars to charge and no tubes to produce, the energy surplus gets fed into the public power grid. According to a study of the Fraunhofer Institute on photovoltaic, this is not as profitable as it used to be from an economic perspective. However, the process contributes to improving the public energy mix on the journey to more renewable energy.

More on the topic of operational environmental protection at PAPUREX