Celebration of success


Our manufacturing output has increased dramatically since 2010, but despite this growth we continue to significantly reduce our environmental impact per cubic metre of product.

Despite our production output increasing to record levels in the past decade, we have continued to achieve major success in terms of reducing our environmental impact per cubic metre of product.

Since our 2010 baseline year we have seen our energy consumption fall by 22.7%, our energy-related emissions cut by 23.2% and our waste to landfill reduced by 67.3%.

Our water use has been cut by 39.8% in the same period, and our water discharge is down by 80.7%. Even more significantly we have seen our Lost Time Accident rate fall by 56.5%.

Key 2020 targets such as cutting emissions and energy use by 20% and reducing our accident rate by 50% were all achieved at least three years ahead of deadline.

In 2019 our SOx emissions increased by 4.6% compared to 2010. This was due to the larger volumes of recycled material we have been using as production has increased. SOx is emitted from processing recycled material such as briquetted Rock Mineral Wool or recycling used glass. 

We are also unlikely to reach the 2020 zero waste to landfill target we set ourselves in 2010. However, we are continuously improving — as well as exploring — an exciting new range of recycling initiatives for all our solutions in addition to helping customers tackle their own waste challenges.

Philippe Coune, our Group HSE Lead EMEA, on continuous improvements:

"Thanks to continuous improvement we have achieved significant reductions. Sustainability success runs parallel to production success."



Lost Time Accidents reduced by 56.5% since 2010 2019 accidents down by 4.5% compared to 2018. We achieved our 2020 goal to reduce Lost Time Accidents (LTA) by 50% compared to 2010 three years ahead of schedule in 2017.

Case in point: In June 2020 we achieved one hundred days without a Lost Time Accident companywide. This reflects initiatives that have contributed to our safety such as increased safety dialogues, HSE behaviour frameworks, hazard spotting tours, LTA monthly calls, safety audits, ISO audits and Root Cause Analysis among many others.


Energy use reduced by 22.7% and related emissions by 23.2% since 2010. Energy cut by 1.4% and emissions cut by 1.5% in 2019 compared to 2018. We have achieved significant success in terms of energy efficiency and emissions. The next stage will require new technology and process changes.

Case in point: Our St Helens and Cwmbran sites in the UK saved 5,000 tonnes of carbon a year following an energy improvement programme with partner Siemens.


Water use is down by 39.8% and water discharge down by 80.7% since 2010. Water use was down by 15.3% and discharge down by 5.3% in 2019 compared to 2018. Our year-on-year water use decrease is a result of reusing more water in our closed-loop processes. With water discharge, we achieved our 50% reduction target in 2012, eight years ahead of deadline.

Case in point: Our new plant in Malaysia will have a system to utilise tropical rain water.


Waste to landfill has been cut by 67.3% since 2010. However, waste went up 1.1% in 2019 compared to 2018. We are plateauing in terms of waste to landfill. To improve we are developing new recycling projects.

Case in point: In addition to internal projects we are helping customers tackle their waste challenges. In Germany, for example, we have launched a scheme which takes back our scrap Mineral Wool from construction sites and recycles it. For Rock Mineral Wool the residue is transformed into ‘recycling bricks’ which can be used in our production, while Glass Mineral Wool scrap is being converted into ceiling tiles.

SOx and NOx

SOx up by 4.6% and NOx down by 42.7% since 2010. SOx was up by 4.4% and NOx up 4.5% in 2019 compared to 2018. SOx is produced when we convert scrap off-cuts of Rock Mineral Wool into ‘recycling bricks’ that we can reuse as raw material, when we recycle ’slag’ from the steel industry and when we process cullet from recycled glass for our Glass Mineral Wool. We are committed to send zero waste to landfill while reducing SOx. To achieve this we are improving our recycled raw material collection and the efficiency of our technology.

Case in point: Our NOx and SOx emissions are well below required levels of regulation.

Compared to our 2010 baseline year we have seen our energy consumption and CO2 emissions fall by 23% by 2019.
Philippe Coune, Group HSE Lead EMEA

These figures relate to Knauf Insulation, part of the Knauf Group, and are based on the data from 2019 and activities from 2019 and 2020. For accuracy we may amend previous figures. 




Read our Annual Review 2020!