Sustainability along the entire product life cycle
heroal aluminium system solutions are important not only for sustainable building, but also for the architectural character of a building shell. The way we design and create buildings today is essential for the way we will work and live in the future. heroal systems for windows, doors or curtain walls remain in a building for decades until they are finally recycled, if possible without any loss of quality. The discarded items are returned to the cycle of recyclable resources.
Cradle to cradle
The idea behind “Cradle to Cradle“ is the circularity of products and materials. This approach goes beyond the simple concept of recycling and includes the entire process from the manufacture of a product through the utilisation phase to dismantling and reprocessing. A distinction is made between consumer nondurables that are 100 % biodegradable and consumer durables that are preserved without loss of quality and completely recyclable, such as the aluminium used by heroal. To achieve this, the use of non-hazardous ingredients is just as important as the ability to separate products into their individual components.
Cradle to Cradle Certified®
The certification Cradle to Cradle Certified® identifies circular and responsibly manufactured products as well as the use of environmentally safe, healthy and recyclable materials. The positive impact of heroal systems on people and the environment can be proven along the entire value chain. Together with suppliers, planners, architects, fabricators and builders, we are thus making a holistic contribution to a sustainable future. Achieving the UN climate goals is essential to us, and we make our efforts to this end measurable.
What’s so special about the Cradle o Cradle (C2C) certification?
Cradle to Cradle Certified® is internationally recognised and serves as a record in many green building rating systems, such as LEED or WELL.
Cradle to Cradle Certified® attests the sustainability of products and systems throughout their entire product life cycle in a holistic way.
Products and buildings following the “cradle to cradle“ approach meet tomorrow’s standards today.
Material health is assessed in order to guarantee that the materials used are safe for humans and the environment. This assessment does not only look at the product itself, but also at the entire supply chain. At present, heroal has scored ‘Silver’ for window, door, curtain wall, sliding door and lifting-sliding door systems, and ‘Bronze’ for fire protection doors and curtain walls. Together with our suppliers, we aim to achieve a higher Cradle to Cradle Certified® level in the future.
The circularity of a product describes the potential of the materials used to be used again. The durable and recyclable aluminium systems from heroal meet all criteria and have scored ‘Gold‘ in this category. In the production of our profiles, we use up to 85 % recycled aluminium, which is 100 % recyclable.
Renewable Engergy & Carbon Management
The goal is to use renewable energies in order to reduce emissions and actively protect the environment and our climate. In this category, heroal once again has scored ‘Gold‘. In the production of our aluminium systems, we use energy from our own combined heat and power plant, and electricity from 100 % hydroelectric power, for example. Unavoidable emissions are offset with emission certificates, compensating the emissions by supporting internationally recognised climate protection projects.
The responsible water management includes the protection of clean water and healthy soils. In this category, heroal has achieved ‘Silver’. The use of heroal’s own water treatment plant already represents best practice. heroal is striving to improve additional processes in order to achieve at least the ‘Gold’ level at the next certification.
Social fairness means respecting human rights and contributing to a sustainable, fair and equitable society. In addition to compliance within the company itself, the supply chain is also taken into account. heroal has achieved the ‘Gold’ level in this category. As a family business geared to the future, we are aware of our social responsibility. We think long-term and stand for a respectful co-operation.
Silver for heroal
Overall, heroal has scored the Cradle to Cradle Certified® ‘Silver’ level, which makes it one of the leading companies in the industry. Michael Heidenfelder, Head of Development Window, Door and Curtain Wall Systems, explains the significance of this certification for the company:
“We have a great responsibility towards today’s and future generations, and see the certification as an incentive to become even better. We are constantly looking for new ways to enable us to optimise the footprint our system solutions leave behind because of their manufacture and decades of use. In doing so, we do not focus on individual factors, such as CO2 emissions, but look at our products in a holistic way – just as the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute does. This is our way of making an active contribution to sustainable building.“
As opposed to building or company certificates, the C2C-certification relates to a specific product and certifies compliance with certain standards based on the five assessment criteria of material health, product circularity, clean air and climate protection, water and soil stewardship, and social fairness. In contrast to the EPD (Environmental Product Declaration), which contains information on environmental impacts without a rating and can be issued for any building product, a C2C certification is only issued for products meeting the high requirements. This certification serves as a record in many green building rating systems, such as LEED, WELL, BREEAM or DGNB. The C2C certificate also proves that pollution emission limits are met during assembly, use and disassembly, and serves as a record in bids with sustainability requirements. It is an independent confirmation of the quality of a product, attesting the use of sustainable materials and products.
The certificate is issued by the independent Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute based in San Francisco and Amsterdam. A C2C certificate is only issued if all requirements are met. To prove this, all evidence and measurement results need to be professionally documented. After two years, a new certification (re-certification) is required. If any substances are discovered that do not meet the strict requirements, they can be replaced. Thus, the process of product optimisation plays an important role in C2C certification, with the main objective to make a sustainable contribution to environmental protection and the well-being of people and nature through circular economy and the use of safe materials and innovative products. The Standards Steering Committee (SSC), a committee of experts from various stakeholders, continuously revises and updates the standards.
Certificates are awarded in four achievement levels: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. They are always valid for two years. This way, companies can have the quality of their products regularly confirmed, or prove their progress through a higher classification.
The heroal promise
When it comes to how we live and work, the most important thing is having choices. heroal knows that. As a family-run company with more than 140 years of experience, we believe that when it comes to quality, there are no compromises. That is why our products give you a way to create ideal solutions for nearly any requirement. As a technology leader, we believe that quality means more efficiency, more reliability and more performance – solutions that are "SIMPLY. BETTER."