Verl, April 2022. heroal – Johann Henkenjohann GmbH & Co. KG is making a holistic contribution to a sustainable future. Social responsibility, environmental protection and the development and manufacture of circular systems are among the most important issues in making this contribution. By achieving the Cradle to Cradle Certified® product certification at Silver level, heroal has received an internationally recognised proof of its use of environmentally safe, healthy and recyclable materials in its aluminium system solutions.
heroal receives international certification for sustainable, circular products
heroal aluminium system solutions, such as window, door and curtain wall systems, are very important not only for sustainable building, but also for the architectural character of a building shell. Due to their outstanding durability, they 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, in order to use them in the manufacture of new products. Cradle to Cradle Certified® attests the sustainability of products throughout their entire product life cycle in a holistic way. Among other aspects, this internationally recognised certification looks at the safe and potentially endless circulation of materials in cycles, and serves as a record in many green building rating systems, such as LEED or WELL. A total of 36 heroal systems from the range of windows, doors, curtain walls, lifting-sliding doors and fire protection elements have now been awarded this certification.
Cradle to Cradle Certified® Product Standard and heroal’s results
The Cradle to Cradle Certified® Product Standard assesses materials and manufacturing processes across five categories. The certification decision is made by the independent Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute. There are four achievement levels for each category, ranging from ‘Bronze’ to ‘Platinum’.
First, the circularity of the products is assessed in order to evaluate the materials used. Since heroal systems can be recycled, consist of a high percentage of secondary raw materials, and have a high potential of being returned and reused, heroal has scored ‘Gold’ in this category.
Then, the 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. In this category, heroal scored ‘Silver’ (for window, door, curtain wall, sliding door and lifting-sliding door systems) and ‘Bronze’ (for fire protection doors and curtain walls). heroal aims to continuously improve these Cradle to Cradle Certified® levels achieved. To this end heroal is working together with its suppliers of coating powder for its powder coating facilities: once a powder has been developed that can be ideally returned to the cycle of recyclable resources, a higher achievement level can be attained.
As part of the certification assessment, the processes used in the manufacture of heroal systems are also evaluated. With regard to the use of renewable energies, heroal once again achieves the ‘Gold’ level, as, for example, energy from its own combined heat and power plant and electricity from 100 % hydroelectric power are used in its production. Unavoidable emissions are offset with emission certificates, compensating the emissions by supporting internationally recognised climate protection projects. For example, heroal has a partnership with ClimatePartner, supporting the Zambesi REDD+ forest conversation project in Zambia. This project promotes the reduction of degradation and deforestation as well as the preservation of biodiversity by supporting local communities to improve local living conditions, e.g. through a better access to education and medicine, or the creation of jobs.
Another category of the evaluation process is responsible water management. For this heroal has achieved ‘Silver’. Thanks to its own water treatment plant, heroal has an exemplary system for treating the water needed in the production process. However, as chemicals are currently used in the pre-treatment of the aluminium profiles, heroal has been awarded a ‘Silver’ rating. Once again heroal is striving to improve the process in order to achieve at least the ‘Gold’ level at the next certification review in two years.
Finally, the Cradle to Cradle Certified® Product Standard also looks at compliance with social standards, in order to respect human rights and the integrity of natural systems. In addition to compliance within the company itself, the supply chain is also taken into account. heroal has also achieved the ‘Gold’ level in this category.
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.“