Vorwerk Sustainability

Not mere strategy, but a lasting commitment.

Vorwerk’s path to a greener future began back in the 1990s

Green is the colour at Vorwerk flooring, from the company logo to its products and production processes. As our high quality requirements had been linked to high consumption of raw materials and energy, this led us to reconsider our entire production process at a very early stage. Back in the early 1990s, we began making ourselves a more sustainable company right along the value chain. At Vorwerk, we’re well aware of our responsibilities with regard to our customers, employees and our Hamelin site – which is why we’ve introduced a series of new measures covering environmental protection, efficient use of resources, energy-saving production methods and social responsibility.

Sustainability right along the value chain

The sustainability concept is deeply rooted in the history of Vorwerk flooring. We target sustainability along our entire carpet production chain, which has itself undergone a series of upgrades over the years.

We procure raw materials locally where we can in order to reduce transportation to a minimum. The subsequent production processes are designed to conserve resources as far as possible, with excess and old materials being recycled. We have even operated our own recycling facility since the early 1990s, enabling us to reprocess up to 300 tons of carpet residue per year and reuse this in production.

Reusing recycled material: establishing a closed loop

Our use of recycled material from in-house production makes a valuable contribution to sustainability, equating to approximately 17 truckloads of adhesive per year. Not only does this process significantly reduce the consumption of adhesive, it also helps conserve raw materials that no longer need to be procured by the company or ultimately disposed of as waste. A win-win outcome for the environment.

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For the (green) future: the path to sustainable production

At Vorwerk flooring, we consider it our obligation as a premium German manufacturer to develop our future products almost entirely from recycled material. They must also be suitable for repeated reuse as closed-loop products and generate a minimal amount of new waste. Vorwerk flooring will do all this in as carbon-neutral a manner as possible. Alongside this ecological component, social and economic aspects also underpin the holistic approach adopted by Vorwerk flooring. Our commitment to good causes, such as the international charity SOS Kinderdorf, as well as family and health management measures for our own employees are expressions of the social responsibility that our company bears every day.

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Vorwerk flooring takes action. Our 5-point plan for the future

1. Implementing offsetting measures by supporting national and international CO2 reduction projects: in addition to technical measures aimed at reducing CO2 emissions, Vorwerk flooring will also participate in further compensation measures as a contribution to climate protection. From 2020, Vorwerk flooring will be using green, carbon-neutral energy drawn from water power. It will also make use of district steam. With the help of ClimatePartner, the CO2 emissions resulting from the generation of steam will be 100% offset through our support for the April Salumei rainforest project in Papua New Guinea. As a supporter of this project, Vorwerk flooring also makes an important contribution to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In this context, Vorwerk flooring will of course fully offset any CO2 accumulated through journeys made by car or plane.

2. Eliminating fossil fuels through the use of district steam: given our close proximity to our energy supplier, Vorwerk flooring is able to entirely avoid using fossil fuels. This has also enabled us to establish a closed-loop system for our energy use, with recyclable materials serving to generate steam that in turn acts as the energy carrier for our production facilities. Vorwerk flooring therefore consumes a mere 21 g of CO2 per kWh, in contrast to the industry average of 260 g. The company additionally ensures carbon-neutral production by offsetting these 21 g of CO2 per kWh through compensation measures.

3. Using Econyl® yarn and secondary backing made from recycled PET: 100% recycled Econyl® yarn made by Aquafil helps conserve raw materials and save up to 80% of CO2 emissions compared with conventionally produced yarns. Vorwerk flooring aims to constantly increase the proportion of Econyl® yarns within its collections, thereby making a valuable contribution to reducing global warming. On top of this, Vorwerk flooring also fits its SL SONIC acoustic tiles with a secondary backing made from recycled PET in order to boost the proportion of recycled material.

4. Using SD yarn: solution-dyed yarns are dyed during fibre production through the addition of colour pigments, which ensures permanent dyeing of the fibres themselves. Thanks to this production method, the non-fade fibres are protected against UV radiation and yellowing with age. They are also resistant to chlorinated and disinfectant cleaning agents. The fibres retain their colour intensity and repel dirt. And as the fibres no longer need to be dyed during our production processes, this helps save considerable amounts of water and energy.  

5. Heat recovery: as we use a heat recovery system in the vat dyeing facility, Vorwerk flooring is able to use the waste heat from the vats to heat up process water. This eliminates long heat-up times and saves steam energy.