Moving water forward for sustainable built environments for everyone

Uponor celebrates the World Green Building Week, organized by the World Green Building Council, between 12–16 September 2022. This year, the world's largest sustainability campaign's theme is #BuildingforEveryone. Close to 40% of global energy-related carbon emissions come from the built environment. Therefore, the building sector must create opportunities to reduce the carbon footprint of buildings and infrastructure.

Reducing emissions and considering future generations

At Uponor, we want to do our part to lead the construction industry towards net zero by pioneering sustainable water systems and indoor climate solutions. Our water systems and solutions can help to reduce the carbon footprint of both new construction and renovations. Sustainability has been on our agenda for a long time – and it is firmly anchored in our corporate goals. Throughout our more than 100-year history, we continue to set new standards for improving quality of life and sustainability through significant innovations related to water supply. This is our key to moving our customers and our industry towards net zero.

“In line with Uponor’s Group strategy, we want to lead the construction industry towards net zero. We do this by maximizing our positive environmental impact by developing integrated solutions and initiatives with the best possible environmental footprint to support our customers in their sustainability transition. We are committed to the Science-Based Targets initiative and drive a rapid transformation towards a sustainable value chain,” says Michael Rauterkus, President and CEO of Uponor Corporation.

Tremendous potential lies in wait in old buildings

What many do not suspect is the tremendous potential for a more sustainable environmental balance that lies in wait in old buildings. Low-emission or CO2-neutral heating improves the energy yield significantly. Especially when they are installed in the flooring. Underfloor heating systems manage low supply temperatures and thus help save energy. The plumbing systems usually must be replaced when refurbishing old buildings, but when done properly they last a long time. Drinking water and sewage pipelines must be replaced to meet modern hygiene standards, but this also saves money in the long run, protects from leakages and delivers fresh drinking water. This is what Uponor can do to improve the sustainability of buildings.

In addition, Uponor delivers sustainable infrastructure systems for municipalities, utilities and industry for water supply, channelling stormwater, municipal sewer systems as well as for drainage. In infrastructure renovation, Uponor’s systems are among the most reliable technologies on the market. Characterized by the highest quality and exceptional durability, our products are known for their reliability, even in the most severe operating conditions, and these underground infrastructure solutions contribute to a safe, healthy and comfortable lifestyle, in harmony with the natural environment.

Keeping an eye on the entire value chain

Our industry has a strong influence on a sustainable way of life and only if we keep an eye on the entire value chain can we make a significant contribution to sustainable construction. If energy consumption and carbon emissions are to be reduced, the products used in construction must also become more climate friendly. That is why we supply sustainable products and systems that, for example, save energy in heating and drinking water supply.

At Uponor, Blue is the new Green

We have collaborated with Borealis, one of the world’s leading providers of advanced and circular polyolefin solutions, to source sustainable raw materials for our products and created the Uponor Blue product family that reduces the use of virgin fossil raw materials. Uponor Blue products fulfil the same standard and performance of traditional products but is based on renewable raw materials and thereby helps our customers meet their environmental goals.

In 2021, we launched the first Blue product, Ultra Rib 2 Blue sewer pipe. This year, we launched two new Blue products, PEX Pipe Blue and IQ Blue stormwater pipe. All three have a significantly reduced carbon footprint compared to traditional products and contain over 50% of certified renewable raw material. Our goal is to offer a sustainable alternative for 50% of our product portfolio by 2027.

Read more about our Blue products here.
Watch a video about our Blue products here.

Sustainable to the core

In addition to making the production material of our products more sustainable, we are paying attention to our own environmental impact and continuously working in areas such as renewable energies, waste management and water management to further reduce our emissions. For example, we are constantly investigating ways to reduce our use of water and aim to source 100% renewable electricity by 2025. Additionally, the waste from our manufacturing facilities, mainly consisting of plastic and metals, is recycled to the greatest extent possible. We are investigating ways to recycle PEX-a waste and collaborate with Interseroh in Central Europe to recycle the protective packaging material used in the transport of our pipes. We are also committed to Operation Clean Sweep to ensure that plastic pellets do not escape our manufacturing facilities into the environment. Most importantly, we are committed to the UN Global Compact’s Business Ambition for 1.5°C and the Science Based Target initiative. In 2022, we set new ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) targets to be reached by 2027 and continued to accelerate R&D initiatives related to sustainable product and service innovations. We believe this holistic approach to sustainability is the only way to move forward and serve future generations.

Read more about our sustainability journey here.
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