Growing percentage of green energy at our sites worldwide
At our production sites we use green energy as much as possible. That is why we invest heavily in green energy projects at our own sites - with wind turbines, solar panels and green power plants. Our ambition is to almost halve (-42%) the CO2 emissions of our production facilities by 2030.
What do we do?
Two giant wind turbines were erected in 2022 at the Feluy site (Belgium). Together they cover 71% of the factory´s energy demand. Together with our two green power plants in Wielsbeke and Oostrozebeke (Belgium), the 3 wind turbines in Avelgem (Belgium) and the 81,800 solar panels on the roofs of many of our sites worldwide, they fit perfectly within the framework of our sustainability objectives.
What’s more, several of the largest sites are well on their way to achieve climate neutrality.
- Chipboard factory in Wielsbeke: 90% renewable energy in 2022
- MDF and HDF factory in Bazeilles: 74% renewable energy in 2022
- MDF and HDF factory and laminate flooring factory in Vielsalm: 72% renewable energy in 2022
- Chipboard factory in Oostrozebeke: 62% renewable energy in 2022
On a company level, we were up to 60% of renewable energy last year.
Why do we do it?
Sustainability is an absolute priority for us. As an international organisation with over 8,500 employees across the globe we can make a genuine difference for our planet and its inhabitants. It is a responsibility we do not take lightly and that is why we set strict targets for ourselves. Our ambition is to almost halve (-42%) the CO2 emissions of our production facilities by 2030. To achieve this, we are focussing our efforts on two pillars: making our existing and new production facilities more energy efficient on the one hand and making a shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy on the other. We generate this energy from wind turbines, but also from solar panels and green power plants. The choice of energy type depends on the possibilities at the respective sites.
How do we do it?
1. Wind energy in addition to solar panels
In Feluy we opted for wind turbines because of their higher capacity and great availability. The wind turbines are 180 metres in height and have a combined capacity of 7.2 MW. Each year they will produce almost 16 GWh. For comparison: that is the equivalent of the annual consumption of around 4,571 households. This means they will cover 71% of the factory´s energy demand. Families and other local purchasers will also have access to green electricity from our wind turbines. These aren’t the first wind turbines Unilin has built: three of them are already operating on the Avelgem site. They are an excellent supplement to the 6,204 solar panels there. While the solar panels deliver plenty of energy during the summer, wind turbines are most active in winter.
2. And even more solar panels
Last year we invested heavily in a whopping 51,942 solar panels in Malaysia. They have a capacity of 2.8 MW. This means we are using at least 20% less electricity from the grid. In Australia and New Zealand, we installed additional solar panels at five sites in 2021 and 2022. This investment in green energy resulted in a total capacity of 1.7 MW generated by 3,829 solar panels.
Globally, we now have 81,800 solar panels on our roofs with a total capacity of 15.7 MW. In 2022, the installed solar panels generated 5,829 MWh of energy, the equivalent of the annual consumption of 1,665 households. Impressive!
3. Green power plants for sites with waste wood
We work with green power plants for the sites that produce lots of waste wood, such as our chipboard plants. Important: this is the final step in our wood cycle. Only when wood can no longer be recycled do we convert it into green energy. At present Unilin has two green power plants: one on the Oostrozebeke site (since 2010) and the other on the Wielsbeke site (since 2021). At the Panels and Flooring site in Vielsalm, Belgium, we are looking into building a green power plant such as the A&U Energie power plant in Wielsbeke, Belgium. A variety of related projects and surveys are ongoing across the globe.