va-Q-tec has achieved climate-neutral production from 2020 onward

  • For the year 2020, va-Q-tec is the first supplier of temperature-controlled packaging solutions as well as a producer of high-tech insulation materials to achieve climate neutrality for its production sites.
  • In 2020, emissions amounting to 1,700t of CO2 have already been reduced through process optimizations and various energy-saving measures.
  • By supporting internationally recognized climate protection projects in Germany and Uruguay, the remaining emissions are compensated.
  • The worldwide optimal use of thermal energy was the central founding idea of va-Q-tec and is still reflected in the company’s entire product portfolio today.

va-Q-tec, pioneer of highly efficient products and solutions in the field of thermal insulation and temperature-controlled supply chains (TempChain logistics), announces its complete production of vacuum insulation panels, boxes and containers climate neutrality for 2020. This is possible by intelligent measures to save energy and by supporting internationally recognized climate protection projects. This makes the company the first manufacturer of high-performance thermoboxes and containers as well as highly efficient insulation materials to achieve climate neutrality for both German production sites.

Thus, va-Q-tec consistently continues its way towards more thermal energy efficiency and sustainability. Since the company was founded, the use of vacuum insulation panels (VIPs) has significantly improved energy efficiency in industry, technology, construction, mobility and logistics. Now it also achieves its goal of setting the complete production of insulation panels and temperature storage elements, containers and boxes climate neutral. The heating or air conditioning of the administrative units, sales and related processes were also included in the underlying calculations.  

The certification from the German Institute for Sustainability in March 2020 showed that more than 1,700t of CO2 – and thus the majority of emissions generated during production – were avoided thanks to measures and process optimizations already implemented by va-Q-tec. The energy and heat consumption of the company’s headquarters in Würzburg has been largely fed by an in-house combined heat and power plant. In a first step, the generated thermal energy is used as production heat. The remaining residual heat is used for room air conditioning – in winter for heating, and in summer for room cooling through the use of special cold-heat transformation. The waste heat from production is also fed back into this energy cycle to make the best possible use of this energy. Optimal insulation of the power plant and the cooling and heating lines with VIPs produced in-house additionally ensures that the valuable thermal energy is not lost. Renewable energy sources are also used at the Kölleda plant through a large photovoltaic system. Permanent optimization is also ensured by the TÜV-certified energy management system (ISO 50001:2018) implemented in 2013 and the environmental management system (ISO 14001:2015) implemented since 2014. Annual monitoring audits ensure the effectiveness of the certificates and form the basis for further optimization.

To offset the remaining, smaller part of the emissions for 2020, the company has additionally decided to invest in two special climate protection projects. The first one is located in the Rhön Mountains which is not far from the Würzburg headquarters. In this biosphere reserve, the company’s investments are being used to renaturalize moors, reforest, and maintain existing forests. The second project is in Uruguay, where va-Q-tec has a foreign branch in the capital city of Montevideo which serves Latin America. In this South American country, former cattle pastures are being reforested in order to continuously restore the original forest cover. In both cases, planning and implementation are strictly supervised by regional forestry offices.

Dr. Joachim Kuhn, CEO and Chairman of the Board of va-Q-tec, is proud of these final steps toward climate-neutral production: “For 20 years now, our goal is to make the global consumption of energy for thermal purposes  as efficient as possible with our products, thereby reducing greenhouse gases to the bare minimum. The vacuum insulation panels we produce annually for the refrigerator industry alone save the energy generated by many wind power plants! I am very proud that we have not only been able to close the business year 2020 with great success, but have also been able to make a very positive contribution to our carbon footprint. In our anniversary year of 2021, we are planning further measures to increase energy efficiency and to use natural resources even more responsibly. In addition to optimizing temperature-controlled logistics processes, we are developing more environmentally friendly yet highly efficient thermoboxes. We still have a lot ahead of us, and I’m looking forward to this exciting time.”