“The sum total of our actions has led to considerable reductions in CO2 emissions, year after year. Which is why we are particularly delighted that this has not only been officially confirmed, but that we have also received an award for it.” (Johann Alfred Weinberger)
Umweltblatt (Environment Leaf ) 2020: Abtenau Timber Cluster
Environmental prize in the category “cooperative recycling & supplying” rewards the sustainable collaboration and outstanding environmental protection efforts of four Salzburg companies
Weinberger-Abtenau, Salzburg Pellets, Holzenergie Abtenau and Pölzleitner Holz are the four companies who have joined forces in the Abtenau Timber Cluster – a collaboration that sets great store in environmental and climate protection, from production right through to logistics. The companies work hand in hand and have streamlined processes to help spare resources. The end result is a very efficient cycle. A central element of the cooperation is the generation of heat and energy to cover the companies’ own needs and to supply their customers in Abtenau. The environmental measures, which have been implemented jointly and with the support of umwelt service salzburg, have brought about significant savings in biomass, heat, electricity, heating oil and diesel.
Four companies, one goal: the sustainable use of timber as a raw material
All of the four companies in the Abtenau Timber Cluster work together and with timber as a raw material. What is outstanding is that the resulting waste products are processed in the best possible way, the energy that is produced is used directly on site and the cooperation results in very short delivery channels. weinberger-abtenau produces formaldehyde-free glued solid timber and ceiling elements. The district heating required for this comes from Holzenergie Abtenau. The sawmill waste is turned into pellets at Salzburg Pellets, who in turn use district heating and waste heat from Holzenergie Abtenau. This district heating from Holzenergie Abtenau is generated from forest biomass, thus closing the circle. Pölzleitner Holz takes care of the logistics for all of the partners in the Timber Cluster and is constantly working on improving efficiency so as to avoid empty trips.
Measurable environmental successes through networked sustainability
“We are particularly proud of being able to minimise the primary energy input to produce the pellets. These enormous savings have been possible thanks to the innovative use of waste heat to dry the shavings,” explains Christian Pölzleitner, Managing Director of Salzburg Pellets. Jakob Stranger from Holzenergie Abtenau emphasises the eco-friendly heating plant: “We were able to significantly increase the efficiency of the heating plant by using flue gas condensation and thus save a lot of biomass.” The effective environmental measures and resulting overall savings for the four companies per year as figures: 13.2 gigawatt hours of biomass, 33.5 gigawatt hours of heat, 7.1 gigawatt hours of electricity, 332,000 litres of heating oil and 166,000 litres less diesel – that’s the result of the timber cluster’s own efforts, the collaboration with umwelt service salzburg and Department 4 of the Federal State of Salzburg. Some of the ways in which the energy and raw materials consumption could be reduced are the optimisation of the heating plant, the use of energy recovery systems, optimising the storage and logistics as well as increasing the efficiency of the pellet production.
Ecologically sound action means operating profitably
The consultants from umwelt service salzburg carried out energy checks in the production and service buildings of the four companies in the Abtenau Timber Cluster between 2016 and 2019. “The advice from the staff at umwelt service salzburg made us more aware of energy topics at work and showed us new ways in which we can contribute to environmental and climate protection as companies. The backing of umwelt service salzburg for every aspect of grants and sponsorships in particular showed us just what is possible in-house and that companies too can profit from environmental and climate protection,” reflects Anton Pölzleitner. The entrepreneur summarises why environmental management is the right course for him too: “Ecological production, sustainable sales and the resource-efficient interaction with nature should not be seen from only a short-term perspective. The right long-term ecological action also means operating profitably in the long term.”
Worthwhile collaboration with umwelt service salzburg and the Federal State of Salzburg
Apart from the advice provided by umwelt service salzburg, the cooperation with Department 4 of the Federal State of Salzburg was also decisive for the huge environmental and climate successes that could be achieved by implementing the measures. For example, huge potential savings in thermal energy could be exploited at Salzburg Pellets by shifting production to the summer months.
umwelt blatt salzburg 2020 honours cooperative recycling & supplying
The umwelt blatt salzburg is a visible sign of a company’s environmental commitment and of outstanding achievements in environmental and climate protection. Sabine Wolfsgruber, Managing Director of umwelt service salzburg, is delighted that the umwelt blatt salzburg in the category “cooperative recycling & supplying” 2020 has been awarded simultaneously to four Salzburg companies: “It is always a great honour for us to reward Salzburg companies for the services they have rendered with our “Umweltblatt”. And I am especially delighted that the award has gone to four companies who have decided to collaborate together. Abtenau Timber Cluster exemplifies how local companies can pool their potentials and at the same time do something good for the environment and climate.”
Sustainable management secures livelihoods
The Deputy State Governor Heinrich Schellhorn, who held the laudatory speech for the Abtenau Timber Cluster, congratulated them on the environmental award and stressed the profitable collaboration of four Salzburg entrepreneurs: “Thinking and acting in cycles is one of the keys to sustainable, climate-friendly and energy-efficient management. The timber cluster exploits synergies whilst sparing valuable resources. This just goes to show that the word “and”, not “or”, belongs between the economy and the environment. I am delighted that more and more companies in Salzburg are changing their minds and starting to act accordingly. In this way, they make an important contribution to our climate and energy goals, strengthening regional value added, sparing the environment and thus securing livelihoods for both us and the next generations. I would like to thank the Abtenau Timber Cluster for their forward-looking collaboration and congratulate them wholeheartedly on the environmental prize.”
Johann Alfred Weinberger: “’We have only borrowed the world from our children.’ is a principle on which almost all of our investments have to be judged. Handling the earth’s resources in a responsible manner is a very important issue for us!”