Climate-friendly processes and products through targeted environmental management
Since summer 2020, MÜLLER Umwelttechnik has been a DIN EN ISO 14001 certified company. This certification is an international environmental management system standard. This standard regulates how a company must deal with individual areas, e.g. waste disposal, water management and immission control. Among other things, it also stipulates how to work with organic solvents in the painting processes of components. According to these regulations, only a certain amount of solvents ("volatile organic compounds", or VOCs for short) may be produced per year. Above a limit of 15 tonnes of solvent emissions per year, technically very complex and expensive measures must be taken to prevent further emissions. This is regulated in the 31 BImSchV and serves to protect animals, plants and humans. Organic solvents also have an impact on the greenhouse effect.
During last year's certification audit, we noticed that there is great potential for improvement in the area of solvents. Our environmental goal in this area is to continuously reduce solvent consumption. After internal discussions with the master painter Lars Karlikowski and in cooperation with the company Safety Kleen, we have developed a concept to save solvents.
The concept: When cleaning the application equipment and tools, a special cleaner is used which releases solvents through evaporation. The new concept means that we use a water-based cleaner for cleaning the application equipment and tool cleaning. This releases up to no solvent vapours. With the new concept, the evaporation loss as well as the quality loss is practically zero. We thus save 1 tonne of solvent per year while maintaining the same economic efficiency. But what is much more important to us is that our employees are now no longer exposed to the harmful solvent vapours and we also make our products even more resource-friendly and climate-friendly as a result. Because 1 t of solvent corresponds to 2.6 t of climate-damaging carbon dioxide.
Since the environment is one of the most important and sensitive assets we have, we must treat and care for it accordingly. As an environmentally conscious company, we are constantly working on improvements in the area of environmental management. This is reflected both in our processes as well as in our products - e.g. in our vehicles with natural gas drive systems.
In order to live up to this claim, Joschua Kuffner will be the new Environmental Management Officer at MÜLLER from 1 May this year. Mr. Kuffner has the necessary certifications, which were trained and tested by TÜV NORD in two seminars. In addition to his work as head of training, he will now also devote himself to environmental management, replacing his colleague Thorsten Mielchen (head of materials management and production logistics), who has already done an outstanding job in the area of environmental management in previous years. In this way, we pass on the environmental idea directly to our trainees.
Joschua Kuffner (Environmental Management Officer, Training Manager), Lars Karlikowski (Foreman Paint Shop)
MÜLLER Umwelttechnik GmbH & Co. KG
Tel.: +49 5284_709 181
Fax: +49 5284_709 128