Gres Aragón: conscientiously sustainable
Gres Aragón ceramic products are a part of the daily lives of thousands of people as they’re a part of the structures where we live and work. They’re all-natural, safe, long-lasting, versatile and affordable materials. These characteristics are the cornerstones of its environmental, economic and social sustainability. As proof of its utmost respect for the environment, Gres Aragón has an ISO 14001 certified environmental management system, an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD), certified by AENOR (Spanish Association for Standardization and Certification), for extruded ceramic materials (25 x 25 cm and 33 x 33 cm format) throughout their lifecycle as well as Zero Waste certification for its production centers.
Sustainable materials with up to 50% recycled material in their composition. We encourage circular economies.
100% recyclable after their service life with the possibility of being used as raw materials to manufacture new ceramics, fill materials or aggregate.
ZERO RESIDUAL WASTE
Less than 0.5% of the waste generated in the production process is managed by eliminating it at the dump. More than 99.5% is valorized as a raw material in our own processes or through delivery to an authorized waste management authority.
RESPECT FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
The recyclable components, content of recycled materials and zero residual water in our processes means our materials are environmentally-friendly.
RESISTANCE AND DURABILITY
Without changing the properties, it’s material that lasts over time without being affected by climatic agents (ice, humidity, wind, solar radiation...).
What we do for sustainability?
Gres Aragón ceramic products are 100% natural given that they are essentially made from clay, water and fire. The tiles are subjected to a baking process that exceeds 1,000 degrees Celsius, a temperature at which the organic compounds present decompose.
The Gres Aragón ceramic product factories in the Teruel region of Bajo Aragón are located next to clay quarries which minimizes the impacts of transporting the raw materials to the plant. More than 90% of the natural clay comes from places located at distances of less than 60 km and 90% of the powdered clay travels distances of less than 180 km. Their location in rural areas helps maintain the population and support the territory by providing stable employment and boosting these areas economically and socially.
We work on eco-designs for our products and packaging by optimizing the sustainability and efficiency parameters from the choice of raw materials, type of production process and piece geometry to the final packaging and palleting.
All the heavy investment made to reduce the consumption of energy, lower emissions and monitor for defective products prior to firing in addition to low water consumption and the internal valorization of ceramic waste achieves a more efficient production process. At Gres Aragón, the residual water generated when cleaning glazing lines is re-introduced as mixing water in the extrusion process meaning there is no dumping: we recycle 100% of the water in the production process to achieve ZERO WASTE.
Moreover, the ceramic waste generated during production is used as a raw material; thus, resulting in ceramic products with up to 32% recycled content in the clinker line and up to 45% in porcelain tile and FAVEKER® facades.
We are constantly working to improve our energy efficiency by continuously re-using investments to reduce our energy consumption. Some particularly important investments include a new facade and large-size special part manufacturing plant, a firing oven to reduce the consumption of natural gas when producing clinker, the refurbishment of a porcelain roller kiln to attain maximum energy efficiency, the use of heat from kilns in drying processes, the migration of our lighting to LED technology and the change in our vehicle fleet from diesel to electric (trucks for finished product movement and LGV vehicles for intermediate product movement).
Our line of Faveker® ventilated facades features high thermal inertia and helps keep building skins temperature-insulated in order to increase user comfort inside. Therefore, they are the ideal construction solutions when designing Near Zero Energy Buildings (nZEB).
Gres Aragón ceramic construction solutions do not burn and, therefore, produce no flames, smoke or toxic gases. Ceramic facades and roofs create building skins with an excellent level of protection from extreme weather phenomena. Likewise, ceramic tiles are non-slip and products like Bioklinker®, which are used for industrial flooring, swimming pools and facades, have an essential antibacterial effect for places requiring extra safety and hygiene such as those related to foodstuff and healthcare not to mention their effectiveness against odors and stains.
Due to their porosity, Gres Aragón ceramic products show excellent behavior against moisture by absorbing it when high and releasing it when the atmosphere is drier. They also do not emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs), radon gas or any other toxic substances meaning they’re the perfect materials for ensuring homes enjoy healthy indoor air quality.
Gres Aragón ceramic materials have a long service life which leads to economic savings for homeowners when it comes to renovations and maintenance. Plus, they have one unique feature: they get even more beautiful with the passing of time.
INNOVATION AND AT THE CUTTING EDGE
The Gres Aragón catalog offers architects and designers endless creative solutions as far as textures, colors, shapes and volumes due to the digital injection technology used to transfer all types of designs to the ceramic. This versatility makes it possible to adapt to new requirements, techniques and 21st century construction methods.
Gres Aragón ceramic products do not deteriorate over time and are known for offering incredible technical features at a very affordable market price which also makes them economically sustainable.
The European Waste List (EWL) classifies ceramic construction and demolition waste as inert and non-hazardous meaning it is highly recyclable for different uses such as road fill and stabilization material, concrete and mortar aggregate, clay tennis courts, plant substrate and topsoil in agriculture. Likewise, since the water quality is not altered, rainwater can be used through drainage systems aimed at collecting it, storing it and re-using it.
Gres Aragón-Faveker is a socially responsible company. In 2022 we have drawn up the first Sustainability Report according to the Corporate Social Responsibility Plan (CSR) in Aragón in which we are involved and have obtained the Social Responsibility seal. Every year we are committed to complying with the Ethical Commitment that we have signed and to prepare a CSR Report.
The report refers to our two companies: Gres de Aragón S.A. and FAVEKER S.L., belonging to GRES ARAGÓN group. The report shows the company performance in 2021, the progress made in 2022 (and even in 2023) towards the Strategic Plan 21-23.
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS
As a socially responsible company, we’re committed to seeking balance between social wellbeing, environmental care and economic growth.
“Sustainability: More Value, Less Impact”
is the Gres Aragón no. 1 strategic line.
GRES ARAGÓN is committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) as expressed in our Mission, Vision and Values; particularly, the following:
Guarantee a healthy life and promote wellbeing for all ages.
- We’re working on our processes, ergonomics and work atmosphere in order to protect our workers’ health and safety.
- We’re fostering a culture of prevention in healthcare.
- We’re enhancing the wellbeing of the users of our products through their anti-pathogen and easy-to-clean features, among other ways. Gres Aragón ceramic construction solutions do not burn and, therefore, produce no flames, smoke or toxic gases.
- Ceramic facades and roofs create building skins with an excellent level of protection from weather phenomena.
Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
- We have a wage policy that ensures equal compensation for equal work, irrespective of gender.
- We facilitate a work/life balance for women and men.
- We’re developing an Equality Plan.
- We have a Code of Ethics which refers to gender equality.
Ensure access to affordable, safe, sustainable and modern energy for all.
- Implement energy saving measures in our production processes and work towards decarbonisation.
- Carry out energy audits.
- Implementation of the ISO 50001:2018 Energy Management System.
- Implementation of renewable energy for self-consumption in our production plants.
Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
- We contribute to local development by working globally. Our location in rural areas helps maintain the population and support the territory by providing stable employment and boosting these areas economically and socially.
- We re-invest the large majority of the resources generated in order to guarantee their redistribution and quality job creation.
Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.
- We innovate in products and processes by re-investing our profits and applying the most modern and sustainable technology available.
- We re-invest by creating new industries (FAVEKER) to create more jobs and meet the growing demand for environmentally-friendly products that foster sustainability.
- We invest in R&D&i by promoting technological development and innovation and do so frequently through alliances with universities and the public sector as well as with other private companies.
- We use Industry 4.0 technology to automatically and systematically get information on production processes in order to enhance them.
- We’re making progress with digital marketing.
Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
- By manufacturing resistant ceramic products with a long service life that are also sustainable with a high content of recycled materials.
- Our line of Faveker® ventilated facades features high thermal inertia and helps keep building skins temperature-insulated in order to increase user comfort and health. Moreover, it offers the ideal construction solutions to design Near Zero Energy Buildings (nZEB).
- We’re transforming the company’s facilities into green and resilient ones (FAVEKER-Alcorisa) by improving their safety and energy efficiency (switch to indoor LED lighting in production warehouses).
- We limit the use of paper (reducing print-offs), plastic (personal aluminum water bottles for a drastic reduction in the number of plastic water bottles used).
Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
- We have implemented an ISO 14001 certified environmental management system at all of our production plants aimed at environmental excellence.
- We use resources efficiently as well as materials with a high recycled content.
- We manufacture 100% recyclable and long-lasting products to reduce the impact throughout a product’s lifecycle in comparison to other types of cladding.
- We encourage the use of renewable energies and energy efficiency all through the production process.
- We optimize the use of water and recycle 100% of all processing wastewater without generating sludge or other waste.
- We’ve established a Packaging Prevention Plan along with Ecoembes. We implement packaging eco-design measures to reduce the quantity and environmental impact of cardboard, plastic and wood packaging for our products throughout their lifecycles.
- We enhance our products by encouraging and promoting decarbonization in the construction sector with them.
Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
- We have implemented an ISO 14001 certified environmental management system at all of our production plants.
- We’re working to establish a system for calculating our carbon footprint under standard ISO 14064:2019 which includes 3 emissions scopes (direct, indirect from electricity consumption and other indirect emissions). The main objective is to calculate our emissions in order to set up carbon footprint reduction plans throughout the organization.
- We provide our customers with an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) for our range of extruded stoneware tiles which calculates the impacts throughout the product lifecycle.
- We’re a member of the Green Building Council Spain, an association that promotes a culture of sustainable, energy efficient and environmentally-friendly construction.
- We invest in R&D&i to find new solutions for climate change in addition to establishing public/private alliances with universities and other companies to engage in actions that help preserve the climate.
Strengthen measures to implement and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development.
- We’re committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) as expressed in our Mission, Vision and Values.
- We have identified and assessed the SDG related to our core business and are working on them mainly through specific actions plans.
- We set up collaboration processes with other stakeholders in the ceramics and construction market.
ISO 14001 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT CERTIFICATION
Gres Aragón has three manufacturing plants ISO 14001 certified which includes the design, manufacturing and marketing of the products. The environmental management system is based on fostering the sustainable use of resources, increasing the energy efficiency, mitigating climate change and maximizing waste re-use.
ZERO RESIDUAL WASTE
GRES ARAGON became certified in December 2021 with this circular economy-based environmental seal. SGS has accredited that more than 99.5% of the waste generated at all production sites is recycled and re-used in the very production process at its sites or delivered to authorized managers to prevent elimination at dumps.
RECYCLED MATERIAL CONTENT
GRES ARAGON calculates the average content of pre-consumption recycled material annually in its different product ranges pursuant to standard ISO 14021. The recycled material content mainly comes from internal recycling of ceramic waste before and after firing as well as the recycled content of raw materials.
ENVIRONMENTAL PRODUCT DECLARATION (EPD)
GRES DE ARAGÓN has 3 Environmental Product Declarations (EPD): extruded tiles (from group AIIA) manufactured in formats 33x33 cm and 25x25 cm; porcelain ventilated façades FAVEKER (models GA16 and GA20) manufactured by horizontal extrusion belonging to the AIa group; dust pressed porcelain tiles GRES ARAGÓN including formats from 12×25 cm to 60×120 cm, belonging to the BIa group of floor tiles series (Urban, Ordesa, Tibet,…), sports swimming pools and industrial Aciker plus series.
They have been verified by Global EPD and EPD International System. They also have been internationally recognized by ECO Platform.
GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL SPAIN - GBCE
GRES ARAGÓN is a member of the Green Building Council Spain, an association that promotes a culture of sustainable, energy efficient and environmentally-friendly construction. Its ceramic products and, in particular, its FAVEKER® ventilated facades help it obtain LEED®, BREEAM and VERDE credits.
Gres Aragón has endorsed the Ecoembes packaging prevention plan. We implement packaging eco-design measures to reduce the quantity and environmental impact of cardboard, plastic and wood packaging for our products throughout their lifecycles.
GRES ARAGÓN has developed the calculation of the carbon footprint of the organization under the ISO 14064:2019 standard, which includes the 3 scopes of emissions (direct, indirect due to electricity consumption and other indirect). The facades have a product carbon footprint certified by the EPD System. The main objective is to calculate the emissions to project plans for improvement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.