Protecting the environment and reducing CO2 emissions are the main drivers for Xella to develop sustainable, affordable and efficient solutions for the construction industry. We know that we need to reduce CO2 emissions quickly and permanently: that is why we have set ourselves ambitious targets, investing more than €2.8 million in environmental improvements in 2022. We have also submitted our 2030 CO2 reduction targets to the Science Based Targets initiative for validation. And we have been working for years to make our materials even more energy efficient and sustainable. One promising example is the use of photovoltaic systems to generate green electricity in the production process. In Italy, our journey with the use of renewable energy from PV systems started in 2021 with the implementation of a PV system in Atella, Italy. Since May 2023, we are also using renewable energy at the Piacenza plant in Pontenure.
The Piacenza plant, one of the most modern production sites in Europe, is characterized by very high production standards and was the subject of important investments in 2022 as part of the sustainability strategy. "We are constantly working on our plants, with interventions that lead to a lower impact on the environment, on the use of natural resources and on CO2 emissions. In addition, this increases Xella's contribution to achieving the goals we have set ourselves for 2030, as presented in the Group Sustainability Report", says Marco Paolini, CEO of Xella Italia.
Major investments in the Piacenza plant
In Pontenure, a photovoltaic system with high-efficiency monocrystalline cells has been installed on the roof of the factory, made up of 2084 455W modules capable of reaching a peak power of 948.22 kW. This power allows the motor of the production mill to be powered in a completely renewable way. A monitoring system allows the operation of the plant to be monitored remotely and any failures to be prevented.
The plant will guarantee the production of 1,063 MWh per year from solar sources, avoiding the emission of about 500 tons of CO2/year into the atmosphere, equivalent to the emissions that could absorb 6,700 adult trees.
Taking the renewable energy journey one step further
Since 2021, we have made great strides in installing PV systems at our plants across Europe. For example, we reported on the new systems in Serbia and Slovenia, and at De Hazelaar in the Netherlands. And we will continue on this path in the coming months. More installation will be commissioned in Germany, the Netherlands, Serbia, and Slovenia.