Projects around the globe.

We team up with many different people and members of staff to make the world a better place. Find out more about the projects here.

USA: KÖMMERLING “essential” in the fight against Corona

Our colleagues from Huntsville based KÖMMERLING USA had been quick to support their network of distribution partners across the USA and through their regional supply hubs. The business was declared ‘essential’ following the ‘stay at home’ order from Alabama Governor Kay Ivey on the 3rd April 2020.

As an essential business, KÖMMERLING USA has been able to manufacture and supply large PVC sheets to its distribution partners that have been required by companies working with the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the US Department of Homeland Security - Federal Emergency Management Agency, to construct various COVID-19 related projects. These include field hospitals, drive thru testing units, hospital bed areas, barrier walls, shields and other easy clean applications.

PVC sheets offer chemical resistance, an easy clean surface, are durable yet lightweight, and with a USA manufacturing operation, it has been critical that there has been the facility to manufacture in volume and with a quick turnaround time.

Products have been used in applications in Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Las Vegas, Milwaukee and New York, along with other areas in the USA where the Coronavirus has been particularly prevalent.

Marcy Menoni, Vice President of Sales – Sheet Division for KÖMMERLING USA commented: ‘Not only do we have to thank our wonderful staff here in Huntsville, but also to our network of distribution partners across the USA who helped declare us an essential business. Normally our PVC sheet is used in the graphics sector, but we’ve adapted our manufacturing so that we can support the country in the fight against COVID-19.`

She continued: ‘We’ve been keeping our employees safe and within the strict guidelines set by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and feel honoured to be able to support those that have needed our products most. We wish everyone to stay safe and keep well during this unprecedented pandemic.’


Pilot project: Window profiles made of 100% recycled PVC-U

Sustainability, innovation and quality are key elements within the profine Group. For years, profine has been involved in the industry-wide recycling of old PVC-U windows. With its own profine recycling programme profine makes sure materials can be re-used for profine profiles, often in a mix with new material. However, now for the first time in profine history, window main profiles have been made out of completely recycled material.

From idea to reality

Two years ago, our Dutch partner window manufacturer Schipper Kozijnen went to Berlin with their client and a firm of architects for a factory tour and to view the proCoverTec production facility. Then they were informed about profine’s views on sustainability and its recycling program. A number of profiles already contain a recycled core and with the recycling program a step to a circular business model has been made. Architects then asked whether it would also be possible to make a profile entirely from recycled material. We told them we would look into it and started an innovation process.

Innovation and quality

Part of the PVC-U profiles already consists of part recycled material combined with virgin material. By using fully recycled PVC-U materials, the composition changes. After extensive testing during extrusion and finishing, we succeeded in creating a profile consisting of 100% recycled PVC-U material with high-quality properties. To guarantee the UV resistance of recycled profiles and to give them a luxurious look, the profiles for the project are finished with the innovative colour system proCoverTec. On the outside gray and on the inside white.

Partner in the Netherlands

Window manufacturer Schipper Kozijnen from Opmeer in the north of the Netherlands has skillfully processed these profiles into frames for a renovation project on Osdorpplein in Amsterdam. It is a renovation project of 84 apartments in which more than 500 windows are replaced by these "full cycle" PVC-U windows of our Dutch K-VISION brand. The project has started in February this year on site in Amsterdam.

Note: The photo of the project managers was taken at the renovation building site before the corona crisis.


Exemplary sustainability – our projects are EU-funded

“Our customers make a major contribution to reducing the carbon footprint and protecting the climate with modern, high-performance insulated windows. Rather than just focusing on the window’s period of use , we aim to achieve the optimum environmental profile throughout its entire life cycle. Even at the beginning of that life cycle, in the production phase, we attach high importance to sustainability and energy conservation. We’re immensely proud that our projects perform a model function and, because of that, they are eligible for EU and state funding”, says Dr. Peter Mrosik, owner and CEO.

The projects are subsidised by the European Regional Development Fund and the German state of Rhineland Palatinate . Our production facility in Pirmasens is currently receiving funding for two projects to make PVC-U profile manufacturing more energy efficient and climate friendly.

The first project involves two new co-extruders which we use to improve energy efficiency, conserve resources and considerably reduce carbon emissions. Co-extruders are the machines that turn the PVC-U pellets into window profiles. In the past we used two conventional co-extruders. The new machines allow us to substantially reduce the amount of energy we need to make new window profiles out of recycled material. Through this project we have achieved a 30% saving in electricity and the two new extruders have reduced our carbon emissions by a total of around 724 tonnes of CO₂ per year.

Our second project involves a new air compressor. Compressed air is necessary in many of our production processes. Unlike the old system, the new air compressor has a heat recovery unit. We use that heat to reduce our district heating requirements and, as a result, our electricity consumption has declined by 10% and our carbon emissions by 271 tonnes of CO₂ per annum.

These are just two examples of how we are making our production operations more sustainable. There are more sustainability projects in the application phase and we’ll be implementing them as soon as they have been approved.


Our company fleet is 100% climate-neutral

From now on all our company cars in Germany will be climate-neutral! Why? Because as a customer of DKV Fleet Service we offset our CO₂ emissions 100 percent. With its DKV CARD CLIMATE, DKV Service offers a climate-neutral fuel card for this purpose - an offer that we were very happy to actively accept!

Dr. Peter Mrosik, our owner and CEO , says: "As a pioneer in the commitment to sustainability, it goes without saying that we want to be CO₂-neutral. A positive ecological balance and the complete compensation of CO₂ emissions are important to us. That's why we didn't hesitate a second with the changeover. Because that is active climate protection that promotes valuable international projects."

How does it work? We invest per liter of fuel via the DKV service an additional amount in certified climate protection projects from "myclimate", one of the world's leading provider of compensation measures that meet the highest standards. The compensation process is TÜV certified. For example, investments are made in projects in the areas of biogas, biomass, efficient cooking stoves, energy efficiency, hydropower, land use and forestry, solar energy, waste management and compost, water (cleaning and saving) and wind energy. Further information on "myclimate" and the type of projects can be found at www.myclimate.org

In total, our company in Germany is offsetting 795 tons of CO₂ per year with its fleet of company cars. This compensation means that the vehicle fleet is 100% CO₂-neutral.


Acting more responsibly – how does a manufacturer do this? Our partner academy provides the answers.

Continuing as before will no longer work for many companies in the future. The success of a company depends not only on its qualifications, reliability and quality, but also on its corporate social responsibility and sustainability. The customers inform themselves via new media and this is an important factor for their decision.

This applies not only to global companies, but also to small businesses. With our profine partner academy, the training institute for KÖMMERLING window manufacturers, we recognised this issue five years ago and included it in our training programme.

The high demand and large numbers of participants show that our business simulation game "Understanding sustainability in a playful way" precisely meets the requirements of our partner companies and offers the right solutions.

The business game raises awareness of operational interrelationships and clarifies the interplay of economy, ecology and social issues in a special way. Kerstin Lotter, responsible for the partner academy: "We give our partners the opportunity to feel the effects of their entrepreneurial decisions. They can reap the rewards of their work, but they also have to "pay the price" for the consequences of any wrong decisions. With these new experiences, they reflect on their own actions, recognize interactions and draw conclusions about their strategy. Only sustainably managed companies will be able to survive on the market in the long term."

In the meantime, numerous decision-makers from our partner companies have participated. The winners of the last business simulation game were Vanessa Lauber from Fensterbau Lauber in Überlingen near Singen and Benjamin Hochrein from Schreinerei Hochrein & Hantschel in Bergrheinfeld near Schweinfurt. Both companies have been particularly committed to sustainability for years and are now making even stronger inroads.

Fensterbau Lauber, for example, has installed an ecological heating system that is fed with waste chips from the wood production. A photovoltaic system is planned for the roof of the new production halls for windows. And for the employees, the production processes will be set up ergonomically - with physical relief. Hochrein & Hantschel has introduced the JobRad®. This allows employees to switch to bicycles and e-bikes and thus relieve the burden on the environment. The two examples show: Sustainability and social commitment are not future projects for our partner companies, but are already actively implemented and lived.


How our Russian production site is committed to local people

We see ourselves not only as a high-tech company that produces state-of-the-art windows systems, but also as a socially responsible company. Our Russian subsidiary in Voskresensk, profine RUS, has founded an honorary team that develops, supports and implements numerous initiatives and aid projects for the people of the city.

These include, for example, the big Christmas party for children from socially disadvantaged families in the Voskresensk Palace of Culture. The cheerful and carefree event with Santa Claus, Snow White, performances and gifts is now considered a permanent institution.

Our vocational orientation program for school graduates is also very popular. Here, our engineers and experts support young people in choosing the right profession or course of study. In addition, we regularly invite visitors to our Open Day, where our production specialists and managers provide first-hand information to visitor families.


Sustainability begins with our employees: We are one of the best employers in Germany

In 2016 a survey carried out by the German business magazine Focus named us as top employer in Germany. Dr. Peter Mrosik, owner and CEO of the profine Group was delighted. “The result makes me proud. For me, sustainability in human resources development and team spirit take top priority. A company can only be as good as its staff. Therefore, I would like to thank all colleagues at profine!”

What is so special about the representative survey is that is was based on answers from 70,000 employees in German companies from all hierarchies and age groups. The survey asked how satisfied they were and whether they would recommend the company. This was the largest German survey of its kind and Focus, together with the online portals Xing and Kununu, identified the 1,000 best employers with over 500 staff from a total of 22 sectors.

The survey also showed that we see sustainability as a holistic task. Ecological, economical and human factors have to be right in order to master the challenges of the future effectively and unitedly. “Your window to a better world” is the sum of all our company services and our committed staff who identify with this goal.


Photovoltaic system: KÖMMERLING goes green

The 4,583 PV modules generating solar power are an important part of “a window to a better world” as far as the Head of Marketing and Brands Marc Habermeyer is concerned. Dr Peter Mrosik, owner and CEO of profine GmbH, couldn’t agree more: “We are an owner-managed company that is committed to sustainable development, which is why our carbon footprint is extremely important to us.” The gigantic photovoltaic system has been installed across a total of five factory roofs in Pirmasens, which is where the PVC-U profiles for KÖMMERLING Premium windows are manufactured. The photovoltaic system has a total peak output of 1,214.5 kilowatts and enables profine GmbH to reduce the CO₂ greenhouse gas emissions by 643 tons per year. The biggest challenge in a project of this scale was to get the PV system connected up to the grid without interrupting operations and causing downtime for profine GmbH.


We have Russian ‘Vitality Leaf’ eco-label certification

“We wanted to credibly communicate our ecological commitment to the outside world. That’s why we’re proud to be able to use the Vitality Leaf eco-label on our products. The Vitality Leaf eco-label is the first and only system of voluntary environmental certification of goods in Russia that is recognised by the official Global Ecolabelling Network,” explained Alexander Mareew, Head of Marketing and Product Management at profine RUS, which manufactures the KÖMMERLING Premium window systems for Russia. The profine Group’s Russian subsidiary, profine RUS, was recertified for its eco-friendly products and production in 2019. Vitality leaf certification is an indicator that a company is committed to promoting a green economy to ensure a healthy environment for future generations. profine RUS has now been certified twice under the Vitality Leaf eco-label programme. Alexander Mareew: “profine RUS is the only manufacturer of PVC profiles in Russia with the Vitality Leaf eco-label.”


Our team in the Netherlands headed towards paperless working

"Our goal is to become a paperless office. We are already half-way to significantly reducing our carbon footprint. And even small steps make a big impact”, says Monisa Javari from our Dutch subsidiary company, not without pride and conviction.

The paperless office will save valuable resources. It’s just one of many eco-friendly concepts that our employees in the Netherlands have introduced to make the world a better place. Others include energy saving measures such as LED lightbulbs, switching off all lights that aren’t needed and the use of digital technologies that replace paper.

For example, by the end of 2019 the entire order process will be digital – i.e. paperless. Changes are also being introduced to internal work processes. Touchscreen monitors have been installed in the conference rooms for use in meetings. Agendas or lists don't have to be printed out any more. The employees record information directly with special software and work on documents together at the same time.

Summing up, the Dutch team is saving both paper and time, because digital working is far more efficient.


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