Our Spijk production partner and their green credentials

ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS

Clay pavers are a natural, sustainable product, and Chelmer Valley clay pavers are produced with respect for the natural environment and surroundings .The Spijk production factory has an environmental policy which  is integrated into our business operations , and preserving the quality of the living environment has our constant consideration.  We continuously strive for balance among the economic, social and ecological aspects of all our operations, and this unit meets the highest possible standards in this respect.

A CONSERVATIVE RAW MATERIALS POLICY

Clay is a natural and virtually inexhaustible raw material, but needs management, so quarrying is limited, and excavated sites are redeveloped for agricultural or recreational purposes. To reduce the utilisation rate of the Spijk resources, they also make use of raw materials recycled from infrastructural and construction projects. This not only enables them to draw upon fewer quarrying sites, but also helps solve the problem of overfull landfills. Further, this unit also considers it a matter of pride to reintegrate its quarries into the landscape after use, so the area can once again return to the original landscape. They can be redeveloped as nature reserves or scenic lakes, for forestry, etc. Clay extraction areas at Spijk are usually restored as farming land. They have arrangements with local farmers to exchange land, and returning this after extraction to the same condition for agriculture to continue, and the loan of replacement land to the farmer during the process maintains the local economy whilst the clay is removed.

THE PRODUCTION PROCESS: A PROCESS WITH RESPECT FOR THE ENVIRONMENT

The production process uses absolutely no synthetic products or chemical processing techniques. These pavers are created purely through the combination of natural resources: clay, sand, water, air and fire. No toxic substances are added, and because clay paving is an inert material it does not give off any toxic or allergenic substances. This means that it presents absolutely no danger of soil contamination.

ENERGY

Minimising energy consumption through continuous improvement of the production process has been a key objective at our units for decades. Spijk utilises computer controlled gas-fired tunnel kilns for the firing process. The hot air from the kilns is recovered to dry the clay pavers in the drying chambers. They also use a combined heat and power plant to further reduce our energy consumption.

It is important that every effort be made to protect the quality of the air. Years ago Spijk began using energy efficient tunnel kilns fired with natural gas, the cleanest and most environmentally-friendly fuel available. A flue gas filter is used to remove particulates from the combustion gases as well. These combined measures result in purified emissions with results of many measurements falling far below the stringent standards.

NO WASTE

During production of the pavers Spijk achieves a yield of 100%. In other words, every kilogram of raw material results in a kilogram of paving brick. This also means that the production process produces no waste. The water used during the process circulates in a closed circuit, so absolutely no industrial waste water is produced – it is what is referred to as a ‘zero discharge’ process. The only waste that leaves the factory is a limited amount of packaging waste.

GREEN BUFFERS

Spijk established green buffer zones wherever possible around the factory buildings and stacking areas. This helps retain the green character of the rural environment and reduces the visual impact of the factory.


REDUCED ENERGY CONSUMPTION

EMISSIONS

According to the Kyoto Protocol, industrial countries must reduce their CO2 emissions by 25-40% by 2020. We intend to do our part through factories with commitment to an environmentally sound energy policy. Spijk has continuously implemented energy saving measures throughout the years to reduce its ecological footprint

GUARANTEE OF ORIGIN

A GoO certificate (GoO = Guarantee of Origin) guarantees that the additional electricity is purchased from wind energy, hydro or solar power.

CHP: OPTIMAL USE OF ENERGY

Computer controlled kilns manage energy use efficiently.  Here they can optimise computer controlled kilns and dryers using the very latest process control technologies. This investment has resulted in energy savings, lower emissions and lower natural gas consumption in the kilns, through improved heat transfer between the combustion gases and pavers. Better engineering ensures efficient use of the cooling air in the drying process so that here too they are able to burn as little additional natural gas as possible.

CONCLUSION

The choice for the right building materials is a decision that lasts a lifetime. It is therefore essential that we choose sustainable and ecologically sound products. It is a Chelmer Valley goal to provide sustainable solutions, and through factories like Spijk we achieve this in the production of beautiful clay paving.