The building sector is one of the most material-intensive sectors of the German economy. The aim of the new eco-label is to recycle building materials in a targeted manner and thus replace non-renewable primary raw materials. The Blue Angel for concrete products with recycled aggregates, for example, helps to conserve the natural resources of gravel and sand as well as landfill capacities.
"Recycled building materials are still little used in the building industry, although there is technically nothing that speaks against their increased use," explains Dr Alexander Janz, head of department at UBA. "The Blue Angel makes an important contribution to promoting the use of recycled materials.”
"Meeting the requirements for the Blue Angel ecolabel was a must for us, in order to offer a very good solution to all builders who care about using eco-friendly products", says Christian Rinn, Managing Director of the family-run business in Heuchelheim near Giessen.
The company’s Passee and Lukano Smart paving stones each contain 25 percent recycled materials, and the Lukano product and water permeable Hydropor Lukano and Siliton have a 40% share of recycled materials. They thereby meet the requirements for award of the Blue Angel and offer a very good alternative in green outdoor building.
Products made of concrete can cause damage to the environment throughout their entire life cycle. Therefore, the Blue Angel requirements for concrete products address both the materials used in production and surface finish as well as the use and disposal phases. Furthermore, paving stones are sometimes laid over large areas in such a way that they come into contact with soil or rainwater. This is why it must be ensured that emissions of pollutants, especially biocides, from these products are kept as low as possible in order to reduce pollution of the environment. In addition, thanks to the good infiltration capacity of the paving stones and slabs, the natural water cycle will not be disrupted when rainwater is discharged into soils. Concrete products for permeable overlays are therefore marked with the note "promotes the natural water balance".
This ecolabel is awarded to products that – above and beyond the legal requirements – are produced using materials that place less burden on the environment. They must also be safe for the environment from an ecotoxicological perspective and may not contain any harmful substances that have a detrimental impact during the recycling process.
A further important goal of the ecolabel is that its award criteria must promote climate friendly solutions for the manufacture of concrete products. A new requirement introduced for the Blue Angel ecolabel is the offsetting of non-avoidable and non-reducible emissions that are emitted during the manufacturing and transport of the products. Offsetting must be preceded by the avoidance or reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
Advantages of the ecolabel for concrete products containing recycled aggregates for outdoor flooring (DE-UZ 216):
- conserves resources
- low level of harmful materials
- environmentally friendly
Information about the Blue Angel ecolabel
The Blue Angel has been the German government's ecolabel for more than 40 years and serves as a reliable guide for making sustainable purchases. Independent and credible, it sets high standards for environmentally friendly goods and services. The Blue Angel guarantees that goods and services fulfil strict requirements with regard to the environment, health and usability, while taking account of the entire life cycle. Criteria are developed for every product group which products and services marked with the Blue Angel must meet. UBA reviews the criteria every three to four years in order to reflect technological development. This encourages companies to continuously upgrade the environmental friendliness of their products.
Information about Rinn Beton- und Naturstein GmbH & Co. KG
The Rinn Beton- und Naturstein company is a medium-sized family business founded in 1900 and headquartered in Heuchelheim near Giessen, Hesse. It is now managed by the 4th and 5th generation of the family. Its 545 employees work at three sites in Heuchelheim near Giessen, Fernwald-Steinbach and Stadtroda near Jena. Their range of concrete block products is used in gardening and landscaping as well as in urban design. In December 2017, Rinn won the German Sustainability Award 2018 in the category “medium-sized company”.