„How green is your business?“

Everything gets a green light.

FSB and our subsidiary SSF Sächsische Schlossfabrik provide an environmental product declaration (EPD) for each material to ISO 14 025, making a valid contribution to sustainable architecture. Our EPDs cover more than 25,000 items, giving us a leading role in our sector around the world.

With typical German thoroughness, we have not just examined individual products but have used objective criteria to show our appreciation of sustainability in black and white over FSB’s and SSF’s entire range. This applies without restriction both for our classic commercial fittings as well as for SSF’s lock products. It applies for all of our barrier-free and sanitary products and even applies for our innovative electronically organised access solutions (system range).

We actively support a globally established concept which understands sustainability as an equal balance between ecological, economic and social factors. There is now a global consensus that, in view of the worldwide social and climatic challenges, this understanding of sustainability is of fundamental importance for coming generations’ quality of life.

We have always understood our products as “Architecture en miniature”. This does not just mean that our products are used in architecture, rather that we assess technology and design against the the length of time that buildings or architecture are used in the widest sense. For us, constructing buildings is first and foremost an architectural task affecting the entire community and we see our products as the interface between people and architecture, to which we have made a satisfactory contribution for over 130 years. The prerequisite for this is a product philosophy aiming for first class quality and thus for sustainability. “Sustainability” – something which everyone is talking about these days – was something on which FSB had already taken action, even when ecology was still viewed as something at the fringe of society, which only concerned those who wore – at least that’s what was said at the time – hand knitted clothes made from natural wool. FSB had already started reflecting on the subject in the 1990s, when “ecology” was still greeted with a weary smile in most companies, with its project entertainingly called “clean underwear” about ecological effects at our production site in Brakel and what to do with the waste products resulting from production. At the end of 1995, FSB was the first company in North Rhine Westphalia and only the second company in Germany to be audited to the strict rules of the EU’s ecological audit. This was preceded in 1991 by the first company agreement in Germany on the protection of the environment. Over a period of what is now almost twenty years, we still ask ourselves again: “How green is our business?”

Environmental product declarations to ISO 14 025 are necessary for the certification of sustainable buildings to the German DGNB certification system. The DGNB certificate is awarded to buildings which protect the environment, are commercially efficient and user-friendly, whatever use the building is put to. The aims of sustainable construction are based on minimising the consumption of energy and resources. The consequence of this approach, which was formulated in 2007 and which amongst other things forms the basis of the EN standard 15 804, is now seen as pioneering around the world. The DGNB certificate consistently pursues the evaluation of the entire value creation chain over all phases in the the life of a building.

Here is FSB’s “green” history:

  • 1991 First company agreement in Germany on the protection of the environment
  • 1992 Setup of a company organisation which reflects environmental concerns
  • 1993 First environmental declaration
  • 1994 German environmental prize for the district of East Westphalia Lippe
  • 1995 ISO 9001 environmental manual 1996 EU eco-audit certification
  • since 1996 every 3 years, certification to ISO 14 001 and EMAS
  • 2008 Joined DGNB 2009, preparation for ISO 14 025
  • 2010 FSB and SSF are the first architectural hardware companies in the world with an environmental product declaration to ISO 14 025

The aim is to optimise all factors affecting the life cycle, from the extraction of raw materials, through building and on to demolition. It is not just the materials used to construct a building which are considered but the components used as well. The requirements for this are product-specific ecological balance sheets, which are verifications of product and company data which are produced independently and neutrally. The essential characteristics of ecological balance sheets are not just very specific environmental aspects such as we know from the “blue angle” in Germany, (e.g.“environmentally compatible – made of 100% recycled paper”), but much more the assessment of the entire chain of value creation of a product.

In this context, a check is made how the environment is protected while the product is being made and then used, as well as considering how it can be recycled. It was ideal here that on the one hand FSB could use the results of the certifications to ISO 14 001 and EMAS, and on the other hand, the materials always used by FSB: aluminium, stainless steel, bronze and brass are ideal candidates for the calculations. FSB’s and SSF’s environmental product declarations as listed below are available for inspection.

After all that, the question remains: “How green is your business?” It’s in your hands.

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