The keywords of Finnfoam Oy’s development operations are energy efficiency and environmental friendliness.
Development for the good of the environment
The energy efficiency of Finnfoam’s production facilities is already taken into consideration during the design stage. For example, Finnfoam Oy has developed a cooling and heating system, which allows waste heat from production to be reclaimed and transferred to where heating is required. The heat is also transferred to the storage facility where the trucks are loaded. Interior lights are controlled with twilight and motion detector switches, as the large skylights provide light in the daytime. In recent years, we have been able to improve the efficiency of our production equipment and we continue to work on new improvements. Finnfoam Oy has also implemented a certified and audited ISO 14001 Environmental Management System.
Regarding the environment
In recent years, Finnfoam Oy has made significant investments into using renewable energy in all of its production operations. A prime example of this is the solar power plant built on the roof of the newest storage facility in 2017.
In the production of the water vapor required to manufacture FF-EPS products, Finnfoam Oy uses renewable materials, i.e. wood pellets, which significantly reduces the carbon footprint. In addition, the carbon dioxide used in the production of Finnfoam is waste produced by other plants, which means that using it does not create additional environmental burden.
Finnfoam Oy attempts to minimize the creation of waste throughout its production. The manufacturing process of the Finnfoam insulation does not produce waste. The plant utilizes a recycling line, where the chips resulting from the milling of finished panels are processed and recycled to be used again.
At Finnfoam Oy, waste is sorted and recycled. Combustible waste is delivered to a waste incineration facility, paper to recovered paper collection, metal scraps to metal recycling, etc. Finnfoam's thermal insulation products are packaged using materials with a minimal environmental burden. Larger lots delivered to construction sites can be delivered on pallets secured by binding straps without unnecessary packing materials.
History of our development
In 1988, Finnfoam Oy became the first manufacturer in the world to replace the CFC compounds used in the production of XPS panels with HCFC compounds. The environmental impact of a HCFC propellant is approximately 5% of the impact of CFC compounds. In 1991, development began to find a more environmentally friendly replacement for the HCFC propellant. The development lead to a breakthrough in 1998, as the first Finnfoam thermal insulation panels produced using carbon dioxide emerged from the production line. Over the next year, all production lines were converted to use the new propellant. Finnfoam Oy was thus the first XPS insulation manufacturer in the world to eliminate HCFC compounds in production. The production of Finnfoam XPS insulation products has been completely HFC free since 2002.
In 2011, Finnfoam Oy received Valonia's Environmental Accomplishment award for fruitful, long-term work to improve energy efficiency. Valonia’s press release below:
"Hak Metal Oy and Finnfoam Oy awarded for the environmental accomplishment of 2011
Reclaiming waste heat
Finnfoam Oy produces thermal insulation panels using polystyrene. Established in 1982, the company employs approximately 60 people. The company's energy efficiency per produced unit has been increased significantly through improved production technologies and reduced energy consumption. Today, the company produces 56 percent more products using the same amount of energy than it did in 2001. Overall in 2001–2010, the company has achieved electricity savings of approx. 14,100 MWh. One megawatt is equal to one thousand kilowatts.
In 2002, Finnfoam moved to new facilities whose design focused on energy efficiency. Due to the cooling system developed by the company, waste heat from production equipment can be reclaimed efficiently and used to heat the entire property, including the offices and the loading bay. By reclaiming waste heat, the company has reduced its oil consumption significantly. This year, the company has also begun to heat the large industrial building next to the plant using waste heat.
Las year, the energy efficiency of Finnfoam was improved significantly, as the 400-watt industrial lights in the production hall were replaced with 100-watt LED lights. This also improved the light output and quality. Replacing the lights will save approximately 250,000 kWh of electricity each year, which corresponds to the annual consumption of approximately 13 detached houses.
Additional savings have been achieved by further developing the production process of the thermal insulation panels and the equipment. In addition, the machinery has been modified such that the cooling requires less water and the water also does not have to be as cold as previously. The company has increased savings further by improving material efficiency, which has made it possible to reduce the weight of the Finnfoam insulation panel. Finnfoam Oy’s products also help the customers save energy.”
With regard to environmental issues, Finnfoam has always been a trailblazer in the industry. A prime example of this are the RTS EPDs acquired for Finnfoam's products. EPD (Environmental Product Declaration) is a voluntary, standardized method for presenting essential, verified, and comparable information on the environmental impact of building materials in a reliable manner.
Life-cycle thinking is increasingly used to review the environmental impact of construction projects. In the selection of construction materials, the environmental impact of the production and use of the materials, as well as the post-use impact, including the sourcing of the raw materials, constitutes an important criterion. With the RTS EPDs, designers, developers, and contractors are better positioned to understand the environmental issues related to construction materials.