EGGER Group takes next steps on the way to 'Net Zero'

EGGER has installed a heat exchanger at the Unterradlberg plant, Austria.. This enables the location to operate its board production lines free of natural gas during normal operation.

Photo By Egger

The EGGER Group is explicitly committed to the Net Zero target by 2050. The way to this goal involves comprehensive measures and far-reaching investments to drastically reduce climate-impacting greenhouse gas emissions along the entire value chain. 

The wood-based material manufacturer takes its commitment to climate protection seriously and has successfully implemented the next steps: For example, EGGER’s regular operation at its plant in Unterradlberg, Austria, is now free of natural gas thanks to the installation of a new heat exchanger. 

EGGER also has big plans for its plant in St. Johann in Tirol (AT), where it is investing around EUR 80 million in a new power plant and thus in renewable energy supply at this location. The wood-based material manufacturer has also switched on a large scale to binding agents produced with CO2-neutrally generated electricity. 

A way in stages 
Reaching the Net Zero 2050 target requires a great deal of effort. EGGER has set itself milestones along the way. The family company has set the following interim targets for 2030: By 2030, direct emissions from the company's plants (Scope 1) will be reduced by at least 30%, indirect emissions from purchased energy (Scope 2) by at least 40% and indirect upstream and downstream emissions (Scope 3) by at least 10%. The base year of the climate targets is 2022.

“We have built up considerable expertise in carbon footprint accounting. The causes of our emissions are known in detail and we are aware where we need to intervene. We are delighted that we can now report further steps to Net Zero. This path will continue to be pursued consistently; it will still require many measures, but we are convinced that we will achieve the targets we have set ourselves,” says Thomas Leissing, Chief Financial Officer EGGER Group. 

Unterradlberg plant produces free of natural gas
One measure has been realized at the Unterradlberg plant (AT): After a construction period of approximately one year, the first chipboards without the use of natural gas were produced there at the beginning of February. 

This was achieved by installing a new heat exchanger. It is used to heat the thermal oil needed for operating the rawboard press and the four lamination lines – a process that previously required the use of natural gas. The new heat exchanger is now operated with steam from the existing biomass power plant. This means that the Unterradlberg plant no longer uses any natural gas at all during normal operation of its board production lines, thus taking a step that clearly contributes to the EGGER Group's efforts to protect the climate.
 

New power plant in St. Johann in Tirol
Another project is currently being realized at the EGGER Group's headquarters that clearly contributes to the family company's climate goals: EGGER is investing around EUR 80 million in a new power plant there, which will supply both heat and electricity for its own production processes using a steam boiler and combined heat and power generation from biogenic fuels. In this way, EGGER will reduce the use of fossil fuels at the location to almost zero and can also supply the surrounding communities with even more sustainable district heating. The St. Johann in Tirol plant has already had a boiler system in place since 2008, which generates thermal energy for the production facilities and the district heating supply for surrounding municipalities by burning biomass and biogenic production residues. The planned power plant project offers a significant expansion: In addition to thermal energy, the new power plant will in the future also generate its own electricity for the production processes. EGGER will then cover at least 80% of its own electricity requirements at the St. Johann in Tirol plant. The new power plant, which is being built to the latest industrial standards, is scheduled to be commissioned in the first quarter of 2026.

CO2-neutrally generated electricity for binding agents 
In a further step, EGGER turned its attention to the chemical raw materials required in the production of its wood-based materials. Although these are a small component in the products themselves, they are a much bigger driver of emissions in the value chain. 

EGGER covers part of its binding agent requirements with its own resin plants in Wismar (DE), Radauti (RO) and Hexham (UK). Electricity is an important source of energy in glue production. The wood-based material manufacturer has implemented the following major step in its electricity supply: Since 1 January 2024, the three resin plants have only used electricity that is CO2-neutrally generated. It comes from hydro, wind or solar energy, for example.

EGGER also purchases binding agents from external suppliers. The way to Net Zero requires joint solutions and close cooperation with partners and suppliers. In the meantime, the external procurement of binding agents for the EGGER plants in the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK) has also switched to the same method: From now on, EGGER will use binding agents for rawboard production that are produced with CO2-neutrally generated electricity. This switch applies to all EGGER board-producing plants in the EU and UK and affects the chipboard and MDF product groups. EGGER is taking the first step towards reducing the CO2 footprint of the binding agents used. 
 

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Larry Adams | Editor

Larry Adams is a Chicago-based writer and editor who writes about how things get done. A former wire service and community newspaper reporter, Larry is an award-winning writer with more than three decades of experience. In addition to writing about woodworking, he has covered science, metrology, metalworking, industrial design, quality control, imaging, Swiss and micromanufacturing . He was previously a Tabbie Award winner for his coverage of nano-based coatings technology for the automotive industry. Larry volunteers for the historic preservation group, the Kalo Foundation/Ianelli Studios, and the science-based group, Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST).