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Sustainable Partner

Small things, big impact

Buildings must be made more energy-efficient in the fight against climate change. Window, façade and door seals have an important role to play in this development. As the market and innovation leader in Europe, Semperit is right at the forefront.

It is often the small things that have a big impact. This also applies to climate protection. After all, what use is the most efficient heating system or a state-of-the-art air conditioning system if there is a draft through the window or the door doesn’t close properly? Then heat is lost in winter, and in summer homes or offices feel like incubators. Energy costs and carbon footprints skyrocket, while comfort and the environment suffer. According to current studies, around 20 to 25 percent of thermal energy in residential buildings is lost through windows and doors. Seals, as inconspicuous as they may seem at first glance, are therefore of crucial importance in the fight against climate change. After all, buildings are one of the biggest sources of CO2 emissions alongside transport. Manufacturers, users and governments are therefore looking for solutions to make buildings more energy-efficient. According to the EU Buildings Directive, energy consumption in residential buildings, for example, is to be reduced by 20 to 22 percent by 2035.

And this is exactly where Semperit and its seals come into play. “As the European market and innovation leader, we also want to set standards in sustainability – with long-lasting products of the highest quality and a resource-saving production process. Our production facilities are equipped with modern environmental modules so that energy and water, for example, can be largely reused. In doing so, we want to maximize customer benefits while at the same time minimizing the impact on our environment as much as possible,” explains Andreas Janowitz, Head of Commercial at Semperit Profiles.

“As the European market and innovation leader, we also want to set standards in sustainability."

Andreas Janowitz, Head of Commercial at Semperit Profiles

The friendly seal

“We are primarily concerned with three major issues: our seals must be characterized by environmental friendliness, for example in terms of thermal insulation, easy installation and user-friendliness,” Janowitz continues. This is no easy task, as these requirements are sometimes contradictory. After all, a user wants the door to close as softly as possible, which is generally at the expense of service life and insulating properties and thwarts the actual purpose of the seal. However, Semperit, which has been producing profiles since 1945, is a master at resolving such contradictions with a spirit of innovation and engineering skill. Only this way has the company managed to become one of the world’s leading seal suppliers and the number one in Europe over the last 79 years. Semperit now produces around 400 million meters of seals at five locations every year – this means that the distance from the earth to the moon could be sealed with Semperit profiles and there would still be just under 20 million meters left.

However, it makes more sense to use them in places for which they are intended – in windows, façades, and doors around the world. Semperit has made enormous progress in recent years in terms of thermal insulation, the use of recyclable materials and longevity. “As the big player in the industry, we set the pace and regularly bring innovations to the market. With our Hybrid Master multifunctional gasket, for example, we were able to improve the thermal conductivity value by a factor of 4. The seal therefore offers exceptionally good insulating properties, saves heating costs and CO2 and does so at temperatures from minus 40 degrees to plus 120 degrees Celsius. This is unique,” Janowitz says, delighted with one of the latest product developments.


However, Semperit not only manufactures products with a sustainable effect, but also wants to reintegrate them into the production process at the end of their life. In other words, the company pursues a cradle-to-cradle approach. Janowitz: “Circular economy or cradle-to-cradle is the next important step for us in profile production. Already today, 10 percent of our total production is made from recyclable materials, i.e. waste or recycled material that we reuse. We want to significantly increase this proportion over the next few years, whereby we want to turn window products back into high-quality window products rather than downgrading them, which would ultimately only leave waste again at the end of the day.”

Janowitz is convinced that quality not only pays off for customers, but also for the environment: “Depending on the product and application, our seals last 20 to 30 years – and ideally, we can then recycle them and reprocess them into a new seal. In contrast, we have to replace cheap seals every few years – with all the disadvantages for the consumers’ wallets and the environment.” In this context, he also warns against “false sustainability”, as there are some materials that are easier to recycle during the production process, such as thermoplastic elastomers, but cannot be recycled at the end of their service life and “are therefore eliminated from the cycle. This is at best sustainable in the short term, but not environmentally friendly in the long term”.

So, there is a great deal of technology and innovation in these seals. And also more and more sustainability – or as Andreas Janowitz calls it: “innovation, durability and circularity”. This paves the way for low-emission seals, which support the fight against climate change. And as the speed of innovation continues to increase and development cycles are getting shorter, there may soon be more exciting news from Semperit Profiles.

Cycles like those found in nature are the model for the “cradle-to-cradle” concept. Products are made from recycled materials and, when they are no longer used, in turn form the raw material for new products. The vision: a world without waste.

Die Fabrik von Johann Nepomuk Reithoffer in Wimpassing im Jahr 1852
Andreas Janowitz
Die Fabrik von Johann Nepomuk Reithoffer in Wimpassing im Jahr 1852

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