Security and protection for the environment. World Environment Day 2024

The United Nations established 5 June as World Environment Day following the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, which was held in Stockholm on 5 June 1972. World Environment Day has since become a global event for environmental activities. The slogan chosen for 2024 is ‘Our land. Our future. We are #GenerationRestoration’, intended to focus attention on land restoration, desertification and drought resilience. This is a call to sustainable action, which has also been an integral part of SCHELL’s company philosophy since its formation.

Drink clean tap water and avoid the use of plastic bottles

According to figures from the DUH (Deutsche Umwelthilfe e.V.), 16.4 billion plastic bottles are used every year in Germany alone: the energy used to make these bottles could be used to heat 300,000 homes for an entire year. This is not even including emissions from logistics plus 430,000 tonnes of plastic waste every year. With their high energy consumption, single-use plastic bottles have a disproportionally high carbon footprint and climate impact. To counteract these effects, the only real option is to switch from these bottles to tap water. Drinking water out of the tap is always available and analysis figures from utilities confirm its healthy levels of minerals. German tap water also meets the highest standards for hygiene right up to a building’s water mains connection. As an expert for drinking water hygiene, SCHELL offers energy-efficient, water-saving and sustainable solutions to ensure water quality is maintained within a building – and we will also be presenting these solutions in this article.

Sustainability at SCHELL: from cradle to cradle

SCHELL develops and manufactures products according to the closed-loop economy model, which ensures resources are used sensibly while minimising environmental impacts. At SCHELL, raw materials and products are recycled and reused in accordance with this cradle-to-cradle philosophy. This also includes reducing waste in production, for example: the brass chippings and grinding dust created are collected, and returned to the original brass supplier for recycling. This recycling loop cuts energy consumption and generates fewer carbon emissions than the primary manufacturing process for the brass material.

The durability of SCHELL’s products also forms part of the sustainability strategy. If any component should fail – unlikely in itself – a comprehensive range of spare parts is available. As one example, flow regulators are easy to replace, to keep otherwise fully functional fittings working properly. A sustainable bonus: with the corresponding flow regulators, flow volumes can also be adjusted to the values needed for ecological building certification according to BREEAM or LEED.

Even at the product development stage, we are already working to ensure that the materials we use can be reused later on. Made from recyclable brass, SCHELL fittings and angle valves can be recycled to extract the raw materials after their long service life, and so remain a valuable resource. This creates a closed loop according to the cradle-to-cradle principle.

Climate action at SCHELL: clean energy in day-to-day business

Sustainability is also ever-present in day-to-day business practices at SCHELL throughout the company. In production areas, for example, high-efficiency LED lighting is used, with a daylight-sensitive light control system offering an additional contribution to saving electricity. Overall, this cuts lighting energy needs by around 65 percent. Both factories, the offices and the EV charging points on SCHELL premises are supplied with 100% green electricity from renewable sources. As the company concentrates its production activities in Olpe, which keeps logistics effort to a minimum, SCHELL has also managed to achieve a very positive carbon footprint.

Acting on climate change with resource-friendly SCHELL fittings

In response to the climate and energy crisis, energy-oriented refurbishments are also being expanded to sanitary facilities. There is now a growing interest in fittings that can save energy and water, while offering a durable and timeless design. The right fitting can save a lot of water – which translates to energy savings in hot water applications. Contactless and low-contact fittings from SCHELL can help to save water. Compared with conventional single-lever mixers, contactless wash basin taps from SCHELL can cut water use by as much as 70%, with self-closing taps achieving savings of up to 55%.

Support from SWS for maintaining drinking water quality

Tap water is perfectly safe to drink anywhere in Germany. To ensure that drinking water continues to meet standards from drinking water legislation in the building, SCHELL offers valuable support here: With the SWS Water Management System, networked electronic SCHELL fittings can be controlled and monitored with the central SWS server. Stagnation flushes can be executed and logged automatically: these are essential for ensuring the necessary exchange of water in a building in the event of longer interruptions in use or fluctuations in usage patterns. Fittings can also be organised into groups and then all flushed at the same time. This achieves high flow velocities in the installation piping and specified normal operation can therefore be simulated, which offers optimum support for operators looking to maintain drinking water quality. Error-prone, manual stagnation flushes are now a thing of the past – thanks to SWS: its functionality keeps operations sustainable, as the manual opening and closing of fittings takes a while until all fittings are opened and flushing simultaneously, therefore consuming significantly more water than automated flushes. In this way, SWS not only offers support for maintaining drinking water quality but also for handling operations efficiently while conserving resources.


Anyone installing SCHELL products can depend on the no-compromise quality they offer, which lets building operators enjoy long-term planning, avoid costly conversion work, and save energy and water. Ensuring the conservation of natural resources by using SCHELL products and solutions is all part of taking a climate-conscious approach to buildings throughout their lifecycles. As a pioneer in the field of sustainable sanitary systems, SCHELL is also committed to pursuing the targets of World Environment Day and conserving the planet’s resources.

With innovative technical developments like the SCHELL SWS Water Management System, energy-efficient production processes, durable products and recycling according to the cradle-to-cradle principle, SCHELL works continuously to further reduce its own carbon footprint.

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