The key factor in drinking water hygiene is preventing the growth of unwanted substances and living organisms. Our closed loop installations and automatic flushing units keep water flowing and avoid stagnation at all times. Additionally, our pipe technology and design methods help to keep the water temperature below 25°C and prevent cold water delivery pipes from warming up, while our heat interface units generate hot drinking water on demand.
We have also been actively working on the challenges presented by storm water for many years. Uponor Smart Trap collects 100% more sediment than traditional sand trap chambers. Its renovation module can be installed in existing chambers, thereby avoiding the use of additional resources.
Uponor Water Monitoring Services is a service concept for municipalities’ potable water distribution network monitoring. It keeps track on water flow, direction of flow and water quality. Furthermore, leakages are identified and water quality deviations are indicated as alarms or event reports to the network owner.
In order to improve our water efficiency, all of our production sites use a closed-loop water circulation system for extrusion cooling purposes.
In order to transition from a take-make-waste economy to a circular economy, we focus on innovation. At a minimum, an idea must support one innovation driver and one of our corporate commitments (e.g. sustainability, health and comfort) to qualify for further consideration in the innovation pipeline. We continuously strive to create innovative solutions that help to create more comfortable, safe and eco-efficient buildings. For example, we are developing innovations related to recyclable packaging systems and alternative resins, among others, to promote circular economy.
We aim to reduce waste to landfill. Waste from our production sites and our use of materials have low potential for generating “hazardous waste”. In a typical year, less than 1.5% of our total waste is hazardous. Hazardous waste is recycled by our contracted, certified disposal companies, making the total waste quantity low at the end of the life-cycle.
We also strive to ensure installer health and safety at the work site. For example, the PEX pipe offers installers a durable but lightweight solution that is much easier to carry than metal pipes and eliminates the risk of fire at a worksite. Additionally, our patented fitting systems enable connections to be made in seconds, eliminating dangerous solvents and joining chemicals so that installers can breathe freely without inhaling toxic fumes.
As set forth in our Code of Conduct and frame purchase agreements, our suppliers are expected to meet Uponor’s ethical, social, environmental and quality standards, and comply with the applicable international and national laws and regulations. We evaluate and audit existing and new suppliers according to these principles. Our Corporate Responsibility principles require that all products and services sold under the Uponor brand are sourced according to practices which uphold internationally accepted standards. Our aim is to ensure that environmental, ethical, social, and health and safety issues, as well as labour practices, are not separate add-on features, but are embedded within all of our sourcing processes.
Our people strategy is based on three main themes: leadership, talent and culture. With the people strategy, we aim to ensure that we attract and retain the right talent to support our business goals under good leadership and a high performance culture. We provide each employee with a variety of opportunities to support their continued development through on-the-job learning, learning from others and more traditional methods, such as classroom-based studies and eLearning. Furthermore, we strive to provide unique career paths and offer leadership development programmes as competent leaders are the key to the successful execution of our strategy. These programmes run every year with invitation-based participation.
We respect human rights and follow the guidelines of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We are a responsible employer and support equal opportunities for our employees. No discrimination is allowed. We do not allow child or forced labour or engage suppliers that do so. We strive to provide fair compensation as well as a safe and healthy workplace for all employees.
We are striving to increase our internal energy efficiency and to reduce costs by focusing on employee behaviour, production processes and the supply chain. As of 2018, 14 manufacturing facilities have been ISO 14001 certified and seven facilities ISO 50001 certified. The plan is to have all sites certified under ISO 14001 and ISO 50001 by 2020.
We strongly support the development of legislation and policy that reduces the environmental impact of products and technologies used in the construction industry. In 2016, we became a member of the Finnish Climate Leadership Council. We have also been a founding member of the Stockholm Water Prize since 1995. Through participation in national, European and global standardisation work, we are also helping to drive local and international legislation.