The development of eco-sensitive tiling adhesives and grouts.

By Jason Brunt Ceramic Product Manager Mapei UK.

At Mapei we are committed to protecting the Earth, using energy and resources sustainably, minimising waste, and developing and supplying products with user safety in mind. Mapei’s sustainability improvements are documented and reported at regular intervals.

Ethics and transparency are our fundamental cornerstones. As a leading company in the global construction market, we are taking a further step toward social responsibility. In 2018 we launched a campaign to elevate the chemical industry that manufactures products for the construction industry. Ethical behaviour, the quest for excellence, and transparent communications are our corporate values. We wish to share these values with the market, our clients, our suppliers, and everyone with whom we work and collaborate, to be the leading player in this challenge for ethics, transparency, and responsibility.

We believe that performance and transparency go hand in hand. Offering the best and most innovative solutions to design and construction according to eco-sustainable principles is a fundamental commitment for Mapei. This requires a sense of responsibility, and the ability to make concrete choices in order to supply designers, contractors, workers, and clients with products that are safe, reliable, and durable over the years, and which have the lowest impact on the environment.

It is a path that puts an emphasis on safeguarding the environment and our health. It unites quality architecture, and research and development, and hinges around the value of experience gathered by operating on the most important construction sites around the world. In fact, we contribute to the creation of quality, durable buildings through products formulated with innovative, recycled, ultra-light raw materials developed to reduce energy consumption and to have very low emission of volatile organic compounds.

Our management systems are the foundation stones of our corporate culture, quality, environment, safety, sustainability, and social responsibility. A quality management system has been applied to Mapei since 1994. Mapei UK is certified as compliant with ISO 9001, 14001 and, during 2018, gained ISO 45001 certification.

Mapei UK stimulates and encourages its employees to actively participate in implementing the principals of social sustainability by disseminating information and providing regular training courses. During 2018 Mapei UK acquired a new facility next to the manufacturing plant in Halesowen and has developed this building for its training academy providing support training for not only its employees but also the wider public. The training resource centre is also home to the technical team who provide vital technical assistance and specifications for the smallest and largest job sites.

Emphasis on research and development
An eco-friendly and sustainable chemical industry is the cornerstone of Mapei’s corporate philosophy. For a number of years Mapei has been replacing the so-called ‘substances of very high concern’ listed in REACH with less hazardous raw materials that still offer performance characteristics suitable for the type of use for which the products were originally developed.
Our research has also focused on the development of sustainable solutions with very low emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to guarantee good internal air quality of areas where they have been applied. Another important aspect in constant evolution is the research into raw materials containing recycled materials to be used in the formulation of products.

During 2018 Mapei UK moved its production of the Ultralite adhesive product range to the UK. The low dust technology utilised in ‘Ultralite Rapid Flex S1’ grey was also added to the white version during the transfer of production. The increase in low dust products have health benefits for the end user, and with dust being a major concern for respiratory health problems, all construction chemical manufacturers have to be looking at the implications and benefits of reducing this.

Building a sustainable future together
The ability to offer the best and most innovative solutions to design and construct, according to eco-sustainable principles, is a fundamental commitment for Mapei. Another important contribution to eco-sustainability is made through the development of products with improved mechanical performance characteristics and durability which, by enabling structures to be fabricated with an intrinsically longer service life, leads inevitably to a reduction of waste materials and lower consumption of materials and energy for their construction.

At Mapei there are 14 concrete examples of eco awareness:

Products safeguard the environment – 70% of our research is devoted to the development of eco sustainable products.

Logistics and shipping strategies – Reduction in the consumption of fuel and pollutants by promoting the use of rail transport instead of road transport.

A history of commitment – Certified products for the building industry respectful for the wellbeing of the environment and the final user.

R&D focused on indoor air quality – Products and systems with very low volatile organic compounds.

Reduce, reuse, recycle strategies – Reduction of solid waste and waste waters and use of recycled materials.

Bioblock Technology – Innovative technology preventing mould formation.

Green education strategies – Targeted courses for professionals for the correct use of Mapei eco sustainable materials.

Energy saving – Rationalisation of energy consumption and solutions for energy saving buildings.

Low dust technology -Significant reduction of dust released into the environment during manufacture and use.

Mapei is a member of the global Responsible Care program.

Supporting green programs worldwide – Mapei products have given an important contribution to all protocols for eco sustainable buildings all around the world.

Ultralite technology – Lightweight adhesives offering higher yield, less effort and lower environmental impact due to transport.

Construction of green buildings – Mapei’s most recent production facilities are designed and built according to LEED certification criteria.

Evaluation of the lifecycle of products – Dedicated teams specialised in evaluating the environmental impact of the whole lifecycle of our products.

An EPD or Environmental Product Declaration is a complete certified report, prepared according to international standards (such as ISO14025, EN 15804), that documents the effects a product has on the environment throughout its entire cycle, by measuring these effects according to standardised LCA (life cycle assessment) methods.

An analysis of the life cycle of a product is an evaluation of the environmental impact of the product during all the various phases of its life, from extraction of the raw materials that make up the formula to its final disposal. Products are considered to have numerous effects on the environment, form the most widely known effect of global warming caused by greenhouse gases (Global Warming Potential, known also as Carbon Footprint), up to effects such as eutrophication (anomalous growth of algae, due to a decrease in the density of aquatic fauna), the reduction in thickness of the ozone layer, the transformation of pollutants into acidic substances (which then causes acid rain), a reduction in the amount of natural resources, and many more. EPD’s help architects, design engineers and other buyers have a better understanding of a products sustainability characteristics and its imposed specific requirements for constructions based on the LCA method. Also architects and “green” public buyers (GPP, Green Public Procurement, is now mandatory in various countries, including Italy) require products that comply with international standards on sustainability.

Ours is a choice which looks to the future and is the result of our constant commitment to research into innovative, efficient formulas which can be integrated to form complete application systems. Maintaining quality standards of excellence also requires significant targeted investments. Excellence, however, is not just something you can declare: our wish is that whatever we communicate is also measurable – measured and certified by external bodies who can evaluate our claims objectively.

Some examples of products with GEV Emicode EC1 Plus Certification.

Adhesives: Adesilex P4, Adesilex P9, Adesilex P10, Granirapid, Kerabond T, Keraflex, Keraflex Maxi, Keraquick S1, Ultralite S1
Grouts: Keracolor FF, Kerapoxy CQ, Kerapoxy Design

For more information on Mapei’s range of lightweight adhesives and how they can be used in your project, contact:

T: 0121 508 6970