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Bringing the Circular Economy to Life

Uponor’s dedication to healthy homes, people, communities and the environment is the driving force for the company.

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Sara Gutterman, CEO of Green Builder Media, sat down with longtime friend and colleague Ingrid Mattsson, Director of Brand and Sustainability at Uponor North America. The duo discussed Uponor’s long-term sustainability roadmap and the inherent benefits of Uponor’s product portfolio, including radiant infloor heating, fire protection, and plumbing manifold systems.

 

“Over the last 20 years, I’ve seen that Uponor’s sustainability has become much more integral to our strategy; it's part of our businesses,” Mattsson mentions. From scrap to packaging, Uponor is pushing for a circular economy. The systemic approach is designed to benefit society, business, and the environment. In contrast to the ‘take, make and waste’ linear model, a circular economy is regenerative and aims to decouple growth from the consumption of finite resources.

Uponor is making significant strides towards energy, waste, and water reduction. This year they are going to be announcing an ESG roadmap, Mattsson says. This report will include carbon emissions reduction goals and product transparency through Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs). 

The company is working toward creating a healthy supply chain and thriving communities. Science-based targets include a 70% reduction in GHG emissions for Uponor’s operations and a 20% reduction in its supply chain by 2027. The company also plans to run on 100% renewable energy and completely eliminate waste. 

Uponor’s in-floor heating systems also enhance buildings' energy efficiency and comfort. “Warm water runs through the PEX tubing that is serpentine under the floors or in a concrete slab of a home,” Mattsson explains. “The heat stays where the people are, not at the ceiling, so you are not paying for wasted heat, and there are fewer allergens and particles flying around as you would have in a forced-air system.” 

Uponor’s radiant system is also conveniently equipped to switch to renewable energy sources without any changes to the system.

Additionally, in an increasingly water-parched world, Uponor’s fire protection systems aim to protect homes and inhabitants from potential fire damage. The residential fire sprinkler system allows time for inhabitants to escape the property. 

The flammability of certain products and the increasingly dry conditions have led to “2,600 deaths a year in the U.S. from home fires,” Mattson points out. Uponor’s localized, heat-activated system provides extra time when a smoke detector isn’t enough to wake up a homeowner at night. 

“Sustainability and efficiency are a part of our whole design process,” Mattsson concludes. 

Watch the video for more information on Uponor’s environmental initiatives, advanced plumbing systems, compliance with the UN’s sustainable development goals and water conservation and protection.