Specialist for eco-friendly products to build factory in Herbolzheim, Baden-Württemberg
Otto Graf GmbH of Teningen is evolving worldwide into one of the leading manufacturers of rainwater management and wastewater treatment solutions. And in doing so, this family enterprise is continuing to invest in the region. Investments exceeding €30m will give rise in Herbolzheim to the Graf Kompetenzzentrum Rohstoffe, a centre of expertise for raw materials in the direct vicinity of the A5 motorway. These investments will be supplemented with funds from the German Federal Ministry for the Environment. Building has already commenced. The foundation stone was laid on 14 August. The centre of expertise and its initial staff of forty will assume work in the summer of 2018.
On 6.5 hectares of land, the new building will cover about 24,000 m2 and have twelve raw material silos, each 30 m high. There, Graf will be converting secondary resources of plastic into high quality re-granulate. These will be used, for instance, in the manufacture of Graf eco-friendly products at its Teningen and Dachstein (Alsace) sites. First there will be forty new jobs created in Herbolzheim.
“The centre of expertise for raw materials will be the visible symbol of the leading position our knowhow has adopted in the field of raw materials. And it testifies to the consistent implementation of our strategy for the sustainable production of eco-friendly products,” explained Otto P Graf, proprietor and managing director of the company.
For the first time, the plant will be incorporating new technologies to link multiple process steps into an overall process stream. According to the company, its pioneering technology will make the plant one of its kind in the world. The object is to manufacture a plastic granulate that attains the quality level of primary products. The project is to eliminate over 90,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year.
The largest single investment in the history of the company
The building of this centre of expertise is the largest single investment in the fifty plus year history of the company. With this step, the company is laying the foundation for continued dynamic growth. In the past years, too, Graf has invested continually in buildings, machines, and the expansion of its workforce, above all at its Teningen headquarters.
Graf eco-friendly products have been designed for maximum service lives and are 100% recyclable. The company grants warranties of up to 25 years. Products are sold to more than sixty countries around the world. And on key strategic markets like France, Great Britain, Poland, Spain, Australia, and China, the Graf Group has set up its own national branches. The company already generates over 50% of its revenue outside of Germany – with this figure set to rise in future. In the last business year, the company generated revenue in excess of €95m with a workforce of around 450 employees worldwide. The last ten years have seen both revenue and workforce more than double.
By preparing raw materials with its own pioneering technologies, this European market leader for rainwater harvesting has secured for itself an unvaryingly high level of quality. Moreover, according to the company, this step will also safeguard the long term reliability of Graf product deliveries, which today has achieved an unvaryingly high level. Even today, an extraordinarily high proportion of recycled raw materials is being introduced to production.
Measure co-financed by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment
Graf’s innovative ideas also convinced the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB). This Ministry’s Environmental Innovation Programme funds projects that promote the manufacture of products with the minimised draw on resources. This federal funding underscores the company’s outstanding expertise in the field of raw materials. Present at the laying of the foundation stone, Parliamentary State Secretary Schwarzelühr-Sutter praised the project as a “key venture, not only for waste management, but also for the conservation of resources in the manufacture of high quality products.” She continued that the resulting savings in CO2 emissions will afford a significant contribution to Germany’s climate protection goals.