The new cogeneration plant is part of the comprehensive sustainability concept that Heidelberg has firmly established in its strategic agenda. "Ideally, we would like to avoid resource consumption and the associated CO 2 emissions altogether. The next best thing is to reduce consumption and emissions or - if that is not possible - to compensate accordingly. This approach applies to everything from development and production through to machine operation at the print shops," explained Heidelberg Management Board member Stephan Plenz, whose area of responsibility includes sustainability. The waste recycling rate at the Wiesloch-Walldorf site, for example, is currently 99.2 percent - an impressive figure that is only possible with the full commitment of all staff. Other projects that aim to minimize the company's environmental impact include lead-free soldering, dry processing without cooling lubricants, and the switch to returnable containers for material deliveries.
Wiesloch-Walldorf opened in 1957. Covering a total area of 860,000 square meters, including 460,000 square meters of buildings, it is the largest site in the Heidelberg production network. The some 4,700 staff working there are mainly involved in manufacturing small mechanical components and electronics, and assembling presses, platesetters, and die cutters. The site also has shipping and spare parts centers and is home to the company's training center. In addition, Heidelberg uses the Wiesloch-Walldorf facility to manufacture and assemble precision components and sub-assemblies for customers outside the print media industry.
A cogeneration plant is based on the principle of combined heat and power generation for simultaneous provision of electrical energy and heat. Plants of this kind are particularly energy efficient, because they require up to 40 percent less fuel/primary resources than for conventional, separate generation of power and heat. The (waste) heat is normally used directly on site or fed into a local heating grid there. This on-site power generation and usage relieves the pressure on public power grids.