Celebrating the official opening of the new production building (from left): Mayor of Mainz Michael Ebling; Reinhard Schneider, owner of Werner & Mertz; Rhineland-Palatinate Minister President Malu Dreyer; Federal Chairman of Bündnis 90/die Grünen Robert Habeck; and Günther Lehner, owner of ALPLA Werke Alwin Lehner GmbH & Co KG. (Photo credit: Werner & Mertz)

Expansion

Largest single investment in the history of Werner & Mertz - New production building is a clear commitment to Mainz

| Sustainability | Werner & Mertz | Mainz | Germany

Werner & Mertz has invested 30 million euro in its new production building in Rheinallee, the largest single investment in the history of the Mainz-based cleaning products company. In keeping with the integrally sustainable corporate philosophy, the new construction is distinguished by its ambitious sustainability concept.

Speakers at the official dedication included Rhineland-Palatinate Minister President Malu Dreyer, Mainz Mayor Michael Ebling and the Federal Chairman of the Bündnis 90/die Grünen Robert Habeck. 

“You bring together social responsibility, economics and ecology in a very special way,” said Minister President Dreyer at the opening of the new production center. The regional government apparently knows that the word “modern” applies to those who protect the environment and the climate. With its new production center and the building’s energy concept, Werner & Mertz sets new standards in sustainability. “It is also a sign of confidence in the business location Mainz and an exemplary investment in the future of the people and the economy in Rhineland-Palatinate,” she said.

“The City of Mainz values Werner & Mertz, a company that sees its attachment to this site in tune with a modern development strategy and future obligations here,” said Mayor Ebling, “and has invested accordingly in great style to build this new production center. Companies like Werner & Mertz that link creativity, innovation and a consistently promoted sustainability approach with investments in the business site are a real treasure for any city because they make an important contribution to economic stability and development. Most importantly for our region, Werner & Mertz, with its new production building, will create in the long term up to 100 new jobs —a clear commitment to Mainz!”

"Congratulations on this impressive building and the perseverance and speed with which it was built," said the Green Party Chairman Robert Habeck in his keynote address. "The circular economy in industry is reality in this new Werner & Mertz building. It is wonderful to see that it can function and the dimensions in which it can function."  He made clear how large and serious the flood of plastic is and advocated the use of recyclates and the design of recyclable products – an approach that Werner & Mertz is already pursuing.

Production can be doubled

Sustainable cleaning products from the Mainz company are in greater demand than ever. From 2016 to 2018, revenue for the Frosch brand grew by 21 percent and its market share by 14 percent. In 2018 total revenue for the entire Werner & Mertz Group was 399 million euro. With the investment in the new production center, Werner & Mertz can keep up with the growing demands. One of the first new production lines valued at 4.5 million euro is already in operation. In the final expansion stage, Frosch production can be doubled. Packaging manufacturer ALPLA, which for years has produced the transparent Frosch bottles of 100 percent recycled plastic on the Werner & Mertz premises, is also moving into the new building. In the future the packaging company won’t be manufacturing on site, but rather in-house. “With the construction of the new production center, we are creating the world’s largest recyclate bottle production,” said Werner & Mertz owner Reinhard Schneider. To date, 266 million PET bottles of 100 percent recycled plastic from post-consumer waste collection have been manufactured and filled in Mainz (as of May 2019).

Gunther Lehner, owner of ALPLA Werke Alwin Lehner GmbH & Co. KG, said, “We are very pleased about the many years of close cooperation with Werner & Mertz. For ultra-modern and efficient packaging manufacturing in the new production center, we have invested 13 million euro."

Sustainable and energy-efficient construction

Sustainability had high priority in the new construction. General contractor Karl Gemünden GmbH & Co. KG put to use the greatest amount of recycled concrete that is legally permitted. Two-thirds of the 4,000-square-meter rooftop area is covered by 455 photovoltaic modules which supply power for the cooling units. Heat recovery and district heating, among other things, are used to heat the building. The entire building is equipped with LED lighting which is controlled in restrooms, hallways and changing rooms by presence sensors.

Architect Holger Ries, who was responsible for the construction, explained, “The foundation for sustainable planning is a continuous and long-term factory structure planning. Werner & Mertz has pursued this goal for the past 30 years. With the construction of building L8, the company documents its attitude to resource-conserving and environmentally responsible land use.“

The previously mentioned measures make the new Werner & Mertz production building eligible for the KfW Effizienzhausprogramm 55 for building projects with primary energy needs as low as possible. The construction was supported with 20 million EUR, of which 850,000 EUR was a grant. “With building L8, Werner & Mertz sets an energy-efficiency standard for warehouses and production halls which has rarely been met by other buildings," said Jens Fröhlich, manager of Fördermittel der IKB Deutsche Industriebank AG.

Pleasant working atmosphere for employees

The social factors of sustainability were also taken into consideration in the construction of the production building. The offices are identical to that of the LEED Platinum-certified main administration building, including sustainable office equipment and free use of coffee makers and water dispensers. The good quality of continuously supplied fresh air is assured by the high volume flows. Employees can make use of the 26 new parking spaces for e-autos with charging stations right next to the building. A Japanese garden in the rooftop courtyard, ground cover on the roof and greenery on the north wall provide a green view and contribute to biodiversity.

“Our production center is particularly impressive because it has an ambitious energy concept with outstanding insulation values and a highly efficient heat recovery system. On top of all that, employees have a pleasant working atmosphere,” said Schneider.

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