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Gira and sustainability
Report 2017

Switch range made of natural materials. As part of its sustainability strategy, Gira has set itself the aim of developing a new switch range that uses natural, ecologically compatible and at the same time durable materials. The design agency schmitz Visuelle Kommunikation, with which Gira has been working for many years, gave the decisive impetus. The designers suggested using the materials linoleum and birch plywood. Working closely with the agency, Gira developed the new, pioneering Gira Esprit linoleum-plywood switch range with clear lines. The frames are available in six different colours for individual interior design.

ENVIRONMENT


PEOPLE


BUSINESS

PROJECT COMPONENTS

Use of birch wood from sustainably managed forests

Use of linoleum made of renewable raw materials such as linseed oil, natural resins and wood flour

Goal for the end of 2018: Share of sales in the Esprit switch range of 12%

Preparation of a life cycle assessment:
75% lower greenhouse potential than with a frame made of polycarbonate

Wood from sustainably managed forests Birch plywood is a classic material for modern interior design. For the frames of the switch range, birch plywood is used which is five-layered cross-bonded, and therefore particularly strong. The birch originates from sustainably managed forests in Finland and is PEFC-certified. The long, hard Nordic winter only allows trees a short period of growth each year, resulting in very thin and uniform annual rings. This makes the wood especially homogeneous and strong. It was therefore possible to produce such a delicate and yet strong birch plywood for a frame.

Linoleum from renewable raw materials In the recent past, the advantages of linoleum have been rediscovered by designers and architects alike. The material was already developed in 1860 by the English chemist Frederick Walton. In addition to linseed oil, its main component, it composed of natural resin, wood flour and calcium carbonate, as well as colour pigments. Due to its unique material properties, linoleum is ideally suited for use as a frame surface. It is extremely durable and is characterised by its resistance to oils and grease. It has anti-static and slightly antibacterial properties, and it is easy to clean. As a result the frames have a variety of uses and can withstand particularly tough conditions.

PROJECT TEAM


Gira Design Team



schmitz Visuelle
Kommunikation [Product Concept
and Design]



Andreas Vole [Building Automation
product range]

Carrying out a life cycle assessment To enable comparison of the environmental impact of different products, life cycle assessments were prepared for each of these on the basis of identical criteria. For example, the process chain from raw material procurement through production to the factory gate, i.e. delivery, was examined in a cradle to gate analysis. At Gira this method was developed for the first time during the development of the Gira Esprit linoleum-plywood switch range. Results show that Gira Esprit linoleum-plywood has a lower ecological impact than conventional frames made of polycarbonate. Its global warming potential is approximately 75% lower than a 1-gang reference frame. The consumption of fossil energy sources is significantly reduced by using less plastic made from crude oil.

Fig.: The high-quality
frames are distinguished
by their meticulous
material selection
and precise workmanship.

PROJECT PLAN

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Gira and sustainability
Report 2017