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Sustainability and
environmental protection

Sustainability at
Gillrath Brickworks

Our path to a more
environmentally friendly production

Sustainability and environmental protection are essential topics for us and our employees, which we actively embrace. We create a culture in the factory where resource efficiency, reduction of fossil fuels, and the use of renewable energies are supported and promoted by the entire team and management.

To achieve our goals in sustainability and environmental protection, we need strong partners by our side. We have therefore joined several networks and work with renowned companies and institutes.

Energy in the company

Our path to climate-neutral production

rundes bordeauxfarbenes Icon mit einem weißem Blatt

Resource efficiency

in production through circular economy, recycling, and upcycling

Facade renovation

Preservation of value and longevity as part of the circular economy

rundes bordeauxfarbenes Icon mit einem weißen Haus und einem Blatt in der Mitte des Hauses

Product development

sustainable and ecological product design for a better climate

Energy efficiency

»The climate-neutral production – a long way,
on which we have already accomplished a good deal.«

… today

with big steps towards climate-neutral production

Photovoltaic system on all our roofs… (2010 - 2011)

… with a capacity of 535 KWp and thus a saving of 428 tons of CO2 compared to conventional, fossil power generation

Installation of a micro gas turbine as a CHP unit (2018)

Base load saving of 50kw in electricity by replacing an old gas burner system in the drying process while simultaneously generating thermal energy (heat) and electricity.

Conversion from heating oil to natural gas for steam generation (2018)

Reduction of CO2 with a consumption of approx. 30,000 l/a heating oil.

Construction of a water treatment plant (2019)

Water from the facing brick saws and the brick press is cleaned and reused – significant saving of fresh water (approx. 1,000m³ water/anno).

EV charging stations (2021)

Installation of 2 charging stations with 2 charging points each. We are starting to convert our vehicle fleet to electric drives.

Conversion to green electricity (2022)

There is still much to do,

but our next steps are already clearly defined

Hydrogen production

Member of the Hydrogene Hub Aachen since 2021

medium-term: planned cooperation with the Frauenhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology

long-term: hydrogen production in connection with the expansion of the energy management system.

Expansion of the company's energy management system, including power storage

from 2022

Extension of the PV system (currently in progress)

Energy consulting for medium-sized companies together with Wiro Consultants from Aachen and the Efficiency Agency NRW (completed)

Alternatives to the fossil energy source natural gas (from 05/2022)

Development & elaboration of possible alternatives for climate-neutral production by a master’s student from RWTH Aachen. Further cooperation with Wiro Consultants.

Traditional manufactory with a view to the future

Longevity – Sustainability

»Once energy is invested, we create a product
that can be used for many decades and is reusable.«

Circular economy

In cooperation with the Efficiency Agency NRW, we work on the topic of circular economy and make every effort to fully integrate it into our value chain and implement our own circular economy system.

»Gillrath Big-Bag«
We now offer our customers the “Gillrath Big-Bag” for the return of broken and cut waste on construction sites that are supplied directly by us.

The brick waste is returned to the factory, ground into brick dust, and reintroduced into production.

Circular economy in the brickworks

DE only | Status: Feb. 2022

Water circular economy
The brick press and the clincer slip saw are connected to the water treatment plant.


All waste generated in our production process, such as dry breakage or fire breakage, is directly reused. Raw material is returned to production.

Brick breakage is ground into brick powder and reused or further processed.

For most products, we achieve a recycling rate of at least 10%.



We use brick breakage and sawing residues not only as recycling material. For example, brick breakage is offered as gabion filling. Sawing residues are offered as bricks for garden and pathway design.

Brick powder is also used in visible screed, e.g., for terrazzo floors, or for interior plaster coloring. It can also be used as a substrate for green roofs, coatings for tennis courts, and paths, etc.

Preservation of the brick façade

to extend the service life and thus increase the sustainability of the used brick products.

By renovating a façade, its service life can be extended, and demolition can be prevented. With the right measures, the average life of a brick façade can be extended beyond 150 years.

We are happy to support you on this topic with various information on possible measures, such as cleaning options for the façade, joint renovation, and replacement of individual bricks or masonry parts. To find the right bricks for a renovation, read more about our renovation bricks.

Please feel free to contact us by phone or email.

Our goal is to preserve the value of the façade to extend its service life.

… we renaturalize

measures to compensate
for nature and landscape

The clay pit offers us the opportunity to create temporary biotopes. It is the habitat of many animals.
Creation of an orchard with old fruit varieties and a wildflower meadow for more insect diversity.

Genuine product innovations

»For a better climate«

product design

Sustainability begins with product development. For example, we are shifting our production towards the increased production of split brick slips. The production of brick strips as split slips requires less than 20% of the raw materials needed for brick production. By using resources more gently, we ensure, for example, long-term raw material use.

More information about our clinker slips

Ecological raw material clay

New product range for interior construction

A natural building block without additives for health-conscious construction. Clay bricks provide a good indoor climate.
The bricks are used for drywall construction and in half-timbered renovation.

In wooden houses, clay brick walls are used as thermal storage. They function as “moisture-balancing turbo absorbers.”

Additional plus point: They have a very good CO2 balance.


Our latest product innovation is a curtain façade made of ceramic shingles based on the “cradle-to-cradle” principle – in collaboration with Skupin Design and the Rheinische Riviera.


We work with various universities and research institutions, such as FH Aachen, the Fraunhofer Institute, and the IZF Institute for Brick Research.