Trainees win VDMA award

A six-strong ARBURG trainee team was presented with the VDMA "Carbon Busters" award at Hannover Messe on 30 May 2022. This award is given by the VDMA, Germany's Mechanical Engineering Industry Association, in recognition of young climate protection advocates. The trainees won over the jury with an idea for reducing the carbon footprint of coffee machines.

Award-winning: Environmentally friendly concept

The main criteria for the jury's decision were clearly formulated goals, a comprehensive elaboration of the project, and the drive through to implementation. "We are delighted that our concept for environmentally friendly coffee consumption was so well received by the VDMA and, above all, by ARBURG", said Tobias Helber, a first-year IT specialist, thanking the project team. Tobias and fellow trainees Denise Bohnet, Svenja Bross, Sonja Fritz, Mika Hauser, and Jannik Münstermann had invested around 250 hours in the concept and have since already realised some ideas at ARBURG's central location in Lossburg.

Coffee machines: Disposable cups are being replaced

In Lossburg, 24 table tops and 33 large coffee machines are in use, dispensing a total of 900,000 hot drinks in 2019 – 85 per cent of which in disposable plastic cups. The energy footprint drawn up by the project team showed that the production of a single disposable cup produces 14 grams of CO2, whereas a rinse cycle of ten cups only produces 11.8 grams of CO2. A survey showed that the vast majority is willing to switch to cups or a reusable solution. The team then put up posters to motivate all users to avoid using disposable cups when drinking coffee. For the table-top units, many employees now rely on porcelain cups.

Concept can save up to ten tonnes of CO2 emissions per year

Another idea is to connect the coffee machines to ARBURG's internal network via WLAN-enabled sockets so that they can simply be switched off at weekends and during company holidays. The trainees calculated the power consumption of the coffee machines in use, standby and during start-up. Result: If all 57 machines were switched off at weekends and during rest periods, this would add up to 6,058 days per year, which corresponds to 0.138 tonnes of CO2 savings per year.
A larger goal yet to be implemented is to establish a new reusable system for the large coffee machines. The most CO2-friendly alternative turned out to be to produce suitable reusable cups on injection moulding machines directly at ARBURG and to equip the machines with these. Used cups could be returned to a collection point and then also cleaned on site at ARBURG in a separate washing-up area. If all the measures are implemented, this would reduce CO2 emissions by around ten tonnes a year in the future.

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