Flemish government approves GRUP Nelissen Bricks

LANAKEN, 26/01/2024 - Good news for Nelissen Bricks. The Flemish government approved the GRUP, giving the Lanaken family business with 200 employees additional growth opportunities. Here, the focus of the brickyard is on a sustainable energy transition.

The GRUP application process began in January 2017. After seven intense years, there is finally clarity today for the locally anchored family business. Consequently, Nelissen may use a former extraction zone for processing surface minerals. The board is pleased with this decision. "We are very pleased that the GRUP has been approved. The plans were on hold for a while due to additional environmental studies. But the environmental analysis showed that potential expansions would have no impact on surrounding natural areas.", says Burt Nelissen, one of Nelissen's three CEOs.

Necessary energy transition
Nelissen received political support during the analysis. "We are grateful to them for that," Burt continued. "By doing so, they are showing that they are providing opportunities for family businesses and for the energy transition - necessary for the ceramic industry."

It is precisely this energy transition that Nelissen is now prioritizing. The first phase of this means implementing a climate roadmap with development and use of alternative energy sources. In addition, Nelissen is also strongly committed to dematerialization through the production of eco-formats. This is necessary to provide the necessary CO2-reduction to meet Europe's climate goals.

Focus on regreening
Brick itself is a sustainable product. It has a proven lifespan of more than 150 years and also offers circular options (like reclaimed facing bricks and as basis for foundation material). Consequently, the impact that the current production process has on the environment ultimately remains relatively limited. Nevertheless, it is necessary to make our production process even more sustainable and eventually transform our brick into a carbon-neutral product.

Higher interest rates, stricter environmental standards, rising construction costs ... are causing a sharp decline in building permits. As a result, the construction industry is currently going through a challenging period.

In addition, climate goals are very challenging for manufacturing companies. Consequently, Nelissen focuses first on making its production process and products more sustainable.

For that sustainability, they are currently exploring several options: the installation of new renewable energy generation facilities, the use of alternative production options, the transition to hydrogen, ...
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