Industrial waste management: a problem or energy resource? A flexible circular economy system in the lift industry is showing the way for the transition to sustainable energy

Industrial waste management: a problem or energy resource? A flexible circular economy system in the lift industry is showing the way for the transition to sustainable energy


Objective Action

Protecting the environment is an integral part of KLEEMANN’s culture. As a company, we are aware that natural resources are not limitless and that rational resource management is necessary to achieve sustainable development. In this context, KLEEMANN has incorporated the principles of the circular economy throughout its value chain, participating in initiatives and programs that contribute to the efficient management of natural resources, the reduction of generated waste and simultaneously to their reintegration as resources in other production activities.

The company responsibly manages the total volume of solid waste generated from its production process, increasing each year its recycling and reuse rate. Specifically, the company recycles 100% of all dangerous and non-solid waste from the production process, such as dye sludge, dye filters, lubricants, powder, solvents, plastic, paper, aluminium, scrap metal, wood, empty containers, as well as sawdust.


Target Audience

At KLEEMANN, we participate in an innovative environmental project that involves the creation of an agile circular economy system that uses "waste" as a raw material for energy production.

We recognize the global impact and impending catastrophic consequences of climate change for the entire range of economic and production activities and for the life on the planet. We operate responsibly caring for the environment and the local community in which we operate. 

The circular economy model is a modern proposal for sustainable development, which improves our ecological footprint and aims to save and conserve natural resources, with multiple benefits for the society, the economy and the environment nationally and globally.

Furthermore, it will help assess the environmental impact, while offering new business opportunities, either through negotiating contracts digitally or developing new business partnerships based on circular economy models.



The project is expected to be completed in 2022, however KLEEMANN aims to apply the proposed circular economy model to all of its waste where possible.


At KLEEMANN, the production process of lifts generates waste which is controlled for material recovery (paper, wood, plastics, metals, pallets and glass) and then in cooperation with waste management and recycling companies, these materials are recycled for use in various industries from various sectors. For KLEEMANN, waste management is one of the main pillars of environmental policy and the traceability and control of waste management is of utmost importance for the company. The waste that is produced also includes wood waste. The wood residues, after proper treatment can be used for energy production. So, in this scenario, wood waste is treated as an energy resource. Through the EFPF platform, qualitative and quantitative recording of wood residues to their final destination is implemented, i.e., their reuse as energy by KLEEMANN.

More specifically, as soon as KLEEMANN is notified that the fill level of bins containing wood waste is 90%, it submits a business opportunity (tender) via the EFPF platform to invite waste management companies in order to collect the "waste". The interested companies then participate in the process and in turn submit their offers in order to proceed with the conclusion of a contract for the collection and management of waste. The company selected for the collection of wood waste, follows the same business opportunity submission process, targeting bio-energy companies that use wood waste as a raw material for energy generation. In the same way the bio-energy company selected through the ecosystem, processes wood waste and produces energy that can be traded. The bioenergy company re-uses the EFPF ecosystem market to sell energy to interested electricity providers participating in the platform. Applying the same circular flow of processes, the energy provider submits a bid to the platform, where the interested companies evaluate and proceed to the conclusion of a contract. In this pilot scenario the generated energy is made available to KLEEMANN and in this way the waste management chain returns to the waste generator. In addition, this cyclical process based on the traceability of wood residues and their return as energy to the same waste producer, will be certified with a traceability certificate. This certificate will prove the course of the wood while at the same time, it will digitize and optimize the existing process with expected improvements in the transparency of transactions.


Impact on Society

This initiative has not been completed in order to provide measurable results. We believe that the benefits of the initiative are related to the conservation of natural resources, the creation of new business opportunities and jobs due to the activities of the circular economy.

Initiative Location

The initiative is implemented in the production facilities of KLEEMANN Group in  Kilkis.

Working with Organization

In the framework of the EFPF research project, which is part of the European Horizon 2020* program, KLEEMANN collaborates with 29 organizations to create a holistic intelligent factory ecosystem through an open and interoperable platform. KLEEMANN, one of the leading lift manufacturers in the European and global market, participates as a key pilot in the circular economy scenario for waste management.

*https://www.efpf.org/, Co-funded by the Horizon2020 Program of the European Commission. Grant Agreement # 825075


Workers Participation

The project is implemented by the Engineering and Manufacturing Department and more specifically by the Department of Environmental Management, with the participation of three employees from the administrative staff and two employees from the workforce.


Benefits for Οrganization

From the implementation of the project, it is estimated that the following results will emerge:

Increase in the percentage of electricity produced by Renewable Sources
Reduction of fossil fuel consumption
Establishment of a digital ecosystem of traceability and return of waste to their place of production in the form of energy. In this way recyclable materials, in this case wood waste, are used as raw materials
Informing all stakeholders through the EFPF ecosystem about business opportunities and the course of waste management

Connection with Global Goals

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