Take Back – Contributing to circularity by recovering pumps

Since 2014, we have been recovering used pumps through our Take Back programme in an effort to make circularity an integrated part of the way we work at Grundfos.

As a global leader in pump and water solutions, we see it as our responsibility to reduce the impact we have on the planet’s limited resources. Our Take Back programme is a key part of building a circular business model for our products and solutions that helps reduce the consumption of raw materials, limit waste, reuse valuable resources and extend the life of our products.

The Take Back programme was introduced so we could start recovering end-of-life pumps and warranty returns from installers. The pumps are collected at our disassembly facilities and turned into components – and almost all disassembled shipments get sent for recycling either through internal recycling facilities or in collaboration with our waste managers. Some of the components are separated and preserved so they can be reused in future products.

Collaboration with partners is key to circularity

Since the Take Back programme was launched in Denmark in 2014, it has expanded to additional markets, including the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, France and Sweden.

Throughout 2023, we are working to expand our Take Back programme further. This includes seeking out recycling and reuse partnerships with customers, exploring opportunities within recycling management and ensuring that circular principles are included in the design stage of our product development.

Using remanufactured parts to boost efficiency without compromising quality

A key partnership that has demonstrated what is possible with the Take Back programme is our collaboration with the NIBE Group. In 2022, we provided NIBE with 10,000 circulator pumps, all of which were fitted with remanufactured reused rotors.

The product delivered to NIBE Group retains the quality and reliability of a brand-new circulator but comes with the added benefits of a more efficient and less resource-intensive development process. 

Scaling the Take Back programme over the coming years

Until now, the focus has primarily been on remanufacturing and reusing rotors. But the ambition is to expand – not only in terms of scale but also in terms of parts.

“Take Back has been around for almost 10 years, and the collaboration with NIBE Group was a significant milestone for Grundfos that showed it’s possible to add reused components in a new product. We want to continue to gather pumps and rotors and start collecting additional parts, such as stators,” says Olivier Gallard, Sr. EHS Manager Domestic Building Services, Industry and EMEA.

Circular achievements and ambitions

By 2025, we aim to reduce waste to landfill by 50% based on our 2018 baseline of 1260t, and we aim to take back 500,000 kgs in circulators. So far, we have collected 64,288 kgs through the programme, putting us at 27% of our 2025 target.

We also continue to prioritise working with suppliers that can recycle and reuse rather than send to landfills. Our Take Back returns are also being amplified through new partnerships with customers.