Envac AB is one of the leading environmental technology companies in Sweden and the global leader in the vacuum waste collection industry. Envac invented the vacuum waste system in 1961 and today the systems are in operation all over the world - in residential areas, business premises, town centres, industrial kitchens, hospitals and airports. The system is a part of the city infrastructure, just like electricity, sewage, water supply etc. The technology is, in all meanings of the word, a sustainable solution.
Envac AB is one of the leading environmental technology companies in Sweden and the global leader in the vacuum waste collection industry. Envac invented the vacuum waste system.
The first vacuum system was installed in 1961, and today the systems are found all over the world - in residential areas, business premises, town centres, industrial kitchens, hospitals and airports.
The system is a part of the city infrastructure, just like electricity, sewage, water supply etc. The technology is, in all meanings of the word, a sustainable solution.
Envac has 35 offices in 20 countries in Europe, North and South America, the Middle East, Asia and Australia. The Envac group is organized in four business regions: North Europe, South Europe and the Americas, Middle East and India, Asia Pacific and Australia. In addition, Envac AB owns Envac Optibag AB (100%).
Envac is fully owned by Stena Adactum AB, a company in the Stena Sphere. The Stena Sphere generated total revenues of SEK 54, 443 million in 2011. Income before tax amounted to SEK 3,570 million. Number of employees: approximately 19,000. President & CEO of Envac AB is Mr Christer Öjdemark. Chairman of the Board of Envac AB is Mr Martin Svalstedt (CEO, Stena Adactum AB).
- Our mission is to contribute to a better urban environment by offering rational and sustainable waste collection systems and services.
- Underground waste collection systems will become a utility and a natural part of the cities’ and the buildings’ infrastructure.
Our goal is to offer our customers the most sustainable waste collection system on the global market.
By most sustainable we mean:
- A solution with the lowest life-cycle cost
- A solution that has a positive impact on the environment in which it operates
- A solution that is safe, easy to use and increases recycling participation levels
We aim to be viewed as a proficient and reliable partner in automated waste collection. We will make every endeavour to improve sustainability levels in the development, design and utilisation of our systems. When it comes to technology, proficiency, know-how, quality and support we want to be recognised as the global leader. Our quality system is based on ISO 9001:2015 requirements. We continue to improve Envac’s quality systems in partnership with our customers and those within the organisation.
Certificate of approval
The Envac Group is certified according to ISO9001:2015 standards by Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance.
From dust to waste
It’s not quite clear who popped the question that was to be so decisive for the waste handling system of the future. But it is quite clear who were the four people around the table in Sollefteå Hospital on that momentous occasion at the end of the 1950s. There was engineer Torsten Karefelt, responsible for the technical work at the hospital, Olle Genberg, chief architect, Sten Olsson, consultant for heating and plumbing systems, and Olof H. Hallström, proprietor and managing director of Centralsug AB.
They had decided to meet at Sollefteå Hospital to discuss a new central dust vacuum system when the discussion suddenly took another turn. “If we can vacuum the dust from every corner of the hospital in one single system, why can’t we do the same thing with the waste?” The idea had not occurred to anyone before and no-one knew whether it was even feasible at all. But Olof H Hallström rose to the challenge.
Technical obstacles - a challenge
As a true believer in the power of technology, no technical problem was too difficult to solve for Hallström. A couple of years previously, with the aid of an inheritance from the sale of his family farm, he had purchased Ingvar Gustafsson AB, a company that later changed its name to Centralsug AB. It specialised in the construction and installation of central dust vacuum systems. With this experience behind him, Olof Hallström returned to Stockholm to work out an answer to a question that for many people still appears utopian today. Hallström kept his word and returned a couple of weeks later with a proposal for a vacuum waste-handling system for the hospital. The rest is history.
The first vacuum system ever
In 1961, Centralsug AB installed the first vacuum waste system in the world at Sollefteå Hospital. The system is still in operation today with many original parts from the early 1960s.
The first vacuum system in a residential area
But it was dust vacuum systems that kept business going for Centralsug in the following years. Despite many attempts to convince others of this waste technology, it nevertheless took until 1965, four years after the first installation, before Fastighets AB Förvaltaren, a municipality-owned housing company in Sundbyberg, decided to give it a try. So the first vacuum system for household waste in the world was installed in the completely new residential district of Ör-Hallonbergen. This system is also still in operation today.
Many years later Centralsug changed its name to Envac. But that is a different story.
Envac has 35 offices in 22 countries in and the group is organized in four business regions:
- Asia Pacific
- Middle East and India
- North Europe
- South Europe and the Americas
In addition, Envac AB owns Envac Optibag AB, Sweden (100%).
Envac is fully owned by Stena Adactum AB, a company in the Stena Sphere. The Stena Sphere generated total revenue of 51 billion SEK in 2016, while profit before tax amounted to 7,2 billion SEK. The number of employees is approximately 19,000.
President & CEO of Envac AB is Mr Joakim Karlsson, and Chairman of the Board Mr Christer Öjdemark.
The greatest advantages of the vacuum technology lies within the sustainability area. By moving the transport of waste under ground, we create an important improvement of the waste collection at the same time as we improve urban, living and working environments.
Envac and the UN's Sustainable Development Goals
Achieving Goal 11
Envac has the capacity to transform cities and make waste collection an integral component in achieving Goal 11. By transporting municipal solid waste underground using air, cities can become:
- Lessvehicle movements made by waste collection vehicles means less risk to those who live and work in cities
- Lessvehicle movements creates less carbon emissions, making cities’ air cleaner
- Lessmanual handling reduces the physical pressure placed on waste collection teams
- Climate change continues to generate unusual weather patterns that have caused flooding, storms and hurricanes. With Envac, waste collection remains uninterrupted even in the harshest of conditions
- When Hurricane Sandy hit New York in October 2013 the Envac system on Roosevelt Island remained operational, collecting waste through its 33 inlets, whilst conventional waste collection vehicles were being used to remove storm-related rubbish from the streets including furniture, abandoned cars and rubble
- Envac contributes to the growth in social capital - the value of an area based on its low rate of crime, antisocial behaviour and violence. In helping to provide clean environments and by encouraging a ‘little and often’ approach to depositing waste – in tandem with storing and transporting waste underground – Envac can help provide a climate for harmonious living
A global crisis or global opportunity?
Meeting Goal 11 does not need to be left to the eleventh hour. Yet with growing pressure on cities time is running out.
According to the United Nations:
- Half of humanity – 3.5 billion people – lives in cities today.
- By 2030, almost 60 per cent of the world’s population will live in urban areas
- The world’s cities occupy just 3 per cent of the Earth’s land, but account for 60-80 per cent of energy consumption and 75 per cent of carbon emissions
- Rapid urbanisation is exerting pressure on fresh water supplies, sewage, the living environment and public health.
An Envac city is a sustainable city
Attitudes to waste collection and recycling have changed over recent decades. The appetite for recycling has grown and recycling figures have increased
However, in contemporary urban environments and densely populated cities, theprocessof waste collection is now as important as theoutputof waste collection.
Quite simply, we can no longer focus solely on the materials we avoid sending to landfill in order to become sustainable. In a modern world, sustainable waste collection must begin at the planning phase of any modern development.
Envac’s ability to reduce carbon emissions, create cleaner environments and provide continuity of service means that its inclusion in cities’ resilience strategies is inevitable.
More importantly, as we approach 2030, it is clear thatEnvac is a key contributor to the creation of sustainable communitiesand a viable route towards achieving one of the 17 goals that the United Nations has committed to reach.