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ACO Green City Solutions

Sustainability is part of ACO's DNA

Working on sustainable solutions is an ongoing process that we at the ACO Group are passionate about every day.

ACO has been developing products that serve water quality since it was founded in 1946. Over the years we gradually arrived at our motto "ACO. we care for water": a maxim we take literally. Along the way, we rely on transparent processes in comprehensible steps. We work every day to make our systems more sustainable: with innovative, recyclable and durable materials and resource-saving production.

Iver Ahlmann

“We only see innovations as such if they are sustainable in terms of production and environmental impact."”

Iver Ahlmann
Managing Director ACO Group
Hans-Julius Ahlmann

“Technology will make a decisive contribution to solving the climate crisis. We are innovation leaders in the field of Water-Tech, and that is what drives us.”

Hans-Julius Ahlmann
Managing Director ACO Group

We are drivers of sustainable technical innovations in the field of Water-Tech

We contribute to several UN Sustainable Development Goals, in particular Goal 6

As a third-generation family business, we live social responsibility

We are a third-generation family business and driver of sustainable innovation. As a Water-Tech company, we have made the protection of water our business

Water has an enormous impact on the quality of life of the population the world over. This is why the United Nations (UN) defined the improvement of water quality as one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals in its 2030 Agenda. With our holistic business model around water we primarily contribute to the sixth (Clean Water and Sanitation), ninth (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure) and eleventh (Sustainable Cities and Communities) UN Sustainable Development Goals. Our underlying drainage strategy, the ACO WaterCycle, promotes the sustainable management of water resources and creates future-proof infrastructures by implementing durable product solutions.

ACO also strives to contribute to the other UN Sustainable Development Goals through its business activities. In particular, the eighth UN Sustainable Development Goal (Decent Work and Economic Growth) is a natural part of ACO's DNA. As a globally active family business, we act with great foresight. ACO has set itself the goal of becoming a best-in-class sustainable Water-Tech company and finding innovative solutions for the challenges of the present and the future.

UN Sustainable Development Goals

Clean water and sanitation

Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Sustainable cities and communities

Our focal points

Our four overarching sustainability focal points are: Environment, Innovation, People and Commitment.


"ACO is involved in committees, trade associations and standardisation and thus ensures the quality standards of water - true to our mission "ACO. we care for water".  

Michael Müller | Head of Business Unit Drainage/Shaft Covers and Tops

"Our smart controlled tree irrigation is a project with a big impact - the positive influence of a tree on the environment and biodiversity is only realised once the tree has managed to grow older and larger."

Axel Leybold | Head of ACO Smart Solutions

"We are on the right track. Our raw materials are a major lever. However, we cannot solve this alone, but only together with our partners, our suppliers."

Martin Clemen | Head of Materials Technology

Sustainable innovations through research

The ACO WaterCycle
Collect, Clean, Hold, Reuse - the circular, interlocking ACO Water-Tech system for the collection and protection of our vital resource: water

With the ACO WaterCycle, ACO supplies intelligent, climate-resilient systems for the professional collection, purification, storage and reuse of water. Innovative separation and filter technologies are applied to prevent the contamination of water, for example by fuels, heavy metals, pesticides, microplastics, fats and even pharmaceuticals such as antibiotics. ACO contributes to the preservation of clean groundwater as a vital resource and with its products makes a contribution to a future worth living in.

collect: Collecting and absorbing

For example through waste water heat recovery

ACO ShowerDrain Public X

In addition to the use of alternative and renewable energy sources, the recovery of energy is becoming increasingly important. The ACO ShowerDrain Public X heat exchanger shower channel utilises this principle. Not only does it fulfil the tasks of collecting and draining wastewater but also serves to achieve wastewater heat recovery. The shower channel is an example of a product which enhances energy efficiency.

clean: Pre-cleaning and preparation

For example, through sustainable grease separation technology

ACO grease separators

Our grease separators, along with other separation technologies, are an indispensable element for sustainability. They effectively remove grease and oil from wastewater before it can enter the sewage system. This technology thus protects against blockages or corrosion and also protects the groundwater from potential contamination. The highlight: we are helping to ensure that the separated fats and oils become the fuel of the future.

hold: Holding and retaining water

For example, through responsible heavy rain and flood prevention

ACO Stormwater Management

Extreme weather, heavy rainfall and droughts are increasingly associated with climate change. This is where the ACO Stormbrixx infiltration system comes into action. Rainwater, for example from a “100-year” rain event, is collected and either stored for reuse in future periods of drought or released into the surrounding soil. In this way, we ensure that it is returned to the natural groundwater cycle.

reuse: Pumping, draining and reusing

For example, by conserving and reusing water resources

ACO vacuum toilets

ACO has developed a vacuum toilet that uses negative pressure to extract blackwater. It therefore only requires barely any fresh water per flush – the water is only used for the odour trap. The vacuum toilets can also be flushed using rainwater or condensate water collected with ACO products like condensate drainage for refrigerated cabinets. A conventional toilet requires 5-8 litres of water. The ACO vacuum toilet requires only 1 litre.

Sustainability News

Our certifications

IThe management system of ACO companies in Germany includes the implementation of the international standards for energy management DIN EN ISO 50001, for environmental protection DIN EN ISO 14001 and for quality DIN EN ISO 9001. Depending on the location, various certificates are available, each of which provides proof of ACO's quality, energy or environmental management systems. The certificates can be viewed under Downloads.

An energy management system in accordance with ISO 50001 enables efficient control and reduction of energy consumption. This includes, among other things, the introduction of new energy-efficient technologies and the reduction of energy waste. Examples include the optimisation of lighting, heating systems and structural efficiency measures such as heat recovery. The Büdelsdorf, Reith, Philippsthal and Stadtlengsfeld sites only use green electricity.

A quality management system in accordance with ISO 9001 requires the implementation of legal requirements and the definition of guidelines, structures and objectives. This ensures the fulfilment of customer requirements and other quality standards. This process-oriented approach accompanies the central operational processes, creates room for optimisation and promotes the efficient design of work processes.

An environmental management system in accordance with ISO 14001 focuses on environmental protection, the reduction of environmental impacts and the realisation of operational environmental goals, taking into account economic, legal and social conditions. Relevant environmental requirements are already taken into account during product development. ACO's environmental goals include, for example, the expansion of energy efficiency measures and the increased use of recycled materials.

An information security system in accordance with ISO / IEC 27001 demonstrates a holistic approach to safeguarding information security within an organisation. It defines rules, methods and processes to ensure, control, monitor and continuously improve information security in a company on a permanent basis. The main objective is to ensure the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information within the organisation.