As a sustainable company, AMAG works on continuously improving its environmental performance. Its environmental management system includes compliance with all legal regulations and official requirements as well as the systematic evaluation of relevant environmental aspects and effects.

The continuous improvement of operational environmental protection by avoiding or reducing environmental pollution forms an essential component. Periodic audits of defined company areas as well as the training of employees ensure the effectiveness of the management system.

Energy

AMAG endeavours to exploit aluminium products’ energy-saving potential through a high level of recycling and low energy consumption during production. The casthouses and rolling mills are the main energy consumers at the Ranshofen production site.

Natural gas is utilised in the casthouses to melt and temper aluminium. In the rolling mill, most of the electricity consumed is harnessed to drive the mill stands, and electricity and natural gas utilised in the heat treatment of aluminium strips and plates.

The total energy consumed at the Ranshofen site amounted to approximately 745,200 MWh in 2019 (2018: 726,000 MWh). Compared to the previous year, total energy consumption increased by 3 %. Firstly, this increase is due to the increased conversion factor for the energy content of natural gas, which was redefined for 2019 by the Federal Ministry as part of the national greenhouse gas inventory. Furthermore, more natural gas was needed in the casthouse sector for smelting, casting and homogenising aluminium. In the rolling mill, natural gas and electricity consumption also rose, due, among other factors, to shifts in the product portfolio towards higher-strength and thereby more energy-intensive products, e.g. owing to the required heat treatment.

In relation to energy sources in the electricity mix, AMAG relies on the utilisation of renewable energy sources in order to act in a manner that is compatible with climate protection. In 2019, for example, AMAG purchased a total of 86 % of its electricity from hydropower. The share of wind energy and electricity from solid biomass and photovoltaics amounted to 14 %. As a consequence, no indirect CO2 emissions are generated from electricity production.

Central measures in the energy area are:

  • Implementation of the “Optimal Energy Utilisation through Heat Recovery” flagship project, making waste heat from the casting plants usable for heating purposes
  • Optimising the hall heating from the new cold rolling mill by means of heat recovery
  • Energy savings through more efficient hall lighting (LED instead of conventional lamps)
  • Increase of energy efficiency through process and plant optimisation
  • Awareness raising of employees through training and Workshops
  • Incentive scheme for suggested improvements to save energy through the continuous improvement process

Emissions

The extraction and processing of aluminium produces gaseous, liquid and solid emissions. In order to minimise the effects of climate change, greenhouse gas emissions must be drastically reduced. Central measures to reduce emissions include:

  • Implementation of the “Optimal Energy Utilisation through Heat Recovery” flagship project
  • Expansion by connecting the rolling mill east and south areas to the hot water network and Integration of the compressor Station

  • Transport: Optimising logistics processes

Flagship Project: Optimal energy utilisation through heat recovery

In categorising the CO2 footprint, the division of emissions into three so-called "scopes" is particularly relevant.

Scope 1 emissions derive especially from the gas-fired melting and heat treatment of aluminium alloys, the temperature control of fluids used in building heating systems, and the diesel used for the vehicle fleet.

Scope 2 emissions arise when generating the electricity consumed. These are measured based on data from electricity suppliers about the CO2 intensity of their electricity generation.

Scope 3 covers all other greenhouse gas emissions caused by the organisation’s outsourced operations.

In 2019, direct greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1) amounted to 104,400 tonnes (2018: 101,000 tonnes). No Scope 2 emissions were generated in 2019 thanks to the purchase of electricity from hydropower and other renewable sources.

Specific CO2 emissions (Scope 1 + 2) in relation to production volume (tonnes of CO2/t) grew to 0.163 CO2/t in 2019 (2018: 0.159 CO2/tonne).

For reasons of materiality, only upstream emissions from the purchase of primary aluminium, rolling slabs and metal alloys are included in the calculation of Scope 3 emissions. In 2019, Scope 3 emissions amounted to 1,200,000 tonnes of CO2eq.

Water

At the Ranshofen headquarters, the water supply for pumping groundwater is ensured by two service water wells and one drinking water well.

Volumes conveyed are calculated from measurements taken directly at the tapping point. Most of the operational service water is utilised for cooling in the casting, rolling and heat treatment processes. Service water withdrawal is consensus-based.

The cooling and quenching water is discharged into the existing cooling and rainwater sewer and from there – also within the framework of an existing discharge consensus – into the River Inn. Rainwater is largely drained away on AMAG’s premises or directly fed into the River Inn via the rainwater canal, while domestic wastewater is fed into the Braunau sewage treatment plant.

Groundwater withdrawal is accompanied by extensive monitoring, including groundwater level measurements.

Total service water withdrawal in 2019 amounted to 3,656,000 m3 (2018: 3,564,000 m3). For the purpose of multi-year comparison, the total service water withdrawn in 2007 was added to the bar chart. Specific service water withdrawn in 2019 amounted to 5.7 m3/t (2018: 5.6 m3/t). Drinking water withdrawal amounted to 99,400 m3.

For many years, measures have been implemented as part of sustainable rainwater management.

To this end, numerous seepage reservoirs and seepage troughs for rainwater have been created on the plant site.

The total area of the realised or planned drainage possibilities extends to around 4 hectares. Around 128 hectares of roof and other areas are drained via these seepage areas.

The construction of rainwater seepage reservoirs reduces the volume of rainwater that was previously discharged into the River Inn via a collection channel. As a consequence, a large volume of rainwater from various roof and open spaces on the factory premises is cleaned in a controlled manner and drains away on site. The rainwater drainage is very similar to the natural water cycle: by passing through the seepage reservoirs and troughs, the water is cleaned by a specially installed soil filter. The rainwater treated in this way is fed directly into the body of water on the plant site.

The drainage systems are designed as soil filter or lawn troughs. The construction of drainage facilities thereby makes a positive contribution to groundwater formation and flood protection. AMAG has been nominated for Energy Globe Award Upper Austria 2020 for sustainable rainwater management.

Waste

In the manufacture of products, as well as in the performance of production processes and other activities, attention is paid to environmentally sound waste management.

A particular focus is placed on disposal of hazardous waste (such as used oil, emulsions, workshop waste and filter dust) in compliance with statutory requirements.

Biodiversity

AMAG currently owns around 300 hectares of land. The industrially built-up area amounts to around 100 hectares. A total of 178 hectares form part of the company’s own forestry operation, which in turn forms part of the Lachforst forest complex and is managed under the supervision of a forest warden.

This entails special requirements – as does the proximity to the nature reserves "Unterer Inn" and "Buchenwald" only a few kilometres away, the fauna-flora-habitat area (FFH area) "Auwälder am unteren Inn" and the "Salzachmündung" bird sanctuary in Bavaria, which are subject to stringent nature conservation guidelines. 

By maintaining green spaces on the company premises, a contribution is made to the preservation of biodiversity. AMAG’s forestry operations are not regarded as commercial forests, where the focus is on economic returns. Rather, the aim is to achieve sustainable management that continuously promotes the forest’s ecological value. Open spaces are designed according to their nature conservationand open space design potential.

The preservation of green spaces thereby forms one of the basic requirements of biodiversity-promoting and climate-adapted green space management. Work is underway at present on a green space maintenance concept which, in addition to economic aspects, includes an optimised contribution to the promotion of biological diversity.

Since the 2017 reporting year, we have published a summarized non-financial statement in our management report, thereby fulfilling our reporting obligation in accordance with the Sustainability and Diversity Improvement Act (NaDiVeG). It summarizes the essential information for AMAG on the five required aspects of environmental issues, employee issues, social issues, respect for human rights, anti-corruption and bribery.

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