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.

Energy and emissions

Appropriate climate protection measures are imperative to reduce emissions generated during the extraction and processing of aluminium, and to minimise the effects of climate change. The effects of climate change pose a risk to society as a whole, and at industry level they entail financial risks. The European Union’s targets include climate neutrality as a goal for 2050. Austria has already set itself this target from the year 2040. 

Value
Management

AMAG strives to manufacture aluminium products with a high level of recycled content, thereby using significantly less energy than in primary production. The casthouses and rolling mills are the main energy consumers at the Ranshofen site. Natural gas is utilised in the casthouses to melt and temper aluminium.

 

Significant energy savings have been achieved over the past years thanks to the utilisation of heat from the furnaces to preheat combustion air using regenerative burners. In the rolling mill, most of the electricity consumed is harnessed to drive the rolling mills, and electricity and natural gas are utilised in the heat treatment of aluminium coils and plates.

 

Energy consumption by area (plants, processes, systems) and influencing factors such as product mix are analysed constantly as part of the energy management system certified according to ISO 50001.

 

Based on this, possibilities to enhance energy efficiency are identified in collaboration with the respective specialist managers. T

 

The energy evaluation also takes into consideration past appraisals as well as future energy consumption. AMAG employees also make valuable contributions to environmental protection and efficient energy utilisation as part of the Continuous Improvement Process (CIP).

 

When procuring energy services and investments that have a significant bearing on energy consumption, energy-related criteria are checked before procurement. In the case of investment projects, the Energy Officer performs this role as part of the relevance test. Suppliers of energy services, products and equipment that have a bearing on significant energy utilisation are informed that the procurement evaluation is based in part on energy-related performance. AMAG purchasing guidelines set out requirements for the purchasing of energy and energy-relevant purchasing criteria for facilities and products.

 

New plants (such as melting and casting furnaces) are state-of-the-art, or exceed existing standards. 

 

For more informations, please see annual report 2021

Targets

Target 2021: 


Continuous improvement of energy-related performance as well as reduction of specific CO2 emissions taking into consideration the Austrian Energy Efficiency Act and national and European CO2 reduction targets by:

 

1. Expanding the Group’s own energy production by installing a photovoltaic system with a yield of approximately 6,000 MWh per year

2. Evaluating potential and optimising the supply chain with respect to CO2 emissions

3. Updating the energy and environmental program taking account of new requirements as well as extending the value chain

 

Central measures:

  • Creation of a decarbonisation roadmap
  • Enhancing energy efficiency through heat recovery as well as process and plant optimisation
  • Saving electricity through more efficient hall lighting
  • Raising employee awareness through training and workshops
  • Commissioning of the largest rooftop photovoltaic system in Austria

2022 target / medium term:

 

Continuous improvement of energy-related performance as well as reduction of specific CO2 emissions taking into consideration the Austrian Energy Efficiency Act and national and European CO2 reduction targets by implementing the AMAG decarbonisation roadmap:

  • Scope 1+2: Reduction in CO2 emissions by 40 % (specific) and 20 % (absolute) by 2030 (base year 2017) with the goal of climate-neutral production by 2040.
  • Scope 3: Reduction in average specific CO2 emissions from the primary aluminium upstream supply chain by 20 % by 2030 (compared to 2018-2020)
  • Reduction of Scope 2 emissions through conversion to renewable electricity procurement at the two AMAG components sites

Results

 

Results:

 

Total energy consumption in 2021 amounted to around 747,100 MWh, of which around 739,600 MWh was required at the Ranshofen site (2020: 653,200 MWh) and around 7,500 MWh at AMAG components in Karlsruhe and Übersee.

 

Energy consumption is calculated as the consumption of fuel from non-renewable sources (natural gas, diesel, heating oil and propane) and electrical energy. In 2021, fuel consumption from non-renewable sources in 2021 amounted to around 502,000 MWh, and electricity consumption stood at around 245,100 MWh. Most of the energy consumed at the two AMAG components sites derives from the purchase of electrical energy (around 6,200 MWh). The respective energy volumes are calculated from the actual measured fuel volumes multiplied by the respective conversion factors

 

Specific energy consumption in relation to production volume stood at 1,179 kWh/t in 2021 (2020: 1,194 kWh/t). In deriving the indicator of specific energy consumption, the total energy consumption at the Ranshofen site was divided by the annual production volume. The energy volume includes all energy products that AMAG consumes (electricity, natural gas, diesel, extra-light heating oil, propane). The denominator applied was the sum of the annual production volume in tonnes of the foundry alloy casthouse, the rolling slab casthouse and the rolling mill. The specific energy consumption relating to the production volume amounted to 1,178 kWh/t in the 2017 year defined as the basis. The year 2017 was selected as the base year, as a large part of the AMAG 2020 expansion project had already been commissioned by this time.

 

Energy in the form of renewable fuels (wood chips, biodiesel) and cooling or steam energy is not purchased.

 

AMAG generates heating partly through heat recovery plants from process heat, with the remaining requisite heating being covered by fuel combustion.

 

In order to categorise the carbon footprint, the division of emissions into three so-called “scopes” is relevant:

  • At AMAG, Scope 1 emissions arise, in particular, from the energy-based utilisation of natural gas for the melting, holding and heat treating of aluminium, and for heating buildings, as well as from the use of diesel for the vehicle fleet. The CO2 emissions are calculated from the actually measured fuel volumes applying the standard factors from the national greenhouse gas inventory.
  • Scope 2 emissions arise when generating the electricity consumed. These are measured based on data from electricity suppliers on the CO2 intensity of their electricity generation.
  • Scope 3 covers all other GHG emissions caused by the organisation’s outsourced and upstream operations. The materiality analysis carried out in December 2020 shows that AMAG’s significant Scope 3 emissions are primarily generated in the upstream value chain during the production of purchased metals (primary aluminium, rolling slabs, metal alloys) and are approximately a factor of ten greater than AMAG’s Scope 1 and 2 emissions.

Greenhouse gas emissions (Scopes 1+2) amounted to around 107,400 tonnes in the 2021 reporting year. Of this, the Ranshofen site accounted for around 105,700 tonnes (2020: 92,100 tonnes). Two thirds of the CO2 emissions there are generated at AMAG casting in the course of the production of cast alloys and rolling slabs. Most of the emissions derive from the combustion of natural gas (over 90 %).

 

No Scope 2 emissions have been generated in Ranshofen since the 2018 reporting year thanks to the purchase of electricity from hydroelectric power and other renewable sources.

 

At the two AMAG components sites in Übersee and Karlsruhe, Scope 1 and 2 emissions amounted to around 1,700 tonnes, of which around 1,400 tons were Scope 2 emissions. In contrast to the Ranshofen site, the generation mix of the purchased electricity still contains significant shares of fossil generation. In order to reduce these indirect CO2 emissions and in line with a uniform strategy within AMAG, a switch will be made to renewable electricity at both AMAG components sites in the future.

 

Specific CO2 emissions (Scope 1 + 2) at Ranshofen in relation to production volume (tonnes of CO2/t) amounted to 0.168 tonnes of CO2/tonne in 2021 (2020: 0.168 tonnes of CO2/tonne).

For reasons of materiality, only upstream emissions from the purchase of primary aluminium, rolling slabs and metal alloys were included in the calculation of Scope 3 emissions in 2021. The factor of 8.6 tonnes CO2eq/t of aluminium consumed in Europe, as cited in the European Aluminium’s “Environmental Profile Report”, was applied for the calculation. This covers direct processes and auxiliary processes, thermal energy, electricity and transport.

For the calculation of Scope 3 emissions at AMAG components, the upstream emissions from the purchase of aluminium rolled parts were taken into account and the estimated factor of 9.3 tonnes of CO2eq/t of aluminium used was used for this purpose.

 

In the 2021 reporting year, Scope 3 emissions amounted to 1,253,800 tonnes of CO2eq (2020: 1,072,000 tonnes CO2eq).

As the actual Scope 3 emissions are highly dependent on the type of electricity generated during melting, these emissions will no longer be calculated using the industry average, but instead will be assessed on a smelter-specific basis in the future. This is done by accessing data from market analysts, among other sources. By optimising the supplier portfolio in the primary aluminium sector, a reduction in average CO2 emissions is to be achieved by 2030.

 

Water

Attention is paid to sustainable and prudent water utilisation. Water is used at AMAG particularly for cooling during the casting of rolling slabs. The cooling water is circulated. Improvements to the recirculation systems have kept water consumption and specific service water withdrawal constant over the years.

 

 

Value
Management

The water supply at the Ranshofen site is ensured by two service water wells and one drinking water well. AMAG is located on a groundwater body whose water drains into the Inn River at a rate of approximately 20-40 l/sec and 100 m flows below the plant premises. The permitted use of industrial water is based on a withdrawal quantity determined by the respective authority for AMAG. Groundwater withdrawal is monitored, including by means of groundwater level measurements. 

 

The groundwater can be utilised directly in AMAG without chemical treatment and without transportation over long distances. A large proportion of the water extracted is utilised for cooling as part of casting, rolling and heat treatment processes and is thereby only thermally loaded – specifically, this means that a large part of the water that is utilised is only heated, and neither consumed nor contaminated. A very small proportion of the water used is chemically contaminated.

 

This operational effluent is treated in effluent treatment plants and the discharge is continuously monitored by measuring essential parameters. If the measured value is exceeded due to impurities, the water is automatically directed into a separate basin, from where it is disposed of. In addition to ongoing measurement via probes, effluent samples are examined for a large number of parameters as part of certified monitoring by internal and external laboratories. Rainwater is largely drained at the AMAG site. This corresponds to natural seepage and serves to preserve the groundwater body.

 

Some of the rainwater is discharged into the Inn River via a storm sewer together with cooling and quenching waters. Drinking water is withdrawn solely for the purpose of drinking water supply and sanitary use. The wastewater is fed to the Braunau wastewater treatment plant via a domestic wastewater sewer. In total, an area of around 4 ha of the plant site has been set aside as a seepage basin. Around 100 ha of roof and other areas of the works premises are drained via these seepage basins. The controlled retention of precipitation into the seepage basins also reduces the risk of flooding at the site and contributes to flood protection. Several heavy rainfall events have already clearly shown that the facilities that have been constructed can cope well with the water volumes generated through collection, as well as through controlled and continuous discharge into the ground.

 

Both the plant site itself and the town of Ranshofen are thereby sustainably protected from potential flood damage, as local sewer systems are relieved. All rainwater seepage systems have been approved by water or commercial authorities. Soil samples are also taken at regular intervals and examined by a certified laboratory for a large number of parameters so that the proper functioning of the basins and troughs can be verified, and soil contamination ruled out.

 

For more informations, please see annual report 2021

Targets

Target 2021: 

  • Efficient and economical usage of water; limiting specific water withdrawal to 6 m3/t while increasing the vertical depth of manufacture of the Ranshofen facility with recycling, casthouse and rolling mill

Central measures:

 

The Ranshofen site has been working on the implementation of sustainable rainwater management for several years. To this end, numerous seepage basins have been created on the plant site. In the 2021 reporting year, further, quantifiable optimisation potentials to reduce the use of service water were identified and an action plan was drawn up for this purpose. The improvements primarily relate to the further closure of cooling water circuits at existing plants, which will enable water consumption to be further reduced.

 

Most of the plants are already equipped with closed cooling water circuits, and new plants will only be designed on this basis. The treatment of operational wastewater is a central component of environmental protection activities. The discharge of wastewater is continuously monitored. 

 

2022 target / medium term:

  • Efficient and economical usage of water; limiting specific water withdrawal to 6 m3/t while increasing the vertical depth of manufacture of the Ranshofen facility with recycling, casthouse and rolling mill
Results

Results:

 

The expansion of closed loop cooling systems has made it possible to keep water consumption stable, despite rising production volumes in recent years. The withdrawal quantity less evaporation losses via the cooling circuits corresponds to the wastewater quantity. The water withdrawal is based on a withdrawal consensus defined by the authority and relates to that part of service water that is used at AMAG (i.e. industrial water consumed by other companies at the site is not included). 

 

The total service water withdrawal for AMAG in 2021 amounted to around 3,912,700 m3, of which the Ranshofen site accounted for around 3,742,400 m3 (2020: 3,277,000 m3). For the purpose of multi-year comparison, the total water withdrawn in 2007 was added to the bar chart.

 

Specific water withdrawal in 2021 amounted to 6.0 m3/t (2020: 6.0 m3/t). Drinking water production amounted to 62,000 m3 (2020: 77.400 m3).

Water withdrawal including on-site contractors amounted to 4,225,000 m3 (2020: 3,751,000 m3).

 

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. Waste law managing directors have been appointed for the collection of hazardous waste, and individuals have been appointed with responsibility for non-hazardous waste. Waste officers are responsible for monitoring compliance with waste legislation, and are required to report to management in this capacity. Waste is recorded entirely according to waste type and volume for the purpose of traceability in accordance with the Waste Documentation Ordinance, and is handed over to licensed companies for disposal and treatment within the framework of the legal provisions.

Value
Management

Waste is recorded entirely according to waste type and volume for the purpose of traceability in accordance with the Austrian Waste Documentation Ordinance, and is transferred to licensed companies for disposal and treatment within the framework of the legal provisions.

 

As part of the smelter operation at the Ranshofen site, which was discontinued in 1992, various types of waste were sent to a landfill. AMAG continuously implements the aftercare of the landfill, which is recorded in the register of contaminated sites. The leachate produced in the landfill is treated on the plant premises, and the groundwater in the vicinity of this landfill is monitored at regular intervals.

 

The company is also aware of other former landfills that are included in the register of potentially hazardous sites. In addition, AMAG owns a disused landfill in Furth im Walde, Germany, which is now in the renaturation stage.

 

AMAG is required to submit annual reports to the relevant authorities on the environmental state of the site and precautionary measures taken. Salt slag is the most significant type of waste in terms of volume at AMAG.

 

The recycling of contaminated scrap requires the application of special salts to provide protection against oxidation and to remove and separate the oxidic and non-metallic contaminants. This generates salt slag, all of which is recycled by specialist companies. Delivery to the recyclers is by rail. As a consequence, no waste is left over for disposal after processing. The oxidic residue is utilised in the cement industry, for example. 

 

For more informations, please see annual report 2021

Targets

Target 2021: 

  • Avoidance or reduction of waste; production-specific waste volume < 16 kg/t

Central measures:

 

Construction of the new intermediate waste storage facility, including a new hall to improve waste management, was completed in 2021. This is where waste is centrally weighed and digitally recorded according to type, quantity, origin and location. The incoming inspection of delivered waste also takes place there. In the 2021 reporting year, work began on renewing more than four kilometres of the siding’s railway track sleepers, replacing more than 6,000 wooden sleepers with concrete sleepers.

 

The factory premises are connected to the public rail network through an extensive internal rail infrastructure. Choosing concrete is a sustainable approach, as wooden sleepers must be disposed of as hazardous waste due to tar constituents. This significantly extended the life of the rail network and took the importance of rail transport into consideration.

 

The use of washable and consequently reusable cleaning cloths instead of disposable materials represented a further waste reduction measure. Alternative disposal methods were evaluated for improved filter dust disposal. In addition, investigations of suspected contaminated sites at the Ranshofen site were carried out on behalf of the Austrian Environment Agency. Initial sampling was conducted and further investigation was determined based on the report of findings from the Environment Agency Austria. These will be implemented in 2021 and 2022.

 

2022 target / medium term:

  • Avoidance or reduction of waste; production-specific waste volume < 16 kg/t at the integrated Ranshofen site
Results

Results:

 

The volume of waste generated in 2021 at the Ranshofen site amounted to 9,750 tonnes (2020: 9,100 tonnes), of which 4,950 tonnes were classified as hazardous and 4,800 tonnes as non-hazardous.6 In the process, 69 % of the non-hazardous waste (e.g. waste wood, iron and steel waste) was recycled and 31 % disposed of. Of the hazardous waste (e.g. used oil, filter dust), 7 % was recycled and 93 % disposed of.

 

AMAG components generated a total of around 400 tonnes of waste.

 

Specific waste volumes in relation to production volume amounted to 15.5 kg/t in 2021 (2020: 16.6 kg/t).

 

The figures do not include:

  • Scrap metal generated during production, as this is recycled and returned to the internal materials cycle
  • Construction waste at the plant site that is reutilised as recycled building material
  • Waste from construction activities (such as construction and demolition wood, construction rubble, concrete demolition, contaminated soils)
  • Salt slag

Biodiversity

The preservation and promotion of biodiversity are important components of AMAG’s commitment to sustainability. AMAG focuses on green space management on the company premises and the forest management of its own forest.

 

 

Value
Management

AMAG owned a land area of around 300 hectares in the 2021 reporting year. The industrially builtup area amounts to around 100 hectares. Around 180 hectares form part of the company’s own forest, which in turn forms part of the Lachforst woodland complex and is managed under the supervision of a forest warden.

 

The “Unterer Inn” and “Buchenwald” nature reserves, the “Auwälder am unteren Inn” fauna-flora-habitat area (FFH area) and the “Salzachmündung” bird sanctuary in Bavaria, which are subject to strict nature conservation guidelines, are just a few kilometres away.

 

Influences such as the previous forest management with non-native spruces, climate change with attendant higher annual mean temperatures, as well as the growing volume of damaged wood have necessitated a related rethink and “conversion” of the woodland. The current forest management team is making use of this initial situation in order to make the woodland more stable and diverse. AMAG’s forest is not regarded as a commercial woodland, where the focus is on economic returns. Rather, the aim is to achieve sustainable management that continuously promotes the woodland’s ecological value. For this reason, over the past few years recommendations on goals and measures for forest management have been formulated together with a technical expert.

 

Biodiversity is made measurable in the medium term on the basis of six selected indicators:

  • Deadwood: Increasing the proportion of standing and lying deadwood of natural tree species in the forest
  • Older wooded areas: Increasing in the proportion of older trees (especially old, large-crown deciduous and biotope trees)
  • Forest structure: Promotion of well-structured, differently aged, stable and climate-compatible mixed forest areas by continuously increasing the proportion of native hardwood species and rare woody plants and shrubs 
  • Woodland edges: Promotion of well-structured and zoned, embayed woodland edges through introducing rare and endangered tree and shrub species, creation of bays and zoning (shrub belts and peripheral zones of woodlands)
  • Biotopes to promote valuable small and wetland habitats
  • Promotion of rare or endangered animal and plant species, for example through introducing rare tree species and creating flower meadows on company premises

For more informations, please see annual report 2021

Targets

 

Target 2021: 

  • Promotion of biodiversity at the Ranshofen site

Central measures:

 

AMAG has already implemented numerous measures in recent years as part of forest and green space management, including the conversion and upgrading of the “Lochnerfeldstrasse”. Some old buildings in poor structural condition, which used to serve as housing for employees, were almost completely demolished.

 

Flower meadows were planted in the newly created and surrounding open spaces to serve as bee pasture. The establishment of ten beehives on the AMAG flower meadows in Lochnerfeldstrasse and at the AMAG north entrance exemplify biodiversity and the further development of AMAG green areas according to ecological criteria.

 

By taking over the sponsorship of the beehives on the AMAG plant premises, the Upper Austria-Salzburg Beekeeping Association is also supported in its scientifically supervised varroa mite tolerance breeding project with the aim of breeding resistant, healthy bees. The information boards that have been set up and the rest areas along the frequently used bike path have been well received. The transformation of monotonous lawns into species-rich meadows represents a further measure.

 

Within the plant area, mostly tall oat grass meadows that are typical of the area have been established. Dams and embankments have been planted with shrubs or are deliberately left unplanted in order to serve as a valuable “ruderal area” (raw soil area). Individual trees planted within the company grounds not only serve as visual landscaping, but also provide habitat and food for animals (e.g. insects and birds) and improve the microclimate of the paved open spaces by providing shade.

 

In the course of further planning, AMAG decided to call upon experts and institutions to provide technical support for the green space concept as part of a project, and to put it on a scientifically sound footing.

 

Overall, forest management has been busy in recent years with recovery from various damages. The promotion of biodiversity and the creation of a climate resilient forest occurred mostly on a reactive basis. Nonetheless, a significant emphasis has been placed on this goal in the course of damage reconditioning and other management activities. For example, no new spruce woodlands have been planted for some time in order to continuously reduce the proportion of spruce, which currently stands at around 65 %. Instead, mixed areas consisting of at least four tree species were promoted. The planting consists of native hardwood species such as common oak, copper beech and other deciduous trees, in particular, with an admixture of non-native hardwoods such as red oak and black walnut.

 

This makes the forest more resilient to climate change and reduces operational risk in the long term. Where possible, natural regeneration is used. Furthermore, initial considerations and outline plans concerned the creation of a “forest island” as a recreational facility for employees and the regional population, as well as the creation of a forest nature trail for educational purposes.

 

To the north of the plant site, the remains of a forced labour camp built during the National Socialist era were listed by the Austrian Office for the Protection of Monuments in the 2021 reporting year. According to a notice issued by the province of Upper Austria, it represents the only full-scale evidence of a forced labour camp for the construction of large-scale industrial plants during the Third Reich and is considered a typical example of contemporary Austrian history. AMAG undertook the protection of the pits and shafts. 

 

2022 target / medium term:

  • Promotion of biodiversity at the Ranshofen site
Results

Results:

 

The following table lists the strategic directions and measures taken in the biodiversity area in the 2021 reporting year:

  • Establishment of new flower meadows with different native seed mixtures  
  • Reforestation of a temporarily cleared area at AMAG (north seepage basin with black alder)
  • Reforestation with a mixed tree population in the AMAG forest (the tree population was affected by the dying out of young ash shoots, bark beetle infestation, storm damage)

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.

REQUEST