Taking care of environment - a decisive criterion in our processes
Being a large industrial enterprise, we are very much aware of our responsibility towards the environment and society, and therefore act accordingly. A number of measures are taken to ensure that the available resources are used efficiently, emissions are minimized, legal requirements regarding environmental protection are adhered to, and information is passed on to interested parties, such as the office of environmental protection or the general public. The investment in a new filter plant in 1999 is an example of the actions taken.
A special concept has been established for waste handling. Risk analyses, which are based on prevention, together with control measures and emergency planning ensure that risks are minimized and an efficient emergency procedure is defined. The environmental certification to ISO 14001 is proof of our responsibility towards both ecology and economy.
Swiss Steel received the quality label of the Foundation Nature & Economy for the natural design of the area in Emmenbrücke.
Environmental risk management
Impacts of climate change which are already evident today, such as increased catastrophic floods, are important for our environmental risk management. However future environmental challenges are also analysed by us and strongly influence our investment strategy.
Emergency and contingency plan
We have a wide range of safety and protection measures. This should keep damages to individuals, the environment and equipment to a minimum and keep downtimes as short as possible for the benefit of our customers.
We systematically monitor air, noise, water and soil. This includes carrying out periodic measurements in critical areas. If required, efficient systems are used to help protect the environment,
Together with the Swiss business energy agency, Swiss Steel AG has developed an agreement to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions. A CO² commitment was set up with the Federal Office for Environment.
Working materials management
A working materials management concept was developed for the entire production site. It includes the procurement, storage, handling and waste disposal of the materials used.
Per year, Switzerland produces about 1.5 million tonnes of scrap metal, the majority of which is reused to produce brand new steel in the nation’s two domestic steel works. Steel is by far the most commonly used base material, whereby the respective service life is dependent on the specific product type. Steel is almost 100% recyclable – with the huge advantage of no loss in quality. As a result, it is fair to speak of multi-recycling since a new high-quality product is manufactured in each new recycling round. Each new recycling step also serves to further reduce the environmental footprint. In comparison to steel production using scrap metal, ore-based primary steel production is substantially more energy intensive and results in roughly twice the volume of emitted CO2. Moreover, ore mining involves excavating millions of tonnes of earth. Without steel recycling, scrap metal yards would require additional space amounting to the equivalent of 50 football pitches to accommodate just the scrap produced in Switzerland on a yearly basis.
In addition to processing scrap metal as a raw material, Swiss Steel AG also makes a contribution to resource conservation and sustainability. In this vein, we develop improved-lifecycle products by producing low-corrosion steel or steel products with fewer processing steps.
Careful use is made of any waste generated during the production process, which is recycled in a material-compliant manner wherever possible. Finally, any generated waste heat is piped to nearby buildings.
As an important recycling company, Swiss Steel AG is also committed to continuing its resource conservation activities and further improving its circular economy in the future.