Acerinox protects the environment by adopting measures to mitigate the effects of climate change, thus constituting part of the Group’s sustainability and eco-efficiency core business.
Acerinox established a set of carbon targets for 2030, comprising a 20% reduction in the direct and indirect carbon emissions intensity (Scope 1 and 2) with respect to 2015 levels.
Responsible energy consumption is an essential feature of the Group’s business activity. Energy efficiency is strategic due to its electro-intensive nature. Lower energy consumption is directly linked to a reduction in production costs.
Acerinox received a B grade in the Climate Change CDP for its performance.
The stainless division has committed to reducing energy intensity by 7.5% compared to 2015.
The problems associated with the spread of the invasive Rugulopteryx Okamurae algae, native to warmer tropical waters, are unprecedented in both the Strait and Bay of Gibraltar in view of its environmental, social and economic impact, as well as its effect on the natural landscape. In terms of diversity, the impact generated by the algae is profound. In addition to its environmental impact, which has become all the more apparent in recent years, its interference with fishing activities and its appearance on beaches has also had a major socio-economic impact.
Scientific knowledge regarding the physiology and biology of this species, as well as the associated ecological work, was extremely thin on the ground. Acerinox Europa’s support for the research is aimed at developing effective surveillance and early detection measures to mitigate potentially invasive exotic species in port infrastructure and surrounding ship anchoring sites that are the origin of the invasion.
The Columbus Stainless factory launched the “Practical care for our environment” project, which included two talks on the value of ecosystems and their restoration, as well as a practical component comprising the planting of trees. To broaden both the scope of the awareness campaign and the long-term practical benefit provided by indigenous trees, the project was opened up to all Columbus Stainless employees. A local nursery recommended 4 species of indigenous trees, adapted to the local climate. A total of 491 seeds were ordered for planting, of which approximately 100 were planted in situ, and were labelled with the name of the employee sponsoring and planting the specimen. When the size of the trunk so allows, the labels will be replaced with engraved plaques for permanent identification.
Acerinox Europa launched a reforestation campaign together with the Misión Ardilla Association and the Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe Nursery and Primary School in Palmones, Los Barrios. Encompassed by the Group’s commitment to sustainability, the aim of this activity was to raise awareness among the entire community, especially the new generations, on “the importance of caring for the environment and the need to fight against climate change”. The planting of the trees took place on private land owned by Acerinox in Palmones, and it was carried out by the Year 6 Primary School students of the aforementioned Palmones school, each of whom sponsored a tree that was planted. The species chosen for the reforestation were previously determined by a forestry technician and acquired by Acerinox through the APADIS Association (Association of Parents of People with Intellectual Disabilities of Algeciras).
Acerinox Europa signed the letter of support for the LIFE Project called CO2RK, which aims to reforest the Alcornocales Park, located in the province of Cadiz, Spain. This is a climate change mitigation activity.
Acerinox launched significant initiatives in the field of transport, aimed at reducing emissions. Worthy of note is a goods train, chartered by the JSV company, between Algeciras and Roldán. Clean energy replaces the emissions of the lorries, which, until now, transported the material, as well as reducing the number of heavy vehicles on the roads. The entire train journey between Algeciras and Ponferrada is made with clean energy, giving rise to a reduction in CO2 emissions of approximately 83 tonnes per journey.
Thanks to controlling the operation of different lines, in 2021 energy savings totalling 479,200 kWh in electricity and gas consumption were achieved.
As an energy efficiency improvement, 750 conventional units were replaced with LED lighting, achieving a 369,580 kWh reduction in electricity consumption.
The high performance alloys division implemented energy saving measures such as the replacement of the three electrode core in the electric arc furnace with an improved five-electrode core, achieving a total saving of 725,150 kWh. Furthermore, VDM Metals incorporated a CEAG filter system that allows drives to be turned off when they are not being used, giving rise to a 518,624 kWh reduction in energy consumption.
The Group has initiatives such as the Energy Hunt, consisting of a programme to identify, act and repair points with a potential for energy efficiency improvements in all plants, such as air, gas or steam leaks.