voestalpine Metsec Countdown to Zero

Sustainability

voestalpine Metsec is committed to undertaking its activities in an efficient and financially sustainable manner in-line with environmental best practice and meeting the requirements of ISO 14001. This will be achieved by complying with applicable laws and regulations and by reducing environmental impacts from our operations. Environmental management through process improvements, good manufacturing, pollution control practices and employee education is a primary management objective, as well as a responsibility of every voestalpine Metsec employee. voestalpine Metsec’s aim is to provide its customers with products with the best added value but with the lowest environmental impact in terms of production, use and disposal.


Environmental & Sustainability Policy

voestalpine Metsec plc’s foremost objective is to satisfy customers with high quality product and engineering services capable of designing, building and maintaining product and systems that will meet their quality, safety, environmental and reliability needs.

voestalpine Metsec plc aim to achieve those needs in a safe, responsible, sustainable and environmentally sound way, in accordance with the company’s Quality, Health, Safety, Environmental (QHSE) and Responsible Sourcing policies and procedures.

Quality, Health, Safety and the Environment are considered to be of utmost importance and voestalpine Metsec plc shall actively promote and administer a strong Quality, Health, Safety, Environmental and Ethical culture amongst staff, visitors and sub-contractors.

To assure these objectives are realised, voestalpine Metsec plc have established an Integrated Management System in accordance with PAS 99: 2012, which incorporates the requirements of BS EN ISO 9001 for Quality Management, BS EN ISO 14001 for Environmental Management, and ISO 45001 for Health & Safety Management.


Environmental Impacts of Steel

Fossil Fuel Depletion

For the manufacturing process we do not directly use coal, oil or gas. We use electricity for production purposes and gas for heating the work area. We use 4,540,375kWh of electricity per year and 2,223,531kWh of gas (source data from energy bills)

Climate Change

With regards to climate change and greenhouse gasses the above energy consumption is equivalent to 2871 tonnes of carbon dioxide. Calculated using the “Cities for Climate
Protection Greenhouse Gas” software.

Producing a tonne of crude steel is equivalent to 1.85 tonnes of CO2 (world average from the World Steel Association website). Using the above data to convert this to rolled section would take an additional 0.04 tonnes of CO2. Total for rolled section including steel production is 1.89 tonnes of CO2.

Recycled Content

The manufacture of steel allows for 100% re-used materials to be added. Tata Steel Europe Limited 2014 website under Sustainability FAQs states “Waste Resource Action Programme (WRAP) recommends applying a value of 60% recycled content for structural steel sourced in the UK”.

Recyclability

The manufacture of steel allows for 100% re-used materials to be added and includes a significant recycled content, the average of which is 60% for structural steel used in the UK according to WRAP. Information current as of 2019 www.steelconstruction.info/Sustainability#Steel_manufacture

100% of the steel sections can be recycled at the end of use or life.

Worldsteel Association Fact Sheet – Steel and Raw Materials Last updated: Feb 2019

Durability

The durability of cold formed steel is dependent upon the environmental conditions it is exposed to and the coating type and thickness of the product supplied. These need to be taken into account when selecting a product and it’s required life to first maintenance.

Ecotoxicity

In its finished state, of a steel section, there is no potential for contamination, this will only occur if the product state is changed and this is not foreseen.

Last Updated: 14th April 2021


Energy Use and CO2 Emissions

As part of voestalpine Metsec’s commitment to undertaking its activities in an efficient and financially sustainable manner in-line with environmental best practice this year’s energy reduction/savings targets are as follows;

  • Promote the use of electric and hybrid company cars, currently 8 hybrids on the fleet and 1 fully electric car
  • 13 electric vehicle charging points on site
  • Replace all emergency lighting with LED’s.
  • Install 70 off low energy high bay lights at 130 watts replacing 400watt lights a saving of 19kW every hour the lighting is on
  • Audited and repaired 20 plus air leaks which means a drop in compressors running out of hours this is a 20kw saving every hour outside working hours
  • 10% reduction in our kWh/Tonne figure in the last 5 years
  • Targeted to achieve Carbon Zero by 2035

By 2006 voestalpine Metsec had addressed all the areas highlighted through the Carbon Trust survey (carried out in 2004) and during a follow up survey it was noted that we were one of the few companies using the carbon trust to have not only completed all the items on the action plan but carried on to tackle other areas. The survey highlighted improvements in factory heating, energy monitoring, compressed air use, factory and office lighting, and replacing inefficient boilers.

co2 emssions by year
total energy kWh/Tonne by year

Training and Development

voestalpine Metsec’s training & development programmes support the delivery of business strategy and are designed to meet the requirements of individual departments in the pursuit of their objectives. voestalpine Metsec also recognises the important and significant contributions that can be made by a well-trained and proficient workforce and also the additional benefits gained by the individual from enhanced confidence in their own ability to perform well within the specific job role. Training and development of all employees is therefore pivotal to the success of the business and of key importance to the Company. In order to assist employees to achieve their potential in line with Company requirements, a range of approaches will be used, which include:

training request per employee
  • Gaining appropriate work experience
  • Apprenticeship scheme
  • On the job training
  • Attending courses
  • Development of management and vocational skills
  • Studying for professional and technical qualifications

The measure of performance voestalpine Metsec have chosen is training days per employee, this will be reviewed each financial year and the aim is to increase the number of training days per employee and therefore achieve our aim of attaining a well-trained and proficient workforce.

Click here to find out about our Apprenticeship scheme.


Waste Minimisation

As part of voestalpine Metsec plc’s Waste minimisation and sustainability programme waste to landfill was highlighted as an area where significant improvements could be made. voestalpine Metsec plc have worked closely with Weir Waste Services, through MWR, and as of October 2015 zero waste is being sent to landfill. All general waste is treated trough the MFT facility at Weir to extract the recyclable materials. Any waste residue left after this is processed for thermal use via SRF or RDF.

Total waste off site per tonne produced

At the start of the programme, in 2007, 120 skips were sent to landfill in 1 year. By using the waste hierarchy of “Prevent, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recovery and Disposal” voestalpine Metsec was able to focus on waste. Through internal promotional campaigns on preventing waste, reusing products, recycling of paper, wood, cardboard, recovering energy through segregating items for incineration and finally disposing of what’s left, voestalpine Metsec were able to dramatically reduce the number of skips from 120 to just 12. This process is on-going through discussions with suppliers to reuse packaging, investing in products such as PPE and lighting which have longer life spans we have further reduced waste. Now voestalpine Metsec has a more robust format to measure waste, the result being from 2009-10 we disposed of 38 tonnes to landfill by 2014-15 this has reduced to 36 tonnes, and between 2015 to 2019 there has been zero to landfill.


Water Consumption

Water consumption in M3 Tonne produced

Following an ARUP Sustainability review in 2007 it was highlighted that an area to target and reduce our impact on use of natural resources was water use. To this end we implemented a process of installing push taps, sinks with integral plugs and leak monitoring. Push taps were retro-fitted to existing sinks meaning taps could not be left running after use. Sinks with integral plugs were installed as historically plugs would get damaged or go missing. Leak monitoring and the monthly recording of water usage assisted in detecting water leaks and any abnormal usage patterns. We have also decommissioned our cooling tower and replaced it with an air blast cooling system. This has allowed Metsec to reduce water consumption by 60% since 2007.

  • NB: Figures currently under review as, due to our low water usage, our water supplier has switched us to estimated billing, with a meter reading once per year.