The environmental management system is our tool for the systematic optimization of the environment protection. It is subject to a constant further development. Its effectivity is regularly checked by internal and external auditors.
For the implementation of the sustainable corporate strategy each plant of the KSM Castings Group has its authorized representative for environment protection who directly reports to the plant manager.
In accordance with legal regulations there are authorized representatives for pollution control, waste and water protection as well. Within the KSM group, a member of the company management is responsible for the environmental protection and occupational health and safety and takes care for the operator obligations in compliance with the Federal Emission Protection Law.
The representatives for environment protection of the plants are coordinated by the Head of Environment Protection and Occupational Health and Safety of the KSM Castings Group who in turn is subject to the company management. He is also safety advisor for the carriage of dangerous goods and representative for the environmental management system.
All legal obligations regarding environment protection and occupational health and safety are internally distributed in the plants so that the company group has an organization structure in compliance with the legal regulations.
Waste & Hazardous Substances
With conscientious view to sustainable development, we use raw materials, energy and water in production wisely.
Positive trends in compliance measured by environmental performance indicators, are an incentive to continuous improvement and evidence of our success. We steadily optimize the environmental impact of our production processes and work flows. Our goal is to reduce the production of waste, wastewater and harmful emissions. The effect of this is that ecology and economy are consistent.
The principles of environmentally-oriented behavior are part of the mission statement of our company.
Derived targets for the reduction of negative environmental impacts are realized in the concrete measures and projects of the environmental programs in our plants. Our commitment to KSM's environmental vision is reflected by our steady improvement. KSM's production of aluminum and magnesium castings for the automotive industry aid the industry with reduction of CO2 emissions.
Before Waste Recycling is Waste Prevention.
Many waste reduction projects are implemented and measured. For example, a process change in the melt area significantly reduced dross waste (aluminum oxide). Reusable packaging minimizes packaging waste. When no waste prevention is possible, solutions to recover the waste are implemented. Waste disposal is the last resort.
To recover waste as ecologically as possible, appropriate pre-treatment steps are established in our plants. This includes, for example, the drying of aluminum machining chips by centrifuge, or the compression of packaging waste to reduce the volume to be disposed. Volume reduction is an optimal utilization of transport vehicles.
Before waste is sent down its recovery path, it is segregated in the production areas.
To achieve this, our employees are regularly informed about the segregation of waste. We only work with audited waste management companies. In addition, there exist controls to prevent improper waste separation.
Purchased Materials and Supplies
We use for our production the most environmentally friendly products and products that do not impair the health of our employees.
Before using a new working fluid, all relevant departments such as Occupational Safety, Environmental Protection and Health are involved. Basically, to avoid contamination of soil and groundwater all agents are stored in a drip pan. The internal transport is carried out by trained forklift drivers.
We regularly check whether the substances in use can be possibly replaced by less harmful substances. Preference is given to substances that:
- are not designated as a hazardous substance.
- do not constitute a hazard during transportation on the road.
- cause low emissions during use.
- have a low water hazard classification.
- can be supplied by use of the recycling.
- come from suppliers with certified environmental management systems.
Our goal is to reduce the consumption of harmful byproducts as part of a continuous improvement process.
Aluminium – A Future Material
Aluminium occurs in nature more frequently than iron, and is, in the long run, a sufficiently available element. The earth's crust consists of about 8% of aluminum oxide ore, called bauxite.
The advantage of aluminum is that its specific weight is about 2/3 lower than steel. This contributes, over the entire lifetime of a motor vehicle, to lower consumption of fuel.
In this respect, the use of aluminum in the automotive industry is a good contribution to lower CO2 emissions.
Aluminum requires no rust inhibitors. It protects itself by a thin oxide layer. There are no polluting paints necessary.
Aluminum recycling is now part of the aluminum supply. It can be continuously fed to the recycling loop.
Water & Wastewater
Water is required at many points of our production:
- For cooling purposes in the production areas
- For mixing of auxiliary materials and supplies
- To use in the sanitary areas
In our environmental management system, we have procedures in place to use as little fresh water as possible. This is achieved, for example, by the recirculation of fresh water for cooling purposes, or the use of rain water.
To reduce the amount of waste water, we use techniques such as water treatment plants and filtration circuits for reducing wastewater and sludge amounts, and heat exchangers for cooling in production.
Compliance with the limits in the indirect discharge of waste water into the sewage system is monitored by continuous inspections, in part, by our own laboratories.
Energy & Emissions
Climate Affects us All.
The liquefaction of the aluminum occurs in our furnaces. These are heated by environmentally friendly natural gas. The combustion of natural gas emits no sulfur and approximately 20-30% less carbon dioxide than in oil combustion.
The legal limits of exhaust emission are clearly maintained in our modern melting units. This is confirmed by regularly monitoring measurements.
Compared to steel, aluminum has a much lower melting temperature which requires a lower amount of energy and, therefore, offers a significant CO2 savings.
Environmental Protection in the Supply Chain
Prior to procurement, we review environmentally relevant raw materials, supplies, technical facilities and services according to ecological principles. Thus, we consistently achieve environmentally friendly production within the KSM Castings Group.
Our goal is to use only suppliers and service provider with their own environmental management system. If this is not the case, the supplier is prompted to improve its environmental performance, and we apply the appropriate environmental audits.
Aluminum, an ecologically valuable material, should be transported in an environmentally friendly manner. We achieve this through full utilization of trucks and closely monitored inventories to reduce transport distances.
For transport, proper load securing is regularly checked by our trained staff.
For on-site transport, we focus on ecology. Our forklifts are operated electrically or with gas.
The Federal German Working Group for Environmental Management Association (BAUM ) is the largest environmental initiative in the European economy. Founded in 1984 by manufacturers, the network now comprises some 450 companies in Germany.
B.A.U.M. combines the strengths of its members in environmental protection, leading all the major players in Germany. Workable and successful solutions in terms of the realization of a sustainable economy are developed.
Through B.A.U.M.'s influence in business, politics and science, it is possible, within its network of companies, institutions, political affiliates, and membership to make all aware of the issues of environmental protection and sustainable development.
The association to B.A.U.M. is another important step towards the sustainable development of KSM Castings Group. Within its B.A.U.M. network, KSM would like to intensify the idea of sustainability with our employees, suppliers and customers.