We are always looking for new ways to minimise our environmental impact, and make production processes more efficient by reducing resource use and residue generation.
Minimising the impact of our operations on the environment is one of our most significant business priorities.
We are committed to have all steel operations certified to ISO 14001, the international standard for environmental management. Further guidance is being provided to our mining operations to support the implementation of ISO 14001 in those operations not yet certified. We also collect air, water, energy and residues data at all of our production sites. This helps us to address any potential concerns of communities around our plants and to report regularly on our performance.
There is no generally accepted definition or industry norm for the waste and by-products from steel and mining. In our internal accounting we speak about ‘residues’. This comprises by-products that can be used in other industrial or infrastructure processes as well as wastes, for which the definition varies from country-to-country.
The key residues that arise from the steelmaking process are slag, sludge, dust and scale. We have a dedicated department in place to sell our by-products. The main residues that arise from mining are mineral wastes, such as tailings and waste rock.
Steelmaking requires water mainly for cooling and processing purposes, which is why many of our operations are situated by the coast or close to major lakes and rivers. In mining, water is used in a broad range of activities including mineral processing, dust suppression and slurry transport.
We measure inlet water use to our facilities and are measuring inlet water use per process to identify further opportunities to recycle and reuse this water.
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