FOCUS Sustainability: Aurubis releases extensive Sustainability Report
Hamburg | Tuesday, March 30, 2021
- Comprehensive report with integrated magazine on progress and targets achieved in the areas of People – Economy – Environment
- CEO Roland Harings: energy transition impossible without non-ferrous metals
- Affirmation of Green Deal and commitment to reducing CO2 – carbon-neutral production by 2050 at the latest
- Recycling solutions an important component of sustainability activities
Today, Aurubis AG released its seventh Sustainability Report, entitled FOCUS Sustainability. The report, which spans over 80 pages, provides insights into current projects, presents the progress made in the reporting year, and shows the level of achievement for the Sustainability Strategy targets. The magazine preceding the report focuses on the highlights of the year and explains background information related to decarbonization and the circular economy, to name a few examples.
Aurubis looks back on an eventful year, a year in which it initiated a number of things – and despite the unique challenges during the pandemic, Aurubis has remained persistent and focused in its sustainability activities.
“In this extensive report, we describe our progress on our way to becoming the most efficient and sustainable smelter network worldwide. In fiscal year 2019/20, we affirmed the Science-Based Targets initiative and committed to setting a science-based climate target to reduce our CO2 emissions, for example,” reports CEO Roland Harings, who oversees Sustainability in addition to other areas. And what’s more: the Group is committed to the goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2050 at the latest. He emphasizes,
There can be no energy transition without metals, especially copper. In their applications in wind turbines, high-voltage cables, electric vehicles, and batteries, our metals contribute to reducing CO2 emissions. Aurubis provides these metals while simultaneously overcoming the challenges of the industry by being part of the solution and by allowing ourselves to be assessed based on our sustainable activities.
All of the company’s production sites are successfully executing projects to reduce CO2. A further step toward preventing the use of fossil fuels is the upcoming trial for utilizing hydrogen in the primary smelter in Hamburg in order to replace natural gas in production. At the Aurubis site in Pirdop, Bulgaria, on the other hand, a 10 MW-peak photovoltaic park will be constructed. According to the current status, this will be the largest of its kind in Bulgaria.
Aurubis’ copper cathodes already have a significantly lower CO2 footprint than the industry average. The company’s good performance is also confirmed by the most recent rating of A- issued by the CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project).
“We want to align the aspects of People, Economy, and Environment,” explains Roland Harings. “The acquisition and integration of the Belgian-Spanish Metallo Group is an especially successful example in this regard. With two sites integrated into the Aurubis production network – and 540 new colleagues – we can now process larger volumes of recycling materials with low metal contents. This contributes to securing raw materials and the circular economy in Europe! We financed the company acquisition with a sustainable Schuldschein loan that’s linked to our ESG performance in the EcoVadis rating. One thing I’d like to emphasize in particular is that we have diligently continued our sustainability activities even in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.”
Kirsten Kück, Sustainability Manager at Aurubis, looks back on fiscal year 2019/20 positively: “By joining the Copper Mark in 2020, the new quality seal for the copper sector, Aurubis reached another important milestone in promoting and verifying responsible copper production along the entire value chain. Our plant in Bulgaria is our first primary smelter to start this process, and additional sites will follow in the course of the year.”
The past year also clearly showed how important stability and investments in education are. Aurubis continues to emphasize vocational education and training with a sense of purpose and has expanded its apprenticeship capacity. Furthermore, it strengthened its social engagement even during the pandemic in order to provide fast support to partners and projects that needed assistance.
The Sustainability Report is oriented to the internationally recognized standards of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and serves as the Communication on Progress for the UN Global Compact (UNGC). Aurubis has been committed to the UNGC principles since 2014. In the company’s Annual Report 2019/20, Aurubis published a Non-Financial Report in accordance with the German Commercial Code (HGB).
FOCUS Sustainability is also available online: the Sustainability Report 2019/20 can be downloaded now at www.aurubis.com/sustainabilityreport.