Aurubis AG’s Hamburg site is one of the world’s state-of-the-art primary and secondary copper smelters. Approximately 400,000 t of pure copper is produced from copper ores and, in some cases, very complex recyclable materials. As part of multi-metal recovery, other metals such as precious metals, nickel, lead, and zinc, as well as iron silicate products and sulfuric acid, are produced.
Environmentally sound copper and multi-metal production in the middle of a large city is our biggest challenge. It requires efforts that go beyond legal stipulations because protecting the environment and the health of our neighbors and employees is the foundation for safeguarding the site. We have to and want to combine the city’s growth targets with the sustainable development of the Aurubis site in Hamburg. With innovative, high-performance technology, supported by the employees’ environmental awareness, we attain exemplary achievements in environmental protection and work on continuous improvement.
The Environmental Protection Department at the Hamburg site is responsible for implementing and monitoring all applicable environmental requirements. These include the relevant laws, e.g., the German Federal Immission Control Act (BImSchG), the Recycling Management Law (KrWG), and the Water Control Act (WHG); stipulations in plant permits; Group requirements; and voluntary agreements regarding improvement measures, for instance within the scope of the Partnership for Air Quality and Low-Emission Mobility.
We operate an environmental management system as an instrument to monitor legally compliant operation and to support continuous improvement. This system is certified annually by TÜV pursuant to DIN ISO 14001 and EMAS. The environmental management system has been part of an overarching integrated management system (IMS) since 2017, which still includes the management systems for quality (DIN ISO 9001) and energy (DIN ISO 50001).
To ensure that facilities are operated in accordance with the relevant laws, annual measurements are carried out in the scope of environmental monitoring under the relevant standards. In concrete terms, this amounts to about 10,000 individual air analyses and 7,000 water analyses. Noise and vibration measurements are also taken.
Routine inspections and audits take place in the production areas to ensure they are operated correctly. Understanding and awareness of environmental issues in everyday work are promoted in training sessions for about 1,000 employees annually. Managers of the production divisions are kept up to date on new legal developments relating to the environment in separate informational events.
The prevention of fugitive dust emissions and water pollution control were identified as the most important environmental aspects at the Hamburg site. Other key topics include avoiding waste, raising the recycling rate, and supporting biodiversity and low-emission mobility. Improvement measures are derived and implemented based on the significance of these environmental aspects.
You can find detailed environmental information for the Hamburg site in the current Environmental Statement.