Environmental protection at Berango

Since the acquisition of Metallo Group in May 2020, the Berango site is part of the Aurubis group. It specializes in the recovery of non-ferrous metals from a variety of material streams.  

The site is situated in Berango, in the province of Biscay, close to Bilbao. With about 95 employees, the site focuses on complex recycling materials to produce black copper, solder, and minerals. Berango site, formerly called Elmet, was founded in 1991. Today, the site is a frontrunner in terms of sustainability in the wider area of the entire Basque country. 

Sustainability and economics go hand in hand. Environmental protection as well as health and safety are essential in all our processes. All employees are trained on environmental protection in a systematic manner to support the employees’ environmental awareness. Our management team ensures that all environmental aspects are considered in each process and fully integrated into the operational management. Thus, continuous improvement of our product and process designs are in line with our measures to secure environmental protection. 

Compliance with environmental laws and regulations is regarded as a minimum requirement. Audits and inspections are conducted on a regular basis and take appropriate action to continuously improve environmental protection, safety, and sustainability of all operations. This is also reflected in certifications such as the environmental management system ISO 14001 (since 1999) and occupational Health & Safety ISO 45001 (since 2016 with OHSAS 18001). All production processes are controlled based on the environmental management system, incorporating occupational health and safety requirements.  

By operating with specific, mostly custom-made, and high-performing technologies, we attain successful achievements in environmental protection. The intensive work on continuous improvement is also reflected by the implementation of best available techniques (BAT). Compliance with the requirements of the BAT conclusions were established and verified by the Basque Government authorities in conjunction with the new environmental permit. 

By operating at the highest energy efficiency levels, we are setting standards by using advanced technologies that already meet the new requirements or even exceed them.  

Environmental protection Berango – facts & figures
Air emissions

A strong focus on dust abatement systems and dust management has always been key for the site. Since 2015, a number of projects and measures for further reduction of fugitive emissions were implemented as part of an effectiveness management system. This program includes for example a diffuse emission monitoring project and 3D simulation of particles movement in foundry and drying plant buildings.


Running an environmentally sound multi-metal production surrounded by mountains and next to the nature reserve Ría de Mundaka-Cabo de Ogoño Marine Area (~ 3.5 km north) as well as Ría del Barbadun (~ 10 km southwest) poses an environmental challenge. It requires efforts that go beyond legal stipulations because protecting the environment and the health of our neighbors and employees is particularly important to us. For example, trees have been planted around the factory to make the area more environmentally friendly and more sustainable.


The noise of all production plants at the Berango site complies with the environmental permit instructions. As a part of our noise plan, measurements for further improvement were identified for various facilities in order to further reduce noise levels and will be implemented in 2023-2024. 


The site’s water demand is covered by withdrawals from a groundwater source. All of the site’s wastewater is centralized and is composed of rainwater and process wastewater. The rainwater is collected on-site and treated together with process wastewater in the wastewater treatment plant. Measures to improve water management has been implemented, for example, a new wastewater treatment plant with a higher treatment capacity and a new software to monitor water consumption, is being developed within 2023.

Investments in measures for environmental protection

Investments in measures for environmental protection have a high level of significance for us. Since 2012, we have invested almost € 10 million in measures for environmental protection. The main investments have been made for measures to reduce fugitive emissions, noise emissions and the reduction of water use. The new wastewater treatment plant together with the improvements of water management and the improved diffuse emissions monitoring, are most important projects during the last years.

Investments in environmental protection (€)

Measures & projects
Noise level improvement

Degree of implementation/Date/Next steps:

  • Measurements to further reduce the noise levels in various facilities were identified  and specified in an action plan. 


  • CAPEX 24-25 

Diffuse emissions

Degree of implementation/Date/Next steps:

  • Diffuse emission monitoring project: 3D simulation of particles movement in foundry and drying plant buildings  


  • Ongoing
  • Development of improvement action plan 
Water management

Degree of implementation/Date/Next steps:

  • New wastewater treatment plant. 

  • New software for digitizing data and KPIs in the PCS system 


  • Ongoing (foreseen for May 2023) 

Certificates Berango
Silvia Corulla
Silvia Corulla

Sustainable Development Department

Phone +34 946689113
Send e-mail