Environmental Protection in figures

We have invested more than € 780 million since 2000 and about € 330 million since 2012 in measures to improve environmental protection throughout the Group.

Capital expenditure for environmental protection in the Aurubis Group1

in € million

* Environmental investments of all production sites that are majority-owned by Aurubis (> 50 %); data collected from some of the smaller sites starting in 2013.

The data relates to the environmental investments per fiscal year. Single years are provided for better readability, for example "2020" for fiscal year 2019/20.

Dust emissions

The dust emissions arising during copper production can contain metals and metal compounds. The consistent use of the best available plant techniques has led to a 96 % decline in dust emissions in copper production per ton of copper since 2000. Compared to the reference year 2012, dust emissions per ton of copper were reduced by 21 %, or by 19 % when including the Beerse and Berango sites acquired in 2020.

Successful reduction of dust emissions in Aurubis Group copper production
  • -96 % since 2000
  • -21 % since 2012
  • -19 % since 2012*

*2020a: Reduction when including Aurubis Beerse and Berango

One of the main focuses in the 1990s was the use of state-of-the art filter technologies for all directed emission sources, such as chimneys. Today, projects to reduce fugitive emissions have high priority. For example, fugitive emissions can arise around hall openings – such as gates, doors, or ridge turrets – and during material storage and handling. We have already achieved a great deal in reducing directed dust emissions with technical measures and have nearly exhausted the technical possibilities. Further developments related to non-directed emissions pose additional challenges for the future. It will be necessary to develop innovative technologies and break new technical ground.

Sulfur dioxide emissions

Apart from copper, sulfur is one of the main components of the copper concentrates in use. The gaseous sulfur dioxide produced when concentrates are smelted is converted into sulfuric acid in the sulfuric acid plant using the modern double catalysis process. When compared internationally, Aurubis is a forerunner in reducing sulfur dioxide emissions: emissions per ton of copper output have been reduced by 84 % since 2000.

Sulfur dioxide emissions in Aurubis Group primary copper production
  • -84 % since 2000
  • -4 % since 2012
Metal emissions to water

Since water can contain metals in particular after it has been used for production processes and for cooling purposes, our fundamental responsibilities in industrial environmental protection include not only the economical efficient use of water but also the treatment of wastewater and thus the avoidance of environmental pollution. We have reduced metal emissions to water in copper production processes from 7.2 to 0.9 g/ per t of copper output since 2000. This is a decline of 88 %.

Compared to the reference year 2012, metal emissions to water per ton of copper were reduced by 60 %, or by 63 % when including the Beerse and Berango sites acquired in 2020.

Metal emissions to water in Aurubis Group copper production
  • -88 % since 2000
  • -60 % since 2012
  • -63 % since 2012*

*2020a: Reduction when including Metallo


As an energy-intensive company, Aurubis feels especially committed to climate protection. We therefore invest in energy-efficient plant technologies at all sites, carry out measures to save additional energy, and implement projects such as the use of industrial heat for heating purposes

Karin Hinrichs-Petersen
Dr. Karin Hinrichs-Petersen

Head of Environmental Protection

Phone +49 40 7883-3609
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