As a smelter and recycler, we see sustainability as the key topic or our times – on the one hand, it is full of challenges but on the other also full of opportunities for improvement. At HKB, we have already taken many steps in the direction of a green, sustainable production. The most recent example is the installation of a 500 kWp solar power plant on the roofs of our scrap boxes.
The power plant allows us to cover a part of our electric power demand and save more than 132 tons of CO2 emissions (compared to the conventional power mix). The rest of our electric power demand is covered by 100% electric power from Austria, 95% of which are produced from sustainable sources.
In our smelting process, we use 100% aluminium scraps. About 85% are end-of-life scraps, that is, they are at the end of their life cycle, and about 15% are production scraps. Thanks to the use of 100% scrap, we only need 3.5% of the amount of energy that is necessary for the production of primary aluminium;
plus we reduce the greenhouse gas emissions by 97% – these numbers even include transport and preparation of our scraps! [Source of the numbers: Klimarelevanz ausgewählter Recycling-Prozesse in Österreich – Umweltbundesamt]
Our production process is as environmentally friendly as possible in the sense of the circular economy. You can see our recycling process in the cycle below. By the way – unlike many other aluminium smelters, our smelting process is completely salt-free, which has many positive effects on the environment.
Smelters normally have a very high demand in energy. Normally, a considerable part of that energy is lost as waste heat. In 2014, we therefore upgraded our facilities with a state-of-the art regenerative heating system. It saves our climate 3.202 tons of CO2 per year. We continuously invest in research and development, in our furnace technology, the dust collector etc.
Thanks to these measures, we will continue to improve our energy efficiency and further reduce our emissions (see certificate). Moreover, in 2021 we started to support a climate protection project for wind energy together with our gas supplier. Since 2021, it has saved CO2 emissions equivalent to the CO2 emission caused by our gas consumption (see certificate).
One of our core values has always been social sustainability. As a company with strong regional roots, we put people first. We support the development of responsible employees, acting together, and value our employees’ efforts and accomplishments. Mutual appreciation, respect, trust and a fair partnership form the foundation of all our stakeholder relationships. Thanks to our sustainable social policy, we have highly skilled, reliable employees.
At HKB, we believe in a sustainable environmental policy. That means: using resources responsibly, an efficient recycling process and the best possible waste management; and always looking for ways to improve. Find out more in our sustainability report.