The environment

better together for a cleaner world: we continuously strive to use fewer materials, cut energy consumption and reduce waste.
 
Bekaert’s concern for the environment is applied in 3 domains: our continuous efforts to develop new eco-friendlier production processes for our plants worldwide, prevention and risk management and the development of products that contribute to a cleaner environment. 
In the first domain, our ambition is to develop eco-friendlier production processes for our plants worldwide. In 2015: 
  • We have made progress in the treatment of used hydrochloric acid. A significant number of Bekaert plants outsource the treatment of used hydrochloric acid to external contractors. These contractors convert the waste acid into iron chloride coagulants used for water treatment. Lab scale tests have now been conducted to convert the used hydrochloric acid into an iron chloride solution, which will facilitate reuse by contractors. In one of our plants, the consumed hydrochloric acid is recuperated on-site, after treatment by a regeneration unit which converts the waste acid into iron oxides and fresh hydrochloric acid. The latter can be reused in the production process. 
  • In 90% of our plants in Europe and Asia Pacific all traditional lighting was replaced by LED lights. In 2016 the remainder of Europe and Asia will be completed and the program will be further rolled out in our plants in North and Latin America. This project will reduce the energy consumption for lighting by 50%. (G4-EN6)
  • Excluding China 24% of electricity needs came from renewable energy sources. Including China (where power from renewable sources is scarce), 15% was from renewable sources. The success rate in sourcing from renewable energy sources largely depends on the availability of these sources and of data thereon. In Ecuador, to mention one, 100% of Bekaert’s electricity consumption is from hydraulic energy. (G4-EN3)
  • ProSoil, a global procedure was put in place to ensure precautionary measures are taken to avoid new soil and ground water contamination. Training has been provided to all regional Environment, Health and Safety managers throughout Bekaert. (G4-14)
Secondly, prevention and risk management play an important role in Bekaert’s environmental policy. In 2014, an action plan was defined to prevent soil contamination. These plans were successfully implemented in 2015. 

Responsible use of water is also a priority. In 2015 we expanded programs that aim to reduce water usage in the long term. We thoroughly analyzed and evaluated our water balance in order to set a standard for Bekaert worldwide. 

For 2015, 95 % of our consolidated plants worldwide were ISO 14001 certified. ISO14001 is part of the ISO14000 internationally recognized standards providing practical tools to companies who wish to manage their environmental responsibilities. ISO14001 focuses on environmental systems. Bekaert’s full worldwide certification is an ongoing goal; it is an element in the integration process of newly acquired entities and of companies that are added to the consolidation perimeter. Our recent acquisitions (Pirelli Steelcord, Arrium Ropes) already held the ISO 14001 certificate. The related plants keep their certificate as part of the Bekaert group. Bekaert also received a group-wide certification for ISO 14001 and ISO 9001. The ISO 9000 family addresses various aspects of quality management. ISO9001 sets out the requirements of a quality management system.
Lastly, Bekaert develops products that contribute to a cleaner environment. Ecology is an aspect that is considered already during the R&D phase of new products. In many cases, it is even a driving factor in product development. Newly developed products with ecological advantages are described in the Annual Report chapter on Technology Leadership. 

Some Bekaert product examples:
  • Amagnetic armoring wire for offshore wind mills. The exploration of offshore wind energy in Northern Europe has more than doubled over the past five years. This has stimulated more investments in windmill farms. Bekaert provides armoring solutions for subsea power cables that optimize transmission efficiency and prevent power loss.
  • Customized drying and heating systems based on gas and electrical infrared drying technologies that increase efficiency and reduce energy. These systems are used in various sectors and applications such as the paper and board industry or converting and metal processing applications.
  • Ternary Alloy Wire Coating (TAWI® ) steel cord, reduces 80% of cobalt salts in tires.
  • Water-based coated low carbon wires as a substitute to solvent lacquered products.

Environment related data

Energy (G4-EN3)

Fuel Consumption:
Total Energy consumption = 3 845 637 MWH
  • Of which: Electrical Energy (incl. cooling) = 2 301 946 MWH
  • Thermal Energy (Steam & Gas) = 1 543 691 MWH
Renewable energy:
  • Excluding China (where power from renewable sources is scarce), 24% of electricity needs came from renewable energy sources
  • Including China 15% was from renewable sources
Energy Intensity Ratio (G4-EN5)
  • Electrical Energy (incl. cooling) = 1.068 MWH/ton product
  • Thermal Energy (Steam & Gas) = 0.716 MWH/ton product
Source of Conversion: Data provided by perspective plants.
Methodology: Energy data is monitored in a central database and is based on energy invoices.

Reduction of energy consumption (G4-EN6):

In 90% of our plants in Europe and Asia Pacific all traditional lighting was replaced by LED lights. In 2016 the remainder of Europe and Asia will be completed and the program will be further rolled out in our plants in North and Latin America. This project will reduce the energy consumption for lighting by 50%. 
Bekaert initiated a Bekaert Manufacturing System deployment with focus on all Operational Excellence aspects, including Energy Reduction:
  • The program is initiated in 2015 and will be rolled out worldwide until 2017.
  • The program is built around 3 focus areas:
    • Exploring & Improving the energetic status of the installed equipment.
    • Ensure that the plants have the adequate Energy Management Systems in place.
    • Increase the level of Energy Awareness & Skills on the work floor on all levels.
R&D programs have been set-up to explore new technologies and are being applied in the expansion programs.

CO2
Scope 2: (G4-EN16)
  • Electrical Energy (incl. cooling) = 920 778 ton CO2
  • Thermal Energy (Steam & Gas) = 280 046 ton CO2
GHG Intensity Ratio: (G4-EN18)
  • Electrical Energy (incl. cooling) = 0.4272 ton CO2/ton product
  • Thermal Energy (Steam & Gas) = 0.130 ton CO2/ton product
Source of Conversion: Data provided by perspective plants.

Water (G4-EN8)

Standard reporting and follow-up system Sensor (internal)

Total volume of water in m³ withdrawn from any water source:  9 392 684.2 m³ 

Total volume of water in m³ withdrawn from any water source by source type:
  • city water: 5 573 851 m³ (~=59.3%)
  • ground water:  2 742 541.6 m³ (~=29.2%) 
  • canal/river water:  794 798 m³ (~=8.5%) 
  • rain water collected for reuse: 26 045.15 m³ (~= 0.3%)
Standard reporting and follow-up system Sensor; The total volume of effluent discharged from wastewater treatment: 3 274 325.1 m³ (G4-EN22)

The total volume of effluent discharged in cubic meters by ton end product:  1.068 m³/ton end product 

Destination of the effluent discharged:
  • surface water (lake, sea, river, canal): 59.1% (2034162 m3)
  • sewer: 40.2% (1383796 m3)
  • irrigation: 0.6% (21088 m3)
Treatment method: Physicochemical treatment: 100%
Re-use by another organization: There was no re-use by another organization in 2015.