True sustainability requires that something has an overall neutral or positive effect on itself and its world. Processing around 200,000 tonnes of metal every year makes it impossible for Luvata to claim, for example, being carbon-neutral at the level of its manufacturing processes.
However, our products and technology play an essential part in driving greater efficiency in energy usage in industry. We are driving down the power consumption in climate control and refrigeration and developing alternatives to systems that use harmful refrigerants. Electrical power and HVAC make up the vast majority of global power consumption, and Luvata is present throughout them.
We believe that the equation of sustainability balances the cost of our actions with the effect of our actions. Nonetheless, we cannot be satisfied by this.
An operation of Luvata’s scale gives us a lot of opportunities to work with the equation. As well as working with customers to produce end products that contribute to a more responsible future for everyone. There are also ways that Luvata is can work towards a sustainable way of working.
- Minimising the use of packaging and chemicals.
- Maximising energy-and-water-saving initiatives.
- Investing in the morale and development of our staff.
- Interacting constructively with the communities around us.
- Surpassing legal, industry and ethical guidelines.
- Expanding into markets that promote sustainable products and solutions.
Luvata processes around 200,000 tonnes of metal every year by melting, rolling, drawing, extruding and many other methods – this requires a lot of energy, water and some chemicals too. We also support around 6,700 staff and an infrastructure that covers the planet.
Covering everything from light to heavy industry, we still have some way to go before we can say we have no impact on the planet, but we’re working hard to take every opportunity to be the best we can. Here are just three examples:
The off-gases from melting and casting are removed by filtration and, where necessary, by afterburning. Any recovered dusts are recycled to up-stream smelters. The cooling water that comes directly into contact with cast products is treated to remove particles and are then re-circulated.
The modern casting processes that we have developed are more sustainable than conventional processes. They are continuous and produce sheets, wire rods or tubes that are already close in shape and dimension to being finished products. This eliminates further processing stages, which means that less energy is consumed.
Chemicals are recycled or treated. Often, we opt for mechanical processes over chemical ones to reduce chemical use - removed copper particles and dust from these processes are separated and recycled. Emulsions are used for cooling and lubrication are either recycled through ultra-filtration or destroyed by evaporation. The small amount of oil residue produced is sent to hazardous waste treatment plants.
Managing environmental issues is an integral part of the daily business of Luvata. In all of our operations, we are guided by our Environmental Policy. Our management systems and work routines abide by this policy at each manufacturing site and we are working towards ISO 14001 or EMAS accreditation across our business.
Best use of materials
In electrical and heat transfer applications, the excellent conductivity of copper helps us to design energy efficient equipment and systems. Because of the long life-cycle of copper-based equipment and systems, their lifetime total energy consumption is low and they have a minimal impact on greenhouse gas generation.
Choosing the optimum materials allows us to improve the energy efficiency of our customers' products. For example, in heat exchangers, our research and development work has helped us to increase the thermal transfer properties of thin-walled, surface-enhanced tubes by over 50%. We have also reduced the amount of copper needed in their manufacture by 20%.
At Luvata our focus is on responsible products that promote sustainability. We have made particular progress in solar photovoltaic energy, as well as bringing our experience to the production of wind turbines. In transmission, our oxygen-free copper is of the highest available grade, minimising losses in energy transmission in both heat transfer and electrical conductivity.
In all our partnerships, we aim to recommend the most suitable and most responsible material and solution for the challenge.
People are the most important of our assets - without them we simply wouldn't exist. Our view of people has an important effect on the way we operate. When we think of people, we think of our staff, our customers and of the communities that surround Luvata's markets and operations.
Luvata's culture is built on seven ideals - The Behavioural Principles: seven simple ways of living that everyone in the company adopts, every day. These are recognised and rewarded, as well as being the basis of our appraisal system. In addition, we have the TalentStream initiative, which encourages existing staff as well as all new talent to grow through their career.
The concept of 'partnerships beyond metals' in itself means that we like to think beyond the simple idea of production and sales. We aim to immerse ourself in our customers' products, operations and challenges, and to do all we can to bring long-lasting improvements. It's all about being driven by long-term-relationships. This is the foundation of our value proposition for our customers.
In many locations, Luvata employs a significant proportion of the local population. In others, we have universities and influential institutions as neighbours. Beyond that, Luvata is simply a part of the world around it and therefore extends its efforts, wherever possible, towards being a positive and productive contributor to society.