Protecting the environment

Energy efficiency. Emissions management. Waste and pollution management. Water management.

The activities undertaken at the Group’s facilities includes a wide range of metal manufacturing processes such as:

  • Cold-stamping of steel and aluminium
  • Roll forming of steel and aluminium
  • Assembly of metal components
  • Welding
  • Coating of metal components 
  • Longitudinal and transversal cutting of steel
  • Steel annealing in furnaces and through heat treatment

Such processes require the consumption of energy and water, and the use of chemicals and other materials, and the Group is aware of its responsibilities regarding the environmental impacts of its operations.  Protection of the environment through reduced consumption, protection of biodiversity and reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases are principles adopted by corporate management and all Group employees.  

The Group aims to carry out its activities in full compliance with current legislation and standards in every region and is committed to promote continuous improvement and prevention initiatives in its manufacturing processes to reduce negative environmental impacts and to optimize the use of resources.

To this end:

  • all Group plants are required to monitor and reach the annual improvement goals set for indicators related to emissions, energy consumption, waste, and water consumption.
  • As of 31 December 2021, 83% of the plants have ISO 14001 certification, which is the most widely recognized environmental risk management standard in the automotive sector;

The Group recognises that in order to minimise the impact of the production of its products on the environment, it is important that environmental issues are integrated in the company's supply chain management, alongside other procurement considerations.   The Group’s purchasing department has therefore been increasing the requirements for suppliers to align with the Group on environmental issues, with the aim of including such requirements into its purchasing terms and conditions in the medium term.

Energy efficiency

In 2021, the Group’s energy consumption was about 1.2 million GJ, above 2020 levels, but still significantly below the level of 2019.  This reduction was largely due to the impact of COVID-19 and the shortage of semi-conductors for the Automotive industry which significantly reduced the Group’s activities.The Group is aware that environmental protection requires the optimization of energy use, and this can also be achieved through everyday actions carried out at the production facilities and offices. Plants are encouraged to introduce innovative technologies to reduce energy use and to have in place employee awareness programs and training on energy conservation.

The Group is carrying out a program to migrate towards energy contracts which are derived from green sources or sources which emit a low level of GHGs.  Over 70% of the Group’s electrical energy now comes from renewable or low GHG sources, and the Group is committed to continue this initiative as new opportunities arise.

Emissions management

Greenhouse gas emissions are the main cause of climate change and global warming. The Group is committed to work to limit the emissions output of its production plants, and to launch related initiatives that contribute to the European Union’s support of the Paris Agreement – which is to maintain the global temperature rise to a temperature 2°C (35.6°F) below pre-industrial levels.

In 2021 the Group’s direct and indirect CO2 amounted to 107,164 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, which is lower than expected due to the impact of COVID19 and the shortage of semi-conductors in the market which reduced vehicle production.

The Group promotes the use of compensation measures for its greenhouse gas emissions. For example, it promotes the creation of green spaces (trees, bushes, grass, and flowers) to increase carbon capture and sequestration, as well as to contribute to an increase in biodiversity in the areas close to the production facilities. As of 31 December 2021, CLN Group has planted the following number of trees:

  • MW division – 3,820 trees planted since 2019 
  • MA division – 5,270 trees planted since 2019

Our 2025 target has already been exceeded by 4,000 trees on 31 December 2021, much earlier than expected. 

The key focus for the Group going forward will be transparency regarding its carbon footprint and clear projects to reduce emissions, which are well aligned with the goals set by our customers.

Waste and pollution management

Steel, which is by far the raw material most utilized by the Group, is the most recyclable and recycled material in the world, since it is one of only few materials that does not lose its properties when it is recycled.

Steel is the main scrap material in manufacturing processes carried out at the Group plants. During 2021, the Group has re-sold about 280,000 metric tons of metals (steel and, to a lesser extent, aluminium) destined for recycling.

The Group produces only small quantities of hazardous waste, which is always disposed of through properly licensed entities, and as such the main focus in the plants is on non-hazardous waste management. Our facilities are required to put in place processes and procedures to increase the percentage of recycled waste and to replace materials which cannot be easily recycled with those that can.  There are a wide range of waste management projects taking place in the individual facilities, and our central HSE department takes care to spread the best ideas across the Group, with a focus on the promotion of sustainable consumption.

The Group is also conscious of the impact of its activities on the local population, for example from emissions of dust and noise, accidental pollution and road congestion, and requires every plant to minimise such impacts to the lowest possible level through robust policies and procedures.

Water management

Metal manufacturing sites require the use and discharge of water in several processes. An uncontrolled management of water causes negative environmental impacts, such as the decrease in volumes of water available and the modification of natural ecosystems. Therefore, the optimization of water use by our factories and the management of discharges, are the key drivers for our operations together with use of alternative water sources.

During 2021 the Group used 338,000 m3 of water, which was a reduction compared to the previous year.

data source: CLN Corporate Social Responsibility Report 2021