For more than three generations, Oetinger has been a top supplier of liquid aluminium. But to the next generation, we want to pass on much more than tradition and product perfection...
At Oetinger, we have set sustainability at the heart of our values. We recognise our responsibility to reduce the environmental impacts of our production and have determined a holistic strategy to address them...
Our mission is to be a company, which positively affects people around us, their health and well-being as well as improves the environment we live in. We are aware that the consequences of climate change are a great threat to our society.
Therefore, at Oetinger, we are prepared to do our share in reducing the industrial carbon footprint and to inspire others to do the same.
Aluminium is the material of the future. However, only aluminium that is produced via clean energy by using sustainable materials and by a company caring about the environment and social well-being of everyone along the value chain, plays a role in our society.
In the next two decades, we are planning to change the way we produce aluminium to deliver climate neutral products, with top social standards and full business integrity. We have an ambitious journey ahead of us, but we are determined to undertake such a challenge for the benefit of us all.
This is because at Oetinger, we care about our future!
...because we care! is Oetinger's priority project to undertake sustainability related actions and inspire everyone to do the same. We have split our efforts into four dimensions that include: full transition to clean energy, creation of an internal structure for responsible corporate management, undertaking efforts to limit global warming and supporting technology innovation in our industry and beyond. The undertaken actions are in accordance with the Paris Agreement on climate protection and contribute to reaching the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). At Oetinger, we are excited to head to a new, better future!
Reducing Oetinger's dependency on the traditional fossil fuel-based production is one of our main tasks. We have analysed our energy demand and with our energy suppliers and technicians we have discussed options for switching towards renewable energy sources. Since 2021, we have been using 100% renewable electricity, and have undertaken steps towards production flexibility to contribute to stabilising our electricity grid. This year, we will start installing solar panels on our roofs to increase the share of renewable capacity in Germany.
At Oetinger, electricity is one of our main energy sources. We considered switching to a 100% renewable energy provider as our opportunity to start our clean energy transition straight away. As a result, we increased demand for renewable electricity by 10 GWh per year and prevented over 3500 t CO2 from being produced each year. This is the equivalent of completely offsetting emissions of around 500 people in Germany.
Deployment of renewable energy capacity has to accelerate to meet the climate ambitions set by the Paris Agreement and at Oetinger we are prepared to contribute. By the end of 2022, we plan to install 1,800 m2 of solar panels on all of our suitable roofs. With a power output of over 350 kW, we will produce almost 400 MWh of renewable electricity each year. All this electricity is planned to be used directly on-site, where we will adapt our processes to match the electricity production and hence reduce the demand for electricity in the peak times from the grid. In the future, we are planning to deploy wind turbines and battery systems, working towards a goal of electricity self-sufficiency.
Oetinger's principles are built on sustainable production, efficient use of natural resources and support of circular economy. With over 75 years on the market, we have reached an outstanding expertise in producing high quality aluminium alloys from scrap material, with up to 95% of recycled material in our final products.
However, our mission is not limited just to the production line. We ensure that all our employees have a safe and pleasant working environment, and we carefully select suppliers with the same values we have. This approach has achieved the highest level of satisfaction among customers working with us and has been acknowledged by the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) by providing us with the ASI Performance Standard certification.
In 2021, Oetinger proudly achieved ASI Performance Standard certification. Our mission is to further continue the efforts to improve our environmental, social and governance principles to ensure a sustainable and responsible production across our whole value chain.
As a result, our customers can be reassured that our aluminium products are not only of the highest standard, but we also care about Oetinger's impact on our society and we consistently undertake steps to improve the world we live in.
Its high durability, light weight and easy recyclability make aluminium the material of the future. However, aluminium production from raw materials is one of the most energy intensive processes. By re-melting aluminium and giving it a new life, Oetinger not only reduces the amount of waste ending up in a landfill forever, but we also avoid a large energy demand. Every year, our energy savings amount to almost 2 TWh which would otherwise be required to produce aluminium from raw materials. This is equivalent to roughly 1% of Germany's electricity demand. In addition, primary aluminium is produced outside of Germany, hence recycling aluminium allows reduction of imports and transport of resources around the world.
At Oetinger, we care about our environment and ensure we undertake all steps to protect it.
• Link to ISO 14001:2015 certificate
Emissions into air
Apart from carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, at Oetinger we focus on monitoring our nitrous oxides (NOx), dust, hydrogen chloride (HCl), hydrogen fluoride (HF) as well as dioxins and furans levels to ensure they are within the safe limits for our workers as well as the people living around our sites.
All our sites are ISO 14001:2015 certified and carefully follow the criteria set by the Eco Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS).
The main waste type generated across Oetinger is salt slag. In 2020, we generated 50 500 tons of salt slag, which we transport to a specialised recycling facility, where the salt and aluminium oxides are separated and subsequently returned back to Oetinger for its reuse.
Across our Oetinger facilities, we also generate a significant amount of filter dust. The filter dust comes from our filter systems, where the exhaust gases originating from our furnaces and scrap pre-processing stations are mixed with additives (such as chalk and brown coke) and separated via an advanced set of filters.
Aluminium is one of the key materials today and it will also be in the future, which increases the need to reduce its environmental impact during its production even more. At Oetinger, we believe an urgent action is required and so we defined an ambitious strategy to reach climate neutrality across all our sites by 2040. Already today, we carefully monitor our production of greenhouse gas emissions and, using the technologies available on the market, we have set a plan to reduce them. We have also introduced several educational activities and deployed various schemes that get our employees involved and excited about the climate-neutral future ahead of us. At Oetinger, we are all committed to do our share!
Since 2019, Oetinger has carefully been monitoring its carbon footprint and impact on the climate. We define our greenhouse gas emissions in CO2 equivalent terms and split them between scope 1, 2 and 3, as defined within the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, with scope 1 and 2 being annually checked via our ISO 50001 energy management audits.
With our CO2 emission intensity per ton of aluminium of around 0.3 t CO2 (scope 1+2), our products are already up to 40 times less emission intensive than aluminium produced from raw materials. However, we believe this is not enough. At Oetinger, we are committed to reduce emission intensity of our production by 60% compared to 2020 levels by 2035 and reach climate neutrality on all our sites by 2040.
In 2021, we already reduced scope 2 emissions by purchasing renewable electricity and our focus is now on scope 1. At the moment, we are negotiating options to reduce emission intensity of the natural gas we use with our energy suppliers. In addition, our technicians are working on innovative technologies, which would be able to use renewable energy sources, such as renewable electricity, green hydrogen or biomethane.
At Oetinger, we are aware that scope 3 emissions are currently the main contributors to the total emission footprint of our products. As a results, we are looking for suppliers with a low or reduced carbon footprint of their material to keep pursuing the vision of climate-neutral aluminium products across the whole value chain.
To reduce the environmental impact of our employees commuting to work, we have introduced various support schemes that help people transition to low carbon means of transport. One of them includes the expansion of our company benefits with JobRad, via which we provide our workers and their family members cost-effective opportunities to own bikes. Up to today, we have helped our employees to get over 100 bikes and E-bikes, reducing carbon emissions and improving their health with every kilometre they have pedalled.
At Oetinger, we try to implement different strategies we can help the environment with. Preserving nature, supporting biodiversity as well as increasing the amount of carbon stored in the soil are Oetinger's mechanisms to protect the environment we live in. Since 2020, we have been planting trees and hedges as well as having built multiple birdhouses and beehives.
All this is performed with the motivation to restore the nature surrounding our facilities. We have also started to support collaboration with companies realizing the importance of doing as we do. Specifically, we have been encouraging our partners to offset emissions resulting from our cooperation on their side, for example via accredited tree planting platforms.
For over 75 years, Oetinger has proactively been taking part in innovating aluminium production and in upgrading its technology fleet. In the past two years, we have invested almost 11 million euros and further investment projects have been planned in order to make our production less energy intensive and to improve the protection of the environment around us.
Centrifugal chip cleaning
One of our most common scrap types are chips resulting from aluminium machining. As those chips contain high levels of lubricant residues, their pre-processing is required to prevent their burning in the furnace and the production of high levels of various toxins and emissions. Traditionally, this has been done via a thermal chip treatment plant which is highly energy intensive. Oetinger has therefore invested into centrifugal chip cleaning plants that separate the lubricant rather than burning it off. After installing the first centrifugal plant in Weißenhorn in 2020 and a second plant in Neu-Ulm by the end of this year, we will save up to 3500 t CO2 from being emitted to the atmosphere every year.
New furnace in Neu-Ulm
At Oetinger, we insist on having the most modern technology as we believe that only with the best technology on the market we are able to produce the best products. In the second half of 2022, we are going to start a brand new furnace in Neu-Ulm. Apart from having the highest existing energy standards, it will also reduce the number of people operating such a furnace. This is part of Oetinger's Industry 4.0 transformation, with many new innovations to come in the next few years.
Oetinger is heading towards the future of electric mobility. In 2021, we installed six charging stations for electric cars fully powered by renewable energy and we are planning to continue with our ambitions. We have also started the conversion of our cars to electric cars and are looking for possibilities to make our small vehicles, such as forklifts, switch from fossil fuels to electricity.
Across Oetinger sites, in Neu-Ulm and Weißenhorn, we have replaced all our traditional lighting system with LED lights.
In total, we have changed over 400 lightbulbs, which reduces our electricity demand for lightning by more than 490 MWh each year. This is equivalent to the electricity demand of more than 100 households in Germany.
New products ask for new types of alloys. Oetinger is fully aware of this transition and is hence collaborating with the customers on their development, so that they not only meet the customers' needs, but are also produced with a lower environmental footprint across the whole value chain. This way, Oetinger does not wait for what the future will bring, but rather takes an active part in shaping it.
In 2022, our Weißenhorn plant is going to be connected to a district heating system and use waste heat produced by the nearby incinerator plant. This is going to replace old oil boilers used to heat our offices and support the waste-to-energy process, promoting efficient use of energy.
Responsible aluminium products mean their sustainable production within our sites as well as across the whole supply chain of the materials used during the process. To reassure our customers about the thorough sustainability of our products, we are working towards obtaining the ASI Chain of Custody Standard before the end of the year 2022.
Salt slag is one of our main waste streams. To reduce transport of this hazardous material to distant facilities specifically designated for its disposal, we are preparing a project for salt slag recycling directly in-house. Recycling our salt slag allows us to reduce waste generated onsite as well as to directly reuse the salt in our production process.
At Oetinger, we try to improve the way we do things every day. We aim to have a complete live monitoring of each individual production process that takes place across our plants by 2023. This allows us to process control each individual step, to increase flexibility and to reduce energy consumption and costs. The installation of this process control system is part of Oetinger's Industry 4.0 transformation.