Elval takes appropriate environmental protection measures, not just because the law requires so, but because it is its firm belief that this is the only way that a modern enterprise with a vision for Sustainable Development and harmonious coexistence with the local community can operate. This is why Elval monitors and improves its environmental performance, through the certified Environmental Management System it implements.
Climate change is a major global problem, aggravated by gases released by human activity. Elval recognises the importance of the problem and makes sure that carbon dioxide emissions resulting from its operation are limited. Elval’s energy needs are primarily covered through the use of natural gas, which is a “cleaner” form of fossil fuel in comparison to other conventional energy sources like carbon or oil. The largest energy consumption in Elval comes from covering the needs arising from recycling, smelting and processing of metals, leading to release of carbon dioxide (CO 2). Only 2% of CO 2 emissions derive from energy consumption for transportation and heating needs (diesel).
Gas emission management
Elval aims to the continuous reduction of gas emissions,throuth the implementation of specific actions, such as:
- exclusive use of natural gas, given its better environmental performance compared to other fuels
- regular equipment maintenance and proper calibration to minimise the emissions released into the atmosphere
- installation of bag filters on all points of emission that need to be managed, in order to arrest particles and thus minimise emissions into the atmosphere
- operation of delacquering furnaces with an after-burner system for environmentally friendly aluminium recycling
- operation of an after-burner in the pre-coating line to eliminate VOCs
- operation of a fume scrubber to withhold vapours at during the pre-coating line.
We aim at the efficient use of energy consumed in our facilities for production needs. In this context, we invest heavily in equipment and redesign of procedures, where necessary, and we apply practices and actions to save energy. Due to the nature of Elval's activities, there are increased needs in thermal (natural gas, oil) energy and electricity.
We acknowledge the importance of this natural resource and take all measures necessary for its efficient use and for limiting the quantities used in the production process, to the absolute minimum levels required. At the same time, reuse practices are applied, while special emphasis is placed on minimising liquid waste disposal.
Innovation in waste management and water conservation (wastewater treatment plant). As part of its policy for conserving a precious natural resource like water, Elval implements an innovative program, designed to reduce the volume of discharged wastewater.
The state-of-the-art processing plant of Elval’s industrial waters is capable of recycling part or all thereof, and it is also a benchmark in water treatment technologies, as it combines all cutting edge technologies in this field.
This project consists of a processing and full recycling plant for industrial waters resulting from individual manufacturing operations of Elval. The facility consists of a multi-stage processing system making treated water either suitable for re-use and exploitation in manufacturing operations or suitable for discharge to the natural receptor.
This project is unique of this kind in Greece and the savings on existing consumptions may amount to a volume of about 280,000 m3 of water per year. It is worth noting that in 2015, Elval won a distinguished award in the context of “Bravo Sustainability Awards” function in the “Bravo Environment” category, for its industrial water treatment plant. This distinction confirms Elval’s commitment to Sustainable Development and recognises our firm choice for continued improvement with responsibility.
Elval has an integrated waste management system (focused primarily on measures to prevent waste generation and subsequent measures for their reduction), covering all production stages right up to final waste disposal. Over recent years, it has placed particular emphasis on techniques to reduce the volume of waste and to re-use waste, either on-site or via external licensed associates. Most of the waste generated is led to recycling and energy recovery.
To reduce our environmental impact to a minimum, we have developed and implement a series of management techniques for each type of waste, adopting Best Available Techniques (BAT), in line with EU specifications.
Examples include the following:
- Operation of rolling oil and solvents recovery units, for re-use in the production process, which resulted in significant savings of natural resources and reduction of the amount of wastes produced.
- Operation of a three-stage evaporation unit for the separation of emulsions in oil and water phase, significantly reducing the amount of end wastes for disposal.
- Development of an innovative method of treating one of the main solid wastes of the production process, which aims at utilising the residue produced by recycling aluminium.
- Development and implementation of an extensive recycling programme for packaging and other recyclable materials, such as paper/cardboard, wood, plastics, metals, tires, household batteries, used electronic and electrical equipment, fluorescent bulbs and car batteries.
The following actions are implemented for the treatment of wastewater:
- Operation of a wastewater treatment plant, with capacity of full recycling thereof during the manufacture process
- Operation of a physico-chemical wastewater treatment plant at the pre-coating line
- Implementing an extensive network for cooling water recycling aiming to conserve water resources.
- Operation of a new sewage treatment plant (with a maximum processing capacity of 28,050 m3/year or 85 m3/day) with MBR (Membrane Bio Reactor) technology. This sewage treatment plant includes all treatment stages as well as room for the electromechanical equipment (engine room).
To ensure that these units operate properly, Elval has a comprehensive monitoring plan in place, which includes:
- Continuous monitoring of the quality parameters of treated wastewater which is to be released to the environment.
- Regular sampling of treated wastewater for chemical analyses.
- Regular audits by experienced staff to ensure the correct operation of the treatment systems.