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NATURAL CAPITAL

Hulamin is committed to responsible environmental stewardship across all its operations. Since Hulamin is an appreciable user of energy in the local context, we aim to reduce our use of non-renewable energy sources through improved energy efficiency, including reduced electricity consumption and the use of other cleaner or more effective energy sources where available.

KEY NATURAL RESOURCES
ON WHICH WE ARE RELIANT
     
  Aluminium smelters are heavily reliant on electricity, a scare and carbon-intensive resource, to produce primary aluminium. The mid- and downstream aluminium industries are reliant on this primary aluminium. This high utilisation of electricity by the smelters is therefore an indirect capital on which Hulamin is reliant. Hulamin also consumes electricity in its remelt, casting, rolling and extrusion activities.
     
  LPG gas and water are essential resources used in our production.

ABILITY TO REDUCE RELIANCE ON KEY RESOURCES

Aluminium is infinitely recyclable. By recycling aluminium, the initial energy intensive process is eliminated.

There is an increasing availability of aluminium scrap, including used beverage cans, in the local market. Recycling scrap creates prospects of improved economic returns for the mid- and downstream industry. Further, the collection and recycling industry creates additional employment.

In addition to the above, efforts are continuously being made to reduce consumption of energy resources through improved efficiencies and waste management.

OUR COMMITMENT TO REDUCED RESOURCE CONSUMPTION

Every employee at Hulamin is tasked to help sustain our environment. This relates to minimising energy and water consumption and reducing waste to a minimum. To achieve this, we strive to operate as efficiently as possible.

Intensity against 1 ton production           
  Carbon
footprint
(tons CO2e)
Electricity
consumption
(GJ)
LPG
consumption
(GJ)
Water
consumption
(kℓ)
Waste
landfilled
(kg)
2012  1,85  4,78 (1328 kWh) 6,55  2,86  27,9 
Target 2013  1,72  4,66 (1294 kWh) 6,44  2,81  27,3 
Actual 2013  1,85  4,82 (1339 kWh) 6,46  2,82  28,4 


Environmental sustainability is driven by our Safety, Health and Environment Committee. Since we pledge to minimise our impact on the environment, we strictly monitor all waste leaving the plant, both effluent waters from our processes as well as solid waste streams. We have contracts with specialist third parties who assist us to manage these waste streams. We also have regular third party testing of our air emissions. We monitor legislative developments; the latest Waste Act has been reviewed by Hulamin to ensure that we comply with all new requirements.

OUR IMPACT ON NATURAL CAPITALS FOR 2013

At the end of 2012, Hulamin set intensity targets for all key environmental parameters (consumption per unit ton produced). The data for 2013 shows we have made some improvement but that there is still opportunity for making further gains.

During the course of the year, we had a number of equipment failures that compromised our ability to reach our production targets. Although production continued, we have limited ability to reduce our baseload energy requirement. This made it difficult to reach the targets we had set ourselves. We do, however, believe that the targets are achievable and will continue to make efforts to reach the targets in 2014.

CARBON FOOTPRINT

Hulamin continues to track and monitor Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. We have once again conducted our annual carbon footprint analysis in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol.

Scope 1 (direct) emissions are direct emissions from sources owned or controlled by Hulamin. This would include, for example, emissions from fuels, refrigerant consumption, furnaces, vehicles and various company facilities.

Scope 2 (indirect) emissions are those produced from purchased electricity.

Scope 3 (indirect) emissions are other indirect emissions arising from various activities not covered by Scope 2, including lubricant consumption

CO2emissions (tons)      
  2013  2012  2011
Scope 1  98 532  104 703  111 296 
Scope 2  274 378  275 324  286 093 
Scope 3  6 692  6 393  7 031 
Total  379 602  386 420  404 420 


We have shown a downward trend in total GHG emissions over the last few years but believe we could further reduce our electricity consumption in 2014, which should yield a reduction in our reported carbon footprint. Further, in comparison with the aluminium industry, Hulamin’s GHG emissions are limited. The production of 1 ton of semi-fabricated aluminium (from mining bauxite to end product) produces approximately 12 to 17 tons carbon emissions (depending on the electricity generation mix). Of this, 1,3 to 1,8 tons CO2e relate to semi-fabrication. The majority of carbon emissions are associated with smelting at about 10 to 12 tons CO2e per ton of aluminium.

CARBON TAX IMPLICATIONS

Carbon tax legislation will come into effect in 2016. Hulamin is assessing the impact of the proposed carbon tax legislation on the aluminium industry and itself.

Carbon tax is likely to have a material effect on our business as there are large scope 2 emissions associated with the aluminium industry. The production of primary aluminium is highly electricity intensive and is the primary source of carbon emissions related to the production of aluminium products. Scope 1 emissions generated by the aluminium industry, and in particular by Hulamin, are relatively low.

With the introduction of the aluminium beverage can, its recyclability and the increased availability of used beverage cans and other scrap aluminium in the local market, Hulamin can, over time, reduce its reliance on primary aluminium.

Hulamin is interacting with government to ensure that the proposed carbon tax legislation does not adversely impact the aluminium industry.

ENERGY FOOTPRINT

We continue to reduce our overall energy consumption, mainly through improved LPG consumption following the appointment of an LPG specialist last year.

We have approved the installation of heat pumps on all our ablution facilities to reduce our electricity consumption and lower our emissions. The installation is expected to go ahead in early 2014.

WATER FOOTPRINT

Water consumption has reduced year on year. Most of the gains have been made by eliminating water wastage. To make further reductions, we would have to place some emphasis on recycling and storage of water.

WASTE FOOTPRINT

During the year we experienced a number of once-off increased levels of waste. These include a cleanup of the Camps Drift Hot Mill emulsion system, which yielded unusual quantities of oily emulsion waste. Also, higher levels of refractory waste were generated due to the shutdown of the old Edendale Remelt facility and additional replacement and repairs at the Camps Drift Remelt site.

The tracking of specific waste types on a monthly basis has aided in identifying areas where support is required to reduce waste generation.

We have seen a significant reduction in waste such as aluminium hydroxide and our general waste streams.

Our waste project to recover rolling oil from spent filter cake is expected to commence in January 2014. This is expected to reduce our oily waste filter cake to landfill by around 80 tons per month.

The increase in effluent water waste this year was attributed to higher volumes processed through our anodising plant.

LOOKING AHEAD

Over the past four years we have shown a significant reduction in our impacts on natural capital. This is mainly attributable to production efficiency and the elimination of wasteful usage.

The challenge now lies in identifying new technologies and alternative engineered solutions to make meaningful gains in environmental sustainability.

Our filter cake waste project is nearing completion and recovery of rolling oil by a third party is expected to commence early in 2014. A second project also commences early in 2014 to treat explosive aluminium dust waste on site which makes the waste safer to handle and brings with it cost benefits. We continue to look for alternative means to recycle other waste streams.

The most significant activity will be to increase the recycling content of our metal by utilising used beverage can scrap. This will reduce the requirement for primary metal and save significant upstream carbon emissions over time.

Energy footprint (GJ/ton produced) (LPG and electricity only)   Water consumption (Kℓ/ton produced)
     
 
     
Disposed waste volumes (tons)   Water effluent discharge (Kℓ/ton produced)
     
 

 

See the online sustainability report for more detail on each of the aspects of natural capital.

Note: Limited assurance has been obtained over the following as detailed in the sustainability report: direct energy consumption (gigajoules), indirect energy consumption (gigajoules), total carbon footprint (using Eskom electricity conversion factor), total effluent discharge, general waste disposed, low hazardous waste disposed, high hazardous waste disposed, solid waste recycled, total water consumption and number of environmental incidents.