Reliance and impact on key capitals > Natural capital

natural capital

Hulamin recognises the need for commitment to all forms of responsible environmental stewardship of its resources and to ensuring that all its activities result in minimal harm to the environment. Addressing environmental sustainability thus has been integrated into the way Hulamin runs its business. Structural changes to the business were put in place to enable and sustain monitoring and reporting environmental sustainability alongside developing plans for continuous improvement, including the assessment of environmental risk.

2014 areas of focus 

How we fared 

Identify new technologies and alternative engineered solutions to make meaningful gains in environmental sustainability  Committees and working projects have been commissioned in order to assist with sustainable solutions including electricity, gas and water 
Completion of the filter cake waste project  Waste filter cake is now going to the recycler who returns to us the extracted rolling oil. This also reduces demand on rolling oil supply. 
The treating of explosive aluminium dust waste  A small project to neutralise a highly reactive aluminium sludge has been successfuls 
Build symbiotic relations with labour unions and strengthen internal communication relationships with employees  Strengthening of relationships with labour unions and employees continue to remain important to Hulamin
Increase the recycling activity of our metal used in beverage can scrap Refer to the Manufactured capital section 

2015 and beyond focus areas 

Continue our projects to more efficiently consume LPG and move towards more sustainable forms of gas 
Our newly established water management team has been tasked to identify and manage water concerns affecting Hulamin and surrounding communities 
Work closely with the NCPC, an energy management specialist, in setting up sustainable systems for more efficient energy management 
Continue to strive in supporting our communities to recycle aluminium metal scrap 


Natural resources we are reliant on

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 natural 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, 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. 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 Capital in 2014

At the end of 2012, Hulamin set intensity targets for all key environmental parameters (consumption per unit ton produced). In 2013 we made some improvement on our effects on the environment. 2014 was a more challenging year. 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 2015.




Hulamin continues to track and monitor Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. We have once again conducted our annual carbon footprint analysis in accordance with methods used in previous reporting periods.


Intensity against
1 ton of production  




Carbon footprint (tons CO2e) 1,85  1,69  1,75 
Electricity consumption (GJ) 4,82  4,67  4,81 
LPG consumption (GJ) 6,46  6,29  6,96 
Water consumption (kℓ) 2,82  2,70  3,00 
Waste landfilled (kg) 28,2  25,6  29,2 


While Hulamin has made some progress to improve energy efficiency over the last few years, we believe the time has come to step up the momentum. With improved measurement systems in place, Hulamin is now in a good position to formally implement an energy management system. An agreement was reached between Hulamin and the National Cleaner Production Centre (NCPC) (The NCPC is hosted by the CSIR on behalf of the Department of Trade and Industry (dti). The NCPC-SA is a member of UNIDO and UNEP’s global resource efficiency and cleaner production network) to provide Hulamin with an energy management specialist as well as a compressed air systems specialist on site to assist setting up sustainable systems for energy management. This project was initiated in late 2014 and we look forward to a new outlook on energy consumption.

We continue to reduce our overall energy consumption, mainly through improved LPG (liquid petroleum gas) consumption following the appointment of an LPG specialist.

Hulamin is currently investigating different options to resolve our reliance on LPG. One of the options currently under consideration is to move to the more abundant and cleaner option of LNG (liquid natural gas).





In recognising shortcomings in the area of water conservation at Hulamin, a water management team has been set up to identify and manage water concerns. The mandate of this team is to identify water risks, monitor and understand monthly consumption data and to develop action plans for risks and opportunities.

Effluent water levels increased in 2014. Efforts to recycle water at the Coil Coating Line resulted in an unexpected processing problem which had taken some time to identify.




While production increased, Hulamin was able to show a decrease in waste levels from 2013 on a per ton of production comparison basis. There were a number of projects initiated that enabled us to lower the waste to landfill volumes such as:

  • Our waste management service provider has worked with us to increase recycling levels.
  • Improved management of waste emulsion from our hot rolling line enabled more oil to be recycled, and less being sent to landfills.
  • Our cold rolling waste filter cake is now being processed through a recycler who returns to us the extracted rolling oil. This has also reduced our demand on rolling oil supply.
  • A small project to neutralise a highly reactive aluminium sludge has been successful. The waste is now much safer to handle on site.



The greater environment

Hulamin has entered into an agreement with the Duzi Umgeni Conservation Trust (DUCT) for the removal of alien plant invader species and the rehabilitation of an area that runs between our manufacturing sites in Pietermaritzburg. This area is in close proximity to the Umsunduzi river and the activities are expected to benefit the river environment. DUCT’s mission is to champion the environmental health of the Umsunduzi and Umgeni rivers. They believe that their vision is ambitious and will only be achieved through progressive, combined and sustained actions by government and civil society. Hulamin is pleased to be associated with this organisation and intends to continue to support of their endeavours.