ELG is a global leader in the trading, processing and recycling of raw materials for the stainless steel industry as well as high performance materials such as superalloys, titanium and carbon fibres. With 50 locations in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, the division has one of the industry’s largest global networks. ELG’s customers receive the material in exactly the composition they need for further processing – just in time and in accordance with the high quality standards as certified by the customer. ELG delivers secondary raw materials that are checked for quality and adapted to the customer's needs. The recycling business is a material part of the service spectrum: production waste is recycled and returned to the customer in optimal quality within a closed-loop cycle.
As a recycling business, sustainability is firmly anchored in ELG's business model and corporate philosophy. Promoting responsibility among employees, ethical business practices and strong partnerships with stakeholders are also a focal point of operations. In 2013 ELG therefore carried out a stakeholder dialogue, which demonstrated which sustainability issues are of particular importance for the company and its stakeholders, as well as for employees, customers, suppliers, banks and Haniel as a shareholder. The various topics were brought together under four priority areas – "Operational Focus", "Compliance Focus", "Employee Focus" and "Commercial Focus" – and a number of initiatives were set up. Many of the measures carried out under these priority areas were initiated by local management, with CR officers in head office coordinating, monitoring progress and communicating developments.
Employees: Health and Safety
As a result of ELG's business model some employees are exposed to potential risks at scrap locations. Site managers therefore give high priority to worker protection. To prevent workplace accidents, potential sources of risk are identified and appropriate safeguards and countermeasures put in place. Based on the activity performed, employees are obliged to wear the necessary protective personal equipment and to participate in regular safety training. In 2015 ELG initiated the Health & Safety PLUS project to establish a modern health and safety management system. Firstly, data on accidents, absences and employee turnover was collected and analysed. To reduce the number of workplace accidents and absences as far as possible a number of measures have been put in place, including awareness raising campaigns. ELG achieved the goal it set itself for 2017 of reducing the number of days absent to 7.5 per full-time employee per year and is working continually on reducing the number of workplace accidents from 18 per million work hours in 2017 to 15 per million.
Value-added chain: CO₂-Emissions
ELG wants the impact of the recycling business on the environment to be transparent. To this end, together with Fraunhofer UMSICHT the company conducted a study to determine the carbon impact of its global operations. With the results, ELG is able to quantify the contribution which the secondary raw materials it provides in the four largest product groups make to lowering greenhouse gases. Stainless steel accounts for the majority of ELG's operations, with a relatively low carbon footprint for the company. Customers can make the biggest difference – by increasing the proportion of scrap in their products and therefore their order volume from ELG. In comparison with using primary raw materials, ELG's recycling activities led to savings of 4,408 million tonnes of CO₂ in 2017. At the same time, the study identifies approaches for reducing CO₂ emissions resulting from the company’s own business activities. Photovoltaic installations generate electricity for buildings and for charging hybrid vehicles. A number of diesel cranes were also exchanged for electric cranes in 2017 and several locations switched to LED lighting.
Innovation: Carbon fibre recycling
ELG continues to push ahead with the still young carbon fibre recycling market segment: the British subsidiary ELG Carbon Fibre has for several years been testing innovative processes with the aim of developing new product forms for potential sales markets and thus to feed the recycled carbon back into the goods cycle. After ELG Carbon Fibre has worked successfully since 2016 on the development of carbon mats for the production of car bodies in the vehicles manufacturing industry, the first prototype containing materials from ELG Carbon Fibre was introduced in September 2017 at the “Goodwood Festival of Speed” automotive trade show.
For further information, please see www.elg.de/en/sustainability.html
This section includes the following GRI indicators: