Sustainable environmental management in the aluminum industry - Case Study
According to the German Aluminum Industry Trade Association (GDA: Gesamtverband der Aluminiumindustrie), more than 600 companies and 74,000 employees are active in the German aluminum industry. As manufacturers of high-quality aluminum profiles, system components and slugs, Aluminium-Werke Wutöschingen is committed to the careful use of resources. The company uses Quentic, the web-based software for Health & Safety, Environmental management (HSE) and Sustainability, to support their certified energy and environmental management system.
About Aluminium-Werke Wutoschingen
Ever since 1914, Aluminium-Werke Wutöschingen (AWW) has been successfully combining superior quality, highest precision and innovations on a global scale. Where once the parts for the rigid airship Graf Zeppelin were built, now first-class extruded profiles, slugs and system components are produced. Roughly 500 specialists work at the site near Switzerland, and create solutions from aluminum for furniture and electrical installations as well as for mechanical engineering, automotive and construction industries.
The efficient use of resources takes top priority in the company policy. As far back as 2001, the family-run business had their environmental management system certified in accordance with the international standard ISO 14001. In their annual audits, adherence to legal regulations is evaluated, and measures for improving environmental protection are re-assessed and adapted to current developments.
Increasing energy efficiency
In December 2012, the initial certification for the energy management system according to ISO 50001 was achieved. In the run-up, the AWW had been looking for a software solution that was suitable for establishing the complete energy management system. One of the requirements for the smooth flow of the certification process is that the company’s total energy consumption must be fully recorded and comprehensibly documented. This transparency could hardly be ensured with the solutions at hand, such as Excel lists. “We needed software that would be able to document and visualize our total energy consumption and, in addition, improve more areas, such as waste management and the handling of hazardous chemicals,” says Wolfgang Hoferer, Health & Safety Officer as well as Hazardous Goods & Waste Officer. After implementing Quentic software, it was finally possible to say good-bye to endless, chaotic lists.
Transparency via resource monitoring
In the Environmental Management module, rates as well as consumption values for electricity and gas are stored and categorized. This data is regularly collected in the company, carefully documented, centrally saved and evaluated. This creates a complete and up-to-date picture of the use of resources and, if necessary, the electricity consumption of particular machines and facilities can be analyzed in depth. The weak spots in the operation are easily identified and energy-saving actions are immediately implemented as part of the continuous improvement process. Furthermore, the indicators form an ideal basis for strategic decisions on the use of identically constructed machine tools from different manufacturers.
Safe waste management
In order to optimize its waste management, the AWW set up a centralized waste register with Quentic which now contains roughly 30 waste types. All waste materials are recorded in the register, including their measuring units. If necessary, they can be directly classified as hazardous waste. The evaluation is carried out on the basis of costs per waste type, which are then directly transferred into the annual report. Thus it takes little effort to see how the waste data has changed in the course of the year or as compared to the previous years. Another advantage is that just by using a filter, all 500 working and hazardous chemicals that are labeled according to GHS/CLP can be easily found in the hazardous chemicals register. This saves the purchasing department a lot of time when obtaining new materials.
Since 2012 Aluminium-Werke Wutöschingen is using the following Quentic modules:
- Quentic Core
- Health & Safety
- Hazardous Chemicals
- Environmental Management
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