Improvements in the production process
Ovako is steadily improving its environmental impact through ongoing development of its production processes. The company constantly strives to reduce emissions from its product manufacturing, and its main climate emissions to air are carbon dioxides and nitrogen oxides from combustion, as well as particles from steel mills and mechanical processing. Improvements in the production process includes:
- Energy efficiency – Ovako works continuously on improving energy efficiency. All major production units work according to, or are energy-certified under, ISO 50001, which means that energy surveys are regularly conducted and action is taken.
- Reuse of water - Although Ovako’s major production sites are located in areas that are not classified as water stressed, the company is still working actively to achieve the most efficient possible use of water in production, including circular systems for reusing water.
- Transport optimization - Ovako is conducting ongoing work to reduce our environmental impact from transportation, including the use of a larger proportion of rail freight, increased co-loading and more modern vehicles.
- Residual products - Ovako works constantly to identify new applications for the residual products resulting from steel manufacturing. Using by-products, reusing internal materials and recovering metal content can reduce the extraction of virgin raw materials.
Examples of energy efficiency measures
- Conversion of furnaces from LPG and oil to electricity
- Heat recovery - all major production facilities in Sweden are selling residual heat to local district heating networks
- Heat from process cooling water is recovered in several locations, which means that net usage of district heating to warm these buildings has essentially been reduced to zero
Demand for climate-adapted products continues to increase, and Ovako works actively with customers, suppliers and other stakeholders to reduce the total environmental impact over the product life cycle. Ovako’s steel often generates particularly great environmental benefits when the customers’ end products are put to use. Inclusions and defects in the steel are minimized during Ovako’s manufacturing process, resulting in highly clean steel with better fatigue strength than conventional steel. This enables Ovako’s customers to develop advanced solutions for components that are lighter and stronger, and that have a longer service life, which means that Ovako, in turn, helps its customers to create better product solutions with lower environmental impact.
An Environmental Product Declaration (EPD®) is a verified and registered document that provides transparent and comparable information about the environmental impact of products over their life cycle. The information is often adapted to specific user needs or market areas by focusing on a single environmental aspect. The most popular of these are climate declarations that only indicate the carbon footprint of the product. The climate declarations produced by Ovako enable comparison between the global average and Ovako’s carbon footprint per kilogram of finished steel product, from raw material until the product leaves the company’s production sites, from “cradle-to-gate”. The declarations shows that Ovako’s products have an 80 percent lower carbon footprint than the global average for hot-rolled
steel products. This information helps customers to make accurate calculations and informed decisions about their steel purchases.
Ovako’s climate declarations can be downloaded below.
LOWER CARBON FOOTPRINT THAN THE GLOBAL AVERAGE
Use of chemical substances at Ovako
Ovako has a proactive process for reviewing and assessing chemicals and all products meet the requirements of European and national legislaton including REACH, the RoSH directive and GADSL. Ovako works continuously to find substitutes for dangerous chemicals and replace these with less dangerous ones.
Statement on Ovakos use of chemical substances in its products, can be found here.