Our concern for the environment is applied in 3 domains: our continuous efforts to develop new eco-friendlier production processes for our plants worldwide, prevention and risk management and the development of products that contribute to a cleaner environment.
In the first domain, our ambition is to develop eco-friendlier production processes for our plants worldwide. Responsible use of energy is a continuous concern at Bekaert. Since 2015, Bekaert runs the Bekaert Manufacturing System (BMS), a transformation program focused on manufacturing excellence, including energy reduction measures. In reference to 2015, the BMS Energy Program contributed to an implemented recurrent energy saving of 466 GWh.
Secondly, prevention and risk management play an important role in Bekaert’s environmental policy.
In total, 42% of the electricity needs came from renewable energy sources in 2019. The success rate in sourcing renewable energy sources largely depends on the availability of these sources and of usage and invoice data thereon. In countries like Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Venezuela, Slovakia, the Netherlands and the UK, practically 100% of Bekaert’s electricity consumption comes from renewable energy sources.
Due to the increased share of renewable energy sources, we were able to reduce our GHG intensity ratio for electrical energy by 3% in 2019 compared to 2018.
Another example is the LED program replacing all traditional lighting by LED lights in production areas worldwide.
In 2019, 94% of the Bekaert plants worldwide were ISO 14001 certified. ISO 14001 is part of the ISO 14000 internationally recognized standards providing practical tools to companies who wish to manage their environmental responsibilities. ISO 14001 focuses on environmental systems. Bekaert’s full worldwide certification is an ongoing goal; it is an element in the integration process of newly acquired entities and of companies that are added to the consolidation perimeter. Bekaert also received a group-wide certification for ISO 14001 and ISO 9001. The ISO 9000 family addresses various aspects of quality management.
Lastly, we develop products that contribute to a cleaner environment. Ecology is an aspect that is already considered during the R&D phase of new products. In many cases, it is even a driving factor in product development. To name a few, we manufacture super and ultra-tensile steel cord that answers the need for light-weight materials in cars, Dramix® steel fibers for concrete reinforcement using 50% less steel, in weight, compared to traditional steel reinforcement solutions, stainless steel wedge wires used for oil and water filtration, cable armoring solutions for green power transmission, and water-based substitutes for solvent-based coatings.
We continuously strive to use fewer materials, cut energy consumption and reduce waste.