What you will find in this article
In this article, you will find an explanation of the social responsibility that steel foundries have as players in the planet’s preservation. Moreover, you will learn about Gamarra’s sustainability commitment and the guidelines we follow to assure our clients that our activity is sensible and eco-friendly.
Sustainability in foundries and casting: What needs to be taken into account
How can we define sustainability? The United Nations described it as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. Basically, it has two spectrums: sustainable consumption and production. As metalcasters and industry workers, we have a duty with the latter.
Foundries have a key social role in the treatment and recycling of natural resources. Gamarra is a good example of resource efficiency and sustainability, as our castings implement the recycling model. Once the casting has been fully used and its life cycle is over, they are recycled. For instance, they can be melted to create a new casting. Even scrap metal can be considered a raw material to produce new castings used in component creation.
The key to a more eco friendly production model is to implement some measures that can start by taking care of several aspects. These can be energy and water usage or waste management.
It is a proven fact that foundries are energy-intensive companies, as they need lots of power to carry out their manufacturing activities. Melting the metal consumes a lot of energy. Other processes such as heat treatment, also included in foundry activities, consume a huge amount of energy too.
The source of this energy used in the metal industry comes from electricity, gas or oil. The cost of this resource is an important part in production, so we have to make sure that it is being used efficiently. For that reason, foundries have a responsibility if they want to make a sustainability statement and optimize their production processes.
Water can be consumed in metal casting processes in many different ways. When used in the casting process, water can be contaminated as a result of air pollution or if it has been used to cool running machinery. If foundries reduce their water usage for these purposes they may experience an enormous improvement in their efficiency. Water can be discharged through drainage systems like sanitary sewers or permitted outfalls. In addition, it can be recycled to satisfy other water demands in the facility once it has been treated and recovered. It is crucial that the quality of the water is appropriate for an additional use.
Reusing materials and correctly managing waste can have many benefits in foundries. For example, it preserves landfill space, conserves natural resources and reduces CO2 emissions as well as saving money. Foundries can save up a large amount of money by turning a hazardous waste into a non-hazardous waste.
Corporate social responsibility
Taking care of the planet has a direct and positive impact on any business, and is a proven fact that a strong environmental approach has many benefits for metal casting companies. At Gamarra we have learned that by implementing an ESG (Environmental Social and Governance) approach to our strategy we have achieved higher growth rates, save money through implementation of lean and greener methodologies, improve our brand image, and even strengthen stakeholder relationships.
Gamarra’s commitment to sustainability
At Gamarra, we take into account the impact we make in the world with our overall activity. For that reason, we aim to supply innovative steel products and technologies that help contribute to the sustainable success of our clients and to the preservation of the environment. Also, we are constantly raising awareness among our team and employees. They will not embrace the sustainable lean and we would not achieve results without direct involvement of the overall organization. Involvement is crucial.
We have developed a sustainability manifesto, where we have collected a series of 24 principles aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. These principles include commitments regarding social justice, the environment and prosperity.
We are aware of the importance of creating a performance indicator reporting. For that reason, we have allied ourselves with EcoVadis, a rating provider that covers the spectrum of sustainability risk and performance management. This partnership is built on international standards, including: the Global Reporting Initiative, the UN Global Compact and the ISO 26000.
With this partnership, we have strengthened our social, environmental and economic performance of our supply chain. Moreover, we have proudly reduced our carbon footprint and Gamarra’s impact on the planet. On the other hand, the objective of this collaboration is to ensure that our customers can be confident that the steel we use to create their components has been sourced and produced responsibly at every stage of the casting process.
Some ESG actions we are implementing at Gamarra:
- Recycling of the sand used in the foundry
- Investing in green infrastructures to reduce water consumption
- Reduction of 17% in CO2 emissions
- Tree planting around our facilities to reduce air and acoustic pollution
- Partnership with INS at Oviedo to take action on illnesses related to dust exposure
- Weekly review of KPIs of energy efficiency to reduce emissions
One of Gamarra’s most used casting methods is green sand casting. This process is eco-friendly, as it uses no chemical additives in its making. It is composed of just sand, clay and water. Moreover, although the mold we obtain from sand casting is non-reusable, it is easily recyclable, reducing the environmental impact of our activity.
To finish up this article, we want to clarify that Gamarra will continue to strengthen its sustainability commitment acrross all foundries, adding new policies and implementing greener tactics with time. We are a clear case of sustainability and ESG principles in foundries. We can preserve the environment by making an effort in changing some aspects of the production process and by taking greener actions.