For example, the metals used by Diehl Brass Solutions consist of 90% secondary material. Even the chips and offcuts produced by our customers during further processing are returned to us in their entirety and fed back into the production process. This not only conserves valuable raw materials, but also saves a lot of energy. This is because the reuse of copper materials consumes only 15% of the energy that has to be used for mining.
Recycling protects our environment and so helps to preserve the basis of life for all living creatures and to maintain a well-functioning ecosystem. As a company, we contribute to a sustainable circular economy by managing resources carefully and consolidating the recycling concept in all our processes.
A good example of this can be seen at our Strategic Business Field Diehl Metal Applications. Here, the recycling process relating to surface plating has been optimized in many respects in order to exploit its full potential. The coating made of precious and non-ferrous metals is removed from the substrate material and thereby recovered. In this way, both the precious and non-ferrous metals as well as the substrate material are made available to the material cycle again.
We take care to avoid waste in our production processes, also with regard to auxiliary and operating materials. Where it is not possible to avoid waste, the materials are recycled.
Copper – Valuable material with unbeatable recycling potential
Metals are indispensable for technological progress in terms of sustainable development. Demand is continuously increasing, for example in connection with the energy and mobility turnaround as well as with the digital transformation. In our Strategic Business Field Diehl Brass Solutions, copper – the material primarily used for the production of semi-finished products – is particularly sustainable. This is because copper can be recycled and reprocessed for an unlimited number of times without compromising on quality. Worldwide, 9 million tons of copper are recycled annually. 80 percent of the copper ever produced is still in active use today. Brass, as a significant representative of copper alloys, is characterized by a wide variety of properties and is therefore an essential part of everyday life.
Decarbonization is a particularly important item on our agenda. As an industrial company, we can make a significant contribution here and assume our responsibility in the fight against climate change.
Every year, we determine the carbon footprint of our global production sites in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol). In accordance with the GHG Protocol, three scopes have been defined, which include direct emissions from production (Scope 1), indirect emissions from purchased energy (Scope 2) and emissions in the company's upstream and downstream value chain (Scope 3).
We want to gain clarity about the various sources of emissions both in our production processes and in our value chain so that we can derive optimization opportunities. In addition, we thereby create transparency with regard to the environmental impact of our company in the direction of our external as well as internal stakeholders. The exchange of information with our customers and suppliers, as well as informing our employees, creates joint involvement and solutions.
Scope 1 and 2 contain production-related emissions. These are caused, for example, by the operation of our production facilities with fuels and electricity, by cooling processes, the heating of buildings, the lighting of our production halls or the operation of our company vehicle fleet.
We can have a direct influence on this. To this end, we have set targets in the direction of CO2-neutral production for Diehl Metall.
As a company, we are committed to the 1.5 degree target of the Paris Climate Agreement and now want to make a contribution against climate change with our science-based targets for Scope 1 & 2. Therefore, we have used the criteria of the Science Based Targets Initiative to define the 2030 target.
To achieve the targets, we have already launched several exciting projects and will initiate many more in the future. One example is the "DBS goes green" project: Here, the strategic business unit Diehl Brass Solutions is taking various measures matching the levers of energy efficiency, energy procurement and own power generation. These contribute to preparing the energy-intensive production at the foundry in Röthenbach for future legal requirements and to making our business fit for the future.
Certified environmental management system
We take care to protect our natural environment. Here, too, we have certified management systems in place at our production sites. The Röthenbach site, for instance, has been certified according to ISO 14001 since 2004, and our Berlin site has had EMAS (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme) certification since as far back as 1996. In Brazil, we have been certified according to ISO14001 since 2001.
The environmental management system ensures that our processes are continuously checked and improved according to environmental criteria, for example with regard to resource efficiency, emissions or responsible handling of waste and wastewater generated during production processes. Thanks to this system, we can oversee the wastewater treatment and exhaust air filtration facilities at our production sites. Ideas management, OpEx teams and other expert groups have been established to identify savings and improvement measures.
REACH is the EU’s chemicals regulation governing the introduction, manufacture and use of all chemicals. It serves to protect human health and the environment. The regulation is in force in all EU countries and is based on the principle of greater responsibility on the part of industry for the safe handling of its substances.
Substances subject to authorization
To protect human health, substances that may be considered of very high concern are subject to an authorization procedure.
As part of this process, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) regularly publishes proposals for identifying chemicals as substances of very high concern in the form of a “Candidate List”. In a further step, a decision is made as to whether a particular substance on the Candidate List is to be subjected to an authorization procedure and then, if necessary, whether restrictions on the use of this substance are to be expected.
The Candidate List is examined by Diehl Metall following each revision by the ECHA.
As of June 27, 2018, lead metal was included in the SVHC Candidate List (SVHC stands for “Substances of Very High Concern”).
Lead is contained as an alloying element in some products of the Diehl Metall portfolio. Diehl Metall notifies its customers about such topics in compliance with the information requirements under Art. 33 of REACH.
Extensive discussions are needed to make the decision as to whether in the further course of the REACH process there will be additional restrictions on applications of lead-containing copper and brass alloys, such as authorizations for specific uses. These discussions are still ongoing. There are good reasons to argue against the need for authorization, as the risks of handling lead-containing materials are now manageable.
In the event that lead nevertheless becomes subject to authorization, there will be a transitional period of several years. Authorizations for certain uses would have to be applied for no later than 18 months prior to the end of the transitional period. It is to be assumed that the relevant authorizations will be granted by the Chemicals Agency, especially as substitution of machining alloys containing lead is not a feasible option with the current state of the art.
Currently, no other “substances of very high concern” according to the “Candidate List” nor according to Annex XIV of the REACH regulation are contained in Diehl Metall products at levels higher than 0.1%.
Safety data sheets
Rods, tubes, profiles and wire as well as the turned, stamped and forged parts made from them are products for which there is no legal obligation to prepare safety data sheets. However, the relevant information sheets can be provided upon request.
Classification: Substances, preparations and articles
Cast billets and slabs are classified as “substances” or, in the case of alloys, as “preparations”.
The semi-finished goods made from the billets and slabs, namely rods, tubes, profiles and wire, as well as the turned, stamped and forged parts that are then processed from these are referred to as “articles”.
This classification is made according to the “Guidance on requirements for substances in articles” of the ECHA.
Waste and REACH
Metal scrap and chips are classified as waste according to the Waste Framework Directive 2006/12/EC. They are subject to waste legislation and do not fall within the scope of the REACH regulation.