Environment Environment

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.

The raw materials we use 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.

Decarbonization is a particularly important point on our agenda. Our products for electric drives are already making a contribution to this. In addition, we have also launched various projects to significantly reduce our carbon footprint across all our Strategic Business Fields. The “DBS goes green” project is a key element of this. Here, the Strategic Business Field Diehl Brass Solutions is taking various measures relating to energy efficiency, energy procurement and inhouse power generation, thereby helping prepare our foundry in Röthenbach for future legal requirements and making our business fit for the future.

To derive the reduction targets, we determine our corporate carbon footprint in accordance with the requirements of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. Specific examples from our Business Field Diehl Advanced Mobility, located in Zehdenick, illustrate in concrete terms how we are translating our commitment into action. These examples include green energy procurement, inhouse power generation thanks to solar panels on the production hall roofs, as well as charging points for electric cars. All of these measures are either currently being implemented or have already been completed.

  • Certified energy management system

    How can you keep track of all the consumption that our ongoing production requires? Energy management is the answer. First and foremost, this means effective energy monitoring, since ongoing consumption must be tracked precisely. And wherever there are particular fluctuations, we need to look for the cause. Meter data is processed to accurately allocate it to the individual energy consumers. Energy management creates the conditions for the responsible and cost-efficient use of energy, enabling us to continuously improve the ecological footprint of our metal production operations. It also identifies opportunities for consistently optimizing our processes in line with sustainability commitments.

    Using energy responsibly is not something we are only now starting to do. Rather, we can look back on years of experience with our energy management system and our decarbonization efforts. By far the most energy is consumed at our site in Röthenbach. Here, we have had a certified energy management system compliant with the ISO50001 standard for more than 10 years now – and our other sites also have energy management certifications according to ISO50001 or EMAS (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme). 

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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. 

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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.  

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