We continuously strive to develop processes that use less material, cut energy consumption and reduce waste.
Our concern for the environment is applied in 3 domains:
Our ambition is to develop eco-friendlier production processes for our plants worldwide.
We do this by implementing worldwide initiatives that aim to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions and by installing energy-efficient infrastructure and equipment in our new plants and plant extensions.
Responsible use of energy is a continuous concern at Bekaert.
In November 2019, 3 500 solar panels were installed on the roof of the BBRG A-Cords facility in Aalter (Belgium). This solar installation will cover a part of the plant's electricity consumption from 2020 onward.
In the USA, Bekaert has signed a first Virtual Power Purchasing Agreement with a developer of a 250 MW Wind Park, from which 35MW will be attributed to Bekaert. The project is under construction and targets to be operational by the end of 2020. The contract will ensure that 55% of Bekaert’s electricity needs in the USA will be covered by renewable energy.
Details of actuals and targets are described below in ‘Energy Related Data’.
Responsible water process management is another aspect of our efforts to make our production processes more eco-friendly.
Prevention and risk management play an important role in Bekaert’s environmental policy. This includes measures against soil and ground water contamination, responsible use of water and worldwide ISO 14001 certification.
At Bekaert 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.
Bekaert’s super-tensile and ultra-tensile steel cord ranges for tire reinforcement are examples of this. These steel cords allow tire makers to produce tires with a lower weight, thinner plies, and lower rolling resistance. This revolution enables a potential 15% reduction in weight of the reinforcement areas of tires, thereby reducing the CO2 emissions of a vehicle by up to 5%, which led to a global reduction of 1.5 billion kg of CO2 in 2019.
(GRI 305-5 scope 3)
Other examples of Bekaert product developments that lead to more environmentally friendly applications are:
The Belgian Agoria Solar Team won the famous World Solar Challenge in Australia.
The steering system of the solar car, built by a team of KU Leuven University students, has an advanced cord from Bridon-Bekaert Ropes Group inside.
In total, 3 200 km were covered from Darwin to Adelaide in extremely hot weather conditions. The skillful navigation of the solar car was one of the critical elements in this successful race and was made possible by the advanced cord in the steering module.
Total energy consumption = 4 957 gWh
Energy Intensity Ratio(1):
Methodology used: the energy data are monitored in a central database.
42% of the electricity needs came from renewable energy sources in 2019.
Bekaert has set a target to increase the share of renewable energy for the longer term. By 2025 we want to increase the share of renewable energy to 55%.
GHG emissions from outbound logistics:
GHG emissions from company cars & busses (excluding JVs): 3 692 ton CO2/year
GHG emissions from business travel (air): 2 740 ton CO2 (without radiative forcing (RF))
The CO2 footprint has been calculated based on the country specific kWh to CO2 conversion factors per individual country as listed in the 2019 'International Energy Agency’ CO2 conversion standards.
GHG emissions from purchased electricity and other types of energy (Scope 2 emissions):
GHG Intensity Ratio:
Taking into account the efforts we are making and targets we are setting to increase the share of energy from renewable sources, our GHG emissions will reduce with 7% in 2020 and 25% in 2025 versus reference year 2015 (see targets and glossary at page 8 and 9).
Water withdrawal (GRI 303-3)
Total water withdrawal was 9 237 megaliter (ML) of which 5 404 ML from areas with water stress.(2)
Freshwater withdrawal by source:
Water discharge (GRI 303-4)
Total water discharge was 4 201 ML in 2019 of which 2 029 ML to areas with water stress.
Water discharge by destination:
Water discharge to areas with water stress was 2 029 ML of which 629 ML freshwater and 1 400 ML other water.
Our water discharge was filtered at our own premises.
Water consumption (GRI 303-5)
Total water consumption was 5 036 ML of which 3 375 ML from areas with water stress.
(1) Data provided by the respective plants
(2) Water stress: in areas with water stress, the ratio of total annual water withdrawal to total available annual renewable water supply is high (40-80%) or extremely high (>80%)