The aluminium company ST Extruded Products Group, STEP-G for short, focuses on the production of sustainable aluminium products along the entire value chain. As of this year, all German STEP-G locations obtain 100 percent of their electricity from sustainable sources. This marks an important step towards the company’s carbon-neutral future.
In this context, STEP-G is not only scrutinising its own production processes and searching for ways to reduce CO2 emissions – it is also looking closely at its suppliers of input and operating materials, as well as its partners that provide ancillary services for its manufacturing processes. The first step towards implementing the company’s comprehensive sustainability strategy was the conversion of all German STEP-G locations to green electricity by 1 January 2022. The aluminium specialist was thus able to massively reduce its carbon footprint and eliminate almost 8,500 tonnes of CO2 additionally from its own manufacturing processes.
Edgar Gebhart, Managing Director at STEP-G, says: “By converting our locations to 100 percent green electricity, we are committed to sustainable and carbon-neutral operations as responsible members of society. The use of energy from renewable sources is just one of the points in our sustainability strategy, which will allow us to make a visible contribution as a supplier of aluminium solutions.” Markus Ogawa, Managing Director at STEP-G, is also positive about the conversion: “Green electricity is both climate-friendly and eco-friendly and ends our dependence on energy from fossil fuels. In this way, we are working towards a carbon-neutral future for STEP-G. Switching to 100 percent green electricity is not only necessary, but also a step in the right direction.” Furthermore, the company is even paying attention to the CO2 footprint upstream of its own manufacturing processes. In this context, it now selects suppliers of input and operating materials on the basis of their sustainability, environmental performance and ecological balance sheet. Besides ensuring that they use a high percentage of green electricity, the proportion of recycled aluminium that these suppliers use – in the form of secondary aluminium – is another key factor. At the same time, their use and avoidance of primary aluminium is also checked.
The company’s switch to renewable energy sources is being complemented by the long-term use of one of Saxony-Anhalt’s largest photovoltaic arrays at the STEP-G site in Hettstedt. The system generates eco-friendly electricity across a total area of almost 17,000 square metres, supplying at least 300 three-person households in cities and municipalities throughout Saxony-Anhalt with green energy. This self-generated electricity covers 25 percent of the energy requirements at the Hettstedt plant and enabled STEP-G to save 284 tonnes of CO2 last year alone.
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