By Carolina Curiel (ScrapMonster Author)
May 27, 2016 06:19:11 AM
BRUSSELS (Scrap Monster): The International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF) has announced the winners of the 2016 Sustainability and Safety Awards. The winner of the Sustainability award is Outokumpu, whereas North American Stainless was selected as the winner of the prestigious Safety award for 2016. The awards were announced during the ISSF Annual Conference being held in Finlandia Hall, Helsinki from May 23rd to May 27th.
This is the seventh time that ISSF has presented the Annual Awards. ISSF had received 13 applications in total this year-7 for Safety Award and 6 for Sustainability Award, from which the winners were selected.
“The importance of sustainability and corporate responsibility is increasing globally and the challenge which our industry faces is how to turn our achievements in this area to our advantage in the market by adding value for our customers and for end-users of stainless steel.”, said Dr Juha Ylimaunu, Chairman, ISSF Health, Safety and Environment Committee.
The Sustainability Award was given to Outokumpu for the company’s efforts to maximize water recycling at the Mexinox cold rolling plant in Mexico. In 2011, environmental authorities had ordered to company to examine ways to reduce the use of water in production process as the mill is located in an arid area with significant scarcity of groundwater. By reducing the amount of water used in production process, human and livestock will be benefitted, noted officials.
The company began investing in long-term projects to minimize water consumption levels. Outokumpu had made significant investments all through the years. In 2013, the company had announced installation of a new Crystallizer plant, as part of efforts to make water recycling more efficient. The installation of the plant resulted in savings of energy and costs. Also, carbon dioxide emissions from the treatment process were reduced by 95%.
According to Outokumpu, the Mexinox cold rolling mill currently treats, recycles and reuses 99% of waste water. This is the highest and unique level in the industry, ISSF noted. In order to monitor the progress of the treatment process, the company has established water usage targets for subsequent years, since the installation of the plant. The company was successful in bringing down the fresh water consumption level at the mill to 1.22 m3/t, significantly lower relative to the set target of 1.50 m3/t for the year.
North American Stainless won the Safety Award for its tremendous efforts which resulted in significant reduction of recordable and lost time injuries. The company had reported 4.51 recordable injuries per million man hours worked and 1.13 lost time injuries in 2014. The safety awareness drive carried out by the company resulted in reducing the total recordable injury rate to 0.93 per million man hours worked and lost time injury rate to as low as 0.07 in a span of one year.
The company widened the Incident Reporting System to include Near Miss Reports and added a deadline to complete the reports. It also introduced Behavioural Based Observation (BBO) Safety Program covering all employees. In addition, safety talks were delivered by managers, group leaders and supervisors every morning before commencement of work. All near miss reports were investigated as if they were injuries. Based on the investigation, alerts were issued to all employees. The program ensured increased level of participation and awareness by employees. The significant reduction in recordable and lost injuries in 2015 indicates the remarkable success of the safety drive, said North American Steel.
The International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF) is a non-profit research organization, which serves as the world forum on various aspects of the international stainless steel industry. ISSF was founded in 1996.