The social commitment of Grupa Kęty is especially manifested in its approach towards the environmental protection. The company assumed and applies the principle of preventing pollution by eliminating its sources.
Therefore, first of all, we strive to eliminate pollution through the proper organisation and selection of manufacturing techniques and methods. The company’s environmental interest is focused on responsible management of production processes, centred on ecological effectiveness and the application of environmentally-friendly technologies and practices.
We aim at effective use of resources and reduction of pollution and waste. We focus primarily on the implementation of new technologies, reduced use of materials and energy, rational consumption of water and the elimination of waste and hazardous materials. As regards our products, we apply the approach based fully on the product life cycle, reducing the environmental impact through the effective process of sourcing and recovering aluminium waste from the market produced in the manufacturing process, ending with the recycling of products at the end of their lives.
We emphasize the communication with stakeholders and the support of local environmental initiatives. Each year, the company draws up the Environmental Report, which presents the results of taken actions and the effects of the environmental activities, at the same time settling the commitments undertaken before. This is an important element of Grupa Kęty’s informational and educational campaign.
Innovative ecological solutions
Grupa Kęty focuses on innovative solutions and continuous improvement of the effects of its environmental activities and not only on the compliance with law. For a number of years now, we have been implementing measures with a view to apply innovative solutions and technologies having positive impact upon the environment. In this area, we take advantage of our own Research and Development Centre and, in addition, we collaborate with schools of higher education. The application of state-of-the-art technologies combined with the eradication of obsolete systems enabled us to considerably reduce the plant’s environmental impact and to enhance employees’ ecological awareness.
The Capital Group’s portfolio comprises:
- special prefabricated aluminium profiles and components from Grupa KĘTY used in the production of photovoltaic panels, ecological gas-fuelled boilers or energy-efficient LED lamps;
- energy-efficient architectural systems from ALUPROF used in passive buildings, ventilated rainscreen facades which improve thermal and acoustic insulation of buildings;
- Alupol Packaging’s ecological paper-based laminates and easy-to-recycle thin laminates based on high-barrier foils used to pack chilled food, allowing for the replacement of multi-layer laminates existing on the market containing aluminium, plastic and paper.
Substantial use of recycled materials in the final production of Grupa Kęty should be highlighted among the whole range of ecological activities. Not only does the plant reuse its own waste, but it also recovers and processes aluminium from the market, including used and obsolete products. The waste is applied as a component of input materials for the production of new elements extruded from aluminium.
The plant selectively collects particular grades of alloys and, as a result, in the secondary melting process, it does not apply covering fluxes that are harmful to the environment. The company acquires both post-consumer aluminium waste (originating from end users) and pre-consumer aluminium waste (waste from manufacturing processes). The process is subject to strict requirements regarding the quality of purchased scrap. As a result, there is no contaminated aluminium in the secondary melting process and no hazardous substances, which could pose a risk to the environment, are emitted to air.
By recovering aluminium from scrap, we save ca. 90% of the energy needed to produce primary aluminium obtained from bauxite (its melting is very energy-consuming). Owing to the recycling of aluminium, we also avoid the pollution of air by 95% and of water by 97%.
Integrated management system
In the companies of the Capital Group of Grupa Kęty S.A., we implemented the system based on the requirements of the international standard ISO 14001, which takes into account risk management and sustainable development principles in order to assess and reduce environmental risk and the impact of the plants. As part of the system, we implemented procedures concerning the operational control of the processes encompassing environmental aspects and emergency response procedures.
The system is an integral part of cooperating and complementary subsystems of the company introduced to ensure high quality and manage health and safety issues. The system forms a transparent structure of the organisation of the environmental protection area, incorporating, among other things, a regular method of monitoring emission levels and full personal liability. In addition, the system defines the principles of documenting the impact related to the processes, input materials turnover and products. The accomplishment of environmental objectives is supported by the tasks undertaken as part of the Environmental Programme which is approved annually.
The company also carries out the assessment of the environmental impact, the analysis of the changes in the environmental impact in time, and the effectiveness test along with the indication of cause-and-effect relations. The training courses for employees whose work may impact the environment are carried out according to the plan.
The Group’s commitment to environmental protection resulted in the adjustment of the traditional accounting system to the requirements of our ecological activities. The company has developed the ‘green accounting’ model, which allows for a full analysis of the costs of environmental protection and the incorporation of environmental aspects in the corporate reporting system. The assessment of the effectiveness of ecological activities involves the examination of the costs structure and the comparison of the changes in costs in time. The sources of data required to define the financial consequences of environmental protection activities include, e.g. capital expenditure on environmental protection; the costs of maintaining and operating environmental protection devices; legal fees for using the environment; and the level of product-related charges.
Green accounting is a tool facilitating the decision-making process related to the Capital Group’s ecological activities, and the assessment of the economic and ecological effectiveness is the basis for making optimum decisions regarding the implementation of investment and organisational projects that ensure the accomplishment of our environmental objectives.
- A Top to Get a Wheelchair
The Capital Group, its management staff and employees are open and sensitive to ecological issues. All companies of the Capital Group participate in the programme called ‘A TOP TO GET A WHEELCHAIR’, which is an initiative in which employees of the Capital Group collect plastic tops and lids from bottles, drinks, coffees, laundry liquids, etc. and put them into special containers. The Foundation coordinates the whole campaign and collected tops and lids are given to parents of handicapped children who, this way, collect money for wheelchairs for their kids. This way, recycling is combined with charity.
- 60 trees for the 60th anniversary
Another ecological initiative carried out by the Management Board and employees of the Capital Group was called ‘60 Trees For the 60th Anniversary’.
By planting ornamental trees, i.e. magnolias and sour cherry trees, the Group celebrated the 60th anniversary of Grupa Kęty (2013). In this way, in the city park at Spacerowa Street in Kęty, we created an alley of ornamental trees, which will bloom each spring for a few weeks with colourful flowers and embellish the city park.
- Selective waste collection
The Waste Management System approved by the Management Board is one of the elements of the social responsibility strategy of Grupa Kęty in the area of environmental protection. The companies take advantage of such devices as presses decreasing the volume of waste; as a result, they reduced the number of shipments and related pollution from means of transport. The required full segregation of waste in offices and in production units enabled us to generate additional profit from the sale of recycled materials.
Aesthetic containers used to segregate paper, cardboard, glass, plastic and aluminium waste as well as batteries have been placed in administrative and production buildings in the plant. Colourful labels with segregation instructions were affixed to containers; they contain a photo and the name of a particular type of waste as well as the instructions what you should put into the container and what is not allowed there. As part of the programme, employees could bring from homes and throw away to containers such items as empty batteries. These specially-marked containers have been located near magnetic cards readers, i.e. in places where employees stop at least twice a day. It makes it possible also for physical workers to use the system easily. The objective of the system is primarily to form ecological habits. Employees’ greater commitment is an additional advantage.
- Environmental Suggestions System
Grupa Kęty has in place an employee suggestions system, which allows for the streamlining of the plant’s operation and the reduction of the plants’ environmental impact owing to the ideas of the people working in them. It is our primary objective to encourage employees to analyse their behaviour and take measures exerting positive impact upon the environmental effectiveness of processes, eliminating all forms of wastage. Employees are awarded points for each accepted ecological suggestion, which they can exchange for money prizes. There are also additional separate quarterly, semi-annual and annual prizes ranging from 300 PLN to 1,000 PLN. The system has both informational and educational purpose.
As a result of the system functioning, we have implemented a few dozen projects reducing pollution and improving the effectiveness of the consumption of materials and energy.