28.09.2016

Strategic recycling is driving the shift in raw materials and energy supply

New resources study presented


+++ ALBA Group recycling saved around 5.9 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions and 51.8 million tonnes of primary resources in 2015 +++ Brass, zinc, stainless steel and lead included in the study for the first time +++ Brass recycling found to have great resource conservation potential +++

Berlin. Strategic closed loop management for recyclables can be a key driver in changing both raw material and energy use. This is the conclusion of the new resources study conducted by the Fraunhofer UMSICHT Institute on behalf of the ALBA Group.

The study found that the raw material and environmental service provider saved 5.9 million tonnes of greenhouse gases through its recycling operations alone in 2015. This is the same amount of harmful gases that would be bound by a mixed forest covering 587,703 hectares – nearly four times the urban area of Mexico City. At the same time, the ALBA Group conserved around 51.8 million tonnes of primary resources last year by recycling around 5.5 million tonnes of material. The resources saved would fill around 130 of the world's largest bulk carriers.

"The study’s results make clear, that a closed loop management is indispensable to reach the goals of the global climate treaty. Our recycling reduces greenhouse gas emissions, at the same time we are paving the way step by step to a future without waste”, says Dr. Axel Schweitzer, CEO of ALBA Group plc & Co. KG. "An equally important aspect for us is that closing material cycles reduces the negative social and ecological consequences of excavation and exploration in the source countries – we are therefore assuming responsibility right along the supply chain."

There is a new aspect in the latest "resources SAVED by recycling" study by the Fraunhofer UMSICHT Institute: alongside aluminium, copper and steel, the researchers for the first time also present the business-specific resource savings offered by recycling brass, zinc, stainless steel and lead. This year's study therefore takes account of the value added from the ALBA Group scrap recycling sites.

"Metals have a key role in natural resource conservation. Excavating and processing metals is usually very resource-intensive. It is therefore very interesting to see the results for metals that we had not previously investigated", said Dr.-Ing. Markus Hiebel, Head of the Sustainability and Resources Management Department at the Fraunhofer UMSICHT Institute. "For brass in particular, we discovered significant potential: ALBA Group recycling of 48,000 tonnes of brass alone saved over 5 million tonnes of primary resources. Findings like this help us to understand what impact recycling could still have on environmental, resource and climate protection."

For this year's study, Fraunhofer UMSICHT analysed in detail the environmental effects of ALBA Group aluminium, copper, steel, stainless steel, lead, zinc, brass, electrical devices, paper/cardboard/cartons, glass, lightweight packaging, plastics and wood recycling. The study also considered mechanical physical stabilisation (MPS) for residual waste. You can read the "resources SAVED by recycling" study findings in full on the ALBA Group information portal at www.resources-saved.com.

About Fraunhofer UMSICHT

Fraunhofer UMSICHT is a pioneer of sustainable energy and raw material management, providing and transferring scientific findings to business, society and politics. In 2015, the institute and its 489 staff generated a turnover of 39.1 million euros. As one of 67 institutes and research facilities in the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Europe's leading applied research organisation, we are part of a global network and promote international collaboration.

More information on Fraunhofer UMSICHT can be found at www.umsicht.fraunhofer.de

About ALBA Group

With its two brands – ALBA and Interseroh – and a total of about 7,500 employees ALBA Group operates within Germany, Europe and Asia. With an annual turnover of approx. 2.2 billion Euros (2015) ALBA Group is one of the leading recycling and environmental services companies as well as raw material providers worldwide. In 2015 alone ALBA Group saved almost 5.9 million tonnes of greenhouse gases compared to primary production and at the same time about 51.8 million tonnes of primary raw materials through its recycling activities.

Further information on ALBA Group can be found at www.albagroup.de. All press releases of the ALBA Group may be subscribed to via RSS feed at www.albagroup.de/presse.

Weitere Informationen zu Fraunhofer UMSICHT unter www.umsicht.fraunhofer.de