Bulten’s environmental policy has been implemented over many years, and the company’s main environmental impact consists of energy use and emissions to air and water. Environmental work should be preventative and involve all employees and strive to continually improve products, processes and systems to minimize environmental impact. Environmental impact is managed through objectives and improvements. Environmental risks are analyzed and managed within the framework of the company’s overall risk management procedures.
Environmental work is headed by the Group environment manager who leads, develops and improves environmental performance. Units within the Group have integrated environmental management, quality management and partly also health and safety management systems. Bulten’s plants work with energy management systems according to ISO 50001. Bulten’s well-functioning environmental management system, ISO 14001, and its dedicated employees are audited partly by external environmental auditors and by the Group’s customers.
Bulten estimates that about 50% of purchased raw materials come from scrap-based steel mills, which reduces the need for primary raw materials and thus also minimises energy use and emissions. Through the safe and correct handling of hazardous waste, Bulten contributes even further to reduced environmental impact.
Bulten aims to use renewable electricity and heat as much as possible and thus reduce energy consumption and emissions. Bulten does this through efficient logistics and energy-efficient production. The energy consumption has increased slightly during the year due to the fact that the company has taken over the former external processes, such as heat treatment of stainless steel products and surface treatment. For the first time in 2016 Bulten switched to a procurement tool for transport services where the company has specified conditions with regard to the inclusion of sustainability requirements.
Bulten’s environmental work aims to ensure that the company’s own production is carried out with as little environmental impact as practicable while being economically viable. The company conducts operations that require official permits and all of Bulten’s production units have the necessary permits. These are monitored continuously and the environmental aspects measured at each site and reported externally according to official request while also being monitored internally to build up information and data for follow-up. Energy surveys are carried out locally, and outcomes are monitored and reported. Bulten is not covered by programs for emission allowances and does not work with compensation for emissions.
Reduced environmental impact
Proactive environmental work is carried out at all units and the company’s focus on reducing its negative environmental impact has produced good results. In 2016 Bulten’s unit in Poland received a White Certificate for its efforts to increase energy efficiency using surplus heat from compressors to heat the premises. Bulten’s German company also received an environmental award for energy savings during the year.
In Bulten’s unit in Hallstahammar, work is under way to recover energy to heat from processes. The goal is that the unit should be self-sufficient in heat during 2018.
The company has noted improvements following investment in energy-efficient production equipment. Work is continuing to further develop expertise in energy consumption to support future investments.
During 2016, Bulten has also invested in new plating lines in the German and Polish unit. Start of production is planned in 2018-2019 and will mean less transportation, which will lead to a reduced impact on the environment.
Reduced weight contributes to lower carbon emissions
Bulten offers optimized application solutions that can reduce fuel consumption in vehicles, which in turn contributes to lower carbon emissions. Bulten is actively working to help customers reduce the number of fasteners per vehicle and thus achieve weight reduction through the development of alternative solutions. Together with suppliers, Bulten is developing a high-strength material that will enable a reduction in the dimensions of fasteners. It will thus be possible to reduce the size of components that surround the fastener and this can in turn deliver further weight loss.
Sustainable product development
Bulten is involved in electric vehicle projects with various automotive manufacturers and is helping to drive development in terms of shape and material for fasteners to create optimal conditions for the new technology. The company has positioned itself with technology for electric cars and hybrids, and during the year developed cooperation with one of the world’s largest electric car manufacturers, which chose Bulten as ”Certified preferred supplier”.