voestalpine VAE GmbH, voestalpine Weichensysteme GmbH and voestalpine HYTRONICS GmbH at the Zeltweg site have all been nominated for the EMAS Award 2014.
Systematic environmental protection with EMAS (Eco Management and Audit Scheme) has been practiced at the site in Zeltweg since 1996. EMAS is a European auditing and certification system designed to improve environmental protection during operation as well as environmental performance. For this purpose, companies are audited annually by independent, external examiners, certified and recorded in a European register. The EMAS award is the most respected environmental management prize.
The focus of this year’s European EMAS award is on effective eco-innovations. The EMAS organization “voestalpine VAE GmbH, voestalpine Weichensysteme GmbH and voestalpine HYTRONICS GmbH” at the Zeltweg site are Austria’s nomination for the EMAS Award 2014 in the “large enterprises” category. This could be the first time that an environmental prize has been awarded for all three companies at the voestalpine site in Zeltweg.
EMAS nomination for a long-term package of measures
The nomination was the consequence of having successfully implemented a long-term package of measures in the field of “integrated lifestyle optimization of product portfolios and production processes”. This is based on 3 pillars:
1) Expanding product mix and service offerings:
Hydraulic switching systems and electronic control systems have been developed and produced, for example. These can help to reduce both the environmental impact on the ground as well as maintenance expenditures. This leads to a reduction in the number of interruptions and delays in railway traffic caused by defective turnouts, as well as reducing the energy consumed in braking and reaccelerating the trains.
A dust collection and removal system was installed at the site in Zeltweg, resulting in a 90% reduction in dust. And as the consequence of a new energy concept, Zeltweg is now a CO₂ neutral production site.
3) Improvement in the VAE Group’s HSEE performance:
Intensive work has been undertaken within the VAE Group to improve HSEE (Health, Safety, Environment & Energy) performance. The VAE Group, composed of 40 production sites in 22 countries, has developed a global guidebook for HSEE performance. It includes best practice solutions and sets minimum standards for HSEE at all sites worldwide.
The Zeltweg site has already won a European EMAS Award in 2009, as well as European Health & Safety Awards in 2003 and 2011, an achievement almost unrivaled in Europe.
The European EMAS Awards will be presented during one of the world’s largest environmental trade fairs in Hannover on April 7, 2014. Other nominees include Audi Motor (Hungary), Cemex (Poland) and Unicredit (Italy).