Reducing Our Impact
We strive to reduce our environmental impact. Our facilities are or are becoming state-of-the-art with the latest pollution control technology. Our production of stainless steel through electric arc furnaces is the most energy efficient and eco-friendly form of steel production available, limiting greenhouse gas emissions. We make constant improvements to our processes to become even more environmentally friendly.
We are always looking for ways to become more efficient. A recent example is our new state-of-the-art titanium sponge facility being built in Rowley, Utah. We built the facility next to an existing producer of magnesium. This saves direct transportation costs and reduces our need to remelt the magnesium before processing, thereby reducing our carbon emissions and energy usage. We are also able to easily ship a magnesium byproduct back to the producer for reprocessing, further improving our production efficiency.
In our new advanced specialty metal hot rolling and processing facility in Brackenridge, PA, we are reusing and recycling the structural steel and masonry, concrete and bricks from old buildings that were on the site and razed during site preparation. The new facility is equipped with advanced technology pollution controls and energy-efficient technology.
We consider environmental compliance to be an integral part of our operations. We have a comprehensive environmental management and reporting program, and require compliance with all federal, state, regional and local environmental laws and regulations.
Each of our operating companies has an environmental management system. Through these systems we monitor our environmental performance, particularly in the face of changing business operations. We strive to be in compliance but any noncompliance is promptly corrected and root cause analysis is employed to prevent any recurrence.
We always look for opportunities to recycle and reuse materials. In fact one of the hallmarks of the ATI Business System (ATIBS) is the elimination of waste in all phases of our manufacturing processes. Besides reducing our environmental impact, recycling improves our bottom line by cutting our operating costs.
Many of the products that we manufacture, such as stainless steel and nickel-based alloys, begin as used materials (i.e., scrap metal), and the finished products are themselves recyclable. Approximately 75% or more of the raw materials that ATI Flat Rolled Products and ATI Specialty Materials use to manufacture specialty metals start from scrap material, which is either purchased or internally-generated by our own manufacturing processes. Once these specialty metals reach the end of their life span, as scrap metal they can be recycled as raw material for new specialty metals. Most of our other operating companies also use scrap metal as starting materials, although on a smaller scale.
Our commitment to recycling and reusing materials is also evident in the following examples:
- Some of our slag materials remaining from melting specialty metals are processed to remove valuable metals, such as chromium and nickel, which are then reused in our melting processes.
- The remaining slag components are usable as construction material for applications such as road building.
- Substantial recycling and regeneration occurs at our facilities in our acid pickling operations, such as the recirculation and regeneration of nitric and hydrofluoric acids.
- ATI Specialty Materials recirculates processing water for minimal water consumption, instead of drawing new water from rivers and streams.
- Waste stainless steel liners from ATI Specialty Alloys and Components are recycled by ATI Flat Rolled Products and used as raw material input.
- We have implemented various environmentally friendly practices throughout the company, such as recycling office paper, aluminum cans, plastic bottles and waste wood products, replacing lights with compact fluorescent light bulbs, and keeping lights off when a room is not in use. In fact, over the past two years, our office paper recycling efforts have saved over 200 trees.
- Where possible, we promote scrap buy-back programs with our customers to encourage recycling.