Vallourec constantly strives to reduce the environmental footprint of its industrial activity by implementing its environmental policy set up in 2014. The Group has set itself three priorities:
Environmental audits are organised regularly in every country in which we operate in order to assess regulatory compliance, environmental performance and ecological risks. Most of Vallourec's industrial sites (89% of the Group's total production as at 31 December 2016) have achieved ISO 14001 certification.
Water quantitatively represents the main resource needed for the Group’s production processes.
Vallourec has a proactive waste reduction policy that involves acting at source in the manufacturing process and constantly strives to improve recycling and recovery rates which reached 94.4% in 2016.
The Group has a structured, comprehensive system in place that enables it to improve protection for its employees and residents against the noise impact of its operations. The system uses noise monitoring campaigns.
The solutions subsequently adopted are of two types: noise reduction at source through using quieter equipment and / or soundproofing solutions.
In France, the Group has – on its own initiative – carried out soil tests around all its main operating sites. As a result of these investigations, some facilities introduced programmes to monitor groundwater using piezometric sensors.
Abroad, the analyses carried out at the vast majority of production sites revealed no significant impact.
To preserve air quality around its plants, Vallourec measures atmospheric emission levels and applies specific solutions for each type of emission, vapour or particle, in order to reduce them.
To prepare for a "low carbon" economy, Vallourec has developed the GreenHouse programme, which aims to improve the energy performance of its processes while reducing CO2 emissions.
Vallourec's industrial activity requires significant electricity, gas and charcoal consumption.
The objective of the GreenHouse project: a 20% reduction in total gas and electricity consumption by 2020, calculated using 2008 as the reference year and on a like-for-like basis with an equivalent product mix and level of activity.
The project is led at Group level and by each consuming site, and relies on a community of experts, by implementing the Group’s energy policy set up in 2014.
Five key actions have been identified:
Given the significant modification of the Group’s industrial footprint, a new 2020 objective will be established based on new assumptions.
Vallourec Florestal manages 230,000 hectares of forest. Approximatively 113,000 hectares of eucalyptus plantation are cultivated to produce charcoal to feed the blast furnaces of Jeceaba and Belo Horizonte. Charcoal is a renewable energy as the CO2 emitted during charcoal combustion is absorbed by the growing trees.
In 2015, Vallourec completed a detailed analysis of the carbon cycle for the forest operated in Brazil with the aid of university and institutional experts. As they grow, trees absorb CO2. The trunks of harvested trees are transformed into charcoal in furnaces designed for that purpose. The charcoal then enters the cast iron manufacturing process needed to manufacture steel. Calculations show a very significant level of sequestration, which is the result of the forest management process by our subsidiary Florestal.
This is why Vallourec considered the sequestered carbon should be included in the calculation of direct emissions as a "negative" emission. Vallourec's carbon intensity (gram of CO2 per euro of sales) may now be qualified as very low and is thus exemplary compared to industrial groups of comparable size.
Given its new industrial footprint, the Group will establish and publish in 2017 its emissions objectives for the upcoming years and will endeavor to demonstrate that its emissions are compatible with commitments taken at the end of 2015 as part of the Paris Agreement.
> Simplified carbon analysis
2018/2019 Activity report - Economical / Financial e-accessible