Making Every Bit Count

The trend towards adopting CSR (corporate social responsibility) structures within companies started early as the 70s and 80s. Today that trend has become a critical pillar in decision making across companies’ supply chains.

There is a vast array of financial benefits that can be gained and significant cost savings by embarking on environmentally sustainable operational initiatives. Today, it has become a trend amongst industry players to track companies which excel at ESG (environmental, social and governance factors) and interestingly enough, they are making the link between better financial performance and better ESG. Companies listed on international stock exchanges with strong CSR (corporate social responsibility) reputations generally experience fewer declines in share price compared to others who are not.

According to a study done by MIT’s Sloan School of Management, companies believe that adopting a strong CSR (corporate social responsibility) culture will be critical to their business success in the near future.

Significant cost reductions can result from improving operational efficiency through better management of natural resources like water and energy, as well as minimising waste. Over the years, studies have shown that companies average a 27 to 80 per cent return on investment on their low carbon projects.

Sandvik’s commitment to the environment

More and more companies that manufacture cutting tools are exploring the prospect of tool recycling. Sandvik leads the industry in terms of its Carbide Recycling Program with the aim of recycling major minerals, especially tungsten, a finite resource, for the production of new high-grade tools. It utilises the environmentally friendly zinc process for carbide recycling, consuming 75 per cent less energy as compared to using virgin materials. Impressively, this process also means that carbon dioxide emissions are reduced by 40 per cent against other recycling methods.

Cemented tungsten carbide technologies are currently used in various industries to produce a variety of hard metals, such as cutting tools for machining processes in heavy industries. In the production of cemented carbide tools, the use of alternative minerals for production is not an option, aside from tungsten, hence the procurement of carbide tools can become an expensive exercise.

Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology’s Carbide Recycling Program in Australia is one such program that provides manufacturers the option to recycle their tools and be reimbursed for a fair price. Known as the ‘no-cost’ arrangement to customers, refunds on recycled and collected materials may reimbursed by Sandvik in the form of cash, charitable donation, or an alternative arrangement, as specified by the customer. Reimbursement costs are determined by the price of carbide at the time, which has not fluctuated greatly in recent years.

The future for sustainability looks bright as Sandvik continues to partner with customers who are equally dedicated to achieving their CSR goals through environmental best practice and innovation.

For more information, read about Sandvik’s Carbide Recycling Program here.

[1] http://corporate-sustainability.org/wp-content/uploads/arcs-2012-Flammer.pdf

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