Bradken - Recycling Steel Bradken

Recycling steel leads to better business

Bradken’s focus on recycling not just its products but also the materials needed to make them is reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions and lowering costs, benefitting customers and society at large.

Bradken, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hitachi Construction Machinery, Co., specializes in wear parts and services for the resources sector. It also serves highly complex specialist industries with engineering and technical expertise and custom metal casting, machining and fabrication capabilities.

With a global manufacturing network, Bradken has almost 100 years’ experience operating foundries efficiently and competitively.

Environmental Manager Greg Chaplin explains that many of Bradken’s products are made using recycled steel and recycled special alloys.

“We are a big operation, producing close to 100,000 metric tons of cast steel products each year and we know that recycling steel uses 75% less energy than making steel from raw materials.

“So, we buy our products back from our customers at the end of their useful lives and melt them down to produce new products, significantly reducing energy use and greenhouse emissions, and also diverting items from landfill.

“This practice is now being called a “circular economy” and because steel can be recycled many times, it’s a large part of what we do to reduce the impact of our products and our operations on the environment.”

A number of Environmental Protection Agencies (EPA) around the world promote recycling by pointing out the environmental and economic benefits of recycling and the saving of resources. According to Australia’s NSW EPA each metric ton of steel that is recycled reduces environmental impacts, compared to mining and processing iron ore, by:

  • 0.44 metric tons of CO2 emissions
  • 7.94 Gigajoules of energy
  • 1 metric ton of landfill

 

During 2019 Bradken will also be looking at increasing the data captured for environmental impacts of its operations. For example many foundries reuse sand for molding. Sand can be reused for this purpose up to 10 times, saving on energy and resources to mine, wash, screen and dry the sand for each new mold.

In 2019 Bradken will also promote employee awareness of waste segregation and recycling at its sites and reduce unnecessary energy usage to minimize CO2 emissions.

“Minimizing the impact of our operations is an important part of how Bradken respects the communities in which we work and we are committed to continually improving how we do business,” Chaplin said.

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