Activities on behalf of the natural environment

Environmental policy

GRI Indexes:
KGHM is aware that its involvement in exploration, production and metallurgy on a global scale directly affects the natural environment. The environmental policy of KGHM confirms the Company's concern for the area in which it operates. In line with the directions set out in the 4E Strategy and as an element of its CSR Strategy, KGHM undertakes a number of activities in the scope of limiting its environmental impact. KGHM compensates for its environmental impact by, among other things, modernization, allowing a reduction in the amount of pollutants emitted, investing in innovative and renewable energy sources, effective waste management, reclamation and preservation of biodiversity in post-mining areas, reforestation of protection zones around steel mills, investing in activities in the field of environmental protection in the areas of its operation, and it engages in local, national, industry and international initiatives for the environment. It constantly monitors data related to the environmental impact of its operations. It complies with the requirements resulting from regulations and standards and good practices in the field of environmental protection.

Care for the natural environment is combined with our business model in which we apply, through all the segments making it up – from exploration to reclamation, standards to ensure that operating activity is conducted in a safe and environmentally-friendly manner.

KGHM Polska Miedź S.A.’s Environmental Policy includes:

  • maintenance of fully operational equipment protecting the environment,
  • tracing technical developments to reduce the environmental impact of the industry and implementing them as needed and possible,
  • development of waste management techniques and a steady increase in the share of managed waste in the total waste amount,
  • ongoing cooperation with the local community and authorities for the benefit of the environment,
  • cooperation at the level of the Ministry of Environment in the implementation of the state's environmental policy,
  • cooperation with the European mining and non-ferrous metal industries within the framework of industry organizations when drawing up European Union environmental documents.
Activities on behalf of the natural environment

Environmental protection

GRI Indexes:
KGHM Polska Miedź S.A. as one of the largest, socially responsible companies in Lower Silesia, cannot and does not want to avoid its responsibility for the environment in which we live. The idea of sustainable growth, and in particular respect for the natural environment, is one of the most important values of the Company. The extraction of copper ore, followed by its processing at all stages of production, is inextricably linked to its impact on various aspects of the natural environment. Adherence to strict environmental standards, mandated by law, is possible thanks to the systematic modernisation of installations protecting the environment, both those built in the past as well as new investments in this area. In 2018, the Company spent PLN 143 million on investments to protect the natural environment, of which the largest expenditure, in the amount of over PLN 32 million, was incurred on modernisation of the installation for removal of carbonates during the flotation process at the Polkowice Concentrator.

In 2018, the program of supporting crop-raising farmers in areas impacted by the operations of the Company’s installations continued. This support was in the form of cash subsidies for the purchase of fertilising lime necessary for soil liming in order to reduce its acidity and immobilise heavy metals in agricultural terrain. The program encompassed farmers from the gmina (municipality) of Grębocice which, in accordance with a resolution of the Management Board and Supervisory Board, received PLN 0.8 million for the liming of soil.

Environmental fees

Environmental fees paid by the Divisions of KGHM Polska Miedź S.A. in 2018 amounted to PLN 14 million. The amount of fees paid has remained at this low level for two years, thanks to the functioning in the copper ore mines of a system for monitoring chlorides and sulphides volumes, which annually enables the amount of around PLN 22 million to be deducted from the fee paid for the emission of over-sediment water from the Żelazny Most tailings storage facility. In 2018, in the structure of fees, the highest amount incurred was the fee for atmospheric emissions of dusts and gases: PLN 5 million. Another item of costs, over PLN 4 million, is the waste storage fee.

Legal status and future actions

KGHM Polska Miedź S.A. operates ten installations whose functioning, in accordance with the Act on Environmental Protection, requires integrated permits. As a result of the coming into force of Implementing Decision 2016/1032 of the European Commission establishing best available techniques (BAT) conclusions for the non-ferrous metals industries, we were required to amend the permits held for the metallurgical facilities. In 2018, we completed this procedure and now hold new decisions for the Głogów and Legnica Copper Smelters and Refineries and the Cedynia Wire Rod Plant.

In addition, the Tailings Division holds permits for the operation of the Żelazny Most Tailings Storage Facility, and sector permits required by law. The mines operate on the basis of current sector permits with respect to airborne emissions and waste management.

Metallurgical installations at the Głogów and Legnica Copper Smelters and Refineries as well as the gas-steam blocks in Polkowice and Głogów also hold permits to participate in the CO2 emissions trading system, as since 2013 KGHM Polska Miedź S.A. has been participating in the obligatory European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS).

In 2018, emissions in the previous year (2017) in the amount of 1 080 thousand tonnes of CO2 were settled by freely-acquired rights (around 950 thousand tonnes of CO2) supplemented by purchases of rights (EUAs or European Emission Allowances and CERs - certified emission reduction).

It is expected that 2018 emissions at the level of around 1.15 million tonnes of CO2 will be settled thanks to freely-acquired rights for the Głogów and Legnica Copper Smelters and Refineries as well as rights for the Gas-Steam Blocks in Polkowice and Głogów (around 930 thousand tonnes of CO2) along with rights from prior years and purchases of rights (EUA i CER) in the amount of PLN 10 million.

The most important planned undertakings related to environmental protection in the near term are as follows:

  • completion of construction of a concentrate roasting installation at the Głogów Copper Smelter and Refinery,
  • updating of the integrated permit for the RCR furnace investment underway at the Legnica Copper Smelter and Refinery,
  • overseeing the system for trading CO2 emissions,
  • work related to ensuring the security of the Żelazny Most Tailings Storage Facility, such as strengthening the containment dam,
  • continuation of a program to promote health and prevent environmental threats, aimed at the people living in the nearest proximity to our metallurgical facilities, and
  • construction of the southern quarter of the Żelazny Most tailings storage facility.

Activities to meet REACH Regulation requirements

KGHM is a member of six international consortia created to meet the requirements of EC Regulation No. 1907/2006, the so-called REACH Regulation. In 2018, cooperation with the consortia involved adaptation to changes in REACH requirements as regards registration documentation, the classification of substances, assessment and authorisation. These changes are to be introduced smoothly, which is why the REACH consortia will continue to function. In 2018, KGHM's costs of cooperation with consortia amounted to 202 thousand EUR and 7 thousand GBP. It is expected that current cooperation with REACH consortia will be at the level of 140 thousand EUR per year. 

Updating of BREF documentation

BREF documents are required by the EU and comprise descriptions of techniques applied in various industries with an emphasis on best available ecological techniques, for use by Member States as a starting point for the issuance of environmental permits.
Work is being conducted by the Joint Research Centre – Institute of Prospective Technological Studies (JRC-IPTS) in Seville in cooperation with Technical Working Groups (TWGs), composed of representatives of Member States, organisations and industry (including KGHM).
In 2018, work was concluded on updating the BREF for dealing with mining tailings and waste, the MWEI BREF document. This document was published in December 2018.

Activities on behalf of the natural environment

Actions to reduce environmental impact

Amongst the Polish companies of the Group, the largest environmental impact comes from the activities of the company „Energetyka” sp. z o.o. In 2018, this company incurred the highest environmental fees. They amounted to PLN 3.8 million and were mainly comprised of payments for water intake and waste discharge (over PLN 2.9 million) and for emission of contaminants to the atmosphere (PLN 0.8 million). In 2018, the company advanced investments aimed at limiting emissions of atmospheric pollutants, including in the following power plants: EC-3 Głogów – construction of water/gas boilers, EC-4 Legnica - modernisation of a steam boiler, EC-1 Lubin – construction of a fumes treatment installation.

Due to the specific nature of the products manufactured by the company NITROERG S.A. (explosives, initiation systems, fuel additives), it has an impact on the environment. The environmental fees incurred by this company in 2018 amounted to PLN 0.5 million. In 2018, the company advanced investments aimed at limiting the environmental impact, including the treatment of sewage and construction of a new installation for the production of fuel additives, which will allow for the re-use of concentrated acids in the production process.

Activities on behalf of the natural environment

Energy policy

The primary objective of KGHM Polska Miedź S.A. in respect to energy management is to implement a rational energy economy while ensuring security of energy supply to facilities and installations within the Company's production line. The process of implementing the standard of energy utility management in accordance with the ISO 50001 standard began with the adoption of Energy Policy by the President of the Management Board of KGHM Polska Miedź S.A. (28 November 2016).

The Energy Policy contains the most important assumptions of KGHM Polska Miedź S.A.'s activity in the area of energy management. In performance of its guidelines, we are committed to:

  • provide all the resources required to achieve the planned objectives and tasks in the energy management area,
  • operate in accordance with legal regulations and other energy requirements relating to  energy management,
  • developing desirable attitudes, building energy awareness and constantly improving competences of the Company’s employees and business partners who carry out tasks for the benefit of KGHM Polska Miedź S.A.
  • prevent waste in the area of energy consumption,
  • cooperate with partners and suppliers in procurement of material goods and services having regard to energy efficiency as an important selection criterion.

The assumptions adopted in the Energy Policy of KGHM Polska Miedź S.A. are implemented by all employees of the Company, as well as other persons and entities performing tasks for its needs.

Application of the Energy Policy in KGHM Polska Miedź S.A. has resulted in introducing several regulations and taking actions to ensure that energy management is rational, legal and includes, among others:

  • rules of conduct in the investment and procurement process,
  • energy reviews carried out at KGHM Divisions and the Head Office in accordance with the approved methodology,
  • approved objectives and tasks approved,
  • implementation of the regulations: Legal and other requirements in the field of power generation and evaluation of their conformity for purposes of the Energy Management System at KGHM Polska Miedź S.A.
Activities on behalf of the natural environment

Energy management system (EMS)

In 2017, the Parent Company and Energetyka Sp. z o.o. implemented the Energy Management System (SEZ) compliant with the norm PN-EN ISO 50001:2012.

As a result of the implementation of EMS and application of the Energy Policy, the costs of energy audits are avoided, which must be performed pursuant to the Energy Efficiency Act if no certified Energy Management System is in place as imposed by the Energy Efficiency Act and further improvement of the energy consumption optimization process.

The first supervision audit by the external certifying unit UDT Cert carried out in June 2018 at KGHM Polska Miedź S.A. confirmed that KGHM Polska Miedź S.A. has implemented and maintains an EMS compliant with ISO 50001 and upheld the Certificate granted in September 2017, which is shown in the figure below.

As a result of the conducted energy reviews, 46 energy efficiency improvement targets have been set. 46 energy tasks were defined and the key energy performance measures were specified. The implementation of EMS also reduces the costs related to the purchase and consumption of power utilities. In 2017, related savings amounted to approx. 34 GWh of energy. By 2020 we are planning to achieve further savings of 230 GWh of energy (700 GWh of primary energy). At the same time, we are reducing greenhouse gas emissions, thus lowering the cost of purchasing CO2 emission rights, And most importantly, by implementing standards and improving procedures, we are also improving occupational safety and increasing the competence of our employees.

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