301-103 Management Approach Environment
Environmental topics, such as energy and climate, water, emissions, effluents & waste, compliance and transport are directly connected to how Boliden conducts its operations and whether it maintains stable processes that comply with permit requirements. Several topics are linked and impact Boliden’s overall performance and compliance. Other environmental topics, such as materials, biodiversity, closure planning, grievance mechanisms and supplier assessments constitute environmental topics as they impact external stakeholders, and determine Boliden’s license to operate and ability to develop its business.
Materials and circular economy
Materials are a fundamental topic since Boliden’s core business is mining (production of concentrates) and smelting (transformation of concentrates to base metals). Boliden produces high-quality metals, which are mainly sold to industrial customers in Europe. Material stewardship is important to us. Care and consideration for people, society and the environment is a constant theme of all of our value chain activities – from exploration to customer deliveries. Boliden´s recycling of materials, e-scrap and batteries are also an important contribution to the circular economy.
Metal production is energy intensive, both in the mining phase and in the refining processes. Boliden’s energy policy states that all business units shall implement and maintain energy management systems in accordance with ISO 50001. All units are obliged to work continuously on making improvements to process efficiency. Boliden shall reduce its dependence on fossil fuels by using renewable and/or recycled energy wherever possible. Boliden’s energy consumption is a major cost item, accounting for approximately 14% (14%) in the breakdown of the Group’s total operating costs.
Boliden conducts systematic reviews of its actual energy and CO₂ emission trends to identify possible improvements and efficiency measures. Boliden’s units evaluate their climate impact during their annual environmental aspects reviews in compliance with the requirements of the ISO 14001 standard.
Using the best available technical solutions and resources efficiently, and replacing fossil fuels with renewables are important components of Boliden’s efforts to reduce CO₂ emissions.
Access to large areas of land is essential to the majority of Boliden’s activities. Most of the mines are located in rural areas. The exception is Tara Mines, which is located near the community of Navan in Ireland. The smelters are all located in industrial areas adjacent to a community and close to the coast. Boliden has developed a biodiversity approach in the long-term land management, from exploration to rehabilitation. Boliden has decided that all rehabilitation plans shall have a specific chapter on ecological rehabilitation. Compensation plans are made to enable compensation for possible losses.
Boliden’s operations are located in areas where there is no scarcity of water, and no water sources are significantly affected by the water withdrawal by Boliden’s operations. Boliden aims, nonetheless, to reduce both its consumption of freshwater and the discharge of used water.
Boliden’s smelters have all been working, for many years now, to make improvements and reductions in their emissions to air, focusing on metals and sulfur dioxide.
Local action plans are being developed both at mines and smelters with the aim of reducing diffuse emissions (dust).
Apart from normal industrial waste, Boliden's operations produce large quantities of extractive waste (such as tailings and waste-rock) and smelter waste (such as slag and sludge), which is managed in a controlled way. Boliden operations also generate waste in water and gas purification processes that are managed in line with local requirements.
Environmental compliance is a prerequisite for successful mining and smelting operations. Legal requirements shall always be met.
Business Partner assessments
Environmental criteria are a vital part of Boliden’s Business Partner Code of Conduct, and accordingly also a crucial part of the evaluation of business partner and supplier assessments. Boliden requires all business partners to identify and document their environmental aspects and to be aware of and comply with environmental legislation and common practices. All business partners must agree to comply with Boliden’s Business Partner Code of Conduct, which requires them to conduct business in a responsible way with as little impact on the environment as possible, by preventing, mitigating and controlling environmental damage from their operations. They shall also constantly strive to minimize their environmental impact, minimize greenhouse gas emissions and the amount of waste.
Grievances about environmental impacts
It is the responsibility of every employee to ensure that operations are conducted properly and in compliance with given instructions. Employees must promptly report any suspected violation relating to accounting, internal controls, and auditing to their immediate superior.
Neighbors and other stakeholders are welcome to contact either the business unit or any of the company functions through a variety of channels, e.g. phone, e-mail, written correspondence.
The subjects of reports received by Boliden included noise, vibrations, dust, and other types of disturbances to the locality. Complaints are handled in accordance with local procedures.