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Sustainable
Operations
Start with Sound
Environmental
Management

Our Environmental Management System (EMS) provides the data we need to make thoughtful business decisions that protect our people, the environment, and the communities where we work and live.

In 2021 we developed an EMS with a specific focus on:

  • Compliance with applicable environmental laws, regulations, and industry standards.

  • Reducing impacts on the environment through resource conservation.

  • Operational environmental performance improvement strategies, including environmental targets, key performance indicators, and periodic site audits.

  • Environmental awareness, engagement and training, and engagement strategies for Schnitzer’s employees, customers, suppliers, and communities.

  • Minimizing environmental resource usage by reducing energy consumption, water use, air emissions, and waste generation.

  • Evaluating and implementing technologies and operational changes that improve environmental performance.

Our EMS formalizes Company policies and practices that facilitate continued compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and industry standards concerning environmental protection. It also provides a uniform approach to environmental stewardship and operating standards, pushing us beyond legal minimum requirements to impart a positive environmental impact in the communities we serve.

An EMS is a set of processes and practices that enables an organization to reduce its environmental impacts. It integrates processes for training employees and allows an organization to monitor, analyze, and report environmental performance information to internal and external stakeholders.

Environmental Practices Improvement Program (EPIP)

We view environmental stewardship as a critical responsibility of every employee, and we provide required training resources based on their job function.

Environmental stewardship at our facilities requires careful planning and training to ensure responsible material management. Especially important when handling nonrecyclable materials that enter our facilities through end-of-life vehicles, our teams practice proper identification, handling, separation, containment, labeling, storage, and eventually shipment of liquid and solid, flammable and nonflammable, and hazardous and nonhazardous wastes. Our EPIP is a systematic approach that addresses the many types of nonrecyclable materials that enter our facilities.

By properly managing the materials collected at our locations, we reduce our impact on the local environment and provide a pathway for recyclability or responsible disposal.

15,000
hours of EPIP related training

Using Water Responsibly & Investing in Stormwater Management

The increasing frequency of extreme weather events presents an opportunity to positively impact water security in the long term. As a recognized member of the CDP 2021 A List for Water Security, we are committed to using water responsibly and prioritizing efficiency and conservation measures to preserve this valuable resource.

Our Water Footprint (cubic meters)

Bar chart showing Schnitzer's absolute and intensity water footprint

Water Use Intensity (cubic meters/mt)

Bar chart showing Schnitzer's water use intensity (WSA's 2020 Industry Average and Schnitzer steel mill's 2020 total)

*Industry average sourced from the World Steel Association’s 2020 policy paper, “Water Management in the Steel Industry”.

96%
of our steel mill’s process water is recycled.

Investing in Stormwater Management

Every year we invest millions of dollars to improve and enhance the physical infrastructure of our facilities. Water-related upgrades and modifications may include routine maintenance and repair, as well as installation of new stormwater management equipment to improve conveyance, storage, treatment, and water recycling and reuse capabilities. These investments represent our primary levers for realizing opportunities to improve and sustain water security in our communities.

Since 2016 we have invested more than $57 million in environmental controls that allow us to capture and clean stormwater. We’ve completed projects for new stormwater treatment systems and conveyance infrastructure at 12 of our Pick-n-Pull locations in California, Texas, Oregon, Washington, Missouri, and Kansas. Each treatment system is unique to the site, tailored to its geography, property size, and relevant surfaces.

Our Water Footprint (cubic meters)

Water Use Intensity (cubic meters/mt)