Outokumpu wins ISSF sustainability award for water recycling in Mexico

International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF) has today given Outokumpu its annual sustainability award for the efforts of Outokumpu’s Mexican mill in water recycling.

Water is used in various phases of the manufacturing process of stainless steel, from casting of steel slabs at melt shop via hot rolling to annealing, pickling and wet polishing in cold rolling. In 2015, Outokumpu used altogether 40 million m3 of water, out of which 95% was surface or rainwaters and only 5% municipal or groundwater. In all processes, water is recycled whenever possible, for instance through cooling towers.

Says Juha Ylimaunu, head of Sustainability and Environment: “We are extremely proud for this recognition given by ISSF regarding water recycling in Mexico. We produce sustainable stainless steel and take our environmental responsibility seriously. Water is worth saving, whether you have an abundant or scarcity of fresh water available. Our production processes are geared towards resource efficiency to limit the use of virgin materials and to maximize the recovery and recycling of materials to save natural resources.”

“In San Luis Potosí, Mexico Outokumpu’s cold rolling mill is located in a dry, arid area, where groundwater is a valuable asset for people. The less production of stainless steel consumes it, the more can be used for drinking, farming and vegetation,” says Jorge Vieyra, head of production and environmental management at the San Luis Potosí mill. “Today, the monthly consumption of water is 45,000 m3, of which we treat and recycle 99%. The savings in fresh water usage is equivalent to the quantity consumed by 1,100 households yearly.”

Published May 27, 2016