Outokumpu has won the International Chromium Development Association's award for environmental achievements.
The ICDA promotes the value and sustainability of chromium and represents the chromium industry globally.
The award is based on the voting of ICDA councils and committees and, according to Outokumpo's CEO Mika Seitovirta, the steelmaker is 'extremely pleased' with the ICDA's recognition. He said that Outokumpo's dedication to environmental matters has yielded results and that annual studies by external experts have shown that impacts on sea areas close to the production plant have diminished over the past decade. "Associated marine ecosystems are in good health," he said, adding that sustainability plays a central role in the company's business operations and is a key driver for long-term competitiveness and growth.
The Tornio faciity is located on the coast of the Gulf of Bothnia, close to nature reserves. Waste water discharges have been kept low over the past 10 years despite increased production of ferrochrome and stainless steel. A new and larger sedimentation pool was introduced in 2011 through which all effluents are discharged into the sea. According to Outokumpu, effluents from the site stay in the basin for several months thus allowing solids in the water to settle down to the bottom of the basin so that they are not discharged into the sea. Nitrogen quantities are also reduced significantly, claims the company.
Since the 1970s Outokumpu has constantly monitored environmental conditions. Its latest research about the impact of waste waters on recipient water at the Tornio site showed that impacts are restricted to the immediate proximity of the plant. The quality of the sea water is good, and metal concentrations below drinking water limits at all sampling points throughout the year.