This guide to sustainability issues uses two process flows which reflect process steps that are common across the metals casting and forging sectors. The guide shows how these processes relate to specific sustainability issues – ranging from energy and water consumption to supply chain issues and community relationships. It uses a risk rating system and explains some of the potentially high impact sustainability issues in more detail.
The guide is intended as a starting point only and the process flow is not intended to reflect the breadth of technologies and practices that are used by different enterprises or sub-sectors. Users will need to undertake more detailed research and analysis of the sector.
Other metal production processes are covered in Sustainability issues in metal fabrication.
Iron and steel casting and forging is used in the manufacture of iron, steel, copper and aluminium products.
There are significant sustainability issues in casting and forging. The heat intensive processes typically use coal fired or electric furnaces; electricity is used to run heavy machinery. This creates high levels of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and significant exposure to the Carbon Price. Hazardous substances are used in production and may contaminate wastewater; fumes and particulates may be released. The raw materials for this sector are non-renewable minerals and ores, with limited options for alternatives.
There are many different ways to approach understanding the sustainability issues within a sector. Areas of research might include barriers to entry and expansion into markets, drivers of demand for services and products, geographic location, major markets and suppliers, technology and workforce demographics and skills profile. [Read more…]