Environment

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The extraction and processing of raw materials always involves intervening in nature. We work continuously to limit this impact to the minimum and to find solutions to environmental and social challenges. For the purpose of environmentally compatible production whilst at the same time maintaining economic efficiency, we use well-engineered mining methods and treatment processes.

Our environmental management incorporated country-specific regulations, but is coordinated across sites and subsidiaries or even group-wide, depending on the issue. Our Health, Safety & Environment Policy creates a framework for a global approach to occupational safety, the safeguarding of health and the protection of the environment. Our national and international environment specialists come together on a regular basis to share experiences, to spread best practices and to develop standards.

In the area of environment we set ambitious targets in the material issues water, waste and energy/climate.

Water

  • Ending deep well injection of saline waste water from potash production in Germany by end of 2021, no application for renewal
  • Reducing saline process water
  • Promoting research and development as well as innovation activities
 

A Group-wide water risk analysis was carried out for all relevant production sites in 2017 in order to identify water risks that could impact on our business activity. The results provide the concept for environmental management at the locations.

Water extraction

We use water of varying origins, including seawater and other saline water, river water, groundwater and drinking water, and differentiate in this context between different salinity levels. Seawater and water from other saline waters is used in the production of solar salt. Locations close to the ocean also use seawater for cooling purposes.

Wastewater

Wastewater accumulates during the production process and also in the tailings piles. This water has a high salinity level. The volume and chemical composition of process wastewater and tailings pile runoff is dependent on many factors such as raw salt quality, the treatment method used, the products manufactured and the product quality required.

Waste (solid residues)

Reducing the environmental impact and conserving natural resources by re-examining the potential of residues stored on tailings piles.

 

Most of our solid waste can be categorised as mining waste, which occurs during the extraction and processing of crude potash salts.

Disposal on tailings piles depends on the conditions at the individual locations and aims to minimise the impact on the environment. Comprehensive monitoring programmes measure and monitor the potential impact of tailings piles.

More information can be found here.

Pile Management

Worldwide, piling up solid residues from potash production is among the state of the art techniques. Depending on the deposit type, a certain amount can be accommodated underground as backfill material, the rest is piled up above ground. Tailings piles are created and configured depending on the conditions at the individual locations. Comprehensive monitoring schedules have been defined by the licensing authorities for the tailings piles.

Energy & Climate

Reducing the carbon footprint and improving energy efficiency to enhance competitiveness.

 

Effective energy management will reduce the energy-related impact on the environment, such as greenhouse gas emissions.

 

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