Environment

At K+S, we work continuously to minimise the impact on nature associated with the extraction and processing of raw materials. We use state-of-the-art mining and treatment methods to achieve environmentally friendly production and a high level of economic efficiency at the same time. Through active research and development, we are always operating at the cutting edge. In connection with the K+S sustainability goals 2030, we have set ourselves goals in the areas of “water”, “waste” and “energy & climate”.

In the area of “water”, implementation of the European Water Framework Directive is an important issue in Germany. In this context, we intend to further reduce saline wastewater in the future and develop new disposal options. These will include measures for covering tailings piles as well as the commissioning of new facilities and analysis of options for storing saline wastewater underground. After 2021, K+S will no longer inject saline water below ground in Germany and will continue to reduce its discharge into surface water. It is also expected that 500,000 m3 of saline water from potash production in Germany will be reduced by 2030.

Reduction of the piling of solid waste is a Group-wide goal at K+S. This occurs in mining during the extraction and processing of crude potash salts. We are examining the potential to recycle residues previously stored on tailings piles so as to reduce the impact on the environment and conserve natural resources. We aim to have piled up three million tonnes (annual volume) less solid residue from potash production by 2030. This will be achieved either by increasing the raw material exploitation or through adequate alternatives for expansion of tailings piles. Going forward, we are seeking to reduce the environmental impact of the tailings piles by continuing to improve base sealing and by covering the piles.

We intend to reduce the CO2 footprint and improve energy efficiency so as to increase our competitiveness. Between 2017 and 2030, we will lower our specific CO2 footprint for electricity used by 20 percent. This will entail making our energy conversion even more efficient, exploiting our potential from cogeneration to a greater extent and looking into using renewable sources of energy. We will optimise transport of our products and aim to lower the resulting emissions by 10 percent by 2030 with the help of our logistics partners.

On the basis of our Health, Safety & Environment-Policy we will standardise and refine our systems until 2022 through the continuous worldwide introduction of management systems in accordance with DIN EN ISO 14001:2015 for environmental management and DIN EN ISO 50001:2015 for energy management. Our environmental and energy experts meet at regular intervals at both national and international level to exchange experiences and best practices.

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