In an emphatic nod of approval for its ground-breaking approach in recycling industrial waste, Qatalum was recently awarded the ‘Corporate Sustainability Initiative’ Award by the Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC), a member of Qatar Foundation. The ceremony took place in the last week of October, in the presence of some of Qatar’s top industrial and corporate names.
The award has cast the spotlight on Qatalum’s efforts to find a sustainable solution for industrial waste. The company had recently come up with a solution for using an industrial by-product specific to aluminium production – Spent Pot Lining, or SPL. The disposal of this material was a big challenge faced by all aluminium smelters, worldwide.
The use of SPL as a raw material in production, is unprecedented – it is a ‘first’ not only in the country, but also in the world.
Right from its beginnings in 2010, Qatalum has placed equal emphasis on the need for protecting the environment, alongside maintaining excellence in aluminium production. With that ethos ingrained into each and every employee in Qatalum, staff took up the dilemma of SPL disposal as a challenge.
They spent considerable time researching a process where SPL could be used as a raw material for production in other key industries. The breakthrough came – they were able to identify uses for SPL as raw material for both steel and cement production. This led to further collaboration with Qatar Steel, Al Khalij Cement and Qatar National Cement.
The initiative has both environmental and financial benefits. It not only utilised the smelter’s by-products, but also provided Qatalum financial returns for supplying them to other companies. Qatalum could also save the cost incurred on disposal of these material through land-fills.
The proximity of Qatar Steel and the two cement companies to Qatalum, also meant that it could keep transportation efforts and costs to the minimum. Other benefits include saving land that would have been otherwise used for disposal, and eliminating the use of chemicals required for waste disposal, thereby conserving wildlife and vegetation in the area.
The Company’s concept of ‘Waste from one industry is raw material to another’ had already grabbed the attention of eco-conscious organisations, both in Qatar and across the region. Recently the initiative had been recognised with the Qatar Oil and Gas Industry HSE Excellence Award for Creative Initiative, and elsewhere.
(QGBC) is a non-profit organisation encouraging collaboration in conducting environmentally sustainable practices for green building design and development in Qatar, since 2009. For the past three years, the organisation has successfully conducted the Qatar Sustainability Week, encouraging companies within the country to showcase their efforts towards more environmentally-friendly practices at work places, and through their respective products and services.
The fact that Qatalum was chosen over other local and international brands for the award, goes to show that Qatalum spares no effort when it comes to environmental conservation, a key pillar of Qatar National Vision 2030.