The International Magnesium Association (IMA) announced in 2010 the establishment of a new award to recognize companies that are playing an active role in reducing the magnesium industry's carbon footprint and that exemplify the industry's commitment to environmental responsibility. The IMA International Environmental Responsibility Award is presented each year at the IMA Annual World Magnesium Conference.
The award(s) are presented based on the achieved and documented reduction of carbon dioxide equivalents within the calendar year preceding the Annual World Conference. It is intended to include all aspects of the magnesium industry from primary production through to end-user industries. Judging will be conducted by an international panel of experts.
The 2015 Environmental Responsibility Award was presented to Magnesium Elektron CZ, for their Innovative Solution for CO2 emissions and Waste Reduction in a Mg scrap recycling plant which resulted in a significant environmental improvement in the magnesium scrap recycling process in the Czech Republic over the past 5 years.
Initial studies, focused on a new way of dross re-processing, were begun in the early days of 2005 and the project was in R & D process engineering for several years. The project was focused on a dross solution which would be environmentally friendly and bring MECZ significant benefit with regard to its CO2 footprint. In 2014 they recorded a 26% CO2 eq. improvement compared to 2009 when fertilizer production using the new technology was begun.
Today MECZ has found an environmentally friendly solution for dross which was previously classified as hazardous waste. When MECZ started its operation in 2002 dross from the magnesium scrap recycling process was landfilled only. As a result of the new recycling process dross is no longer classified as dangerous waste and has been reprocessed into magnesium rich fertilizers amounting to in excess of 6000 tons. MECZ's magnesium rich fertilizers are attractive for agriculture due to increases in chlorophyll production, it protect plants against chlorosis (turning yellow), increases soil pH and consequently increases crop yields. This fertilizer has been used on many crops including potatoes, grape vines and oilseed grape with beneficial results on yield.
The dross classification and re-processing process developed by MECZ has been officially approved by Czech Environmental experts under IPPC and Government Agricultural Testing Authorities. Dross re-processing positively impacts MECZ CO2 footprint, allows higher levels of metal recovery and is fully in line with EU Environmental Policy which promotes waste reprocessing rather than landfilling.
MECZ has reduced its CO2 emissions by 26% over five years, totally eliminated dross from landfill and at the same time it has created a beneficial fertilizer product that promotes green plant growth. Today it has a CO2 emission level for its process which is only 1.6% of the equivalent primary production process for die casting alloys. A truly green recycling process!