What does sustainability mean for AMPCO METAL?

Why is sustainability important to us? What do we believe? Matthias Ebneter, CEO, AMPCO METAL, is drawing a picture of the challenges companies in the metal industry are facing nowadays and explains the relevance of copper recycling in relation to sustainability.


Why is sustainability important to us? What do we believe? Matthias Ebneter, CEO, AMPCO METAL, is drawing a picture of the challenges companies in the metal industry are facing nowadays and explains the relevance of copper recycling in relation to sustainability.

These days, it is becoming increasingly important for companies to focus on sustainability in order to minimize future disruption to their business and to ensure the long-term success of the company.

In this context, the metal industry is facing different challenges, but also opportunities that need to be seized. Metals are essential for economic development, for the functioning of society and to maintain our quality of life. If we look at our consumption habits over the last 50 years as a global society, more and more products are being made that use more and more materials and elements from the Mendeleev Table, primarily due to the increased population and the general spread of prosperity around the world. This means that there is a lot of valuable elements that are not always being recovered and reused. These materials and elements are finite, and we are responsible for the next generations to come to recover the elements after use and appropriately reuse for other purposes.

When looking at materials that recycle well, one must definitely look at copper. The total global demand for copper in 2018 was approximately 24 million tons. Of all the copper needed across the world, 34% comes from recycling, but in Europe, this figure is even higher (41%). Copper has been vital to the development and sustainability of our society since the dawn of civilization. The demand for copper along with other metals (such as steel, aluminum, and nickel) is growing as countries throughout the world continue to develop industrially, with a consequent requirement for more raw materials and we are using minerals and metals in greater quantities than ever before.

The scarcity of metals and its accelerating consumption compounded by its finite dimension leads to a different mindset in the medium- and long-term. Therefore, it is key to implement a real circular economy and focus on products made 100% from recycled materials, and at the same time transform our supply chain, manufacturing, and processing to run entirely on sustainable energy.


What are our values at AMPCO METAL? Where do we come from and what will we do and accomplish to contribute to a more sustainable world? Matthias Ebneter, CEO at AMPCO METAL, looks back on the company history and shows how the corporate values will serve as guidelines in the future.

AMPCO METAL has proudly observed its 100th anniversary back in 2014, which reflects the company’s success over the last century. It was back in 1914 when a small group of entrepreneurs discovered a new bronze hard enough to cut steel. The alloy was called AMPCO® Bronze, a name derived from the initials of the American Metal Products Company, renamed AMPCO METAL in 1930.

Having built a reputation as a reliable producer of consistent quality products, mainly aluminum bronze alloys produced through extrusion, sand castings, and forgings by the beginning of World War II, AMPCO METAL could benefit from the high demand for the production of copper-based alloys.

Today, AMPCO METAL is running operations in 16 countries on three continents, providing customers around the world with innovative engineered metal products and services, acting as a respectful and trusted partner. In doing so, we’re always guided by our values to remain resolutely customer-focused, to grow through innovation and to embrace change in all forms.

Looking ahead for another century of success, it is right and proper for us to examine or re-examine our heritage and our philosophy of excellence in everything we do for our customers, not only in terms of products but also health, safety, and environmental aspects.
Therefore, it is our company’s intention of bringing environmental sustainability into the very fabric of AMPCO METAL’s corporate purpose, strategy, and all other structural pillars of our business.

AMPCO 金属如何产生积极的环境影响并实现其可持续发展目标? 我们把铜视为一种有价值的可持续材料,以及为什么我们首先关注铜的回收利用。

广泛接受的可持续性描述是满足当前需求的概念,而不损害子孙后代满足自身需求的能力。 可持续性包括社会、环境和经济层面。 这也意味着可持续金属生产不仅环保、安全,而且具有积极的社会和经济特征。 这里强调,可持续性和盈利能力可以而且必须齐头并进。

铜 – 具有悠久历史的金属

没有金属,我们就不会有今天的生活方式。 正是由于技术、加工和制造的不断发展,我们才能从飞机、汽车、计算机、手机等可靠产品中受益。 简言之,金属是必不可少的,或者差不多是必不可少的。

铜是自然存在于地壳中的金属,对各种生命形式的发展至关重要,是文明发展的重要金属。 它是人类使用最古老的金属——第一枚铜币可追溯到公元前8700年——而且,它与锡合金,形成了有史以来第一个使用的合金,称为青铜。

迄今为止,只有大约15%的已知铜资源被开采。 尽管工业生产不断攀升,但铜储量水平实际上随着时间的推移而增长,并且已经超过了产量。 然而,很明显,储量估计值是不可靠的指标,表明金属的长期供应情况,因为其定义取决于目前的科学、技术和经济。

Graphic: Primary Copper Production

企业可以成为可持续发展的一支重要力量,AMPCO METAL作为一家负责任的公司将发挥其作用,以彰取100多年光荣的商业生活的声誉。 自20世纪初以来,全球对精炼铜的需求从1900年的50万吨上升到约50万吨。 2018年为2,400万吨。 因此,我们是否可以继续提供满足这种不断增长的需求所需的金属,以及我们的资源最终是否会耗尽,这是真的。


现代技术主要是围绕提取的处女金属的使用而设计的。 然而,越来越明显的是,已纳入不再使用的产品(二级金属或废料)的材料可以为原始库存提供有价值的补充。

  • 铜的回收比开采和开采新铜便宜
  • 回收铜的价值高达原铜成本的98%
  • 回收有助于降低铜产品的成本
  • 铜可以回收一千次,而且不会降解,因此它是无限期可回收的
  • 在电解精炼技术方面,采矿或二次资源的铜质量没有差别
  • 根据可用的废料种类,回收所需的能量水平仅为从矿场生产铜所需的能量的 15% 到 40%

Graphic: Copper - a circular material

因此,铜是可持续发展的理想材料。 即使铜从定义上讲是可持续金属,铜生产商的可持续性需求也与能源效率、金属回收效率、水效率、水保护、废物管理、工作环境以及健康和安全等几个方面有关。 从历史上看,可持续发展问题,如能源、水、材料效率、废物最小化、健康和安全——在采矿和金属工业中发挥了重要作用。

因此,AMPCO METAL 正遵循良性行为,因为这些参数的重要性已大幅提高,并已成为铜行业长期盈利能力的关键要素。 我们的承诺是谨慎地利用地球资源,在原始金属回收和可持续能源使用金属生产和加工方面。


Which concrete sustainability measures is AMPCO METAL focusing on in the realm of a circular economy? How can our clients contribute to the sustainability in the metal industry and hence pave the way for an economically and environmentally bright future?

Matthias Ebneter, CEO at AMPCO METAL SA

One of the key parameters in terms of sustainability today is without any doubt energy efficiency. Copper makes products more energy-efficient, therefore making our world more sustainable. With the help of an energy optimization study, AMPCO METAL is exploring ways to reduce the energy consumption of its production sites. The energy efficiency program progress at AMPCO METAL’s foundry in France shows the direction set and the current results fully justify continuing to invest with the objective to run entirely on sustainable energy. With the implemented actions the carbon emissions could be reduced by 240t CO2 per year and more than 80k € in energy consumption could be saved. For more in-depth information download the full case study.

The other side of the equation is the recycling and the circular economy aspect. Copper is an essential nutrient for our entire planet – plants, fish, animals, humans, all need copper to function properly. As the most important characteristic of copper is its capability of endless recycling, it requires the assistance from our customers and partners to ensure we all contribute to meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. A greener, healthier and more sustainable future relies on the use of copper as it is used to improve our lives today and will continue to be available for future generations.



了解 AMPCO METAL 如何通过降低其生产基地的能耗来创造可持续性。