Sustainability as an opportunity
The future opens up to those who create shared value and know how to look in multiple directions. This has always driven us to improve and now fully engages us to implement the concept of sustainability together with that of social responsibility in ABS.
We consider it an opportunity for growth, well-being for the people who work with us, protection and respect for the environment and eco-sustainable and economic development of the company and the territory. It is a mutual exchange: giving to receive in return, especially in the future.
We therefore invest in concrete and vital sustainable projects and practices for ABS: process innovation for energy saving and environmental protection, health, safety and welfare with continuous planning, which is also the result of listening to the needs of ABS collaborators and their families.
Safety, reliability, efficiency and productivity are paramount to our business. Digital transformation and technologies are what help us to increase levels, thinking and acting along three lines: processes, connection and intelligence, and people.
To achieve these objectives, we have invested heavily in the digital transformation of all processes relating to the supply chain, operations, warehouses, asset management, including integration with suppliers and customers, as in the case of the SRM Site Recovery Manager solution for specific collaboration with suppliers. Another example is the external logistics portal used by suppliers and customers so that transport slots can be assigned and plant access slots booked, therefore drastically reducing queues.
Connection is a real challenge at ABS. We are tackling it by implementing the Internet of Things solutions to all our factory systems (HMI, L2, MES) so as to connect an even higher number of physical components and collect a set of structured and unstructured data to generate knowledge and optimization. Some areas of application are vehicle geolocation and optimization of internal logistics, vibrational analysis in the maintenance field, mapping of all the measuring points of energy vectors, predictive models that are developed in the quality field within the meltshop and rolling mills.
The real key to this transformation, which is not only based on technology, but also on culture and approach, is the people. We accompany our people along an evolutionary path that includes important aspects in corporate life; from the way we organize and manage our work, to training and multi-disciplinary collaboration providing a series of activities that includes virtual collaboration and AR Augmented Reality in the maintenance sector, training projects on new digital solutions and e-learning on cybersecurity.
Code of ethics, responsibility and belonging
Principles and values are the foundation of the relationships and behaviours of every person who works in ABS, starting from management.
The code of ethics is our point of reference; it is the “constitutional charter of the company” which describes the duties and rights that govern internal and external relations and provide a daily guidance.
Ethical and social responsibility, fairness, loyalty and respect for the economic and human heritage are part of ABS’s corporate culture and have contributed to building its credibility worldwide.
Safety and health in the ABS culture
Even before complying with regulations, issues related to safety and health have been part of our culture and consequent to our extensive experience in the steel industry. Steel production is a sector in which the aspects relating to possible risks must be managed and monitored with special care and attention to prevention and included in a management system. The one we have adopted has been certified since 2013. All employees are informed, trained and updated on safety issues when any interventions are carried out on the plants, with investments made in technological innovation, routine and major verification of the structures according to the criteria of continuous improvement and of full legislative compliance.
With the utmost transparency and sense of responsibility, our IGQ quality assurance certificates are of public domain and easily accessible.
The importance of health goes hand in hand with safety and this is proven by the implementation of the “ABS Azienda cardio protetta” project. ABS has 9 semiautomatic defibrillators (AEDs) at the workplace to be used in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest and we have provided training for 100 employees.
How to transform a potential industrial residue into a certified product
The steel production process that takes place through the melting of ferrous scrap in special electric arc furnaces produces a material called slag. When the steel has been tapped from the furnace, black slag from the primary metallurgy process and white slag from the secondary metallurgy process are recovered. After cooling, the slag is taken to the Global Blue plant, which has been recycling the slag and transforming it into an aggregate since 2007. Black and white slags are the starting point of the Ecogravel® production process. Ecogravel® is a CE-certified product, therefore it is compliant to UNI reference standards and bears the CE mark. Ecogravel® is a fine example of circular economy. But what exactly does this mean? The term ‘circular economy’ refers to a planned economic system designed to reutilize materials from one production cycle for other production cycles, therefore, minimizing waste. It is a matter of changing our viewpoint and conceiving products and production processes to find opportunities that reduce the input of materials and energy and, as in this case, that exploit by-products from specific production processes to create a product that has value for a particular market.
Eco project and plans
The environment takes up a special place in our sustainability plans. We are always very down to earth: plans must become reality with measures designed to benefit the territory and the company. An eco-thought: a double reading of the prefix to mean ecological and economic, or to sum it up in a single word, we say “eco-sustainable”. The objectives are protection, reduction of the environmental impacts, saving and recycling of resources in different contexts and elements that are essential to each other.
Producing with zero waste
Energy is an asset that must not be wasted and needs to be controlled and rationalized at every phase of the steelmaking activity.
We not only firmly believe in this approach, but have also applied it throughout our production process and in 2015, ahead of the times, we adopted an Energy Management System, which is UNI EN ISO50001-certified. We are among the first steel mills in Europe to achieve this result, which was only an incentive to invest again in energy efficiency projects that affect all ABS departments.
A complete Welfare Plan
The initiatives of the ABS Welfare System that has been in place since 2014 have focused on the well-being of our employees and their families.
By thinking about everyone’s quality of life, not only during the hours spent at the workplace, we have set up a programme of targeted actions and benefits to promote learning and professional growth, travelling to and from work and various ‘perks at work’ to help save on various expenses.
By listening to the real needs of our employees, we have been able to create a system that takes into account various needs and expectations, because we believe that the wellbeing of our employees is the wellbeing of the company.
STUDENT REWARD SYSTEM:
This incentive promotes the learning and professional growth of young people who stand out thanks to their particular skills and commitment. The system also helps students enter the world of work, whatever their field of interest.
TIME & MONEY SAVING:
These ‘perks at work’ include discounts on the purchase of goods or services that affect family spending.
ABS has entered into agreements with several local businesses/services to offer staff discounts, which in addition to an economic saving also saves time.
Designed to facilitate commuting to and from work in collaboration with the local public transport system and enhancing the direct lines. On the other hand, those who travel with their own vehicles are encouraged to take part in the car pooling projects.
To strike a healthy work-life balance, we feel it is extremely important to give our employees and their family members the possibility of seeking support at certain times of life. To this end, an extremely confidential telephone listening service is provided by volunteers of Telefono Amico.