Alcoa Facilities in France Reduce
In an effort to meet Alcoa's global environmental goals, three
Alcoa Fastening System (AFS) facilities in France are using technology,
processes, and the engagement of their people to reduce emissions and waste.
The Us facility focused its efforts on reducing emissions of volatile
organic compounds (VOCs) from solvents used for plating, painting, and
lubricating activities. After establishing a goal of reducing the quantity of
solvents it uses by 50%, Us reengineered its processes using quality and Alcoa
Business System initiatives, resulting in a 74% reduction in VOC emissions. The
plant's next step is to implement a water-based painting and lubrication
At the AFS facility in Saint Cosme, a major waste stream is
alkaline waste, which consists mainly of oily and greasy water used for cleaning
and degreasing activities. This waste historically was stored in containers at
the plant until removed by an external subcontractor.
In 2007, the
facility installed an onsite alkaline waste treatment facility that was
engineered by the location's environment, health, and safety department and
implemented by the maintenance department. Initial results include a 36%
reduction in alkaline waste volume on an annual basis and an annual cost savings
of US$160,000. The initiative also reduced the number of tanker trucks hauling
the waste from 100 to just 10 annually, reducing potential environmental risks.
As next steps, St. Cosme is installing a piping system to reuse the
treated water for activities like washing floors. In addition, the facility may
use surplus heat from the process to heat selective parts of the building.
Generating an average of 85 tons of solid waste annually, the AFS
Toulouse facility had multiple waste collection and storage areas that often
were not clearly labeled. In 2007, the facility initiated a waste management
system that would:
- Improve ease of use, involve employees, and reduce ergonomic risks;
- Improve storage conditions; and
- Optimize costs and resources related to waste management.
Toulous created a covered central collection and storage area for various
waste streams supported by satellite areas throughout the facility. Employees
were then trained in the standard collection and handling system.
Initial results include improved waste sorting efficiency, reduced
leakage from storage areas, fewer ergonomic risks, and reduced transportation
costs due to adequate storage space available