All the best for the future

The first 150 years of Aurubis are behind us. We marked this milestone in appropriate style during 2016 at a number of events and with a comprehensive anniversary book. There were countless talks and we received many good wishes – for what we have already achieved, but first and foremost for a successful future. And this is what ultimately matters.

Fiscal year 2015/16 wasn’t just a year of celebration and recollection for Aurubis but also a year of transition, of defining our position, of taking a deep breath before starting on a new chapter in our story, into the next 150 years. Because Aurubis will change just as much as the world around us in the coming years. It is a world full of possibilities but also of challenges – for the employees and for the company. Together, it is up to us to make the best of it.

All the best for the world

All the best for our group

All the best for people

All the best for the world

Sought-after qualities

For 150 years we have supplied the world with copper – a basic material that is crucial for the development of modern societies. The diverse qualities of the “red metal” are what make it so valuable: copper conducts electricity and heat better than any other metal apart from silver; it is easily processed and alloyed; it is exceptionally durable and corrosion-resistant, and it can be reprocessed an infinite number of times – without any reduction in quality.

Whenever electricity production, conversion and distribution or electronic applications are involved, copper is indispensable: in developing energy grids in newly industrialized countries as well as in converting existing grids to accommodate alternative energies and decentralized structures. From wind turbines to power plants to electrical outlets – copper transports energy efficiently. Whether in building technology, in machines and equipment, or in cars present and future, copper always plays a part.

Connected with the world
It’s a long way from the mine to our smelters. After thousands of nautical miles, the raw material, copper concentrate, reaches us from countries such as Chile, Peru and Canada. Once it arrives in maritime vessels, it is transported to our plants in Pirdop and Hamburg by rail or by water with smaller barges.

US$ 4,832 was the official settlement price for a ton of copper cathodes on the London Metal Exchange on September 30, 2016

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Square yet versatile

Demand for copper is increasing strongly in regions where living standards are rising. For example, China in particular has become a leading driver of growth in the copper market. But the further developed industrialized countries have also stayed true to the metal and are recording demand growth. We reach the international markets via a global marketing and distribution network that is guided centrally from the Group headquarters in Hamburg. Continuous cast wire rod, continuous cast shapes, rolled products for industry and architecture, bars and profiles are marketed and sold – all in different compositions and dimensions.

All the best for the world

The classic starting product for the manufacture of all of these products is the copper cathode, a square copper plate of the highest purity, which is the format for the international copper trade on the metal exchanges. Surplus volumes from the four tankhouses in the Aurubis Group, i.e. volumes that aren’t used to manufacture products internally, are therefore easily marketed internationally as well.

More information about the London Metal Exchange:

Aurubis also drives with electricity
Jan-Philip Drzymalla and the Environmental Protection Department’s electric car

Up to 100 kg of copper are used in an electric car on average, and about 25 kg can be found in any mid-range car

All the best for the world

The future contains copper

Copper is timeless. It was already in use before our modern calendar was established, and new applications are continually being developed. Entire growth sectors rely on copper as a basic material. The German Raw Material Agency confirms this trend, stating in a recent study: “Most emerging technologies are inconceivable without copper.”

All the best for the world

In the year 2035, a total of 5,000,000 t of copper will be needed for electric transaction engines in hybrid, electric and fuel cell vehicles alone. Wind turbines and 3D printing are two other growth areas with copper demand. And yet another feature makes copper especially viable for the future: it is a sustainable metal thanks to its optimal recyclability.

Copper demand in selected emerging technologies

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Our place in a new world

There has been more change in the last 10 years than during the 90 years before, and developments are progressing more and more quickly. We are orienting ourselves to this reality. Our corporate strategy was last updated in fiscal year 2012/13, when we recognized that our business is especially influenced by megatrends: energy is being generated using increasingly decentralized methods, transferred in new ways and consumed in larger and larger volumes worldwide. The global population is growing – and, along with it, large urban centers. The world’s expanding middle class is using more and more electronics and new forms of transportation. All of these developments have one thing in common: copper. Copper resources are not infinitely available. The importance of recycling as a copper production method will therefore increase. Since the complexity of products and raw materials is rising, however, expertise is in high demand. Expertise that we have in spades.

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Issues that move us

Even as conditions are shifting, some established truths remain constant: our expertise in copper production and processing, our innovative strength, our qualified employees and our knowledge about copper. Building on this solid foundation, we want to pursue new paths to an even larger extent in the future – for example, the stronger orientation towards value in the sourcing and processing of complex raw materials.

23 million t of refined copper are needed worldwide each year, and demand is growing steadily

All the best for our group

Furthermore, we will regularly review our well-functioning business model to ensure that it is equipped for the future. In what areas are we better than our competitors? Where do opportunities present themselves? How are our suppliers and customers changing? How do we approach these changes? Where will the boundaries between suppliers, competitors and customers be in the years to come? A single company could assume all of these roles in the future – and also be our partner at the same time, for instance in strategic raw material procurement, brokering of project financing or technical product development.

As part of the “closing the loop” concept, we are investigating ways that we can connect the sale of our copper products directly with the return of production residues to us. These kinds of closed cycles offer advantages for all participants when it comes to efficiency, predictability and supply security.

Issues that move us – these topics will be considered intensively when we put the Aurubis Group’s vision and strategy to the test again in fiscal year 2016/17.

No victory ceremonies without copper

A total of 2,448 medals were produced for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The main goal for all athletes: the gold medal. Strictly speaking, its name is a little misleading because each gold medal is 98.8 % silver and only 1.2 % gold, although the silver medals in Rio were actually 100 % silver. And copper is always on the winners’ podium as well, as bronze medals are 95 % “red gold” and 5 % tin.

Additional information:

All the best for our group

All the best for Aurubis: a wish and a standard that will guide us in our strategy discussion.

Ready to be reused after an average of 30 years – the recycling potential of copper is increasing

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Copper is good for you

Did you know that you have a little bit of copper inside you? Copper is an essential element for all organisms. The recommended daily allowance for an adult is 1.4 mg, which is normally ingested through food – such as avocados, nuts, dark chocolate, granola and oysters. And copper is also good for human health outside of the body, as it is antimicrobial, i.e. it provides protection from bacteria. This is the main reason why water pipes in houses are made of copper. The same feature can also improve health in public buildings, as a majority of all contagious illnesses are transmitted through contact. It therefore makes sense to produce door handles, light switches and handrails from copper – especially in locations where many people are present and in sensitive facilities such as hospitals. For example, hospital bacteria are reduced by over 90 % with the use of copper. Handles made of antimicrobial copper are already being used in public transport as well. Furthermore, the antimicrobial effect of copper surfaces never decreases – even when they are used intensively.

Please touch!
Hospitals including, for example, Charité in Berlin, the Niederberg Velbert Clinic, Hagen General Hospital and the Asklepios Clinic in Hamburg have all had good experience with contact surfaces made of copper. A US study showed that in intensive care units, copper surfaces can reduce infections caused by hospital staysby 58 %.

90 % less bacteria in hospitals as a result of copper’s antimicrobial properties

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Benefits for our employees, too

We thus produce a product that promotes human health. Health promotion is a key topic for Aurubis as an employer as well. At all Group sites, we have initiated occupational safety programs to limit the risk of accidents as much as possible. Avoiding injuries is the minimum target, while ensuring employees’ health is the larger objective.

All the best for people

Our company health management is part of the Group strategy; it has been established sustainably and is linked to clearly defined goals. For instance, we have set up a number of preventive programs to maintain employees’ health, including flu vaccinations, expanded preventive check-ups and analysis-based intensive training for the stomach and back muscles. Ultimately, there can only be one goal: zero work-related accidents, injuries and illnesses.

Additional information about copper’s antimicrobial properties:

Fit For the future
Robin Brasch and Eloge Lossa Sossou, first-year apprentices, take measurements. Our comprehensive vocational program to train young people as experts in various fields is also a good fit. We focus on continuity and thus take on the demographic challenges of the future.

180 apprentices at the Hamburg plant alone are learning skills to equip them for their future work

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Our commitment doesn’t end at the plant gates

We are aware of our responsibility as a manufacturing company. It is self-evident to us that the impact of our business activities on the environment and people should be kept as low as possible. It is a complex challenge in light of the high throughput volume and energy consumption necessarily associated with copper production. To fulfill this responsibility, we integrate sustainability directly into our corporate strategy.

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It starts with sustainability monitoring in the supply chains and is also evident in the fact that we spend large sums on environmental protection in copper production every year. In general, one-third of all Group investments is spent on related measures. This is why we are one of the most progressive copper producers in the world when it comes to climate and environmental protection.

Our targets don’t only apply to the Group as a whole. We have also set targets for individual sites – both in terms of environmental protection and energy efficiency.

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We utilized scheduled production shutdowns at our plants in Hamburg and Pirdop not just to overhaul certain facilities and optimize processes – but also to implement more extensive environmental protection measures. In Hamburg, for example, a new facility was installed to optimize the recovery of silver and gold from anode slime, an intermediate product. This allows us to reduce energy consumption by 35 % and CO2 by 460 t.

Resources are finite and must be managed sustainably. The importance of recycling processes is therefore growing steadily for us. This applies to copper first and foremost, which is in countless products and can be reused without a loss of quality. However, we can also process a number of other elements through multi-metal recycling, including precious metals, nickel, tin, lead and zinc. Last year alone, we directed up to 700,000 t of material to suitable recycling processes in this way. We therefore close the material cycle for many raw materials, open up new business areas and contribute to conserving natural resources at the same time.

All the best for people

Incidentally, there is not only competition for resources. On the labor market, too, we have to continuously prove ourselves to be an attractive employer. Demographic change is intensifying this competition for skilled employees. Training and continuing education are central for the sustainable success of our Group. Our high training and apprentice retention rates are therefore not only good for our employees but also for Aurubis as a whole.

Highest environmental standard worldwide