The international importance of a global copper producer is based, among many, on the responsibility of such producer for the environment. KGHM does not only minimise the impact of the mining industry on the environment. It also researches ecological innovations that will positively contribute to the lives of the inhabitants of the regions where copper ore and precious metals are extracted.
The impact of KGHM's activity on the environment never exceeds norms designated for a given country. However, the strategy of diminishing the impact on the closest environment could have not been implemented if it had not been for substantial expenditures on eco-innovations. Every year, KGHM allocates for ecological investments in Poland around PLN 180 million. As a result, it was possible to lower the emissions of lead into the air. The investments of KGHM enabled a more intensive processing of lead-bearing waste. One of the largest of such undertakings was the modernisation of lead plant and Doerschel furnace in "Głogów" Copper Smelter between 2011-2012. The cost of the investment was over PLN 40 million, of which PLN 11 million was the grant from the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management. Once the furnace was fully operational, the entire lead production process was changed. Thanks to this alteration, the processing of lead-bearing waste generated in KGHM's smelters increased to 15 thousand tonnes annually. In the future, it will be possible to eliminate all surface lead waste storage facilities.
KGHM is also working on a gradual lowering of electricity consumption. The company purchases "green energy", implements projects based on renewable sources of energy, and plants energy willows (Salix viminalis L.) around its smelters in Poland. It also runs research connected with wind power plants in the vicinity of the smelters.
Energy saving and enhancing energy efficiency are the main objective of the greatest environment-friendly investments delivered by KGHM Polska Miedź S.A. in Poland at the turn of 2014 and 2015. The Company spent as much as PLN 165 million for continued construction of two gas and steam units, one in Głogów and the other one in Polkowice. This solution will enable both energy savings and vast reduction of CO2 emission to air.
Official launching of power and heat production in high-efficiency cogeneration in gas and power units in Głogów and Polkowice took place at the end of 2014. The operating units will cover app. 25% of KGHM S.A. demand for power and reduce greenhouse gas emission (CO2) to air by 40% comparing to emission from coal-fuelled conventional sources. KGHM Polska Miedź S.A. consistently delivers the development strategies in the energy sector. These actions will effect in gaining gradual independence from increasing energy prices and ensuring continuous supply guarantee