Sustainability Report 2011 - 2012


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Sustainability Report 2011 - 2012

  1. 1. HERA HOLDING Habitat, Ecología, Restauración Ambiental, S.L. Barcelona | Calle Numancia, 185, 6ª planta | 08034 Barcelona | T. +34 93 205 10 10 Madrid | Calle Isla del Hierro, 7 - 1ª planta | 28703 San Sebastián de los Reyes, Madrid | T. +34 91 736 21 77 | www. HERAISustainabilityReport2011-2012 Sustainability Report I 2011-2012
  2. 2. Small social initiatives can help recycle, upgrade and recover the world. Take a look at some of them in this Sustainability Report...
  3. 3. Estrategia y Análisis2 For queries or further information about this sustainability report please contact: Neus Colom Numancia 185, planta 6 · 08034 Barcelona Tel. +34 93 205 10 10 FSC - Forest Stewardship Council Design and production: English translation by Anne Barton de Mayor Printed by NOVAGRAF EDICIÓ SLNE Legal registration B-29118-2011 Barcelona, June 2013
  4. 4. 3Table of contents Table of contents 1 Strategy and analysis 5 1. 1 Chairman’s foreword 5 1.2 Chief Executive Officer’s statement 7 2 Highlights 10 2. 1 Presence of the HERA Group 10 2.2 Key figures 11 2.3 2011-2012 highlights 12 2.4 Interview: ‘Restoration of a Kuwaiti oil field. HERA Group’s biggest soil remediation project’ 14 3 Report parameters 16 3. 1 Report outline 16 3.2 Report scope 16 4 HERA Group 18 4. 1 Recovery activities 23 4.1.1 From waste to materials/renewable energy 23 4.1.2 From wastewater to clean water 35 4.1.3 From emissions to renewable energy 4 1 4.1.4 From contaminated land to usable space 46 4.2 Disposal/Elimination activities 50 4.3 Logistics activities 55 5 Commitment to stakeholders 57 6 Governance 76 7 Appendices 80 7. 1 Other necessary GRI figures 80 7.2 Basic GRI grid of contents 92 7.3 Glossary 95
  5. 5. Strategy and analysis4
  6. 6. 5Strategy and analysis The 2011-2012 period has been a time of ups and downs for our company. The downside has been the intensifying world economic crisis, which hit Spain very hard and reduced our turnover and earnings. Factory closures and declining domestic consumption resulted in a significant drop in the waste generated within the spheres of influence of our Spanish facilities. On the upside, however, I must mention our participation in many public and private international tenders. HERA’s magnificent engineering prestige outside Spain has enabled us to bid for major contracts on a par with the biggest corporations in our industry. Our greatest achievement in this field is the soil remediation contract we were awarded by the Kuwait Oil Company. This contract is an incredible challenge in engineering terms and also as regards adapting to a new market with such different customs and habits. Dealing with local stakeholders is an extremely enlightening and enriching experience. Our sustained growth in Latin America makes us optimistic about the investment made in recent years, and which has enabled us to become an integral part of local communities, in keeping with our determined commitment to collaborate with local focus groups and respond to their needs. I’d also like to mention that during the years covered by this report, we have continued to reorganise the Group’s business and structure. I have no doubt that this will help us cope better with any new challenges. We have merged some companies and liquidated others and, in general, put our business in order. The main aim of this report – in addition to ensuring maximum transparency about our business, of course – was to achieve Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) level B, so we set ambitious targets as guidelines for many of our business areas. In future editions of our sustainability report, we are determined to attain the very highest GRI levels. The great challenge of winning international contracts calls for even greater involvement with partners, suppliers, authorities and the local population in general. In this respect, a sustainability report is an immensely useful tool thanks to its standardised format recognised in countless spheres. Pablo Solesio López-Bosch Chairman of the Board Managing Director Strategy and analysis 1.1 Chairman’s foreword
  7. 7. Strategy and analysis6 The HERA Group seeks to contribute proac- tively to the world’s environmental, economic and social sustainability. In particular, for the HERA Group, environ- mental sustainability means growth based on the following pillars: Reduce: Use less energy and fewer materials in proces- ses and products. Renew: Recycle waste and emissions and use re- newable, natural resources. Respect: Acquire clean uses and sources of energy with minimum, non-hazardous emissions and waste. Restore: Decontaminate and enhance natural, muni- cipal and industrial surroundings, offsetting and mitigating any negative effects, and recovering land. Mission To effectively close the cycle of resources by developing technologies and manage- ment systems designed to ensure they are constantly recycled. Our aim can no longer be simply to avoid environmental impact. Commitment to people Respect for people’s integrity and dignity.»» Trust in people’s ability to create value.»» Humility and goodness.»» Independent, ethical decisions.»» Flexibility, adaptability and trustworthi-»» ness. Active link between the company and»» its professionals. Dialogue and responsible conduct»» between the company and its stake- holders. Commitment to environmental excellence Minimise environmental rucksacks and»» carbon footprints. Sustainable management of basic»» resources: materials, water, energy and land. On-going eco-innovation.»» Vision Values
  8. 8. 7Strategy and analysis The HERA Group’s mission from the very start has been to provi- de first-rate services and techno- logy in the waste management industry. Our great challenge in recent years, however, has been marked by the end of an era in which waste was deemed to be merely worthless rubbish. HERA understands waste to be a re- source with great re-use and recovery potential. 2012. A year of transition The period covered by this report was characterised by a worsening of the economic and financial crisis, causing a widespread downturn in production which in turn triggered a drop in the volumes of waste managed, particularly by our facilities in Spain. The impact of this reduc- tion resulted in an 18% decrease in our 2012 earnings. The crisis has not, however, been the only factor to adversely effect turno- ver: the year 2012 has been a year of transition for the Group with the completion of major cons- truction projects in Spain such as the Vallès Occidental waste treatment plant (WTP), and major international projects are at the initial phase, e.g. the Middle East soil remediation project (Kuwait) with a total budget of €45 million. Cost cutting Against this backdrop we have made great efforts to cut costs, resulting in more effective manage- ment of procurement and contract- ing. These measures as a whole resulted in cost reductions one and a half times greater than the reduction in turnover, as a result of which our EBITDA fell by just 3%. Our strategic aims: remain committed to R&D+i and international growth We have continued to participate actively in R&D+i projects in conjunction with acclaimed research centres and universities, as demonstrated by the fact that in 2011, innovation and develop- ment subsidies were twice those of 2010. In this period, we worked hard on BioDigester Integra®, our own economically feasible tech- nology combining the best of a conventional controlled landfill and a biomethane plant. We also worked hard to find practical uses for the Biogás Natural® (biomethane) collected from our landfills and anaerobic digestion plants, i.e. converting it into hydrogen and upgrading it to almost 100% in fuel cells suitable for vehicles and industry. In 2011, the sale of our plant in Chile improved our leverage and enabled us to focus our interna- tional growth on other markets considered to be strategic for the group in the short/long term, e.g. Brazil where our turnover has trebled thanks to the increase in our investment and environmen- tal services. We have started work in the Middle East (Kuwait) on the largest soil remediation project ever carried out in the region, which involves replanting 447,000m2 , i.e. 60% of the entire remediated area, and reclaiming 2,000m3 of oil. For full details of this major project, see the inter- view on page 14 of this report. Social considerations I’d like to emphasise that our activities in the abovementioned countries, like our activities in Spain, work in conjunction with the local communities to raise environmental awareness by means of our environmental classrooms and guided tours of our facilities. In addition, when­ ever possible, we do our utmost to ensure that our growth in said countries fosters non-discrimina- tion and sex equality. In this period, the percentage of women working at our South-American facilities increased by 76%. Continuous improvement in drafting the Sustainability Report The intention of this Sustainabili- ty Report is to offer an accurate portrayal of our considerable contribution to society, the economy and the environment. Therefore, in this edition, we have focussed on improving and increasing the in-house proce­ dures designed to describe our activities more fully and clearly to our stakeholders so we have risen from Global Reporting Initiative level C to level B. We realise that there is still room for improve- ment in certain areas. In future editions, for example, we want to encourage our stakeholders to contribute more directly to the report and to work with them to produce a relevance survey to review and update the aspects of our business that they think are relevant. 1.2 Chief Executive Officer’s statement
  9. 9. Strategy and analysis8 Main risks and opportunities Our activities involving the capture and upgrading of biogas from controlled landfills were affected by the reform of the Spanish energy industry instiga- ted in 2012 by Royal Decree 1/2012 which eliminated pre-as- signation and economic incenti- ves for renewable energies and cogeneration. Against this back- ground of falling revenue from the sale of renewable energy by existing facilities, we decided to cut costs and enhance efficiency in order to maximise electricity production. We used other technologies developed by the Group to re-focus many of the products in our portfolio affected by this royal decree towards self-sufficiency or an increased use of biogas in non-electrical applications. One clear example of these improvements is our commitment to making our facilities as self sufficient in energy as possible: doubling it during this period. Our commitment to environmen- tal sustainability is also shown by the 66% increase in the CO2 emissions avoided by recycling energy and materials. Another challenge for the next edition is to calculate the entire direct and indirect CO2 emissions caused by our activities. In addition, to mitigate the impact of this reform, we have discovered alternatives ways of generating electricity using biogas. Our proprietary technolo- gy now enables Biogás Natural® to be used in the same circums- tances as gas natural: as biofuel for vehicles, or injected directly into the natural gas mains net- work, or to produce hydrogen with efficiency rates of almost 100%. The new Spanish Law 22/2011 on waste and Contaminated Soils passed in this period initially caused some confusion in social, environmental and economic realms. Our main concern was to ensure that the waste manage- ment measures taken were in keeping with climate change strategies, and we submitted our opinion together with the Funda- ció Fòrum Ambiental. Our de- mands were incorporated into current legislation, which has redrawn the waste recovery scenario. This law gives the recovery of energy from waste priority over disposal and confirms the efforts that HERA has been making to focus on physical recovery in recent years, as shown by the fact that recovery activities in 2012 were 12% higher than in 2011, and accounted for 46% of turno- ver, whereas disposal activities accounted for 38%. Before ending, I would like to highlight and thank the com- mitment, experience and efforts of all our employees to adapt to the changes imposed by today’s complex and adverse economic climate. For all the above reasons we can look forward optimistically to the future for we have succeeded in laying solid foundations enabling us to adapt flexibly to change with fewer resources whilst contributing to sustainability both inside and outside the company. Jordi Gallego HERA Group Chief Executive Officer
  10. 10. 9Strategy and analysis WTP Vallès Occidental (Vacarisses, Spain)
  11. 11. Highlights10 Highlights 2.1 Presence of the HERA Group France Germany Korea Kuwait Ukraine Portugal Chile Colombia Brazil Argentina Spain Disposal/Elimination activities Controlled landfills for hazardous and non-hazardous waste Disposal of hazardous waste Logistics activities Hazardous waste transfer plants Recovery activities From waste to materials/renewable energy Mechanical biological treatment Biogas generated by anaerobic digestion of organic matter: integra® biogester or biomethanisation Syngas made of gas captured from biomass and non-recycla- ble waste Recovery of paint and solvents Recovery of precious metals Upgrading of steel works powder (Óxidos Recumet® System) Upgrading of construction and demolition waste Integral management of old tyres Upgrading of WWTP sludge and leachate concentrate (Alximix® System) From wastewater to clean water Treatment of leachates Treatment of municipal and industrial wastewater From emissions to renewable energy Biogas capture and upgrading Conversion into Biogás Natural® (biomethane) for injection into gas grid or use as fuel for fleets of vehicles Production of hydrogen from Biogás Natural® From contaminated land to usable space Cutting-edge technology for soil remediation
  12. 12. 11Highlights 2.2 Key figures 2010 2011 2012 Employees Turnover (€m) EBITDA (€m) Waste handled (mt) Materials recovered (mt) Soil decontaminated (mt) Water treated for third parties (m3 ) Leachates treated (m3 ) Renewable electricity sold (kWh) Electricity generated for own use (kWh) Emissions avoided by energy upgrading and material recycling (mt CO2 ) 531 418 444 96.30 90.75 74.80 13.50 13.00 12.57 1,855,966 1,603,765 1,464,286 29,312 77,768 75,320 375,000 327,000 363,000 1,166,671 366,593 301,586 119,192 358,100 156,918 47,245,126 40,577,025 46,232,025 9,214,142 24,929,041 24,172,426 57,723 95,606 103,565 2012 Comments»» “Waste handled” in 2010 included decontaminated soil. This is not included in 2012 because it is not listed in the-- European List of Wastes. A carbon heat emission factor of 0.98 kg CO-- 2 /kWh was used to calculate the emissions avoided by upgrading energy to produce electricity. When calculating the emissions avoided by upgrading energy to produce heat, a factor of 2.15 kg CO2 /Nm3 was used. When calculating the CO-- 2 emissions avoided by recycling materials, the EpE Protocol (EPA 2006) was used. 444 employees € 74.80 m Turnover € 12.57 m EBITDA 1,464,286 mt Waste handled 75,320 mt materials recovered 363,000 mt soil decontaminated 301,586 m3 water treated for third parties 156,918 m3 leachates treated 46,232,025 kWh renewable electricity sold 24,172,426 kWh Electricity generated for own use 103,565 mt CO2 Emissions avoided by energy upgrading and material recycling
  13. 13. Highlights12 2.3 2011-2012 highlights En lo MEDIOAMBIENTAL En lo SOCIAL A survey of psycho-social hazards was conducted•• amongst 50% of the workforce in late 2012 in con- junction with the Employers’ Liability Insurance, to determine the possible impact of workers’ jobs on their health and wellbeing. On the whole, no signifi- cant findings emerged. In Spain, 70% of employees are represented by Em-•• ployees’ Committees. Increase in the numbers of female employees in com-•• parison with male employees: up by 76% in Latin Ame- rica and by 7% in Europe. At the Vallès Occidental WTP, women account for almost 30% of the work­force. The average age of employees in Latin America fell by•• 3% to 35.75 years old in 2012. The Group continues to work in conjunction with lo-•• cal communities to foster environmental awareness by providing environmental rooms and guided tours of its facilities. Soil remediation project in the Middle East (Kuwait)•• will decontaminate 703,000m2 of land and replant 60% of this area. From 2011 onwards, the amount of electricity pro-•• duced by our facilities for their own consumption has doubled, thanks particularly to the start of ope- rations at Vallès Occidental WTP which is 100% self sufficient in water and energy. CO•• 2 emissions avoided by generating energy and recycling materials increased by 66% between 2010 and 2011. Greater involvement with product life cycles. The old tyre•• treatment (OTT) division will produce and sell the latest gene- ration of tyre powder in Europe for use in manufacturing new tyres. The Group has taken another step in diversifying its•• Biogás Na- tural® applications by using it to produce upgradable hydro- gen with maximum fuel cell efficiency. HERA’s active involvement in the “Waste and Climate Change•• Think Tank” venture held by the Fundació Fòrum Ambiental, led to amendments being proposed for Spanish law 22/2011 on waste and contaminated land because it did not address the link between waste and climate change. Most of the proposed amendments were incorporated and the law is now in force. ENVIRONMENTAL aspects SOCIAL aspects
  14. 14. 13Highlights 2011-2012 was a time of transition from a business model focused on Spain’s•• domestic market to a more globalised HERA Group present in more regions of the world: ­ ••Middle East (Kuwait): soil remediation. ­ ••France (Tournan-en-Brie): construction of a mechanical/biological treatment plant. ­ ••United Kingdom (Scotland): soil remediation. ­ ••South Korea (Ulsan): construction of high-performance biogas produc- tion facilities using organic waste. Exportation of leachate management savoir-faire to new markets. The first•• leachate management plant using reverse osmosis, including treatment servi- ces, with an operating capacity of 100 m3 /day began operating in Brazil under a lease agreement. Maximum efficiency in the use of available resources has enabled savings of•• €3 million. Ever greater commitment to recovery activities which now account for 46% of•• turnover, as opposed to disposal activities (38% of turnover). Increased efforts on incorporating more efficient, innovative technologies. In•• 2010-11, R&D+i subsidies doubled. In this respect, the Group has adapted to the new economic climate by developing affordable waste management sys- tems: BioDigester Integra®. ECONOMIC aspects
  15. 15. Highlights14 2.4 Interview | FERNANDO HERREROS Restoration of a Kuwaiti oil field. HERA Group’s biggest soil remediation project. ‘We contribute to the sustai- nable growth of developing countries’ The economic boom that has characterised developing coun- tries such as China, Brazil, India, Mexico, etc, in recent years, has also caused their energy require- ments to soar, resulting in a considerable increase in the world demand for oil and conse- quently, an unprecedented hike in oil prices. All this has multiplied the wealth of oil producing countries, parti- cularly those in the Persian Gulf (whose production costs have not increased). In keeping with natural evolution, once the basic needs of a society are satisfied, cultural, social and environmental needs then emer- ge - and the Emirate of Kuwait is currently at this stage. The remediation project ten- der is part of the Kuwait Oil Company’s strategic plan (KOC). What environmental aims do they have? At the current time Kuwait, along with Saudi Arabia, has the world’s biggest investment plan for infras- tructure and environmental projects in the world, which means a host of business opportunities at present. As regards the contaminated soil market, KOC’s strategic environ- mental development plan aims for the remediation of all contaminated land and the recovery of desert ecosystems on those sites. Briefly, what are the phases of the project? GENERAL WORK BEFOREHAND: Perimeter fences•• (14,000 metres). Roads and access points•• (18,000 metres). Installation of offices and site•• containers: 2 main offices and 8 satellite offices. Environmental Impact Study.•• Hazard Identification Study,•• and Hazard and Operability Study. SPECIFIC TASKS: Detection survey and manage-•• ment of unexploded ordnance. X-ray survey.•• Detailed investigation of each•• existing stratum (sludge and soil). Water removal and manage-•• ment. Removal and treatment of oily•• sludge. Excavation and treatment of•• affected land. Separation and management•• of waste including manufac- turing lines and discarded fencing. Landfill and compacting of all•• areas using treated soil. Recovery of native ecosystems•• in remediated areas. What technology will you use in each phase? We will apply the following soil remediation technologies: Soil scrubbing: this technique uses water to decontaminate the soil. The process removes the contaminants by dissolving or suspending them in the aqueous solution and then concentrating KOC Project. Key figures Budget: €45 million Completion time: 36 months Contaminated area: 703,000 m2 Replanted area: 447,000 m2 Total oily sludge to be treated: 78,000 m3 Crude oil recovered: 2,000 m3 Soil remediation in Kuwait
  16. 16. 15Highlights the contaminants in a small volume by particle size separa- tion. Thermal desorption: involves heating the soil to be treated to between 90 and 560 O C to volatize the contaminants which are then dealt with in the gas phase. Biotreatments: these enable contaminants to be broken down by microorganisms. The medium is enhanced to enable the colo- nies of degrader microorganisms to perform well. It’s a very versa- tile technique suitable for water and soil. It can also be used in situ, ad situ and ex situ. What difficulties did you come across? The main difficulties were cultural differences, a lack of knowledge of the Kuwaiti labour market and the need to learn the regulations used by the Kuwaiti authorities and KOC itself. When is work scheduled for completion? The completion date is scheduled for March 25th 2015. How many people are wor- king on the project? How many locals? How many women? HERA AG Ambiental’s own staff consists of 80 people. Due to the characteristics of the Kuwaiti job market, the percentage of wo- men on the payroll is not signifi- cant. At the management level, most of whom are European, 40% are women. What sort of waste does decontamination produce? How is this waste treated? Virtually no waste is generated by our activities, just the waste produced during the maintenan- ce of our equipment. What impact will the project have on the environment? The environmental aim of the project is to restore the ecosys- tems affected by contamination. To be specific, the replanted areas will account for more than 60% of the entire decontamina- ted area. This project falls within the framework of the internatio- nal environmental agreements ratified by the Kuwaiti govern- ment. Fernando Herreros Chief Executive Officer HERA AG Ambiental S.L.
  17. 17. Report parameters16 This is the HERA Group’s fourth, bi-annual sustainability report and it features the figures for the years ending December 31st 2011 and 2012. The sustainability report has been posted on the www.heraholding. com/memoria website for consul- tation by the general public. It includes a questionnaire to let readers voice their opinions. As in previous editions, this report complies with GRI (Global Reporting Initiative or G3 as it is also known) guidelines for sustai- nability reports, edition G3.1. Unlike previous reports, in this edition the Group has climbed from GRI application level C to application level B (for more details of application levels, see following table). In order to achieve level B, the Group hired BSD Consulting (GRI’s data partner and training company in Spain) and incorporated their suggestions for improvement, whilst also drafting plans for further progress in future sustai- nability reports. In this respect, with a view to the next edition, the Group intends to work in conjunction with its stakeholders on reviewing and enhancing the main social, environmental and economic impacts generated by the Group and the respective indicators. This year the Group decided to focus on improving the report’s contents by climbing from level C to level B. Therefore, in order to comply with the cost-cutting policies implemented by the Group’s management, it was 3.1 Report outline Report parameters decided not to have the report verified since the data sources and methods are the same as in previous periods. Each year, and this year was no exception, the report coordination team reques- ted data from the departmental heads responsible for each of the Group’s activities, and this infor- mation was revised and checked internally together with the 3.2 Report scope general management. This report includes details of the Group’s performance in 2011-2012 in Spain, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East (since 2012) thanks to the companies listed below in which HERA has a stake of 50% or more. The information about subsidiaries is based mainly on majority percentages Report applica- tion level C C+ B B+ A A+ Report on: 1.1 2.1-2.10 3.1-3.8,3.10-3.12 4.1-4.4,4.14- 4.15 Report on all criteria listed for Level C plus: 1.2 3.9,3.13 4.5-4.13,4.16- 4.17 Same as requirement for Level B Not Required Management Approach Dis- clousures for each Indicator Category Management Approach Disclousures for each Indicator Category Report on a minimum of 10 Performance Indicators, including at least one from each of: Economic, Social and Environmental Report on a minimum of 20 Performan- ce Inicators, at least one from each of Economic, Envirnmental, Human rights, Labor, Society, Product Repon- sibility Report on each core G3 and Sector Supple- ment* Indicator with due regard to the Materia- lity Principle by either: a) reporting on the indicator b) explaining the reason for its omission StandardDisclousures ReportExternallyAssured ReportExternallyAssured ReportExternallyAssured G3 Profile Disclousures OUTPUT G3 Management Approach Disclousures OUTPUT G3 Performance Indicators & Sector Supplement Performance Indicators OUTPUT * Sector supplement in final version
  18. 18. 17Report parameters Parent company HERA Holding Habitat, Ecología y Restauración Ambiental S.L. Spanish companies ALQUIMIA SELECTA S.L. ALANSU S.L. (sold on 20/12/12) ALANSU ASTURIAS MEDIOAM- BIENTE S.L. (sold on 19/12/12) ATRI S.L. CENTRAL DE RECOVERY DE CASTILLA LA MANCHA S.L. CETARE TRATAMIENTOS S.L. COLL CARDÚS GAS S.L. ENERXIA DOS CASTROS S.L. HERA AMASA S.A. HERA GAS S.L. (name changed on 05/10/11. Formerly HERA Energ S.L., already 100% HERA) HERA GASIFICACIÓN S.L. (name changed on 01/03/12. Formerly HERA PLASCO. Al- ready 100% HERA) HERA IBEROAMERICANA S.A. HERA PLASMA S.L. HERA TRATESA S.A.U INDUGARBI ENERGIA S.L. INDUGARBI OTS S.L. INDUGARBI CDW’S S.A. INDUGARBI S.L. ÓXIDOS RECUMET® S.L. PLASMECO S.L U. and effective control criteria. The main changes in ownership in comparison with the previous edition of this report are summa- rised below. For further details, see the chapters about the respective activities. The sale in late 2012 of the•• companies responsible for the Group’s transfer business, i.e. Alansu S.L. and Alansu Astu- rias Medioambiente S.L., did not affect the business indica- tors in this edition. The French company Albhyon•• S.A.S. responsible for hydro- gen production was bought in June 2012, therefore its indi- cators are not covered by this report. In November 2011, a controlled•• landfill in Chile (HERA Ecobio S.A.) was sold. The indicators of this business were not avai- lable for this edition. International companies ALBHYON S.A.S. (French company bought on 27/06/12) BIOGAS KLEIN EICHHOLZ GMBH CONPOREC S.A.S. HEGAR HABITAT, ECOLOGIA E GESTAO AMBIENTAL DE RE- CURSOS LDA HERA AILINCO S.A. HERA AG AMBIENTAL S.L. HERA AMBIENTAL LTDA HERA ARGENTINA S.A. HERA BIO BIO S.A. HERA BRAZIL INDUSTRIA E COMERCIO LTDA HERA CHILE S.A. HERA ECOBIO S.A. (sold on 14/11/11) HERA COLOMBIA S.A. HERA FRANCE S.A.S HERA SERVICIOS MEDIOAM- BIENTALES S.A. HERA SUL LTDA HERA UCRANIA S.L. HERA ZÁRATE CAMPANA S.A. IBEROAMERICANA DE MEDIO- AMBIENTE S.A. MÉXICO DE SERVICIOS MEDIO- AMBIENTALES S.A. NUEVO MONDOÑEDO S.A.- E.S.P. SCHWARTING BIOSYSTEM GMBH STL S.A. Temporary Consortia UTE AMBIENTAL LIMITADA UTE BIOGAS LORCA UTE BIOVAL UTE CTR VALLÈS UTE FLOW HERA UTE VALLORO
  19. 19. HERA Group18 HERA HOLDING, Hábitat, Ecolo- gía y Restauración Ambiental, S.L. is the head of a group of companies providing integrated environmental solutions for responsible waste management, and the operating and supply of facilities for the treatment and upgrading of waste, wastewater and contaminated soils. The Group is now well experien- ced in waste management and water treatment, as demonstra- ted by its portfolio of more than 6,000 Spanish and international customers. This experience together with its great dedication to innovation and the develop- ment of in-house technologies, plus its commitment to managing each type of waste so as to ensure maximum recovery of materials, renewable energy, clean water and space, all enable the Group to continue developing its environmental expertise and provide solutions that cater for each customer’s specific needs. To provide an overview of HERA’s activities, the table below sum- marises the turnover by country in which the group operates (for full details, see the following chapter): Spain In addition to traditional disposal activities (the Group has three plants at present) and waste transfer, the Group also builds and runs facilities to separate and then upgrade materials to the full. It is experienced in mechani- cal and biological treatment plants (one example being the Vallès Occidental WTP); has a paint and solvent recovery plant in Palencia; a precious metal recovery plant in Cantabria; upgrades iron and steelworks dust in Biscay; and recycles construction and demolition waste (CDW) and old tyres in Navarre. In the 2010-12 period, the Group implemented an in-house waste management system that exploits the benefits of a conventional controlled landfill and a biomethane plant (BioDigester Integra®). HERA Group Turnover by regions (‘000 €) 2010 2011 2012 Spain 75,314 68,604 59,496 Europe 3,194 5,210 2,823 Latin America 17,820 16,940 8,972 Middle East NAP NAP 3,516 NAP: Not applicable In Spain 2010 2011 2012 Waste treated (mt): 710,006 767,352 645,356 Materials recovered (mt): 10,133 53,237 50,527
  20. 20. 19HERA Group In Spain 2010 2011 2012 Volume of leachates treated (m3 ) 119,192 358,100 156,918 Volume of water treated for third parties (m3 ) 1,166,671 366,593 301,586 Volume of soil de- contaminated (m3 ) 715,000 686,400 710,600 Renewable electricity sold (kWh/yr) 39,757,126 30,905,525 36,560,025 As for wastewater, the Group builds and runs industrial and urban wastewaste treatment plants, and also treats leachates using the customer’s or the Group’s own landfills. The Group’s desire to provide integrated waste management led it to develop a sludge recovery technology. HERA’s cutting-edge proprietary technology also enables it to provide soil decontamination and remediation services. The Group has experience in recovering energy from non-recy- clable waste and from biomass by gasification and has several customer for whom it captures the biogas generated by their controlled landfills and converts it into renewable electricity by cogenerators. The Group also uses its proprietary technology to convert it into Biogás Natural® (biomethane) which can be used in realms where natural gas is an option, for example, as biofuel for vehicles, or injected into the natural gas network or, from 2012 onwards, even converted into hydrogen. Conporec technology (Tournan-en-Brie, France) Solid municipal waste treatment plant
  21. 21. HERA Group20 In Latin America 2010 2011 2012 Waste handed (mt): 746,960 805,554 762,930 HERA’s internal structure is organised according to Financial and Corporate Resources, Strate- gic Resources, and finally Busi- ness Development and Manage- ment resources. The third area is then subdivided into three sec- tors according to the type of business or service provided: Operations, Engineering and Business Development. In Latin America HERA owns several controlled landfills for hazardous and non- hazardous waste in Brazil, Colom- bia, Chile and Argentina. Within the framework of the Kyoto Protocol, the Group has a clean development mechanism in Chile that is currently being certified. In Europe, Asia and Middle East In Germany, HERA has several years’ experience building and running anaerobic digestion organic waste treatment plants in Germany and has a heavy-duty proprietary technology specially designed to digest the sludge produced by urban wastewater treatment plants. During the period covered by this report, HERA’s proprietary technology left its stamp on the international scene when a plant was built in Korea. In France, in the city of Tournan- en-Brie, the Group is building a mechanical and biological treatment plant for solid urban waste using aerobic digestion: a patented technology that produ- ces top-quality compost. In 2012 the Group began work on the restoration of an oil field in the Middle East (Kuwait) with a view to recovering 447,000 m2 of desert areas. In this period, HERA also carried out two soil remedia- tion projects in Portugal and another in Glasgow (United Kingdom). In Europe, Asia and Middle East 2010 2011 2012 Renewable electrici- ty sold (kWh/yr) 7,488,000 9,671,500 9,672,000
  22. 22. 21HERA Group Internal organisation of the HERA Group: Corporate structure Business Development and Management Emerging markets Mature markets New Ventures OPERATIONS Operating and construction of facilities Low-cost waste treatment systems Environmental services for industry Engineering Integration of bids and scheme designs Construction of plants Business Developments Project management and business models Project finance management New business Strategic resources HERA Institute Financial resources Corporate resources
  23. 23. HERA Group22 However, for the purposes of this report it is more appropriate and useful to organise the information by giving priority to environmen- tal considerations. This is why the activities covered in the four editions of this report have been organised according to the type of management provided for each sort of waste: Since this is the first time that the Group is obliged to specify the social, economic and environ- mental improvements required by the management approach, it was decided to include them alongside the respective indica- tor to enable the context in which each activity takes place to be understood better. In future editions, this will be summarised in a chart to make it easy to see which aims have been met. The following section explains in depth the activities carried out by HERA in this period. Each section is followed by a list and explanation of the environmental pressures considered, in con- junction with the general mana- gement, to be the most impor- tant for each type of activity, and also the methods used to measu- re the data or, in those cases where GRI protocols were not applied, the calculation methods used. RECOVERY ACTIVITIES LOGISTICS ACTIVITIES DISPOSAL/ ELIMINATION ACTIVITIES RECOVERY ACTIVITIES From waste to materials/re-•• newable energy From wastewater to clean•• water From emissions to renewable•• energy From contaminated land to•• usable space DISPOSAL/ELIMINATION ACTIVITIES LOGISTICS ACTIVITIES
  24. 24. 23Recovery activities I From waste to materials / renewable energy Recovery activities 4.1.1 From waste to materials / renewable energy This activity consists of leaving books in public places where they can be picked up by other readers who will then do likewise. The idea is to leave books out to be found by other people. Key figures: 2010 2011 2012 * WTP: Vallès Occidental waste treatment plant(1) mt of SMW handled NAP 167,573 146,482 M Output of materials (mt): Recovered aluminium NAP 266 349 M Recovered brick NAP 672 668 M Recovered plastic film NAP 393 315 M Recovered HDPE plastic bottles NAP 694 754 M Recovered HDPE plastic crates NAP 85 62 M Recovered PET plastic NAP 1,237 1,357 M Recovered mix of plastics NAP 1,866 2,235 M Recovered paper/cardboard NAP 864 994 M Recovered steel (cans) NAP 2,394 2,355 M Recovered voluminous scrap metal NAP 58 34 M Upgraded bio-stabilised material NAP 15,931 20,454 M * Estimated (E), Measured (M), Calculated (C) Comments»» -- (1 ) Vallès Occidental WTP opened in 2011.
  25. 25. Recovery activities I From waste to materials / renewable energy24 Key figures: 2010 2011 2012 * Upgrading of steelwork powder (Óxidos Recumet system®)(1) mt of steelwork powder treated NAP 10,863 8,535 C Output of materials (mt): Material recycled as raw material for steelworks NAP 2,549 2,672 M Material upgraded by Óxidos Recumet system for use in zinc industry NAP 8,690 6,828 M Steel recovered using Óxidos Recumet system NAP 306 321 E Biogas generated by anaerobic digestion of organic material mt of incoming organic waste 24,000 30,859 31,000 M Output: kWh of renewable electricity produced and sold 7,488,000 9,671,500 9,672,000 E kWh of heat produced 7,862,400 10,154,800 10,155,600 E Digestate generated for agriculture (mt/yr) 19,200 24,550 24,800 E Recovery of paints and solvents mt of waste treated 5,279 4,970 4,741 C Output of materials (mt): Recycled paints and solvents 599 828 830 C Paints and solvents upgraded for use in generating energy 1,100 876 680 C * Estimated (E), Measured (M), Calculated (C) Comm»» ents -- (1 ) Steelwork powder upgrading (Óxidos Recumet system®) started in 2011.
  26. 26. 25Recovery activities I From waste to materials / renewable energy Key figures: 2010 2011 2012 * Recovery of precious metals mt of incoming waste 245 207 165 M Output of materials (mt): Recovered silver 0.88 0.89 0.46 M Recovered PET 21 19 7 M CDW recovery mt of incoming CDW 7,176 15,932 1,151 M Output of materials (mt): Recovered aggregates 6,354 9,070 2,641 M Recovered iron 22 13 2 M Recovered cardboard 23 67 1 M Recovered plastic 32 36 2 M Recovered wood 196 200 21 M Old tyre recycling mt of incoming old tyres 3,424 4,053 7,697 M Output of materials (mt): Inner tubes 25 11 0 M Tracks 12 0 0 M Shells 81 76 326 M Powder 147 245 82 M Aggregate 794 3,893 3,884 M Ferrous 378 1,250 1,247 M Textile 349 646 1,406 M * Estimated (E), Measured (M), Calculated (C)
  27. 27. Recovery activities I From waste to materials / renewable energy26 OTHER WASTE INTAKE MECHANICAL SEPARATION Biological treatment Waste sent to landfill Recovery  Materials cardboard · iron bricks · plastic aluminium · paper... Organic matter  biostabilised Mechanical and biological treatment (MBT) The Group has ten years’ expe- rience in building mechanical and biological treatment plants that enable optimum fractioning, material recovery and bioenergy upgrading. Here a few examples of these facilities: In 2006, the temporary consor- tium UTE Valloro, in which HERA has a 50% stake, won the tender for the “enlargement of the anaerobic digestion process and the capacity of the composting plant at the Vallès Oriental regio- nal waste treatment plant in Granollers”. The contract entailed the construction of a mechanical and biological treatment plant able to process 45,000 mt/yr of the organic fraction of municipal waste (OFMW) using a low-solid (wet), anaerobic digestion sys- tem that produces biogas for use as a renewable energy. The construction and commissioning of these facilities ended in 2011 and the final budget was €29 million. In February 2007, the WTP Vallès Occidental consortium led by HERA with a 60% stake, was awarded the tender held by the Consorci de Residus del Vallès Occidental for building and operating the Vallès Occidental Waste Treatment Plant in Coll Cardús (Barcelona), expected to have a total turnover during the 15-year concession of more than €400 million and investment of some €90 million. This plant started operating in 2011 and during the period covered by the 2011-12 report, handled an average of 150,000 mt/yr of the non-organic fraction of municipal waste, although the plant is design­ed to handle 245,000 mt/yr. This plan has three processing phases: Pre-treatment of the non-1. organic fraction of municipal waste in order to recover the upgradable materials from the waste and separate the orga- nic fraction (recovered organic fraction, ROF). Stabilisation of the recovered2. organic matter by means of a controlled aerobic process lasting at least 6 weeks. Treatment of the stabilised3. ROF to obtain a clean, biosta- bilised end product intended to cover and restore the Coll Cardús controlled landfill in the future. “This water treatment plant is self sufficient as regards water and electricity” Treatment process of solid municipal waste (SMW):
  28. 28. 27Recovery activities I From waste to materials / renewable energy During the construction phase of this water treatment plant and also the current operating phase, priority was given to people from Vacarisses (the town where the plant is located) when recruiting staff: 60% of employees are from this town. “Some 30% of the water treatment plant workforce are women” In order to globalise its activities and provide solutions able to cater for different types of custo- mers and countries, in 2010 the Group bought the Conporec technology patent, a form of mechanical and biological pro- cessing for solid municipal waste (SMW) using aerobic digestion developed in Canada. The resul- ting high-quality compost (com- pliant with the French standard Certifie NFU 44051) is suitable for agricultural use. Three plants currently operate with this tech- nology in the world: in Canada (35,000 mt/yr capacity), USA (41,000 mt/yr capacity), and Australia (100,000 mt/yr capaci- ty), and HERA is currently build­ ing another in Tournan-en-Brie, France able to handle 65,000 mt/ yr of SMW. This plant required investment of €20 million and completion is scheduled for 2013. “Conporec technology makes it possible to recover 60% of the organic matter found in solid municipal waste” Generating biogas by anaero- bic digestion of organic mat- ter: bio-methane Schwarting Biosystem GmbH (SBS) is the Group’s company in Flensburg, Germany responsible for designing and building plants generating biomethane from the sludge produced by municipal water treatment plants, foodpro- cessing waste and other types of organic waste suitable for diges- tion. Its twenty-one plants include the Klein Eichholz GmbH biogas plant in Berlin, built in 2006, which handles 31,000 mt/yr of foodprocessing waste and is a good example of the HERA Group’s experience in the integral treatment of this type of waste, pursuant to the provisions of Regulations 1069/2009. In addi- tion to its provisions concerning class 1 animal by-products and NER waste that must be incinera- ted, these regulations also con- template the use of composting and/or bio-methanisation to upgrade category class 2 and class 3 waste. In addition, the digestate this plant produces is used as an agricultural bio-fertili- ser, pursuant to Appendix II of the German Act BioAbfV dated September 21 1998. This all-in plant also makes use of the surplus heat generated by its electricity generators fuelled by the biogas captured from diges- tion. This residual heat is used in the compulsory neutralisation process of class 2 and 3 waste. As regards the Group’s technolo- gical capabilities, HERA has a proprietary high-performance, anaerobic digestion technology specifically designed to process the sludge generated by munici- pal wastewater treatment plants, or any type of extremely liquid mixtures, with a faster turnaround time than conventional technolo- gy. This enables a larger volume of waste to be processed in a very small space and, therefore, more renewable electricity – approximately 15% more – to be produced from each metric tonne of incoming waste. One example of the on-going international expansion of the Group and its technologies is the WTP Vallès Occidental (Vacarisses, Spain)
  29. 29. Recovery activities I From waste to materials / renewable energy28 construction and commissioning of a high-performance digester completed in 2012 Ulsan, a town in south-east Korea, with a processing capacity of 30,000 mt/yr of the liquid fraction of kitchen waste and sewage. Because the waste is very liquid, with a dry content of just 5%, i.e. very similar to wastewater treatment plant sludge, the best technology for this type of waste was a high-performance digester. Recovery of paints and sol- vents HERA has a process for the recovery of car industry paint and solvents (both hazardous waste) which is unique in Europe: once recycled, the materials are retur- ned to the customer to be re- used or sold on the market as a new product. For six years now, non-recyclable solvents and paints have been used in the manufacture of fuel for cement works. Recovery of precious metals One of the main activities of this plant in Cantabria is the recovery of silver from analogical photo- graphic plates and liquids (hazar- dous waste). It can also recover PET from x-rays which is then sold as a by-product. This plant can process 1 metric tonne of x-rays per day. The reduction in the number of x-rays processed and the shift towards materials with lower silver and PET contents are the reasons for the drop in the quantities recove- red. Upgrading of steelworks dust (Óxidos Recumet® system) The Óxidos Recumet® system increases the zinc content of the exhaust fumes from the smelting gas scrubbing systems in electric arc steelworks (steelworks dust) and transforms it into material suitable for use in the zinc manu- facturing industry. HERA currently has a plant installed in the Nervacero steel­ works (Celsa Group) which handles all the dust generated at this steelworks. Each metric tonne of treated dust yields 0.8 mt of Óxidos Recumet®. In addition the steelworks recovers 0.12 mt of iron to be processed which used to be carried away with the smelting gas due to the inherent inefficiency of steel production. As a result the Óxi- dos Recumet® system offers greater efficiency in several respects: less material needs to be transported, a high percenta- ge of the dust’s iron content is reclaimed as steel, and CO2 emissions are reduced. Paint and solvent recovery plant (Palencia, Spain)
  30. 30. 29Recovery activities I From waste to materials / renewable energy In early 2011, the European Che- micals Agency rated the Óxidos Recumet® system as an “emer- ging technology” in the upgra- ding of steelworks dust. “The Óxidos Recumet® system has avoided an avera- ge of 8,000 km per year(1) ” Recovery of construction and demolition waste (CDW) The construction industry consu- mes large amounts of raw mate- rials and generates a great deal of demolition rubble and rejects. According to the 2007-15 PNIR (Spanish Integrated Waste Sche- me), Navarre (where the plant is located) produced 459,685mt of CDW in 2008. The Government of Navarre passed Decree 23/2011, which admended Royal Decree 105/2008 dd February 1st gover- ning the production and manage- ment of construction and demoli- tion waste (CDW). The Navarre decree enlarges upon certain aspects (it defines the deposits required as guaran- tees, defines when CDW is class­ ed as municipal waste, states the technical specifications of treatment plants, gives recovery priority over disposal, etc) inten- ded to foster and develop CDW management. CDW is a type of waste that fluctuates in line with the cons- truction industry, making it difficult to know how this sector will evolve in the near future or forecast the amount of waste that will be produced. Therefore, the best way to absorb all treatment capacity and exploit the existing facilities to the full, is to give recovery priority over disposal. This situation has deteriorated in recent years because the crisis in the construction industry has caused the amount of waste entering treatment plants to plummet, and also a drastic decline in market prices. Because this type of waste is not controll­ ed by the authorities, the easy way out for many is illegal dump­ ing. The companies treating such waste cannot compete and are doing their utmost to avoid having to close their facilities down. Integrated management of old tyres (OTs) In 2011-12, HERA consolidated its old tyre activities (collection, shipment and recovery). Against a backdrop of shrinking markets aggravated by the fact that the recovered materials are used mainly in the public sector (children’s playgrounds, powder for asphalt, etc), HERA nonethe- less managed to quadruple the amount of materials recovered and was able to double the metric tonnes of old tyres treated. Process engineering managed to cut operating costs, increase productivity and improve the yield of the resulting by-products (metals, re-cycled tyres and textiles). In keeping with the Group’s commitment to be involved with the entire life cycle of its products and its desire to deal successfully with future challenges, HERA has signed an agreement with the US company Lehigh Technologies for the development and sale in Europe of latest-generation micronized rubber powder (MRP) which can be reused in the manu- facture of new tyres and other rubber products, and also in plastics and primers. This agree- ment entails the construction of a new MRP production line and the recruitment of staff in the area. As a result, HERA will be the only European company to provide this service and aims to be the first European manufacturer of this material with a solid customer portfolio. (1) In comparison with the distances that would have been travelled if the steelwork dust had been treated in the nearest plant using alternative technology. Integral old tyre treatment  plant (Navarre, Spain)
  31. 31. Recovery activities I From waste to materials / renewable energy30 Technologies developed by the Group: BioDigester Integra® In the period covered by this report, the HERA Group has studied and designed solutions for the current economic crisis that not only reduce waste management investment and operating costs, but also maximi- se their upgrading to materials and energy resources. The BioDi- gester Integra® (BD-i) technolo- gy is the result of the Group’s efforts in this field. BD-i is designed to be part of a mechanical and biological treatment centre handing solid municipal waste. This low-cost anaerobic digestion technology is incorporated into the original land using civil engineering designed and operated cell by cell (on a rotating basis to make the very most of the available space) that reaps the benefits of a conventional controlled landfill and a biomethane plant. Generating syngas by gasifi- cation of non-recyclable waste and biomass HERA Group is well versed in using different gasification techniques to capture energy from waste, which are more energy efficient and environmen- tally cleaner than conventional processes. As regards the management of solid municipal waste (SMW), HERA’s experience includes the development, construction and commissioning of the world’s very first direct SMW gasification plant using plasma torches. Built in 2007 in Canada in conjunction with Plasco Energy Group, this plant can handle 30,000 mt/yr of SMW. This innovative technology featuring both gasification and vitrification is an alternative solution for the treatment of non-recyclable urban and indus- trial waste which could otherwise only be incinerated or sent to a landfill. This is the most efficient, clean and scalable technology for processing waste that could otherwise not be upgraded In addition, because of the current economic climate, the Group not only worked on scaling these gasification technologies up to commercial scale but also on ensuring they are economica- lly feasible. This approach means that simple solutions can be provided after pre-treatment, such as integrated gasification by means of fluidised bed reactors, a system enabling suitable gasifica- tion with a minimum amount of air thanks to a large capacity heat exchanger. This solution, in conjunction with standard dry channel emission control systems, enables a highly competitive overall gasification process in the 20MWt to 60MWt range. In addition, HERA has started applying gasification to the following materials: Dry sludge from wastewater•• treatment plants. Dry sludge with high calcium•• carbonate content from paper mills. Fluff from plastic and foam•• parts of crushed cars. Aqueous solutions of glycerine•• (by-product of the bio-diesel manufacturing process). Biomass. Splinters of wood•• species very likely to produce extremely high levels of tar. Materials with a carbon con-•• tent of more than 50% of their dry weight. The results ob- tained show that gasification with oxygen or enriched air can produce extremely high quality syngas, with an LCV of more than 10Mj/Nm3 . In the 2011 – 2012 period, the Group’s Industrial Gasification Pilot Plant in Castellgalí was used to optimise the amount of energy recovered from biomass: a key factor in dealing with the challen- ge of replacing imported fossil fuels by renewable, local fuels. Efforts focused on producing syngas by different gasification technologies:
  32. 32. 31Recovery activities I From waste to materials / renewable energy Down-draft, vertical bed»» Horizontal, moving bed»» reactor Fluidised bed reactor»» Progress has also been made in fine-tuning the scrubbing sys- tems used for the syngas produ- ced by gasification and particu- larly in optimising the use of this gas in internal combustion engi- nes. On-going research has focussed on spark ignition engi- nes with dual operating diesel cycle, resulting in a considerable percentage of diesel being replaced by syngas. R&D+i In the framework of the project for enhancing and optimising biomass gasification with cogeneration, carried out between April 2009 and September 2012 with the help of a CDTI grant, HERA has conti- nued to conduct tests to study energy efficiency with a view to maximising the net power output of processes designed to cover combined heat and electricity requirements. The Group has also acquired valua- ble experience in oxy-steam-gasifi- cation processes and gasification featuring steam recycling, thereby enabling optimum gas scrubbing resulting in extremely pure syngas suitable for the chemical synthesis of biofuels or the production of hydrogen. Recovery of WWTP sludge leachate concentrate From concentrated WWTP sludge to materials (Alximix® system). For ten years, the Group has been carrying out specific indus- trial-scale tests at the Vacarisses pilot plant, adapted to treat WWTP sludge and concentrates. This plant can handle 30,000 mt/ yr of WWTP sludge and concen- trate generated by the treatment of wastewater. The concentrate treated is the liquid effluent generated by reverse osmosis or the pressmoulded concentrate. This plant can also, however, treat concentrate generate by other physical, chemical and biological processes. The Alximix® system also combi- nes thermopress heating with physical/chemical neutralisation to convert the concentrate into dry powder (called neutral) without producing any type of waste or effluent and with emis- sions compliant with the strictest standards. This neutral material can be used as rawmix to manufacture ce- ment with fewer CaCO3 , energy and CO2 emissions. It can also be used in road foundations, as a filler for asphalt, in tile manufac- turing, etc. Industrial-scale tests to manufacture calcium oxide from neutral have already been successfully carried out. WWTP sludge and leachate concentrate upgrading plant (Vacarisses, Spain)
  33. 33. Recovery activities I From waste to materials / renewable energy32 To confirm its utility as rawmix in the manufacture of Portland cement, an industrial test and production scheme was carried out in cement works as part of the CENIT (Spanish Consortia for Strategic Technical Research) Sostagua project. The aim of this scheme is to acquire new knowledge that can be helpful when creating new products, pro- cesses or services, thereby helping to improve the technolo- gical standing of Spanish manu- facturing. “The CENIT Scheme confirmed the technological validity of this neutral material as a component of Portland cement rawmix without affecting the process, regardless of the rawmix pro- portion and stream” From WWTP sludge to renewable energy. This activity using the Group’s own high-performance, biome- thanisation technology to treat sludge from municipal water treatment plants and generate biogas, was explained in the previous section ‘Generation of biogas by anaerobic digestion of organic matter’. Services provided Mechanical and biological treatment: Mechanical treatment for the•• separation, sorting and reco- very of the non-organic frac- tion of solid municipal waste Biological treatment for the•• recovery of materials and/or energy from the organic frac- tion of solid municipal waste. Generation of biogas by anaero- bic digestion of organic matter (biomethanisation): Engineering, construction and•• maintenance of biometha- ne plants to process sludge from municipal wastewater treatment plants and foodpro- cessing waste to generate re- newable energy and compost. Recovery of paint and solvents: Re-use of solvents.•• Recycling and manufacture•• of paints and coatings from waste paints. Manufacture of fuel for cement•• works. Recovery of precious metals: Recovery of silver from pho-•• tography fluids and analogical X-rays. Recovery of PET from analogi-•• cal and digital X-rays. Recovery of steelworks dust by means of the Óxidos Recumet® System. Recovery of construction and demolition waste (CDW): CDW sorting, processing and•• treatment. Recycling of old tyres: Collection, recycling and new•• use of old tyres: closed-cycle system. Biomethane treatment using Biodigester Integra® technology: Design engineering, cons-•• truction and management of plants. Generating syngas by gasification of non-recyclable waste and biomass: Design engineering, cons-•• truction and management of gasification plants. Recovery of WWTP sludge and concentrate – Alximix® system: Engineering of processes for•• transforming WWTP sludge and leaching concentrate into new, recycled raw materials for use in cement plants or in the process itself.
  34. 34. 33Recovery activities I From waste to materials / renewable energy Main environmental pressures: From waste to materials / renewable energy 2010 2011 2012 Units * Raw materials consumed: - Phosphoric acid, additives, filler pigments, resins 6.88 7.00 4.88 mt C - Calcium chloride 3.4 8.4 3.1 mt E - Borax 0.04 0.11 0.04 mt M - Sodium carbonate 0.08 0.05 0.05 mt M - Sodium nitrate 0.08 0 0 mt M - Sodium sulphide 0.18 18.42 16.80 mt M - Fixative reagent 1,440 648 340 l M - Iron chloride 40% 7,700 250 130 Kg M - Soda flakes 0.43 0.25 0.13 mt M - Lime 173 209 299 mt C Emissions: - Particles 0.01 0.01 0.02 mt M - CO2 INS INS INS mt M - CO 0.037 0.006 0.017 mt M - SO2 0.029 0.013 0.026 mt M - NOX 0.048 0.016 0.031 mt M Amount of mains electricity bought 165,104 520,541 395,559 kWh M Water consumption: - Mains water 1,309 2,153 973 m3 C - Rain water NAP 15,768 10,461 m3 E - Recycled water (permeate) NAP 23,195 15,160 m3 C Diesel oil consumption 23,421 29,807 28,309 l C Propane consumption 1.19 1.05 0.63 mt M Total amount of waste generated: - Water and solvent sent for upgrading 368 463 426 mt E - Stabilised waste 2,879 2,844 3,059 mt C - CDW residue 551 701 108 mt M - WTP residue NAP 88,840 77,735 mt M Use of in-house subproducts: C - Sludge from dewatering 53 35 63 mt C SPAIN * Estimated (E), Measured (M), Calculated (C) NAP: Not applicable / INS: Insignificant
  35. 35. Recovery activities I From waste to materials / renewable energy34 Comments about the main environmental pressures Seventy percent of the paint and solvent distillation sludge is recovered by an external waste handler, 20% is used in paint recycling processes and the remaining 10% is reused in the same solvent distillation process. In addition to managing waste itself, the Vallès Occidental WTP also subjects all the air inside its facilities to acid chemical treatment and biological treatment before releasing it into the atmosphere. As mentioned earlier, the stabilised organic fraction is to be used to cover and restore the Coll Cardús controlled landfill in the future, where the waste generated will be deposited. The impact of emissions and water consumption at this plant have been minimised too. The plant is powered by electricity obtained from biogas captured at the Coll Cardús controlled landfill whilst the water used in the plant’s processes is harvested from the roofs and the leachate generated by the WWTP at the Coll Cardús controlled landfill. High-performance digestion plant (Ulsan, South Korea)
  36. 36. 35Recovery activities I From wastewater to clean water Recovery activities Thanks to advances in telecommu- nications in recent years, internet networks can connect thousands of people with creators around the globe and generate funding for independent, alternative pro- jects. 4.1.2 From wastewater to clean water: Key figures: 2010 2011 2012 * Treatment of leachates Spain Volume of leachate treated (m3 ) 119,192 358,100 156,918 M Volume of permeate generated and re-used (m3 ) 192,381 139,481 111,432 M Latin America Volume of leachate treated using biological, physical and chemical means (m3 ) 407,840 153,315 207,231 M Treatment of municipal and industrial wastewater Spain Volume of water treated for third parties (m3 ) 1,166,671 366,593 301,586 M * Estimated (E), Measured (M), Calculated (C)
  37. 37. Recovery activities I From wastewater to clean water36 Leachate treatment(2) It is already 15 years since the Group built its first reverse osmosis plant at the Coll Cardús controlled landfill. These facilities – pioneers at that time – enabled processing of this type of waste to meet even more exacting requirements by transforming leachate with high levels of non-biodegradable organic elements, salinity, nitrogen, AOX and other inhibiting materials into clean water suitable for being re-used. This experience has enabled the Group to offer its customers the most suitable membrane techno- logy depending on the origin of the wastewater (CL, ecoparks, composting plants, etc) and also to develop integrated technolo- gies to make such treatments more efficient in the design, implementation, operating and management phases. In this respect the Group has two plants that are global benchmarks: one in Catalonia able to handle 200m3 /day and one in Galicia with a capacity of 180m3 /day. In Latin America, the Group has pioneered the adoption and implementation of wastewater treatment technologies in waste management. For 14 years HERA has been using a physical, chemi- cal and biological treatment to process the leachate generated at the Doña Juana Bogotá (Co- lombia) landfill with a capacity of 700 m3 /day. This treatment capacity was doubled in 2008 following an enlargement to include a biological pre- treatment. The first two plants in Colombia using membranes to process leachates were built at HERA’s landfill in Colombia: one with a capacity of 170 m3 /day and the other, 300 m3 /day. The Group’s strategy in Brazil has been to provide each customer with the most flexible and adap- table solution. In 2012 HERA installed the first water treatment plant using reverse osmosis, under a lease agreement, able to handle 100 m3 /day of leachate. This plant currently works for two landfills in the state of Rio Grande do Sul and the aim is to imple- ment this venture throughout Latin America. Industrial and municipal wastewater treatment Re-use, in the sense of the stage after treatment, is a cornerstone of HERA’s strategy. Mention must be made of the growing number of membrane bioreactor module (MRB) applications being imple- mented – HERA has more than 40 operative in different types of (2) Leachate features on the EU List of Waste but is handled by means of processes similar to those used for wastewater treatment which is why they are both mentioned here in the same section. Industrial wastewater treatment plant (Tarragona, Spain)
  38. 38. 37Recovery activities I From wastewater to clean water facilities (municipal wastewater, chemical and cosmetic industries, vineyards, etc). Two examples where MRB technology was implemented in 2011-2012 are (1) the enlargement of the WWTP at the Goma Camps S.A.U. paper mill in Tarragona which increased the daily volume of wastewater treated from 30 to 40 m3 ; and (2) the construction of an industrial wastewater treatment plant in Vacarisses (Barcelona) with an average treatment capacity of 300 m3 /day handing the was- tewater generated by an indus- trial estate. In addition to the MRB technolo- gy providing treated water of excellent quality suitable for re-use in compliance with Royal Decree 1620/2007 dd December 7, HERA also has other technolo- gies spanning the widest possible spectrum of the environmental issues: IFAS, anaerobic digestion of highly contaminated water, ultrafiltering, etc. The final step towards maximum resource recovery was the incor- poration of pressurised ultrafilte- ring technology for tertiary treatment, re-use and potabilisa- tion that eliminate a high percen- tage of microorganisms with low maintenance costs. “The Group has built a pilot tertiary treatment plant able to produce 100 m3 /day of re-used water which is cu- rrently conducting final tests to check the feasibility of this type of treatment in a chemi- cal industry” The second cornerstone of the HERA Group strategy is their specialisation in water treatment for small towns of 30 to 1000 inhabitants. More than one hundred of these compact water treatment plants with the brand names of Bioclere® and Aqua- Paq® are already operative on campsites, rural hotels, ski re- sorts, etc. And finally, the Group’s third key activity is the treatment of sludge generated by wastewater treatment by either dewatering during the treatment process or employing in-house sludge recovery technologies: Production of biogas and•• biofertilisers by means of high- performance anaerobic diges- tion (for more information, see section 4.1.1 From waste to ma- terials / renewable energy). Production of neutral material•• by means of the sludge reco- very technology developed by HERA (for more information, see section 4.1.1 From waste to materials / renewable energy). Mobile sludge dewatering•• plant for occasional needs. After accumulating technologies and expertise at more than 40 water treatment plants in Spain, the Group is now starting to make inroads into other markets with great potential. In Argelia, for example, as a result of the waste treatment scheme desig- ned to encourage the renovation and enlargement of the country’s water treatment network, HERA plans to take part in tenders related to this scheme in con- junction with Algerian companies and entities.
  39. 39. Recovery activities I From wastewater to clean water38 In-house environmental labo- ratory HERA has a laboratory to analyse the physical and chemical parame- ters of industrial and municipal wastewater, potable water, under- ground water, leachates, waste and contaminated soil pursuant to standardised test methods using duly calibrated equipment and highly qualified staff. The laboratory is ISO 9001 certi- fied to assure its quality, and its technical reliability is ensured by an in-house system based on ISO 17025. To check the accuracy of analyses we periodically take part in ENAC-certified comparative calibrations organised by CALI- TAX-LABAQUA. R&D+i Between 2008 and the first quarter of 2012, HERA took part in a consortium consisting of companies, universities and research centres to carry out a project entitled Cenit Demeter designed to diagnose the impact of climate change on grapevines and find solutions to remedy it. Because climate change is asso- ciated with a lack of water re- sources and because HERA has a great deal of experience in recycling and re-using water in the wine industry, HERA has contributed by building two pilot plants featuring membrane technologies to recycle water in this industry. The Group has invested a total of €750,000 in this project, half of which has been funded by the CDTI (industrial technology development centre). “The findings of the experien- ce in these two pilot plants gave rise to several studies published in Desalination, the scientific wastewater journal” Services provided Leachate treatment Construction and operation of•• treatment plants employing membrane separation tech- nology (reverse osmosis and multi-membrane systems) tai- lored to suit each CL, ecopark, composting plant, etc. Rental of mobile reverse os-•• mosis units. Industrial and municipal wastewater treatment Construction and operating of•• wastewater treatment plants (full-scale and mobile versions). Construction and operating of•• sludge recovery plants. On-site dewatering of waste•• ­ water treatment sludge by means of mobile, containeri- sed centrifuge units shipped to site on a drivetrain. Integrated management of•• wastewater treatment plants: Engineering management.-- Day-to-day running of the-- treatment plant. Preventive and remedial-- maintenance of equipment and facilities. Analytical control of the-- process and quality of intake waste and final effluent. Waste management: pre--- treatment residue (oils and fats, grit, sieved residue, filtered residue, etc), biolo- gical, physical and chemi- cal sludge including ship- ment and treatment at the Group’s own or external treatment facilities depen- ding on the type of waste. Supply of reagents and-- spare parts for equipment Dismantling of industrial activities: Minimisation of environmental•• liabilities on industrial site Assurance of compliance with•• in-house standards (due dili- gence) and applicable envi- ronmental legislation Underground interventions•• (aquifers and soils), overhead and underground water tanks, waste, remains of raw mate- rials and finished products, laboratories (quality control, R&D, etc), destruction of confi- dential archives, restricted use products/materials, limited or prohibited products (asbes- tos/asbestos cement, dielec- trics with PBCs, radioactive items such as lightning con- ductors, smoke detectors, etc.
  40. 40. 39Recovery activities I From wastewater to clean water Environmental advisory service in Spain: Environmental assessment•• on activities pursuant to Act 20/2009 dd December 4th governing the control and remediation of environmental activities. Environmental sustainability•• report for town planning sche- mes: Act 6/2009 dd April 28th governing the environmental assessment of plans and pro- grammes. Deforestation schemes:•• De- cree 268/1996 governing the periodic and selective felling of trees in the zone of influen- ce of overhead electricity cables to protect such installa- tions and prevent forest fires. Inventories of effluents and•• waste and minimisation stu- dies. Environmental Impact Studies,•• etc. The indicators listed below cover not only the wastewater treatment services provided for customers but also the manage- ment of leachates generated at the controlled landfills owned by the Group (see section 4.2 Dispo- sal activities). Industrial wastewater treatment plant (Barcelona, Spain)
  41. 41. Recovery activities I From wastewater to clean water40 Main environmental pressures: From wastewater to clean water Treatment of leachates 2010 2011 2012 Units * Raw materials consumed Reagents 1,559 1,259 1,317 mt M Quicklime 9,070 22,561 16,472 mt M Volume of concentrate generated 101,707 63,353 54,287 m3 M Amount of electricity generated on-site used for own consumption 7,429,819 12,086,970 9,617,799 kWh C Treatment of municipal and industrial wastewater Volume of treated water released into sewer network 0 758,808 916,974 m3 M Raw materials consumed (chloride & ferric sulphate) 2,069 951 1,063 mt M Sludge generated 6,306 3,278 3,455 mt M Amount of electricity bought from the grid INS INS INS kWh M * Estimated (E), Measured (M), Calculated (C) Comment:»» This information is not available for Latin America.-- Comments about the main environmental pressures The Coll Cardús controlled landfill has been operating for many years now hence the gradual decline in the amount of leachate it generates. The permeate resulting from treating leachate with reverse osmosis is re-used to water roads to prevent dust being raised by lorries and to stabilise organic matter produced at the Vallés Occidental WTP. In 2011, 3,278mt of sludge were generated by industrial and municipal wastewater treatment, of which 2,766mt were disposed of in the Group’s Class 2 controlled landfill at Coll Cardús and 512mt were divided amongst the recovery of cement works materials, composting and physi- cal-chemical treatment and disposal at other landfills. In 2012, 3,455mt of sludge were generated by industrial and municipal wastewater treatment, of which 1,926mt were disposed of in the Group’s Class 2 contro- lled landfill at Coll Cardús and 1,529mt were divided amongst the recovery of cement works materials, composting and physi- cal-chemical treatment and disposal at other landfills. The sludge and concentrate generated by the Group’s contro- lled landfills in Latin America are dewatered and fed into one of their own hazardous waste cells. INS: Insignificant SPAIN
  42. 42. 41Recovery activities I From emissions to renewable energy Recovery activities “Lend your garden” is a common practice in many French regions. The idea is for owners to share their gardens and let keen garde- ners grow things in them 4.1.3 From emissions to renewable energy Key figures: 2010 2011 2012 * Total volume of biogas produced (m3 ) 29,311,658 28,865,497 31,366,371 C Energy uses: Total renewable electricity sold to the grid (kWh/yr) 46,634,696 40,577,025 46,232,025 C Number of cars running on Biogás Natural®(1) 9 5 5 C * Estimated (E), Measured (M), Calculated (C) Comment:»» (1) -- There is a petrol station at the Group’s Coll Cardús CL to provide the biofuel Biogás Natural® for the Group’s fleet of cars. preter son jardin ^
  43. 43. Recovery activities I From emissions to renewable energy42 Biogas capture and recovery Energy recovery The anaerobic digestion of the organic matter deposited in controlled landfills generates a significant volume of leachates and biogas emissions (more than 50% of which is methane). Each tonne of methane released into the atmosphere contributes as much to global warming as 21mt of CO2 . HERA’s main challenge was to mitigate greenhouse gases by capturing and treating these emissions. HERA subsequently acquired great expertise in transforming these emissions into renewable electricity at both their own facilities and those of their customers. Recently, howe- ver, HERA has also focussed on developing technology of their own for converting biogas into Biogás Natural® (bio-methane) and even hydrogen in order to cater more effectively for society’s needs by providing not only technology but also an ideal combination of expertise in order to make the very most of all types of synergy. By capturing the biogas genera- ted at the controlled landfills and anaerobic digesters owned by HERA and using it to generate electricity, 280,000mt of direct emissions of CO2 were avoided in 2012. This is not reflected in the respective EN16 environmental indicator because this edition of our report does not yet feature the calculation method needed to integrate the direct and indi- rect greenhouse gases produced by the Group’s activities in Spain. One of the aims of the next editions will, therefore, be to include such emissions. From 2012 onwards, this activity has been affected by the reforms to the energy industry being enacted by the Spanish govern- ment: January 2012:•• Royal Decree 1/2012 which suspended pre- assignment procedures and eliminated the economic in- centives related to the special regime governing renewable energy and cogeneration; March 2012:•• Royal Decree 13/20122 which reduced the system’s regulated costs, mainly by adjusting transpor- tation and distribution rates; July 2012:•• Royal Decree 20/2012 which enacted mea- sures concerning the remune- ration of systems on mainland and insular Spain, territorial supplements, adjustments in transportation rates and sli- ding increases to access tolls amongst others; Royal Decree of December•• 15/2012 enacting tax provi- sions for sustainable energy; And finally the publication•• on February 2nd 2013 in the Spanish Official Gazette of Royal Decree 2/2013 intended to reduce the tariff deficit (the difference between regulated revenue and costs) and avoid further increases to final elec- tricity rates by immediate ad- justments to the remuneration paid for the regulated activi- ties in this industry. This royal decree eliminates the bench- mark premium in force until now (and also the upper and lower thresholds of production prices) and establishes a regu- lated tariff for these facilities (renewable and cogeneration). In addition, this decree res-•• tricts the right to choose to sell energy on the market by preventing facilities governed by the special regime which choose to sell on the open market then being allowed to sell at the regulated tariff. Against this background of reduc- tions in the revenue obtained from selling renewable electricity, the Group has, therefore, decided to try and reduce costs and maximi- se electricity generation.
  44. 44. 43Recovery activities I From emissions to renewable energy Flexible mechanisms contempla- ted in the Kyoto protocol: CDM and JI projects The Group’s experience in energy from biogas capture and waste management, together with its desire to contribute proactively to reducing the gas emissions that cause climate change, drove HERA to undertake projects within the framework of the flexible mechanisms contempla- ted in the Kyoto protocol. In 2006, two clean development mechanisms (CDM) were under- taken in Latin America followed by other joint implementation (JI) projects: one in Ukraine in 2010 to capture the gas from four landfills, and another in 2011 in Bielorrusia to capture the gas from three landfills. The CDM project at the Fundo las Cruces landfill in Chillán (Chile) is already being validated following its UN registration in February 2011. The JI projects will enable a reduction of some 3.7 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in Ukrai- ne and Belarus. Executive sum- maries of the different projects were drawn up in 2011 including particularly the construction of the infrastructures necessary for the extraction, capture, piping and use of the biogas energy found in landfills. Conversion into Biogás Natural® (biomethane) The Group always works hard to make progress and has proprie- tary technology to produce Biogás Natural® based on captu- ring the CO2 found in biogas by means of amine scrubbing, resulting in what is known as biomethane (99% pure methane obtained from renewable sour- ces). This Biogás Natural® is suitable for use where natural gas is usually employed, e.g. bio-fuel for vehicles, injection into the natural gas grid and for manufac- turing hydrogen. HERA has three facilities produ- cing Biogás Natural®, each using a different source of biogas: landfill, wastewater treatment and the anaerobic digestion of food processing waste: In 2005 the plant alongside•• the Vallès Occidental WTP (Vacarisses) was inaugurated with a capacity for handling 100 Nm3 /hr of biogas from the Coll Cardús controlled landfill.
  45. 45. Recovery activities I From emissions to renewable energy44 In 2006 the plant located•• at the Murcia wastewater treatment plant was inaugura- ted with a capacity for han- dling 15 Nm3 /hr of the biogas generated by this wastewater treatment plant. In 2013 the plant for producing•• biomethane from the biogas released by the anaerobic digestion of food processing waste, Agrobiomet project, will be inaugurated. This plant situated in Requena (Valencia) will have a flow of 100 Nm3 /hr. The Group’s aim is to have a gas-grid injection connection by 2014. R&D+i HERA participates in the Agro- biomet project (2010-2013) as a technological partner supplying the Biogás Natural® manufactu- ring plant. This project is part of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation’s Impact Scheme which has a subsidy budget of €500,000. “Since 2011 HERA has belon- ged to the group of experts actively contributing to the EU standardisation of Biogás Natural® being carried out by CEN PC 408” Conversion of Biogás Natu- ral® into hydrogen In June 2012, to ensure the most efficient use of Biogás Natural® (biomethane) production, the Group bought the French com- pany Albhyon which has years of experience in hydrogen produc- tion technology. Converting biogas into hydrogen enables it to be upgraded almost 100% with a fuel cell for use in vehicles or industry. “Incorporating hydrogen fuel cells into electric engines not only trebles their autonomy but also extends the life of the vehicle’s battery” R&D+i In 2012, ADEME, the French government’s agency for the environment and energy, provi- ded funding of €150,000 for a project in which HERA trans- forms the biogas from a contro- lled landfill into hydrogen which is then fed into a fuel cell for electrical vehicles. Services provided Biogas capture and upgrading Implantation of biogas pro-•• duction and gasification mo- del at controlled landfills. Design of biogas capture sys-•• tem. Construction of turn-key•• biogas-powered combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) plant projects using combustion en- gines, turbines and generators. Operating and maintenance of•• these plants with own staff to optimise production. Transformation into biomethane for injection into gas grid or for use as biofuel in vehicles Design, construction and•• operation of biogas upgrading plants. Biogas scrubbing and upgra-•• ding for injection of biome- thane into natural gas grid or for use as biofuel in vehicles: Biogás Natural®. Transformation of biogas into hydrogen Production of hydrogen by•• using steam to transform bio- gas. The following information inclu- des both the upgrading of energy from biogas capture carried out at the Group’s own facilities (landfills and biomethane plants) and the biogas capture and upgrading services that the Group provides at its customers’ controlled landfills.
  46. 46. 45Recovery activities I From emissions to renewable energy Main environmental pressures: From emissions to renewable energy From emissions to renewable energy 2010 2011 2012 Units * Total consumption of electricity generated by the plant 1,527,917 12,291,841 14,004,379 kWh C Total mains water consumption INS INS INS C Type and weight of emissions released into air (Coll Cardús CL): CO 1,523 679 679 mg / Nm3 M NOx 1,258 799 799 mg / Nm3 M COVs 3,592 2,290 2,290 mg / Nm3 M Total number and volume of most significant accidental spills None None None C Comments about the main environmental pressures All the electricity used at the Vallès Occidental WTP (some 8 million kWh/year) is generated by the Coll Cardús controlled landfill. Pursuant to the environmental licence, levels of CO, NOx and COVs must be measured every six years. Subsequent readings will be taken by a company certified by Spanish authorities in 2014. These pressures only refer to the upgrading of biogas energy carried out in Spain and Europe because no electricity is genera- ted from biogas in Latin America. * Estimated (E), Measured (M), Calculated (C) INS: Insignificant SPAIN Biogas upgrading plant
  47. 47. Recovery activities I From contaminated land to usable space46 Recovery activities The Incredible Edible movement, the brainchild of the British eco- nomist, Pam Warhurst, consists of planting vegetables, herbs and fruit trees in public spaces around the town of Todmorten. They are taken care of by vo- lunteers working two mornings a month. The town collects the produce free at harvest time. 4.1.4 From contaminated land to usable space: Key figures: 2010 2011 2012 * Spain Volume of decontaminated soil (m3 ) 715,000 686,400 710,600 C(1) Decontaminated soil (mt) 325,000 312,000 323,000 M Soil decontaminated on site 284,000 243,000 235,000 M Soil decontaminated off site 41,000 69,000 88,000 M Volume of water decontaminated (m3 ) 84,000 75,000 71,000 M Portugal Volume of soil decontaminated (m3 ) 110,000 33,000 33,000 C(1) Soil decontaminated (mt): 50,000 15,000 15,000 M Soil decontaminated on site 32,000 30,000 15,000 M More than 30 towns in England have already joined the project. incredible edible * Estimated (E), Measured (M), Calculated (C)
  48. 48. 47Recovery activities I From contaminated land to usable space Key figures: 2010 2011 2012 * Soil decontaminated off site 4,500 0 0 M Volume of water decontaminated (m3 ) 8,000 9,000 9,000 M Scotland Volume of soil decontaminated (m3 ) NAP NAP 55,000 C(1) Soil decontaminated (mt): NAP NAP 25,000 M Soil decontaminated on site NAP NAP 25,000 M Soil decontaminated off site NAP NAP 0 M Volume of water decontaminated (m3 ) NAP NAP 0 M * Estimated (E), Measured (M), Calculated (C) Comment:»» (1) -- A factor of 2.2 was used to convert metric tonnes into m3 of decontaminated soil. Cutting-edge soil remediation technology The accelerated growth of cities has forced the land use of areas originally declared to be indus- trial to be changed. This, in addition to Royal Decree 9/2005 dated January 4th (which makes soil remediation compulsory for certain industries) and Spain’s draft bill on Waste and Contami- nated Soil (designed to avoid waste and reduce the adverse effects of waste generation and management), plus measures designed to reduce the global impact of the use of resources and improving the efficiency with which they are used, have made it necessary to delimit the res- ponsibilities and costs associated with the potential sources of contamination to be found in soils and also, when applicable, to decontaminate them effecti- vely. On the international scene, developing countries are begin- ning to become aware of environ- mental needs and are drafting development and investment plans in this realm. These coun- tries are also developing strategic plans for soil remediation and the recovery of ecosystems. In response to these needs, the Group provides integrated soil remediation services ranging from detecting, specifying and assessing the hazards involved, to proposing and implementing remedial actions using the most suitable on-site (bioremediation, chemical oxidation, soil vacuum, etc) and ad situ (thermal desorp- tion, scrubbing, landfarming, etc) soil remediation techniques which, furthermore, respect the priority set forth in Royal Decree 9/2005 dated January 4th men- tioned earlier because they avoid the generation, transfer and disposal of waste in landfills.
  49. 49. Recovery activities I From contaminated land to usable space48 The Group also provides solu- tions designed to minimise the impact of industrial accidents and the ensuing dispersion of pollutants and thereby reduce any ensuing damage and risks. In the course of these two years, the Group has consolidated its international growth and become one of the world’s foremost soil remediation companies with projects in Kuwait, Italy, England, Portugal and Spain. R&D+i The soil department is a partner in the EIADES scheme for envi- ronmental impact evaluations and the environmental restora- tion of contaminated sites (www., developed within the framework of R&D subsidies for research teams in the Region of Madrid pursuant to regulations 679/2009 dd February 19th issued by the Ministry of Educa- tion and coordinated by IMIDRA, the Madrid institute for food and farming R&D. Services provided Cutting-edge soil remediation technology: Research, characterisation and•• decontamination of subsoil by on-site remediation using the Group’s own equipment: multiphase extraction, soil va- cuum by extraction of volatile compounds, pumping, double pumping, bio-remediation, chemical oxidation. Excavation and off-site•• treatment. Own machinery for applying•• the different remediation techniques suitable for each project. Soil remediation (Biscay, Spain)
  50. 50. 49Recovery activities I From contaminated land to usable space Main environmental pressures: From contaminated land to usable space 2010 2011 2012 2011 2012 2012 Units * Diesel oil consumption(2) 0.09 0.08 0.08 0 0 0.15 I/mt M Mains water consumption(2) 0.15 0.15 0.15 0.07 0.07 0.17 m3 /mt M Volume of re-used water(2) 0.11 0.11 0.11 1 1 0.13 m3 /mt M Electricity consumption(2) 0.48 0.50 0.51 0.48 0.48 0 kWh/mt M SPAIN SCOTLAND(1) PORTUGAL(1) * Estimated (E), Measured (M), Calculated (C) Comments»» (1) -- This activity began in 2011 in Portugal and in 2012 in Scotland.  (2) -- The figures are per tonne of decontaminated soil. Soil scrubbing (Sines, Portugal)
  51. 51. Disposal/Elimination activities50 Disposal/Elimination activities A tool that promotes cooperation and goodwill amongst people in a community by enabling them to exchange services and activities, always using the same unit of ex- change and value for everyone: time. 4.2 Disposal/Elimination activities Key figures: 2010 2011 2012 * mt of waste handled in Spain Hazardous & non-hazardous waste and SMW 632,179 504,313 424,644 M mt of waste handled in Latin America M Hazardous waste and SMW 746,960 805,554 762,930 M * Estimated (E), Measured (M), Calculated (C) This chapter refers to the hazar- dous waste disposal services provided by HERA. However, because some of the activities in these facilities concern the recovery of resources, and be- cause this report is organised according to the type of environ- mental factor that is recovered, this chapter only explains and gives indicators for the impact of such disposal activities upon sustainability. The upgrading activities that are also carried out in controlled landfills are analy- sed in the respective chapter of this report: leachate treatment is discussed in chapter 4.1.2 From wastewater to clean water, and the energy upgrading carried out at the Group’s landfills in Spain is explained in chapter 4.1.3 From emissions to renewable energy. In Spain The HERA Group was created with a view to restoring the environment and providing thorough final treatment for municipal and industrial waste, thereby avoiding the adverse environmental impacts caused by uncontrolled landfills. With this in mind, the construction and operation of controlled landfills have been one of the Group’s main final disposal activities, together with the development
  52. 52. 51Disposal/Elimination activities of innovative management practi- ces and technologies. To date, the Coll Cardús contro- lled landfill, the HERA Group’s first plant built in 1983, has dealt with more than 14 million tonnes of non-hazardous industrial and municipal waste whilst minimi- sing environmental impact and recovering as many resources as possible. To mitigate the landfill’s environ- mental impact, the following steps are taken: The facility is fitted with four•• diffusers operating 24/7 that release a substance to capture odour molecules. Since 2003 falconry has been•• used to control the seagulls at the landfill, i.e. falcons, natural predators, are used to keep them away. When the Vallés Occidental WTP started operating in November 2010 the SMW which had pre- viously been disposed of in the landfill were redirected to this plant to enable the recyclable elements found in this type of waste to be recovered. From then onwards, the waste entering the Coll Cardús CL – consisting of bales of the final waste produced by the WTP and non-hazardous industrial waste – was used to create the morphology authori- sed by the Vacarisses CL closure and landscaping plan. Work on the gradual closure of the landfill continues in conjunction with the Geomodels joint research centre (an institute founded by the Universitat Politécnica de Cata- lunya, Universitat de Barcelona, DURSI (Departament de Universi- tat Recerca i Societat de la Información), and the IGME (Instituto Geológico Minero)). This research will determine the best way of ensuring stability during the final closure and sealing stages of the disposal basin. In this respect the Group’s Ecoinnovation Department is working to minimise the eco-foo- tprint caused by covering and closing the CL by employing local, renewable materials. Since 2004 the Group has been operating its controlled landfill in Murcia – using the same criteria as at Coll Cardús – which is authorised to receive non-hazar- dous, pre-treated municipal waste that cannot be upgraded. All this is pursuant to Council Directive 1999/31/CE dated April 26th governing waste disposal, which makes it mandatory to reduce the disposal of bio-degra- dable waste entering landfills. In November 2008, work began on relandscaping the old Isidre coalmines in Pujalt (Anoia, Barce- lona) by the controlled disposal of industrial and household waste. A total of 14 hectares are to be restored. This will offset the negative environmental impact caused when the topsoil origina- lly covering the coal seams was removed, and will make the area blend in with its surroundings by recreating the original morpholo- gy and subsequently developing farming-based activities. In June 2007 the Group built a new plant in Cantabria for the disposal of residual waste from the metallurgy and car industries. This plant features hazardous waste stabilisation and the physical, chemical and biological treatment of industrial effluents. In Latin America Another challenge faced by the Group has been its expansion into developing countries becau- se the technology used in Europe must be tailored to their social and economic circumstances whilst still complying with the environmental specifications of industrialised countries. In this period, HERA has focussed on certain strategic countries, particularly Brazil. In November 2011, the Group carried out a strategic disinves- tment in Chile because its hazar- dous waste market was already very mature. HERA had been running a controlled landfill in Chile since 2002 and achieved a share of 65% in the hazardous waste market. The indicators of this country are not included in this edition of the report. The Group has been present in Argentina for more than a de- cade and has a hazardous waste treatment and upgrading plant in Zarate. These facilities have grown constantly over this period and now feature an incineration
  53. 53. Disposal/Elimination activities52 furnace, a controlled landfill, and physical and chemical treatment of PCB’s tailored to deal with the different types of hazardous waste produced, in addition to the R&D investment being made in new technologies such as recycling PVC. On January 16th 2007 the Group’s Nuevo Mondoñedo controlled landfill 35 km from Bogotá (Colombia) was inaugura- ted. It handles the SMW from more than 40 towns in the area, the equivalent of some 900tm/ day. The Group has been active in Brazil since September 2009 when it opened an SMW treatment plant on a 149-hectare site in San Francisco do Conde (Salvador de Baía). During this period, the Group has been hired to manage the waste from its catchment area, including parti- cularly San Francisco do Conde y Candeias, in addition, its opera- tions in the recyclable waste market have grown to cater for industrial estates. In its third year of operations, the plant was already handling 120,000 mt/yr. In early 2009, the Group bought a 50% stake in a local company in southern Brazil specialised in hazardous waste management. In these two years, its facilities have been brought into line with HERA’s standards, trebling its turnover. Industrial waste treatment complex (Río Negrinho, Brazil)
  54. 54. 53Disposal/Elimination activities Spain 2010 2011 2012 Units * Electricity generated on-site consumed per mt of waste treated at CL 0.41 1.09 1.30 kWh/mt M Bought-in electricity consumed per mt of waste treated at CL & disposal 1.41 0.69 0.79 kWh/mt M Water consumed per mt of waste treated at CL & disposal - Mains water 0.032 0.010 0.015 m3 /mt M - Recycled water (permeate) 0.144 0.149 0.132 m3 /mt M Raw materials consumed: - Sulphuric acid 7,740 0 0 l M - Soda 12,814 0 0 l M - Salt 12 0 0 mt M - Foam inhibitor 0 0 0 l M - Slaked lime 260 20 38 mt M - Quick lime 374 388 186 mt M - Cement 0 0 0 mt M - Diesel oil 33,156 34,028 32,461 l M - Aggregates 231 249 0 mt M - Gravel 794 328 215 mt M Number of significant fuel, oil, chemical spills 0 0 1 M Amount of waste generated by disposal activity: - Stabilised sludge 6,046 5,220 4,534 mt M - Evaporator concentrate 0 0 0 mt M Significant emissions by type and weight (disposal activity): - CO 126 143 143 Kg M - NOX 454 516 516 Kg M - SO2 333 379 379 Kg M - SO2 <1.63 <1.63 <1.63 mg/Nm3 M - NH3 0.15 0.15 0.15 mg/Nm3 M * Estimated (E), Measured (M), Calculated (C) Main environmental pressures: Disposal/Elimination activities