Press Release

Aurubis Bulgaria Received Innovation Award in the ESG Awards of PwC Bulgaria

Hamburg | Thursday, November 23, 2023

  • The company was awarded for its contribution to the circular economy with the development of new applications of iron silicate

Aurubis Bulgaria received an award for innovation in the competition "ESG Awards 2023". The company was awarded for its contribution to the circular economy by developing new applications of iron silicate as a construction material. The award was presented to Dr. Emanuela Manolova, Business Development Manager - Iron Silicate at a special ceremony on 16 November 2023 in Sofia.

The ESG Awards are presented by PricewaterhouseCoopers Bulgaria (PwC) in partnership with Sofia University and the Green Centre for Sustainable Finance and Energy. 60 companies participated in the competition with 100 entries in different categories. The Innovation category mainly evaluated projects to reduce the use of resources.

Aurubis Bulgaria has been awarded for finding new uses for a by-product of the copper mining industry as a construction material.
Iron silicate (fayalite) is produced in the pyrometallurgical process of anode copper production. "Aurubis Bulgaria is investing in R&D to develop applications for fayalite and in finding markets for their deployment.

The company became the first in Europe to be certified for the use of iron silicate as an admixture for mixed cements and the first of the Aurubis AG Group to be certified for the use of the material in concrete and mortars.
This significantly expands the possibilities for the marketing of the by-product as raw material. The process requires a multidisciplinary approach with expertise in materials science, production technology, environmental protection and the development of applications in accordance with building standards.

The use of blended cements based on iron silicate has the potential to redefine the feedstock in cement production as the proportion of by-product from other industry increases in them.

It also reduces the need to extract primary natural resources and the environmental impact.Replacing 20% of portland cement with iron silicate saves 170 000 t of carbon emissions per million t of cement produced. By simultaneously replacing 20% of the portland cement and 100% of the fine aggregate, the footprint reduction can reach up to 116,000 t per m³ of concrete. The replacement will also lead to a reduction in the disposal of iron silicate as waste and water consumption for industrial purposes.

PwC Bulgaria's ESG Awards aim to recognise organisations with effective sustainability strategies, products and solutions that address environmental protection, social policies and good governance. The awards are presented in four categories - Strategy, Innovation, Education Programme and Sustainability Leader. The applications were evaluated by a jury of independent experts in the field of ESG, including Assoc. Prof. Dr. Manju Moravenov, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Marina Stefanova, Sasha Bezuhanova, Svetlin Pislenski, Theodor Radonov and Ivaylo Stanchev.

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Ivailo Georgiev
Ivailo Georgiev

Head of Sustainability and External Affairs

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