Sustain Week was successfully held in the first week of September, with strong participation from BIRN. We would like to express our gratitude to everyone we engaged with throughout the week.
According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), global sand consumption has tripled over the past two decades, making sand the second most utilized natural resource in the world, surpassed only by water. The construction industry alone consumes approximately 50 billion tons of sand annually, and the foundry industry, including our own operations, also relies heavily on significant quantities of sand.
Despite of recycling 98 percent of our foundry sand, we at BIRN are constantly exploring new ways of recycling the sand we can no longer use. During the recent Sustain Week in Holstebro Municipality, we thus presented a case on optimizing the recycling and consumption of our foundry sand and received several promising proposals, says our Energy Specialist, Emil Husted Brodersen:
- We hosted a theme day during Sustain Week, inviting experts, researchers, and other businesses to come up with various solutions for our case. We also welcomed around 40 people to tour our production facility, and we were truly overwhelmed by the many positive perspectives and interest in our used foundry sand.
Even before the conclusion of Sustain Week, the first potential collaborations for recycling the used foundry sand were already initiated:
- Some companies have already visited our factory to collect samples of the used sand for examination to determine its suitability for their production, Emil Husted Brodersen notes.
Recycling of casting sand
To ensure a good quality of sand, two percent of our casting sand is replaced with new sand daily. However, the sand that is replaced does not end up as landfill but is instead recycled for building and construction projects.
"A tremendous success”
The first week of September was dedicated to sustainability in Holstebro Municipality. Under the banner of Sustain Week, local businesses, public organizations, specialists, and researchers joined forces to address actual solutions to sustainability challenges. In addition to our case, BIRN was widely represented throughout the week and even had a stand on the opening day, Friday, September 1st, in Holstebro's pedestrian zone.
It wasn't just the recycling of used foundry sand that garnered interest at BIRN during Sustain Week. According to our CTO, Lars Jørgensen, the week saw many fruitful discussions and potential collaborations:
- So far, it looks like the week will yield tangible outcomes in the form of partnerships with other businesses and organizations. This applies not only to our sand case but also to other initiatives in our production that we will now develop further. It has been incredibly exciting to gain new perspectives on our sustainability efforts, making Sustain Week a major success for us, he says.
BIRN's Case for Sustain Week: Recycling of Excess Foundry Sand
Foundry sand can withstand the immense heat generated by molten iron, and therefore we at BIRN rely heavily on sand for our casting molds. On average, we transport around 2,500 tons of sand per day within our factory.
However, only two percent of the total sand volume consists of fresh sand, while the rest is recycled from previous casting processes. Despite most of our sand is already being recycled, there is still a significant amount of residual sand. In 2022, we sent over 24,000 tons of excess foundry sand for recycling in other industries.
Nevertheless, we are continually seeking new and improved recycling methods for our used foundry sand. Soon, sand is expected to become a scarce resource, and we must become better at reusing it.
According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), global sand consumption has tripled in the past two decades, with sand now ranking as the world's second most utilized natural resource, after water.
BIRN's case for Sustain Week aimed to explore new possibilities for utilizing surplus foundry sand, including:
1. Enhancing the recycling of used foundry sand.
2. Reducing the surplus of used foundry sand.
3. Exploring alternatives to fresh sand in foundry operations.
For further information, please contact:
- Group CEO Claus Beier, BIRN, mobile +45 2923 1227 and e-mail: email@example.com
- Press service: Anders Bo Andersen, mobile +49 2869 8307 and e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org