Sustainability, the Olin Brass Way


Long before the word became synonymous with the “greening” of global business, it was a core value of Olin Brass; one that played a key role in shaping their business practices.

“In the metals industry, sustainability just goes with the territory,” says Mike Houston, V.P. of Metals Management and a 25-year veteran of the company. “Beyond the economic argument, there’s the obvious environmental motivation for us to do everything possible to recover every bit of metal we can recycle. That’s our responsibility as a good corporate citizen.”

The commitment to sustainability came naturally to Olin Brass. The company is a dedicated recycler that is constantly looking for new ways to reuse the material they generate internally as well as increase the amount of recycled material they source from third parties. The ultimate goal is to be self-contained by increasing recycled content and minimizing waste.

“We want to recover and recycle every pound of metal that circulates through our plant,” Houston says. “We also work with external partners that can recycle by-products we deem unusable that would otherwise require disposal after processing is complete.”

Olin Brass also operates a customer scrap buy-back program, which adds value for customers and provides a more efficient process for scrap return and recycling.

“By working directly with our customers to recycle the scrap they generate from processing our products, we help ensure a steady stream of recycled material is coming back into our plant”, says Kristen Young, Olin Brass Materials Manager.  “The scrap market can tighten up, making dealer scrap difficult to find. By coordinating with our customers, it helps us to achieve our goal of maximizing the amount of recycled materials we use in our products even in difficult market conditions.”

Olin Brass truly makes a global difference through its sustainability programs by the resources it uses and the measures it takes to use them as responsibly as possible. “It is our responsibility to demonstrate the vital role copper plays in our sustainable future, a key component in maximizing performance and minimizing energy usage in buildings, automobiles, electronics, machinery and more,” Houston says.

The metal recycling efforts are mirrored by operational measures designed to reduce energy use and waste. These include a variety of environmentally friendly production processes and plant technologies, as well as an aggressive energy management regimen in place at the company’s industrial facilities.

Olin Brass is committed to playing an active role in addressing climate change – by reducing its own carbon footprint in company operations and by creating high-performance alloys that enable the design of ever lighter products, more fuel efficient automobiles, and more energy efficient buildings. That says a great deal about the values at Olin Brass and its role as a responsible corporate citizen.