In 1992, when PMX Industries started producing copper and copper alloys at its new rolling mill in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, there was still much confusion over a myriad of environmental issues and the effects of climate change. However, in designing the mill, the company had taken a very sustainable business approach to protect the health and safety of employees and mitigate environmental impacts.
The automated state-of-the-art mill was designed to most efficiently produce high quality materials. With an operations philosophy of eliminating waste throughout the production process, many environmental impacts were also reduced.
We decided not to use any hazardous metals such as lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic, or hexavalent chromium in producing our wide range of copper alloys. Proprietary lubricants were developed to reduce the environmental impact. In fact, PMX was RoHS compliant years before the Directive was passed.
From Operational Efficiency to a Green Approach
PMX believed emissions to air and water as well as generation of waste represented production inefficiencies. Advanced air and water treatment systems were installed that exceeded all state and federal regulations.
We were able to eliminate any solid waste going to landfill by converting waste to saleable products or recycling. For example, the metal particles captured in our air pollution control system are sold to paint and fertilizer manufacturers.
Most importantly, copper and copper alloys are 100% recyclable without any loss of performance. Fortunately, copper production requires only about one-third of the energy required to produce competing metals such as steel.
At PMX, all of our copper scrap is recycled. Depending on the specific alloy, our copper materials contain between 35% and 100% of recycled content. PMX employees also have an active recycling program of metals, cardboard, plastic, and paper.
As the impact of global warming and environmental concerns increased, we continued to do more to reduce pollution and improve our ecological footprint. As a result, we can now offer EcoCopper™ materials, a line of sustainable copper and brass alloys, designed to meet each customer’s green building objectives with up to 100% recycled content.