Our Vision 2025: Passion for metallurgy. Metals for progress. Together with you. In a world of never-ending changes and increasing challenges, it provides us with orientation and conveys where and for what we want to stand in the future. It is the point of departure for the goal-oriented activities that we have outlined in our ONE Aurubis transformation program. In five thematic areas, we are working on implementing our initiatives with diverse measures. Important steps have already been taken and initial success achieved.
The foundation of our success The Aurubis Group is a leading company in the international copper industry and has a business model covering significant portions of the copper value chain. With this, we have specialized in a supply with primary copper concentrates and secondary recycling materials and combine this with our high processing know-how as well as multifaceted product manufacturing and marketing expertise.
But with economic and social requirements constantly changing, innovation cycles becoming increasingly shorter, and new applications calling for cutting-edge materials, we nonetheless face considerable challenges. To tackle these, we are in the process of further developing and expanding our business model with a focus on the future.
Our path to the vision 2025: one aurubis The Aurubis Vision 2025 came to life through a comprehensive multistage process. By means of a representative cross-sectional survey, we gathered the opinions of our employees and placed the company’s existing organization, systems and processes under close scrutiny. The results attested to our overall good condition, but also identified potential for improvement.
After this comprehensive stocktaking process was completed, we conducted an intensive examination of the data and evidence collected. This was followed by in-depth discussions and deliberations at the executive level which culminated in the new corporate vision for 2025 and in the transformation program ONE Aurubis, our path to achieving our vision. Both were introduced to the public for the first time at the Annual General Meeting in 2017.
Our vision, as we understand it When we are asked, in 2025, what Aurubis stands for, then we want the answer to be: Passion for Metallurgy. Metals for Progress. Together with you. Aurubis is all about: passion for metallurgy and metals. Metals, that are crucial to progress. Produced by a company that is close to its employees, to its customers and suppliers, as well as to the countries and communities in which it works and interacts.
Passion for metallurgy
Aurubis has always been passionate about metallurgy and about developing ever-better methods or extracting metals from all manner of raw materials. Over the course of our history, this passion has led us to acquire an exceptionally high level of metal extraction and processing expertise. We also excel in the areas of environmental protection and resource preservation, and qualify as a role-model company pursuant to the pertinent industry norms.
But does this suffice for the future? In the course of developing the vision, we posed various questions regarding production, questions such as: “Are our pyrometallurgical processes still state-of-the-art?” “How can the input of raw materials be improved?” and “How can throughput times be reduced?”
We are continually optimizing our techniques, in order to be able to more efficiently process the raw materials that are constantly becoming more complex. For both metal concentrates and recycling materials, we are regularly pushing the boundaries of what is technically feasible. In this way, we want to extract more metals in the future by means of innovative techniques, as well as transfer our expertise for processes and metallurgy to business areas in which we are not yet represented.
Metals for progress
Innovations also characterize our product side. The production of copper and its processing into classic products for the manufacturing sector will at the same time continue to play an important role. Furthermore, we want to tap into new and expanded end-use markets with new alloys and other product formats. Through the more intensive development of an expanded range of raw materials, we will also be able to extract other metals as products or to further improve existing products.
We already recover metals such as gold, silver, platinum group metals, lead and selenium. Others will follow. And while our activities currently center around selling these materials in the form of marketable intermediate products, we want to focus increasingly on processing them to create more valuable final products. To this end, we are carefully monitoring future applications and product trends.
Together with you
We strive to be the partner of choice, whether in creating concepts for the development and exploitation of orebodies with complex material combinations, or in developing joint technical and logistical solutions for optimized recycling. On the product side, quality and service orientation as well as reliability continue to play an important role, qualities that can be strengthened and expanded. We are, moreover, always at pains to enter into collaborative partnerships at an early stage. In this way, we want to ensure that the ideas we generate can be effectively incorporated into our product development activities.
We also work hard to promote togetherness and collaborative spirit within the Aurubis Group. We want everyone to see themselves as a member of the Aurubis team. To this end, we will in future encourage our staff to take on more responsibilty and to scrutinize established procedures. This will enable us to achieve continuous improvement at all Group levels, and across all functions.
In our work with civic interst groups, too, we engage in constructive dialogue with a view to developing the best possible solutions.
No sooner said than done – our transformation program “one aurubis” Vision 2025 is our goal, the transformation program ONE Aurubis is our path to achieving it. ONE Aurubis comprises the following five thematically distinct sections: Strategy, Organization & Accountability, Business Improvement, Leadership & People Development and Culture & Communication.
Within these sections, we have defined a series of individual measures and targets. ONE Aurubis is an integrated system that takes the interdependencies existing between its various components into account. Moreover, its measures have been designed to complement each other effectively and the individual measures complement each other optimally, because they are closely interlinked with each other.
The name ONE Aurubis also has a symbolic character. For one thing, it stands for a stronger unified position of the corporate units, for individual processes and a common uniform Group culture. For another, it reflects the leading position we aim to attain across our markets.
The measures we are planning for the five sections of ONE Aurubis and the milestones we have already achieved can be found on the following pages.
One Aurubis: Strategy
one single source
The process of creating our Vision 2025 went along with the first major revision of our corporate strategy since 2013.
The vision itself defines our goals in terms of growth, business model development and geographic expansion. The strategy behind it gives substance to these goals. For the future, we further plan to grow internally, which means by our own efforts. We are at the same time exploring the possibilities for external growth, which means achieving growth targets by purchasing other companies or by entering into joint ventures.
Our business combines both: copper refining and processing as well as multi-metal extraction. Both interact with one another, and allow us to exploit synergies.
Additional jobs we are creating with our internal growth project “future complex metallurgy”
We are concentrating on the essentials Our corporate strategy is based on the key points in our company’s value-added chain. These are the use of raw materials, the positioning thereof on the commodities markets, the processing of raw materials in combination with production technology and innovations, and the product sales process.
With regard to the first two thematic areas – the supplying of raw materials and their processing – we have begun the process of adjusting our strategy. We addressed specific questions, such as: “What market developments lie ahead of us?” “How are raw materials changing in their composition and availability?” “How can we optimize our raw material input both metallurgically and economically?” “Where are appropriate opportunities for growth presenting themselves?”
In the area of raw materials processing, the initial question of how the existing network of metallurgical facilities in the Group can be better utilized was posed. Further questions were those regarding unique selling points, capacity expansion and innovation implementation.
An integral component of our corporate strategy is our sustainability strategy. This was also revised in 2017 and adjusted for the changed circumstances. This in turn led us to set new objectives. These will cover the period until 2023.
Our valuable basis for multi-metalCopper contains a higher number of valuable tramp elements than other base metals, which in turn benefits our multi-metal strategy.
“Our Vision is the basis for formulating a tailor-made strategy. It defines specific projects and identifies longer-term opportunities for the coming five years, as well as prescribing
regular monitoring procedures.”
Dr. Thomas Sturm
Fcm project: our future is complex
A significant element of our strategy is the further development of Aurubis into a multi-metal processor and producer. The internal growth project “Future Complex Metallurgy” (FCM) is of particular importance here. This term refers to the development of an innovative metallurgical process with the potential to increase Aurubis’ operating earnings. On the basis of innovative technology, we want to achieve both the expanded processing of more complex raw materials and a higher throughput of certain input materials containing lead, sulfur, and copper with this project. The throughput times for precious metals will be shortened and bottlenecks will be removed.
The key units for the project are a bath smelting furnace for the processing of raw materials, a treatment furnace and a leaching and extraction tankhouse. Designed as a hybrid solution and having a capital expenditure of approximately € 320 million, the construction of the facilities will take place at the Group locations in Hamburg (Germany) and Olen (Belgium). Now that the Supervisory Board has issued its approval, we are looking at a construction phase of four years followed by a ramp-up phase of two years.
The FCM Project will increase our competitiveness in that we will extract more metals in the future, resell fewer intermediate products and, in doing so, create more value in our own company.
one aurubis: organization & accountability
more added value
The new organizational structure for the Group, which has been in force since October 1, 2017, follows Vision 2025 and the newly developed strategy. To implement it, we first conducted a “health check,” to identify the improvement potential in the old structure and to determine possibilities for optimization. Additional requirements and needs for adjustment arose in the course of the strategy development.
The requirements are based on the vision 2025 Key to implementing the new organizational structure was that this structure be adjusted according to the vision statement and that the roles and responsibilities within it be clearly defined both internally and externally. At the same time, the structure needed to serve as the basis for achieving the objectives in the other spheres of action for the ONE Aurubis program.
Our new organizational structure
Furthermore, it was important that the organization be adaptive and enable innovation. That processes be improved, harmonized and standardized, and that the necessary IT changes be implemented.
We saw considerable advantages in the centralization of functions and duties. Clear areas of responsibility and fields of competence were established, work duplication was eliminated, and the number of interfaces was reduced. We were not intent on centralizing at one location; rather, we concentrated on the respective process responsibilities. In terms of the public image, it was necessary to tailor the organization in a way that would address the needs of the markets and business partners even more than before.
“With the new organizational structure at Aurubis, we have created an essential foundation for achieving our Vision 2025. Now we want to breathe life into it, so that the objective is achieved.”
Tailor-made organizational structure improves efficiency The new organization places the core value-added process at the heart of our corporate structure and includes the commercial functions and operational production units. Group-wide functions provide support.
In detail, the “Commercial” division covers our contact points and links to customers and suppliers and ranges from the purchase of raw materials to the sales of products. In the future, our offerings to markets will be from one single source.
The “Operations” division includes the actual production of all basic products and metals as well as their further processing into other products, for example, into copper wire rod and shapes. It thereby unites all technical facilities and production locations in the Group.
Both of these core areas are flanked by two additional functional units – Corporate Development and Technology:
Corporate Development is responsible for the continued development of the company and its corporate strategy. This includes portfolio design and the preparation and implementation of acquisition projects. Expertise regarding the development of our markets is also deepened and expanded here.
Segments will be reported on in the future: “metal refining & processing” and “flat rolled products”
New Organization leads to new segmentation With the new organizational structure, the existing segmentation has also changed. As of 1 October 2017, we will be reporting our operating results according to the segments Metal Refining & Processing and Flat Rolled Products (FRP).
One Aurubis: Business improvement
Many ideas, major impact
In the “Business Improvement” section of the “ONE Aurubis” transformation program, we want to improve our consolidated earnings in a sustainable manner. The potential for this was identified in comprehensive analytical processes, and also in a multitude of our employees’ ideas. In total, we plan to increase earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) to more than € 200 million. This amount will be achieved progressively by fiscal year 2019/20.
We have initially drafted a comprehensive project organization for this. This is supported by a controlling system, which serves as both a description of the working processes and also for monitoring. The measures are being implemented from the so-called “Business Improvement Guides”, for which we consulted various departments group-wide. At the moment, approximately 150 - 200 employees are engaged in projects related to business improvement, supplemented by project managers, controllers and other people who are temporarily involved.
In fiscal year 2016/17, the focus of the majority of the projects was analysis. The focus was primarily on the comparison of technical processes, optimizations in the area of energy and material procurement, efficiency improvements in maintenance procedures, and communication. After this phase is largely completed for a number of the projects at the end of 2017, their implementation will continue in the following years until 2020.
“All of Aurubis’ business areas are involved in the topic of business improvement. It is noticeable; everyone is pulling together, in order to achieve our
common inspirational goal.”
Transformation and Business Improvement
Expedient standardizations are the basis of our transformation process. With the “SimpliPHy” project, we have placed the focus on information technology during the fiscal year. The goal of the project is the group-wide optimization and standardization of the processes for core areas such as procurement, sales, logistics or finances. Instead of multiple processing routes, unified processes will be established. Processes will be simplified and duplicated efforts will be avoided, reducing inefficiencies, and increasing process and data quality. The project should be completed by the end of 2018 at the Hamburg, Lünen and Pirdop locations.
In fiscal year 2016/17, we introduced the “Aurubis Operating System” (AOS), a management system for our future work and production procedures. AOS will enable us to achieve continuous and sustainable process improvement. It defines working methods in accordance with occupational safety and environmental protection standards, supporting process optimization in areas such as production, maintenance, and education & training. Thanks to its consistent communication and evaluation of performance data, progress is always transparent. AOS is already in use at the Hamburg site. Our goal is to successively implement AOS at all sites and for all functional areas.
Selected project examples
Emerald is the core project for optimizing our Flat Rolled Products (FRP) segment and for increasing its results. The project, which affects all FRP locations, has been in the implementation phase since fall 2016. The planned improvements affect measures in the operational and commercial areas. These are concerned with increasing output, with productivity and quality, as well as with market penetration and customer retention. They also aim to remove bottlenecks and to improve resource and maintenance management.
Reducing costs through printer consolidation
In 2017 we drafted a project in order to organize printer usage in the administrative area much more efficiently. The new principle is designed so that the user initially prints to a virtual, personal queue. The print job is encrypted, cached on a server and prepared for printing on a central printer. By autumn, we had reduced the number of printers by more than 3 % in the course of the project – with a correspondingly positive earnings effect. The project is supplemented by an environmentally-friendly printer policy.
Pure sulfuric acid from bulgaria
At the Pirdop site we expedited an optimization measure for sulfuric acid production, specifically to gain a high quality of the acid. This enables us to separate and store “clean” sulfuric acid by means of a new tank and intelligent system management. In this way we are generating valuable products to deliver to our customers in the battery industry. We aim to achieve a fourfold increase in the volume of “clean” sulfuric acid recovered by fiscal year 2019/20, compared with fiscal year 2014/15.
Avoiding cathode production residues in hamburg
We produce copper cathodes from copper anodes in the tankhouse. In this process step, an “anode residue” regularly occurs, because the copper-bearing anode is not completely spent. These spent anodes are re-smelted. This process is tried and tested, but leads to a double throughput of the corresponding material in the production process and at the same time displaces other input materials, such as scrap. Therefore it is our goal to further minimize anode residue, which we successfully managed during the reporting year, e. g. by testing new anode molds.
One Aurubis: Leadership & people development
Our Vision 2025 and the measures connected with it can only be brought to life if we include all people from the start. Our employee surveys conducted in the course of the “health check” for the organizational structure yielded numerous suggestions and many concrete starting points for improvement. What was reflected here can be applied to the future. Every individual employee is called upon to be open to new ideas, to learn, to take responsibility for his or her own development, and to be more willing than ever to collaborate with others. Because we know that the corresponding improvements in the everyday working practices of our employees will directly benefit our company’s strength and competitiveness.
Managers are currently participating in the 360° feedback-program
Our management must foster this. We understand management to be “leadership.” For us, this is not only the organization and monitoring of processes, plans. For us, management is also about inspiring our colleagues for new projects, motivating them and attaching value to constructive feedback. Thus we support the creativity and the innovative spirit of the individual.
“Leadership and employee development are core to achieving our vision and strategy objectives. But they can only succeed if implemented correctly by our staff. In this respect, we strive to encourage our employees to learn and develop, to deepen and share their knowledge, to be willing, more than ever before, to take on responsibility – for themselves, for their team, and for Aurubis.”
We have conducted a series of workshops with the executives from the top managerial levels, in order to harmonize and to establish a sustainable culture of leadership across the Group. This was continued for additional managerial levels, and other employees were also included. This process allowed us to address questions such as, “Which competencies are needed, in order to be able to implement the vision and strategy both now and in the future?” “How can individuals acquire these competencies both alone and as a team?” “How can we ensure the sharing of knowledge and how should a meaningful knowledge transfer take place?”
A well-rounded project Among the key characteristics of good leadership is a willingness to receive feedback. We have therefore begun a 360° feedback program, which encourages constructive feedback for managers. On the basis of self-assessments and the feedback received, every participant can identify developmental potential for themselves. Personal developmental targets and measures are derived from this in order to sustainably improve managerial performance.
Feedback will help us to improve management culture
One Aurubis: Culture & communication
Many minds, one team
A strong corporate culture will serve to drive a company’s long-term economic success. Communication and culture are therefore key components of our ONE Aurubis transformation program. Corporate culture includes shared traditions, values, rules, doctrines and attitudes.
cu2talk dialogues have taken place at all sites since the introduction
However, it is also subject to change, particularly when a new strategy or dramatic developments on the markets bring about significant changes in a company. With our Vision 2025 and its implementation, we have taken a course in which the company’s culture is an indispensable component of the whole. It inspires and leads to innovations. It conveys a shared identity and a sense of belonging in the company. It provides the certainty that everybody is aiming for the same target and that everybody wants the same thing.
Collectively we want to more firmly anchor the existing PRIMA values of Performance, Responsibility, Integrity, Mutability and Appreciation, which are specified in our code of conduct, in company’s culture.
Communication, online and offline Detailed messages, values and desired conduct must be fully conveyed in order to reach all employees in the same manner. We do this with our employee magazine, for example, or with our Executive Board letter, which is published group-wide. At the same time, we place an emphasis on face-to-face dialogue and on direct communication with people. We use various formats for this, such as the “CU2talk” discussion platform, which is accessible to every employee, and so-called “fireside chats” with the Executive Board. In the future, we will put a stronger focus on digital communication. Even though we already have a comprehensive Intranet at our disposal, we want to integrate this even further into our communication. We are thus working on an Aurubis smartphone app, in order to make the information useful for those who do not have a desktop workplace.
In terms of content, the main focus of our communication in 2017 was our Vision 2025 and the transformation program. In team workshops, we brought an understanding of these to all employees, across all levels. After a first wave of communication, we began a further group-wide employee survey in May 2017. The purpose of this was to clarify what knowledge and understanding our employees have regarding both, and to what extent they are accepted and incorporated in the daily working routine. The survey revealed a very high degree of employee identification and motivation in connection with our Vision 2025. At the same time, it provided indications for a consolidation of certain aspects of the ONE Aurubis transformation program. We have made this consolidation our next task.
“As far as its international activities are concerned, Aurubis is still a young group. Nonetheless, our sense of togetherness is exceptionally strong. Today, we have a much deeper understanding of who we are, as individuals, as a team, and as regards the many country-specific cultures within our network. And we know this can become deeper still. We strive to encourage this, to promote an ever-greater sense of unity, to ensure that our employees enjoy working at Aurubis and identify with its goals, regardless of their location.”
Communication & External Affairs
Dialogue with the executive board
Discussions were lively even without a fire at the “fireside chats” with Executive Board Chairman Jürgen Schachler. Approximately 20 employees from all departments and hierarchical levels were invited – people who do not have direct contact with the Executive Board in their daily work. The discussions enabled them to air questions, troubles and concerns, as well as ideas and suggestions, all of which were addressed. It provided first and foremost a chance for the Executive Board to listen and to answer questions, as well as the opportunity to explain the opportunities and possibilities resulting from the Vision 2025, as well as the path to it.