HELLENIC PETROLEUM is a leading energy group in Southeast Europe, with presence in 7 countries and activities spanning across the energy value chain. Its shares are listed on the Athens and London Stock Exchange.
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BUSINESS: 160 PRACTICES
Hellenic Fuel and Lubricants (HFL) has turned a selected number of EKO and BP service stations around Greece into “Green Spots”, where spent lead acid automotive batteries can be collected in an environmentally responsible manner in order to be recycled.
Through this initiative, for the first time in Greece, anyone has the opportunity to recycle his vehicle’s battery in a proper and environmentally responsible way. Given that 95% of lead acid batteries’ components are recyclable, this initiative results in multiple environmental benefits. Specifically, the battery’s dangerous, highly corrosive electrolyte and toxic lead materials are recovered after recycling and hence their life cycle is extended as raw materials in new products.
Otherwise, improper battery disposal would pollute the air and contaminate the soil and water resources posing serious threat to the environment and to human health. This important initiative contributes to the achievement of UN’s Sustainable Development Goals 6 and 12 on clean water and responsible production and consumption respectively.
The “Green Spot” initiative, which provides a convenient solution for proper vehicle battery disposal, is targeted toward all vehicle owners in Greece.
HFL’s “Green Spot” initiative was introduced in the Greek market through its service stations on June 1st, 2018 and is currently an ongoing program.
HFL has created collection points for used automotive batteries, called “Green Spots”, at selected EKO and BP service stations in Greece in collaboration with Green Mission, the first environmental initiative program in Greece for proper lead-acid recycling. A 5€ financial incentive has been incorporated to attract a wide public interest regarding proper and safe collection and recycling of automotive batteries. At the same time, HFL provides a convenient and accessible location to as many customers as possible in order to dispose their vehicle’s used battery in an environmentally responsible manner.
Having started on June 1st, 2018, there are no conclusive quantitative data regarding the initiative’s societal impact so far. However, improper disposal and recycling that is not carried out in accordance with EU and Greek environmental legislation severely pollutes the air, soil and water resources having a detrimental effect on human health and the environment due to the dangerous, toxic and highly corrosive internal components it contains. It is estimated that one lead-acid battery discharged as waste into the environment can contaminate 1500lt of water. With today’s cutting-edge technologies, whereby the quantity of hazardous waste can be significantly reduced, for a lead-acid battery a recycling rate of 95% can be achieved meaning that the old battery’s components can be reused in the production process as raw materials.
It is also noted that the collection rates of used batteries in Greece are very low compared to the National target (according to Annual Report of the Hellenic Recycling Organization) and to the European average. For 2013, 24.403kg of batteries were collected and recycled in Greece, reaching only 51% of the batteries that were disposed of in the Greek market for 2013, compared to the National Target of 100% and the corresponding average collection and recycling rate in European Union that is over 90%.
HFL is a member of Green Mission, an environmental initiative that brings together more than 40 large companies of various industries committed to the proper recycling of old lead-acid batteries by implementing best practices and contemporary cutting-edge technologies to ensure environmental benefits that help reduce pollution. HFL cooperates with Sunlight Recycling, a member of Green Mission, for the collection, transport and recycling of used automotive batteries. Namely, the batteries are delivered to Sunlight’s state-of-the-art lead-acid battery recycling plant, which uses cutting-edge technologies that ensure proper environmentally friendly recycling processes.
The “Green Spot” initiative was launched by the Hellenic Petroleum Group’s HSE and Sustainable Development Division and was implemented by HFL’s Marketing Department Division at selected EKO and BP service stations. Hellenic Petroleum Group employees are informed about the “Green Spot” initiative and are now aware that they can actively participate in recycling their used automotive batteries to help avoid hazardous environmental pollution.
The “Green Spot” initiative not only creates incentive for EKO and BP service stations customers, but it also contributes to the company’s strategy to implement environmental protection throughout its business activities while fostering UN’s sustainability goals. Moreover, the automotive spent battery collection and recycling initiative embraces the circular economy principles that the company upholds throughout its other business processes where synergies are created so that all raw materials are re-used, recycled and recovered in order to extend their life cycle. The conducive synergy in the “Green Spot” incentive is comprised of HFL’s “Green Spots”, Sunlight’s Recycling management scheme and EKO and BP customers. Specifically, HFL assists in increasing public awareness about the hazards of used automotive battery contamination to the environment and provides accessible collection points through its EKO and BP service stations network. While Sunlight Recycling has a closed loop recycling management system for the collection, transport, final disposal and management of lead-acid batteries at one of Europe’s most state-of-the-art recycling plants.