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BUSINESS: 258 PRACTICES
Hellenic Fuel and Lubricants Single Member Industrial and Commercial S.A., (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 can recycle their 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.
Improper battery disposal would otherwise pollute the air and contaminate the soil and water resources posing a 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.
Within a year from launching the action plan, 186 batteries were collected from 12 service stations with a total weight of 1921 kilos. Following these positive results, the action was extended to more service stations around Greece.
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 material.
Approximately 110,000 tons of vehicle batteries are used every year in the EU of which an estimated 85-95% are recycled. Batteries are replaced in their entirety, while 15% comes from vehicles that have reached end of life (ELV). The collection rate of used batteries in Greece reaches only 51%, very low compared to the national target (according to the Hellenic Recycling Agency’s annual report) and the European average.
The specific locations of the collaborating collection points are selected EKO and BP service stations around Greece with the “Green Spot” indication. These are also listed in Green Mission’s website : www.greenmission.gr/green-spots
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 select 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 an 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. 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 service station 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.