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Aurubis Operating System (AOS)

Management system for achieving continuous and sustainable process improvement.


Blister copper

Unrefined porous copper. During solidification, dissolved gases form small blisters in the copper. Blister copper is also purchased as a raw material.


Capital employed

The sum of equity, provisions for pension liabilities, and financial liabilities, less cash and cash equivalents.


(Formerly Carbon Disclosure Project) non-profit organization with the objective of encouraging companies and towns to publish their environmental data.


For Aurubis, “closing the loop” means turning customers into suppliers. In the process, copper scrap or production waste that accumulates in the value chain through our customers’ production processes is directly delivered back to us by the customers. This helps us close material cycles.

Complex materials

Both primary and secondary raw materials are becoming more complex, meaning their copper content is decreasing and the levels of other elements and impurities contained in them are increasing.


Compliance means conforming to certain rules. Apart from laws, directives, and other standards, it also refers to internal corporate guidelines (e.g., codes of conduct).

Conflict minerals

Currently four minerals: tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold. Trade with these minerals involves the risk of supporting and prolonging conflicts in politically unstable areas. As a result, importers of these minerals are subject to special due diligence requirements, for example through the EU Conflict Minerals Regulation. The internationally recognized OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas serves as a due diligence guide.

Continuous cast shapes

Products manufactured from endless strands produced in a continuous casting process. Continuous cast shapes are processed into sheets, foils, profiles, and tubes by rolling and extrusion.

Continuous cast wire rod

Semifinished product produced in a continuous process and used for the fabrication of copper wire.

Converter slag

Hardened melt that forms in the converter during the smelting process. Like natural stone, it can be further processed.

Copper cathodes

Quality product of the copper tankhouse (copper content: 99.99 %) and the first marketable product in copper production.

Copper concentrates

A product resulting from the processing (enriching) of copper ores, Aurubis’ main raw material. Since copper is found almost exclusively in ores, in compound form, and in low concentrations (usually below 1 % copper content), the ores are enriched in processing facilities into concentrates (copper content of 25 to 40 %) after being mined.

Copper premium

Surcharge for high-quality cathodes, which are used for the production of continuous cast wire rod and continuous cast shapes, among other products.



Earnings before interest and taxes are an indicator of a company’s operative earning power, ignoring its capital structure.


Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization are an indicator of a company’s operative earning power, ignoring its capital structure and propensity to invest.


Earnings before taxes are an indicator of a company’s earning power.


Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (also known as the EU eco-audit). EMAS was developed by the EU and is a joint system comprising environmental management and environmental auditing for organizations that want to improve their environmental performance.


Environment, social, and corporate governance. ESG refers to the dimensions of corporate responsibility and is generally used in the context of sustainability-related investments.

ESG-linked Schuldschein loan (bonded loan)

A Schuldschein loan (bonded loan) with components linked to sustainability criteria. See “ESG.”


Free cash flow

The generated surplus of cash and cash equivalents, taking into account cash-related changes in working capital, and after deducting capital expenditure, interest payments, and dividend payments. It is available for a company’s dividend and interest payments, as well as for the redemption of financial liabilities.


Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

This organization publishes the GRI Standards, which are the standards and indicators for sustainability reporting. The GRI Standards are established internationally as a framework for voluntary sustainability reporting.

Green hydrogen

Hydrogen that is produced using only electricity from renewable energies, i.e., in a CO2-free process.


ILO Core Labour Standards

The Core Labour Standards of the International Labour Organization (ILO) of the United Nations comprise four basic principles: upholding freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining, eliminating forced labor, abolishing child labor, and eliminating discrimination in respect of employment and occupation. These are found in the eight fundamental ILO Conventions, which are referred to as the ILO Core Labour Standards.

Iron silicate

A by-product of copper production in the refining process. Formed using sand from iron that is chemically bonded to copper concentrates and recycling raw materials. Mainly used in the construction industry as granules/sand or in lump form.

ISO 14001

An international standard that establishes the criteria for setting up and monitoring companies’ environmental management systems. A company can receive proof of a functioning environmental management system (certification) through an external expert.

ISO 45001

An international, intersectoral standard that regulates the requirements for and implementation of companies’ occupational health and safety management systems. It replaces the OHSAS 18001 standard.

ISO 50001

An international standard that establishes criteria for initiating, operating, and continuously improving an energy management system. The objective of the standard is to steadily improve companies’ energy-related performance. Energy-intensive companies have to be certified in accordance with EMAS or ISO 50001 to be eligible to receive concessions on the levies under the German Renewable Energies Act.



Key performance indicator; a parameter that can be used to measure a company’s performance in a certain area.


Kayser Recycling System, a modern recycling plant in Lünen for the treatment of a wide range of copper-bearing secondary raw materials.


Life cycle analysis

Observes and calculates the ecological impacts of a product during its entire lifetime, from the raw material source to disposal.


Method for calculating indirect CO2 emissions (Scope 2). CO2 emissions that are related to the production of bought-in electricity or energy of other kinds are measured using average emission factors for the region where the company is located. See also “market-based.”

London Bullion Market Association (LBMA)

An important trading market for gold and silver independent of the exchanges. The gold and silver ingots traded through the LBMA have to fulfill certain quality requirements.

London Metal Exchange (LME)

The most important metal exchange in the world, with the highest turnover.


Lost time injury frequency rate (accident frequency).



Method for calculating indirect CO2 emissions (Scope 2). CO2 emissions that are related to the production of bought-in electricity or energy of other kinds are measured using the data of the energy supplier or the purchased product. The emission factor is therefore directly related to the type of energy source. See also “location-based.”

Materiality analysis

A materiality analysis serves to establish the content of non-financial reports or sustainability reports in general, or is used as the foundation for developing sustainability strategies. During the analysis, the sustainability topics that are especially relevant for the company in question are identified.

Metal gain

Metal yield that a smelter can extract beyond the paid metal content in the raw input materials.


Net borrowings

Consist of long- and short-term financial liabilities, less cash and cash equivalents.

Net cash flow

The generated surplus of cash and cash equivalents after taking into account cash-related changes in working capital. It is available for payments in conjunction with a company’s investing and financing activities.


Primary copper production

Production of copper from copper concentrates.

Product surcharge

Fee for the processing of copper cathodes into copper products.



The REACH regulation has been in force in the European Union since 2007. REACH stands for “Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals.” The objective of the regulation is to record all material flows in the EU.

Recycling materials

Materials in a circular economy. They arise as residues from production processes or during the preparation of end-of-life products and rejects.


Return on capital employed is the ratio of EBIT to capital employed as at the balance sheet date. It describes the efficiency with which capital was utilized during the reporting period.


Science Based Targets initiaitve (SBTi)

See “Science-based targets (SBT).”

Science-based targets (SBT)

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) was founded by the CDP, the UN Global Compact, the World Resources Institute, and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). With the jointly developed method, companies can calculate targets related to how quickly and to what extent they have to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to limit global warming to 1.5°C – referred to as science-based targets.

Secondary copper production

Production of copper from recycling materials.


Official cash selling rate on the LME. Price basis in annual sales agreements.

Spot market

Daily business, market for prompt deliveries.

Sustainable finance

This term refers to the inclusion of environmental, social, and governance-related criteria in investment decisions in the financial sector. The objective of sustainable finance is to promote long-term investments in sustainable business activities and projects.



An electrochemical process, the last refining stage in metal recovery, takes place in the tankhouse. For copper, anodes and cathodes are hung in a sulfuric acid solution (electrolyte) and connected to an electric current. Copper and baser elements (e.g., nickel) are then dissolved from the anode in the electrolyte. Copper from the solution is deposited on the cathode with a purity of 99.99 %. Precious metals (e.g., silver and gold) and insoluble components settle as “anode slimes” on the bottom of the tankhouse cell.

Treatment and refining charges (TC/RCs), refining charges (RCs)

Surcharges on the purchase price of metals, charged for turning these raw materials into the commodity exchange product – copper cathodes – and other metals.


UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

A global instrument for preventing and handling the risk of negative impacts on human rights in connection with business activities.