Prevention of Pollution

Other emissions to the atmosphere, discharges to water and releases to land

Prysmian has assessed and disclosed the most significant impacts at Group level. At local level, each operating site identifies and measures its environmental aspects and impacts, and monitoring is periodically conducted in accordance with applicable legal requirements and specific licenses and verified both internally and externally through HSE audits.

With regard to air emissions, great attention is paid to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions primarily linked to the use of energy sources and, to a very limited extent, to the use of greenhouse gases in certain production phases. These include the impact from the combustion processes, whose emissions are disclosed in terms of CO2eq emissions.

Further information is available in the GHG Statement 2022.

The emissions of other pollutants (including NOx, SOx and particulate matter) have been found to be less relevant at Group level, and therefore they are not disclosed. Identification, assessment and monitoring of such pollutants are conducted at each site within the framework of the Environmental Management System and in compliance with local requirements.

In 2022, direct emissions from combustion were 232,178 tonnes of CO2 (about 78% of the Group’s total Scope 1 emissions, equal to 297,725 tonnes of CO2). Further information is available in the Prysmian Group Sustainability Report 2022, page 148

Prysmian is committed to preventing air pollution and adverse health impacts from Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) emissions. To this end, the operating units have investigated the opportunities to reduce the use of organic solvents and, wherever possible, to phase-out certain chemicals from industrial processes or maintenance activities. Some interesting results were obtained by replacing the use of solvents with other washing methods and materials including, specifically, electric brushing and washing with hot water and detergent, or by introducing new types of ink for the marking processes, or by simply reducing the quantity of solvents used for cleaning. These initiatives have led not only to the reduction of air emissions, but also to a significant decrease in the spent solvents sent for disposal (further details are available in the Sustainability Report 2015, pages 124, 125.

Furthermore, Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) are used for operating the air conditioning systems. However, in accordance with applicable regulations, ODS have been phased-out and replaced in most countries. Following the General Cables acquisition and the consequent Group reorganisation, in 2018 Prysmian updated its materiality analysis to focus on issues and the related GRI disclosures that were of greater relevance to the Group and its stakeholders.

In particular, due to the drastic reduction of ODSs, the related environmental impacts decreased significantly, and therefore Prysmian stopped disclosing ODS quantities externally. Further details are available in the Sustainability Report 2018, page 33

The operating units have continued to monitor ODS leakages for internal disclosure: in 2022, very limited leakages have been reported regarding the ODS still present in some of the air conditioning systems.



Ozone Depleting Substances:


Year Total ODS leakages (kg)
2018 1098
2019 1213
2020 1385
2021 982
2022 571



Prysmian’s facilities manufacturing medium- and high-voltage cables for both land and submarine applications have the capability to manufacture using several alternative conductor, insulation and sheathing materials. Less than 15% of the Group operating sites uses lead as sheathing material for some of the cables produced, and more than 85% of this lead is used in just two plants manufacturing submarine cables.

In these types of cables, a lead sheath is needed to withstand corrosion in the harsh marine environment and to give better stability to the cable on the seabed. The lead sheath is applied over the cable core, through a controlled process designed to maximise energy efficiency and minimise environmental risks and impacts. Specific procedures are defined in accordance with the Best Available Techniques (BATs) to cover all process phases, from material procurement to storage, handling, and disposal of waste. The emissions generated by the process are monitored and regularly disclosed to the local authorities to ensure compliance of all monitored parameters with the legal requirements.

Waste management and disposal are regarded as important topics that are addressed within the Environmental Management Systems. The Group is committed to preventing waste production by promoting circular operations and, whenever possible, it procures recycled materials according to applicable quality and production specifications.

Over the years, the Group has carefully monitored the quantity of hazardous waste produced and its destination. Their volumes are disclosed in the Group’s Sustainability Reports.

Prysmian Group has set a target for gradually increasing the volume of waste sent for recycling (Sustainability Report 2022, page 143), thereby reducing waste disposed in landfills and/or incinerators.

The quantity of waste sent to landfill amounts to about 20% of the total waste produced. The following table reports the amounts of hazardous waste sent to landfill from 2018 to 2022.


2018 1,364,797
2019 1,479,197
2020 1,320,485
2021 2,419,302
2022 2,166,186


Further details are available in Prysmian Group’s Disclosure of Non-Financial Information 2021, DNF page 145.

WASTE 2022 (Kg)- Global Data


LANDFILL 2,166,185,77 42,373,456,63 44,539,642,40
INCINERATION 2,815,747,46 13,107,531,21 15,923,278,67
RECYCLED 6,620,003,32 159,238,024,39 165,858,027,71
UNKNOWN DEST* 2,448,257,44 5,63,508,05 8,084,765,49
TOTAL 14,050,193,99 220,355,520,28 234,405,714,27


*The evidence of the destination of a small amount of waste was not yet confirmed at the reporting date (as allowed by local legislation).

As regards the management of water-related impacts assessed via the Environmental Management System, and in line with local legislation, it is essential to underline that in most of the operating units industrial water is used to cool semi-finished products. Recirculation systems are in place to optimise the volume of water drawn (further details are available in the Sustainability Report 2022, pag 151.

Based on the systems in place, discharges to water have been found to be less relevant at Group level, and therefore they are not disclosed. Further details are available in the Sustainability Report 2018, Page 78- 80; Environmental performance - page 81.

Identification, assessment and monitoring of such discharges and the related pollutants are conducted at each site within the framework of the Environmental Management System and in compliance with local requirements. In this regard, reference should be made to CDP Water Security 2023, section W1.2 - Link: CDP.