Across all our facilities we look for innovative ways of handling waste to reduce our impact on the environment. We apply the waste management hierarchy when dealing with the production waste that we generate. Our first option is to avoid or minimize waste. Where this is not possible, we seek to handle the waste in a manner that reduces the impact on the environment through recycling, recovery or reuse.
In 2020, we made the decision to increase transparency with regard to the waste metrics reported. In addition to hazardous waste, we have also reported total waste generated and non-hazardous waste generated. As a consequence, we have reset the baseline for reporting of waste metrics to 2017.
- 2021 Performance
Overall, compared to 2020, we saw a 7% decrease in total waste intensity, a 13% reduction in hazardous waste intensity and a 3% reduction in non-hazardous waste intensity. In 2021, 66% of all waste generated was sent for recovery, recycling or reuse, 19% for treatment or incineration and 15% to landfill.
- 2021 Waste Reduction Activities
The 2021 activities that helped to reduce waste across our sites and prioritize recovery and reuse, with the aim of contributing to the development of a circular economy, included the following:
- Ellesmere Port, UK: Identified a new treatment method for one of their larger volume hazardous waste streams. Each year the site produces approximately 5,410 metric tonnes of the waste which was previously being sent for direct disposal. Following treatment, the waste is now suitable for reuse in various restoration and construction projects as an alternative to virgin materials. The site, originally built in 1950’s, has continued with their ongoing site improvement program to remove redundant structures and improve the visual appearance of the site. In 2021, the last remaining redundant manufacturing building was safely demolished, with 99.65% of the waste materials being recovered and sent for recycling. A total of 4,920 metric tonnes of concrete and 763 metric tonnes of steel was recycled, with only 0.35% of total waste going to landfill. Two large mothballed Total Containment vessels, each measuring 30m high and 4m in diameter, were also removed from the site in 2021. 100% of the steel and concrete was sent for recycling.
- Herne, Germany: Improvements were made to the washing stage of a key fuel additive’s manufacturing process will save 140 metric tonnes of hazardous waste each year. Instead of sending the waste offsite for disposal, the site is now reusing it in the process instead of fresh water.
- Barcelona, Spain: Reused waste distillate solvent in the production of one of our key fuel additives. The site is also reusing waste solvents, used to clean vessels and equipment in between the manufacture of different products, rather than disposing of them after one single cleaning operation. These changes have reduced both the amount of virgin solvent used by the site and quantity of hazardous waste sent for offsite disposal. Upgrades made to bulk storage tanks on site have enabled a key raw material previously delivered in drums to be transported in bulk. This has saved 1,380 steel drums, 735 plastic drums and 345 wooden pallets previously sent for waste recycling.
- Vernon, France: Increased the reuse of waste distillate solvent in production to more than 80%. This significantly reduces the amount of waste solvent sent for disposal and quantity of virgin solvent purchased. Process improvements were also made to the iron soap process, resulting in the avoidance of waste sludge being generated at all.
- Leuna, Germany: Now participating in the PRS (Pallet Return System) circular pallet pooling initiative, which provides a service to the polymer industry. Certified sustainable wooden pallets supplied by PRS are used to ship our products. Used pallets are then collected directly from our customers, repaired if required, and then re-supplied back to the polymer manufacturers by PRS. In 2021, our Leuna site received a ‘Green Label Certificate of Appreciation’ for participating in the scheme.
- Midland, TX, US: Reprocessed almost 200 metric tonnes of solvent-based waste materials. This has reduced the amount of waste solvent sent off site for disposal and the virgin solvent needed to be purchased.
- Fuel Specialties business, US: Received the American Chemistry Council (ACC) 2021 Waste Minimization, Reuse and Recycling Award, for achievements in areas of waste minimization and reuse. Following the completion of successful trials and quality testing, the team were able to approve the reuse of an intermediate waste stream from the manufacture of one of our key finished fuel additives, instead of using virgin raw material. The project is estimated to provide savings of over 327 tonnes of hazardous waste per year.