Creating Value for the Planet
Clariant depends on the environment and resources. Our processes, operations and products are designed to minimize the environmental impact and safeguard the planet, because we need the environment and resources for our continued business success.
The commitment to ecological sustainability is an ethical obligation for Clariant as a global company with the pursuit to be counted among the leading suppliers of the specialty chemical industry. Therefore, appreciation is also reflected in a responsible approach to all resources and the environment. The sustainability of products has become an important decision criterion for consumers. This is why we strive to set new benchmarks by applying sustainable, leading-edge technologies and developing innovative solutions to improve environmental standards. Setting clear targets, allows us to measure our success on the basis of clearly defined environmental objectives.
Energy Consumption Falling
Energy and energy consumption is an important topic for Clariant all down the line: in production, administration and logistics. The conscientious and efficient use of energy helps us cut costs and eases the burden on the environment.
Economic considerations are not the only reason why the reduction of energy consumption is one of our most important goals. There is eWATCH, which stands for a systematic, efficient and coordinated energy management program group-wide. The program permanently records the whole energy consumption, analyzes the savings potentials and enables the continuing usage optimization of the machines. The lessons learned here help in the performance optimized design of plants and in the selection of efficient components. Not only is eWATCH very interesting from an ecological point of view, but also especially from economic aspects because the program allows the evaluation of a cost-benefit ratio between investments and energy savings.
In 2017, Clariant’s energy consumption was 3.3 million kWh of which 55 % came from fuels (thereof >70 % natural gas), 26 % from renewable and non-renewable electricity and 19 % from steam.
Clariant is aware that the energy issue is one of the key challenges of today’s and future society and industry. Clariant highlights energy efficiency and savings as the most cost-effective and fastest way to reduce CO2 and other emissions and increase security of supply. With its energy efficiency program Clariant saves not only resources, but also money: year by year approximately CHF 6 Mio.
Clariant takes initiative to reduce environmental, safety and health risks in production, storage, distribution and usage of our products and the disposal of waste. This includes the efficient use of energy and resources and the continuous improvement of our processes to minimize the impact of our activities on the environment.
eWATCH is Clariant's global energy efficiency program and an integral part of the company’s corporate sustainability initiatives. The program aims to permanently optimize Clariant’s use of energies in every respect. eWATCH therefore is designed to cover three dimensions: the company’s operating system, as well as its employee and its management system.
eWATCH takes into account the design and setup of equipment and processes (static approach), and focuses also on the incorporation of the operating procedures and conditions (dynamic approach).
In addition, eWATCH consequently integrates the mindset, behavior and capabilities of Clariant’s employees in terms of energy consumption (employee dimension) and aims to ensure and sustain the corresponding business related objectives (management dimension). The comprehensive approach makes eWATCH an integrated and ongoing program to effectively and sustainably manage the company’s energy efficiency.
- Strategy/Energy Policy/Sustainability
- Image, Responsible Care
- Regulatory requirements and grants
- Transparency of energy consumption (e.g. consumption pyramid, Structese; Gap: Actual - Best demonstrated practice - Theory)
- Energy Management System (EMS/DIN 16001/EN 50001)
- Peak demand management
- Improvement targets
Process Equipment Design & Setup
- Production method/unit operations
- Utilities types/distribution network
- Equipment specification
Operating Procedures & Conditions
- Production procedures & parameters
- Maintenance, changeover, cleaning
- Production planning & scheduling considering energy demand
- Quality: Scrap and rework
- Availability: Consumption when line down
- Product: Energy requirement for different products
- Load: Loss due to speed out of optimum
- Variability: Consumption above optimal load curve
- Mindset & behaviors (e.g. Awareness workshops)
- Competencies and capabilities (e.g. Energy days, workshops, improvement methodology, knowledge sharing)
- CEIG (Clariant Energy Intelligence Guide)
- Leadership behavior
Reducing of CO2 and Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Emissions into the atmosphere cannot be completely avoided, despite all environmental protection efforts. They are also side effects of production processes like waste or the consumption of resources and raw materials. Emissions are subject to limits that are laid down in the official operating licenses for the plants. Clariant monitors compliance with these limits at each individual site by taking its own measurements and additionally using measurements taken by independent institutes in accordance with regulatory requirements.
Clariant determines the total emissions into the air at each individual site at regular intervals. Clariant reduces carbon dioxide emissions by continuously optimizing production processes to make them more environmentally compatible. Clariant is reducing air emissions by using innovative technologies. Often the successes are small but in total lead to significantly lower emissions of pollutants.
Water Consumption Continuously Decreasing
Water is one of the most precious resources of our planet and it is also one of the main auxiliary materials for the chemical industry. Foremost, it is used as a coolant and as process water in production.
70% of the water purchased was used for the cooling of production plants, 20% for production processes and 10% as a product component or for sanitary purposes. Water requirements, especially at the large production sites, are primarily supplied by river water. Before it flows into the piping system at each site, the river water is cleaned using various filter systems according to the intended purpose. Remaining amounts are obtained from the respective local water grids, but not in volumes that would significantly impair water systems. In 2017 Clariant used 32.1 million m³ of municipal or other third party water supplies, 7.6 million m³ of fresh surface water and 9.1 million m³ of ground water.
Major Progress in Reduction of Waste Water
Clariant uses water for a variety of purposes in the production of chemical products, and the water is partly polluted as a result. At each site, therefore, production waste water is first subject to multistage chemical-physical pre-cleaning before being routed to largely biological waste water treatment plants, where it is micro-biologically cleaned.
The waste water discharged by Clariant is largely cleaned and therefore is not a particular burden. Thus, Clariant has already achieved a very high level in terms of waste water treatment and water purification.
Significant Reduction of Produced Waste
At Clariant, the prevention of waste takes priority over recovery or disposal. Therefore, every effort is made during the development and manufacturing of products to ensure that as little waste is generated as possible. Unavoidable production waste is recycled or disposed of properly. Each type of waste is recorded and precisely analyzed and described. Proper disposal must be proven and documented in internal records. It is important to know from which plant the waste originates, which amounts accrue during what period, what properties the waste components have, whether the waste can be classified as hazardous, and how it can be recycled or disposed.
Clariant sees considerable potential for savings relating to important environmental parameters from the optimization of complex processes. In 2011 Clariant for the first time established environmental targets, to be achieved by 2020. In the recent years, Clariant’s environmental performance indicators have improved significantly and all targets have already been overachieved to a large extent, driven in part by improvements in efficiency and in part by portfolio changes. While this is positive news, as a sustainability leader, Clariant cannot be satisfied with targets that have already been achieved and aims at continuous improvement.
2025 has been defined as the new target year, in order to allow sufficient time for sustainable improvement investment measures to be implemented. Clariant’s objectives for 2025 include relevant indicators for which there are sufficient and detailed data from across all areas of the company extending back over a long period of time. Where this is the case, it is possible to make reliable and comprehensive forecasts and plans. Clariant is seeking to achieve a percentage improvement in key indicators that measures well into double figures by the year 2025, while the baseline year has been defined as 2013. In order to define these targets, it was necessary to develop comprehensive scenarios regarding how production would develop, what the future product portfolio might look like, what innovations would be likely, and what investments would be needed.
Investments Related to Environment, Safety and Health Protection
Investments and expenditures in the areas of environment, safety, and health protection (ESH) are usually triggered by specific events. These could be altered security or occupational safety requirements, or external requirements such as stricter emission controls or waste water limit values all of which can play a role in the environmental category.
In addition, new production processes or product changes often require investment in new construction or changes to existing facilities. These are recorded as the ESH component of the overall investment. This makes ESH investments a component of the general investment planning and not the subject of an isolated cost-benefit view with distinct capital recovery periods.
In addition, Clariant invests in continuous environmental improvements. The aim is to secure permanent resources, save costs and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The total amount of ESH investments in 2017 was about CHF 23.3 million, including CHF 7.9 million for environmental protection. The expenditures for ESH protection in operative facilities amounted to over CHF 149 million in 2017, of which CHF 76.7 million were spent for environmental protection.