Create a zero incident and zero waste Corbion
Environmental, Health and Safety
Corbion aims to create a safe and healthy workspace with the goal of having zero incidents because we believe no job is so important that it cannot be done safely and without adverse environmental impact. We therefore operate with the greatest care for safety, health, and the environment for our employees and the communities we engage with. Our activities are supported by a management system that includes policies, procedures, training, and feedback, which ascertain that we comply with laws and regulations applicable to our operations and act in accordance with our own corporate standards and codes. Corbion leadership and employees are committed to achieving a “zero incident culture.” Corbion fosters an open and transparent culture by encouraging all employees to report all near misses, events et cetera in order to continuously improve our safety and environmental performance.
Our “zero waste” ambition focuses on the reduction of waste by valorizing all our by-products by 2020 and eliminating landfill completely by 2030. In this way, we maximize the value that we generate from the resources we consume. This ambition contributes to the shift from a linear economy, based on a “take-make-dispose” system to a circular economy that is waste-free and regenerative by design. In our lactic acid production process we generate significant quantities of valuable by-products, such as gypsum. Per ton of lactic acid, almost 2 tons of by-product are produced. The majority of these by-products are valorized, but occasionally they do end up in landfill. We try to avoid this by developing new outlets and by implementing our gypsum-free production process in future lactic acid plants. In 2017 we achieved a major milestone by implementing a new valorization option for gypsum at our lactic acid plant in the US. A customer in the cement industry started using our gypsum instead of mined, virgin gypsum. This gives us an additional outlet for this by-product next to its use in agriculture as soil conditioner and resulted in a significant reduction of the quantity of landfilled by-products compared to 2016.
To demonstrate our commitment to renewables and to support the transition to renewable electricity, Corbion joined RE100. RE100 is a collaborative, global initiative uniting more than 100 influential businesses committed to 100% renewable electricity, working to massively increase demand for - and delivery of - renewable energy. In 2017 we increased our coverage by purchasing renewable electricity for our manufacturing sites in Gorinchem (50%), Totowa (75%), and Tucker (75%). Our sites in Brazil and Spain are already fully powered by renewable electricity.
Greenhouse gas emissions
Responsible operations also implies doing our part to prevent dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, as specified in the Paris agreement.
We have therefore joined the Science Based Targets initiative, and committed to setting carbon footprint targets for our own operations aligned with climate science. This will provide a clearly defined roadmap to future-proof and responsible growth. We firmly believe that taking our responsibility will be good for the environment and good for our business. Energy conservation and increasing renewable energy will not only drive emission reductions, it will also decrease costs and help create innovative solutions that allow our customers to reduce their emissions as well. The first part of this journey is already clear: we have developed a roadmap to transition to 50% renewable electricity by 2020 and we aim to be fully powered by renewable electricity in 2030. In 2018, we will work on the development of the targets and a reduction roadmap to achieve them, involving specialists across Corbion.
To encourage development of low-carbon technologies, we started reviewing the financial impact of GHG emissions through internal carbon pricing in our long-term R&D projects. Our scope I and II emissions include the direct and indirect GHG emissions resulting from the energy consumption at Corbion’s sites. In 2017, our scope I emissions decreased by 2.3% compared to 2016, due to improvements in energy efficiency. Our scope II emissions decreased by 5.3%, due to the increased use of renewable electricity.
Our scope III emissions include indirect emissions occurring in our value chain that are not included in scope II (emissions from purchased goods and services, transport, fuel and energy related activities, business travel, and employee commuting). The majority of our scope III emissions are related to purchased goods. In 2017, Corbion’s scope III emissions decreased by 3% compared to 2016, mainly due to an increased material efficiency.
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