An update on our sustainability efforts from Martin O'Neill, senior vice president of Safety, Health and Environment (SH&E).
We have advanced many of our long-term objectives and continue to monitor our impacts on other key metrics. I’d like to highlight a few of the notable accomplishments and milestones on our journey:
- Energy: We have achieved 43% of our goal to reduce energy intensity since our baseline year of 2005. In 2015, we increased our overall energy intensity by 3% over 2014 results which is reflective of the utilization rates of our manufacturing operations.
- Greenhouse gases (GHG): We have achieved a 3% decrease in GHG intensity since 2014 which represents 41% of our long-term GHG intensity reduction goal. This is due in part to a more efficient mix of feedstock in our manufacturing operations, which has increased more effective yield.
- Air emissions: In 2014, we announced new goals to reduce our most significant air emissions. Specifically, the pollutants we are focusing on are nitrogen oxides (NOX) and sulfur dioxide (SO2). Compared to our 2012 baseline, we have reduced our emission intensity for NOX by 10.4% and SO2 by 14.7%. Both of these reductions are the result of planned investments in state-of-the-art emission controls.
- Waste: We have met our stated reduction goal earlier than expected; however, in 2015 we experienced an increase of generation rates for hazardous and non-hazardous solid waste of 3.3% and .08%, respectively on an intensity basis. This is partly attributed to changing market conditions causing a shift in our product portfolio. Although we expect to see increased rates of non-hazardous waste resulting from the installation of air pollution control technologies, we are looking to offset this through several technical and market options that will reduce waste generation.
- Water: Our overall volume of water used in our processes decreased 0.9% over the last year, but our intensity increased by 2.3%. Similarly, our wastewater discharge rates decreased by 2.9% while the intensity increased by 0.2%. To address this, we will be exploring technical solutions that could improve our water use balance while monitoring potential risks and constraints in the regions where we operate.
While we are making progress against our goals, we know there is still more to be done. We will continue to invest in areas that will have the greatest potential for a positive impact on the environment and the communities in which we operate.
Safety also remains a major focus. Our facilities are among the safest places to work in the chemical industry. In 2015, we once again achieved world-class performance in safety and continue to see reduced injury rates. This is hard work and it takes every employee, partner, contractor and visitor to help one another in completing their work safely. Nothing is more important than knowing we have done everything we can to keep each and every person who comes to our facilities safe and injury-free. Similarly, our focus on process safety systems underpins our commitment to the communities in which we operate. That commitment takes the form of investing in equipment, implementing best practices and employing highly skilled people to ensure we conduct operations responsibly.