Responsible Care® drives companies to find innovative ways to eliminate waste, improve their energy efficiency, conserve resources, and reduce their emissions throughout the entire lifecycle of their products — from their design, production, and distribution to their use by customers and beyond.
What CIAC members are doing to conserve resources
Canada's chemistry industry is highly innovative and recognized globally as the best in its class in energy efficiency and carbon emissions intensity. Through careful monitoring of energy usage during the past 34 years, CIAC members and partners have implemented formal energy management systems and taken action to improve the energy efficiency of their operations.
Research from the International Energy Agency shows that for every unit of GHGs emitted as part of chemical manufacturing, the industry's products and technologies result in a net reduction of 3.1 units of emissions during a product's lifecycle — from extraction of feedstock and fuel, through production, ultimate use and end-of-life management.
Using emerging technologies, this ratio increases to more than 4:1. Among the most important emerging technologies helping move the world to a low-carbon economy are in the building, transportation, energy, agricultural, air conditioning and refrigerant sectors. Studies show that global emissions would be over nine gigatons of CO2 equivalents-per-year lower if these technologies were used to their full potential right now. That's more than 12 times the annual emissions of Canada.
When CIAC began waste reporting in 1990, members produced more than 87,200 tonnes of hazardous waste for disposal. Since then, CIAC members have reduced the hazardous waste for disposal to 28,500 tonnes – a reduction of 67 per cent. Our members have also established ambitious programs to limit waste disposal to landfills
Praxair: Zero Waste to Landfill
Praxair's Zero Waste to Landfill program has a target to divert more than 90 per cent process waste from landfill for more than 250 of their sites, through methods like incineration for energy recovery. In 2018, more than 45 thousand tonnes of waste were diverted from landfills. Cumulatively since 2011, the program has saved more than one million dollars. Zero Waste to Landfill helps extend Praxair's mission and values, and promote circular economy practices. In many cases, the program brings social benefits to local communities, from education to job creation.
Through various methods of wastewater treatment, many CIAC members are actually putting water back cleaner than when they found it. The chart below shows the different water treatment methods used by our members.
Jungbunzlauer: Water-Saving Projects
In order to counteract industry-related water pollution and prevent a worsening of the global water supply situation, Jungbunzlauer invests in water-saving projects and is constantly seeking to improve these processes to maximize the reuse of water. They operate state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plants and strive for an ongoing reduction of waste and for optimal recycling of waste-flows. Being readily biodegradable and ecologically safe, their by-products can be used in construction and agriculture as well as in the manufacture of biogas.
Evonik Canada: Eliminating Sulphuric Acid River Pollution
In late 2018, Evonik Canada's Maitland site installed a new technology that allowed the elimination of 98% sulphuric acid, thereby eliminating the possibility of a release to the St. Lawrence River. The material had been subject to the Ontario Toxics Reductions Regulations due to the hazards associated with the material and the volumes at which it was used on site. The project eliminated estimated emissions to the river of approximately 15 MT per year.
NOVA Chemicals: Reducing Phosphates
To improve water quality, NOVA Chemicals is working to reduce phosphate in residual water so that cleaner effluent water is returned to its source. They have achieved a reduction of phosphate by 30 to 40 per cent at their Joffre, Alberta site by using a different approach to corrosion inhibition and they continue to study other possible ways of further reducing phosphate. Their efforts, which go above and beyond the regulatory requirements, will ultimately be applied across NOVA Chemicals' sites.
Member Partnerships: Reducing Water Intake
In late 2018, neighboring CIAC members CCC Sulphur Products and LANXESS finalized plans for a steam recovery re-use project. This would allow condensate capture and reuse and would result in a significant reduction of process water requirements for these two facilities.