At ELIX we have an environmental protection strategy to gradually prevent and reduce the negative impacts of our business on the natural environment.
We have policies which define our commitment to environmental protection:
ANNUAL ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAMMES
We define medium-term goals for continuous improvements such as waste reduction and the reduction of resource consumption, which form the base of our annual environmental management programmes.
Energy Efficiency Programme
Significant Environmental Aspects Programme
Project for minimising wastewater with high levels of TOC (total organic carbon)
PROGRAMMES AND INITIATIVES IN 2019
OVERALL REDUCTION OF ENERGY COSTS BY 1.5 %
PROJECT FOR THE USE OF RECYCLED PALLETS IN THE PACKAGING OF FINISHED PRODUCTS
SUPPORT OF CIRCULAR ECONOMY THROUGH A PILOT PROGRAMME TO REUSE FILTERCAKES AS RAW MATERIAL FOR INDUSTRIAL USE
OPERATION CLEAN SWEEP - ZERO PELLET LOSS PROGRAMME
VIABILITY STUDY FOR REUSING EMPTY DRUMS MADE OF AUXILIARY MATERIALS AS WASTE CONTAINERS, WITH SATISFACTORY RESULTS
OPTIMISING MANAGEMENT OF THE WASTEWATER TREATMENT PROCESS
Our comprehensive environmental inspection in 2019 gave us satisfactory results
One of the main risks associated with chemical companies are spills or emissions into the atmosphere. At ELIX we strictly comply with applicable regulations on the manipulation of these types of substances throughout the production process and we meticulously follow safety sheet indications for the products we use. We obtained satisfactory results in our periodic comprehensive inspection this year, demonstrating our firm commitment to safety and environmental protection.
ZERO PELLET LOSS PROGRAMME
ELIX forms part of a value chain of microplastics in the form of resin pellets and plastic powder. Though ELIX is not the direct cause of plastics being present in the sea, it does form part of the plastic life cycle, therefore it commits to being part of the solution. This declaration was made by the company CEO in his Letter of Commitment published on World Environment Day.
To face this global problem, it is important to act locally. In 2019 we created an action plan to prevent product loss within our facilities. It should be mentioned that ELIX production plants are designed with integrated contention systems that avoid microplastic spills into the sea.
With the Chemical Business Association of Tarragona (AEQT) work group, we collaborated on a very important phase of this programme which consists of raising awareness and getting the next link of the value chain involved: logistics operators. In November we organised an event to encourage transport companies to join the programme and work together with us to reach the goal of zero microplastic loss.
Efficient resource consumption
We constantly work on optimising our consumption of raw materials. This is the third consecutive year that our productivity rate for raw and auxiliary material consumption has remained at approximately 97 %.
Our productivity rate for raw material consumption, which measures the efficiency of its use during the manufacturing process, has remained stable
EFFICIENT RAW MATERIAL CONSUMPTION RATE
Our reduction of raw material consumption is related to the reduction of subproducts and to final product demand.
CONSUMPTION OF MAIN RAW MATERIALS
Nevertheless, the production circumstances of this period have not allowed us to reach our objectives, but we have worked on a project for improving consumption monitoring and a new tool for modeling and predicting energy performance in different areas of use.
PLANT TOTAL FOR 2019
5 % variation 2018-2019
TOTAL PER TONNE OF ABS PRODUCED
16.8% variation 2018-2019
In 2019 we improved our consumption monitoring with the incorporation of a predictive model which will help optimise energy management in our facilities
CARBON FOOTPRINT OF THE ORGANIZATION
Carbon footprint calculation gives us useful information to identify the phases of our business activities with the greatest environmental impact and help us to focus our efforts on reducing it.
The additional benefits of carbon footprint calculation for our organization are:
Reduction of energy costs.
Reduction of dependence on fossil resources and the vulnerability associated with their price volatility.
Added value to our services, products and projects, and to the relationship with our workers.
Improvements in environmental management thanks to the involvement of our suppliers and customers.
EMISSION REDUCTION MEASURES
As participants in the Voluntary Agreement for the Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions programme of the Catalan government's Climate Change Office, we have presented our updated emission inventory along with proposals for new actions and information on improvement measures already in place.
ELIX'S GHG EMISSIONS (2019)
TONNES OF CO2 eq
VARIATION COMPARED TO 2018
EMISSIONS PER PRODUCTION (tCO2eq/t ABS+SALES)
VARIATION COMPARED TO 2018
EMISSIONS PER EMPLOYEE (tCO2eq/employee)
VARIATION COMPARED TO 2018
Our carbon footprint has been steadily declining. In 2019 we reduced it by 9.67 %
CARBON FOOTPRINT OF OUR PRODUCTS
The carbon footprint calculation of products is another indicator that allows us to know which phases of ABS manufacturing and distribution have the highest impact as a result of the higher emission levels associated with them.
CARBON FOOTPRINT PROGRESSION (2017-2019)
The carbon footprint of our ABS manufacturing process as well as its transport and distribution to customers has gone down with respect to the previous year. In the carbon footprint of ABS, raw materials play a major role. The main reason our carbon footprint went down this year was the reduction in raw material consumption. Another influencing factor was the lower percentage of ABS products for sale and the increase in sales of intermediates for polymer blends, specifically SAN, thus lowering the environment load of ABS.
Source: Calculations based on consumption related to ABS production and transport, including raw material consumption and transport to ELIX, energy use, air and water emissions, waste management and transport to authorised waste management facilities, and transport of final products to customers. Data is shown in kgCO2eq per kilo of ABS produced.
RELATION OF TRANSPORT TYPE AND CARBON FOOTPRINT (2017-2019)
Carbon footprint levels associated with transport from ELIX facilities to customers has slightly decreased and are very similar to 2018 levels.
ELIX strives to achieve less contaminating means of transport such as intermodal transport, which was obstructed this year by external factors beyond the company's control, related to deficiencies in infrastructure and episodes of social instability (strikes, power cuts, etc.). We continue working with our customers to maintain our support of more sustainable transport.
Source: Calculations based on tonnes per kilometre travelled for each type of transport.
*Total carbon footprint of finished product transport (expressed in kgCO2eq per kilo of ABS produced and transported).
Our commitment to sustainability and regulatory obligations leads us to carry out periodic checks on the emissions of atmospheric contaminants at emission sources in order to ensure they are within regulation limits.
ANNUAL AVERAGE PER SOURCE FOR EACH PLANT (mg/Nm3)
EMISSIONS IN 2019
1. Styrene copolymer and acrylonitrile production plant.
2. 2. Waste gas treatment plant.
3. Thermal Oxidation Gas Treatment plant.
ANNUAL AVERAGE PER SOURCE BY PLANT (mg/Nm3)
Our emissions of atmospheric contaminants (NOx and CO) remain significantly below regulation limits
We are constantly looking for ways to recover and increase the value of our waste in collaboration with technological centres.
Proper waste management is fundamental in reducing the total volume of waste generated and increasing its recovery.
TOTAL GENERATED WASTE
TONNES OF TOTAL WASTE PER TONNE PRODUCED
ABS production requires the use of dangerous chemical products and creates highly hazardous waste, which, if poorly managed, can pose serious health risks to people and cause environmental damage. Our protocols for monitoring and managing these products are stringent and comprehensive.
MAIN MANAGEMENT CHANNELS
(MANAGED TONNE PER CHANNEL/TONNE PRODUCED)
Our recovery of generated waste continues to follow an upward trend: we have reached 91.1 %
We detected the potential for improvements in planning, where we noticed an increased amount of materials being incinerated. These improvements have now been implemented and will guarantee the proper management of hazardous waste in our plants.
FILTER CAKES WITHIN THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY FRAMEWORK
ELIX initiated a filter cake waste recovery project in 2017 with the aim of determining the viability of this type of waste in third-party processes. The initiative aims to promote circular economy by preserving the value of products and materials for the longest amount of time possible and minimising waste generation.
The first phase of the project involved a study on the use of filter cake waste in asphalt manufacturing. However, laboratory analysis results were not positive due to the filter cakes' humidity, characteristic odour and low ignition point.
In the second phase of the project, we studied the use of filter cake waste for construction materials, specifically cement mortar. We obtained positive results in this study with a 5-10% application of waste to the final product, making it more deformable and resistant to liquid water. Nevertheless, solutions for the humidity and odour still need to be found for industrial scale recovery.
At ELIX, we will continue working to find solutions for the reuse of filter cakes in other applications.
Sustainable water management
Water is a scarce resource, especially in the Mediterranean coastal areas where the impact of climate change is significant and rainfall variability is high.
In our facilities, we use only regenerated water, from water treated at AITASA
At ELIX we support circular economy with regard to water consumption by using regenerated water which has been treated at the facilities of Industrial Water of Tarragona, Ltd. (AITASA). In this way, we support the reduction of tap and well water consumption, using this scarce resource in a responsible way.
INDUSTRIAL AND TREATED WATER (m3)
INDUSTRIAL AND TREATED WATER(m3/t produced1)
REFRIGERATION WATER (m3)
REFRIGERATION WATER (m3/t produced1)
1. Tonne of ABS produced.