In our operations, sustainability relates to emissions, environmental impact and also the safety of our people.
We’re making great progress on sustainability across our operations. Our new environmental dashboard has helped provide more accurate and frequent environmental data at all levels of our operations, showing us that even incremental changes add up and contribute to our long-term targets. And major changes, such as ending our use of coal-fired power, make a big difference immediately.
In addition, we’ve introduced a new project sustainability scorecard to help all our sites assess the potential environmental impact of large-scale capital projects before deciding whether to go ahead.
It’s our policy that everyone is responsible for safety, health and the environment (SHE) at Synthomer, and we want everyone who works with us to feel able to speak up if they see unsafe or harmful behaviour. We have an overall Safety, Health and Environment Management System (SHEMS) that every site needs to adhere to, and our sites meet ISO 14001 standards or equivalent. Our policies are in line with the global chemical industry’s voluntary Responsible Care® programme to drive continuous improvement in safe chemicals management.
We aim to cut all accidents to zero globally, and year-on-year, the number of injuries are reducing. For example, we recorded 34 injuries in 2021, compared to 37 in 2020. None of these resulted in fatality or permanent disability.
Our 2030 target is a 40% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions intensity along with a 10% reduction in Scope 3 emissions intensity against a 2019 baseline.
As of 2021, we have already achieved a 34% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions. At our plant in Sokolov, Czech Republic, we commissioned highly efficient gas boilers that went into full operation in May 2022, which enabled us to close our only coal-fired power station. This means that we’re not using coal in any of our operations globally, significantly reducing our Scope 1 emissions in 2022.
We’ve also gone well beyond our short-term objective to use 50% electricity from renewable sources in 2022, and have actually exceeded our 2030 goal of 80%. We’re improving energy efficiency in all our operations globally so that we don’t use more energy than necessary and we’re running several other projects to help reduce our energy use. Our innovation and procurement teams are also actively looking for ways that could help reduce our Scope 3 emissions quickly.
We have a policy to manage and minimise water consumption, and introduce water management plans in water-stressed areas and at the sites where we use the most water. This is because our processes tend to need large amounts of water, for example in our cooling towers. And we need a significant amount of water to make our polymers, although this does help avoid more harmful solvents entering the atmosphere.
We’re working on ways to introduce more water and infrastructure monitoring, for example with automated metering, and exploring site assessments in line with the Alliance for Water Stewardship framework.