Responsible use of resources
Responsible use of water
Water is used at our sites in a variety of ways: as a rinsing and cleaning agent during production, as a raw material in products, in our sanitary facilities and as a heat transfer medium in cooling processes and for steam production. Mostly water is used as solvent in our products.
Since 2021, when reporting water consumption, we have distinguished between process water and water used as a raw material in products. Reported below is the process water use.
Our goals are to reduce water consumption and minimize the amount of wastewater produced, to comply with the legal requirements for wastewater quality and, in addition, to further reduce the amount of harmful impurities contained in it. To further reduce water consumption, we have defined suitable consumption-related measures for the sites in our environmental program. Examples of these measures are closed water cycles and optimized product processes. As part of “Strategy 2025”, we have set the goal of reducing specific water consumption by 10 % by 2025 compared with the base year 2019.
In 2022, the total water consumption of the entire group of companies was 319,431 m³. Compared to 2021, this was a reduction of 13.4 %. The total water demand includes 75,076 m³ used as a raw material. As of 2021, the specific water consumption has been evaluated and reported without raw material water.
Evaluating specific water consumption in relation to production volume, 3.1 % less water (1,252 l/metric ton) was consumed in 2022 than in 2019, although 1 % more than in the previous year. The increase in specific water consumption compared to 2021 can be explained by the following factors: the commissioning of the manufacturing facility in Honduras in April 2022 and the improved data situation on the global completion of water consumption measurements. In addition, in line with the circular economy, empty containers are increasingly being washed and reused at all sites worldwide to avoid waste and reduce the consumption of plastic.
The reduction in specific water consumption compared with 2019 is evidence that successful water-saving measures have been implemented worldwide, e.g. improved monitoring of water flows, elimination of leakages, investment in water-saving boiler cleaning and container washing systems, as well as investment in closed-loop cooling systems and consistent recycling of rinse water.
Investment for the sustainable handling of water
The CHT Group has invested in an automatic cleaning system for the production area of paste products which previously required a lot of cleaning. Before this investment was made, the boilers had to be extensively boiled out, today this is done by a mobile automatic cleaning device which can be individually programmed depending on the system requirements or degree of soiling.
This not only ensures optimum cleaning performance. The cleaning process is also efficient in terms of time and energy consumption, and above all saves around 60 % of the water used in the previous boil-off cleaning process. As a result of the successful implementation at the site in Dußlingen (Germany), the successive worldwide roll-out of the technology has begun.
The CHT Group complies worldwide with the legal regulations regarding wastewater quality. 15 of our 25 production sites have their own water treatment or sewage treatment plant. In 2022, the wastewater1 amounted to a total volume of 180,838 m³. Compared to 2021, approx. 5 % less wastewater was emitted.
A total volume of 155,947 m³ (90 %) of pre-treated wastewater was discharged into municipal and public wastewater treatment plants and 7 % directly fed into a water body. Around 1 % of the wastewater volume remains in local recycling at the site and 2 % are disposed of as waste.
1 The sanitary water discharged is not pretreated at the sites but is discharged directly into the municipal wastewater treatment plants. Some of the water evaporates during consumption or is used for onsite irrigation.
Preventing waste is of major importance for CHT. That is why we regularly train our staff in handling and preventing waste. Unavoidable waste is recycled wherever possible. All non-recyclable waste is subject to proper disposal. Furthermore, the legal requirements and local standards of the specific countries are considered for waste disposal.
In 2022, the total amount of waste2 for the entire group was 9,388 metric tons. The comparison with 2021 (10,631 metric tons) in absolute terms shows that the total volume of our waste has declined by 12 %.
2 Looking at waste volume in relation to production volume, our specific waste volume increased by 0.8 % compared to 2019. This means that we are still a long way from the goal we set ourselves of reducing the specific volume of waste by 10 % by 2025.
For this reason, the reduction of waste volumes remains a particular focus. 44 % of the waste was recycled internally or externally in 2022.
In the context of the circular economy, reuse is becoming an important factor, which can be realized in the chemical industry essentially in the case of packaging material. In 2022, the amount of waste was reduced by approximately 581 metric tons because containers could be returned to use internally or externally after a cleaning step.
The share of hazardous waste was 51 % of total waste in 2022. The total volume remained the same compared to 2021. Despite the lower production volume, this corresponds to a further increase, which can essentially be explained by the reclassification of raw materials as SVHC substances. All hazardous waste is disposed of at CHT in accordance with the highest environmental protection standards.
For the manufacture of chemical products energy in different forms is needed. We purchase it in the form of electricity, oil, natural gas, liquid gas (LPG), wood pellets as well as local heating. Energy is used for operating our production plants and for heating our company buildings. During recent years we have been able to successfully implement different measures for energy savings, and to consistently enhance our energy efficiency.
Production of silicone masterbatches: increased energy efficiency at the Oyten plant
At the German plant in Oyten, a team reviewed all energy-intensive technologies with regard to process optimization and improved energy efficiency.
In 2022, the team, consisting of process, plant and production engineers and R&D, set out to optimize silicone masterbatches; the goal was to optimize the process in terms of energy usage.
Masterbatch production involves several sequences with significant increases in viscosity, as well as mixing and kneading phases at high viscosities. These phases are particularly energy-intensive and account for most of the total energy demand of batch production.
In the first step, the production process was significantly optimized in terms of the temperature profile and reaction sequence, and in a second step, the recipes were converted to automatic process sequences. This means that the PLC automatically drives the recipe sequence.
In the third, parallel step, the heating control was optimized. Overall, this measure resulted in energy savings (electricity) averaging 53 % per batch in masterbatch production.
The project was awarded the prize in the Responsible Care Competition 2023 by VCI Nord.
The worldwide energy consumption of the CHT Group amounted to 232,076 GJ in 2022. In direct comparison to 2021, the absolute energy consumption decreased by 11 %. Total energy consumption includes primary energy requirements for the company’s own steam generation plants and heating systems, as well as net electricity and steam purchases.
Lower production volumes compared with the previous year and actively implemented energy-saving measures have led to this reduced consumption. Specific energy consumption per ton of production volume was reduced by 6 % in 2022 compared to 2019. The good results achieved by global energy management officers and measures to increase energy efficiency are already beginning to show an impact. However, these results are offset due to increasing vertical integration and resulting longer cycle times of reaction boilers, which lead to significantly higher energy requirements. These changes in the product mix and aggregate mix are being evaluated and analyzed separately by teams now deployed with a view to optimization potential.
Energy use, and thus specific energy consumption, is closely linked to utilizing the capacity of our plants and the production portfolio. The lack of further reduction in the factor in 2022 was due to lower or fluctuating utilization of our plants compared with the previous year. This resulted in a deterioration in plant efficiency.
Due to the cut-off of natural gas supplies from Russia (sanction imposed by Europe due to the war of aggression in Ukraine), the industry was asked to reduce gas consumption. To secure the supply of steam in 2022, the sites in Germany and Switzerland therefore increasingly used oil again, which had been successfully replaced by natural gas in previous years due to the lower CO2 emissions.
An important element for reducing our greenhouse gas emissions will be the gradual conversion of energy supply from fossil sources to renewable sources.
In 2022, 24 % (vs. 19 % in 2021) of total energy requirements were already covered by renewable energy sources.
At the site in Oyten (Germany), two combined heat and power plants are operated with biogas. The heat generated by the CHP units is used to heat all buildings at the site, a heating chamber, production processes, and raw material storage tanks. In 2022, heat consumption was equivalent to 2,488 MWh.
The Tübingen site purchased 1,644 MWh of district heating in 2022, replacing the oil heating at the site.
In 2022, 66 % of electricity across the CHT Group was covered by renewable energy sources. Compared to 2019, this is an increase of 58 %.
In transforming our electricity supply, we are not only taking the approach of buying more green electricity on the market, but also producing electricity in our own photovoltaic plants.
In 2022, CHT’s own photovoltaic plants supplied the following shares of local electricity demand: Switzerland 13 %, Austria 44 %, Pakistan 11 %, Australia 43 %, Tunisia > 1 %, Germany 2 %, South Africa 2 %, and Mexico: New plant installation.
Climate protection in the CHT Group
Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century. Rapid and decisive action is needed to achieve the goals agreed in the Paris Climate Agreement. Products and innovations from the chemical industry will play a key role in driving the transformation in many places.
We want to make our contribution to reduce global warming to 1.5 °C to support our society actively and responsibly. For this reason, we have been a member of the Chemistry4Climate (C4C) climate protection platform since mid-2020 which is a unique initiative of companies, NGOs and the German government. The aim of C4C is to develop joint recommendations for action on climate protection from the perspective of the participating chemical and energy sectors in the years up to mid-2023. CHT is one of the few medium-sized companies involved in C4C and is a member of the “Circular Economy and Raw Materials Supply” working group.
The C4C initiative submitted its final report to the German government on April 26, 2023. The result shows three exemplary scenarios for a climate-neutral chemical industry in 2045. In all of them, more carbon must be kept in the cycle through increased recycling. In addition, climate-neutral chemistry will require large amounts of electricity from renewable sources (up to 508 terrawatt hours/TWh), green hydrogen (up to 283 TWh), biomass (up to 29 million metric tons) and CO2 (up to 52 million metric tons) – depending on the scenario. The work of the C4C initiative has been completed, and now the implementation in industry must take place. In other areas, the results show that policymakers still have to plot a course, be it in the licensing procedures, the expansion of renewable energy generation or the infrastructure for hydrogen supply.
Climate protection is anchored as an important goal in our Strategy 2025. For this reason, the CHT Group decided to support the Scienced Based Targets initiative (SBTi) at the end of 2021. The CHT Group has voluntarily committed to meeting the 1.5 °C goal of the Paris Climate Agreement and setting a climate neutrality goal, achieving net zero emissions by 2045.
Our global climate protection goals:
As part of our commitment to climate protection, we have identified four strategic levers:
Carbon footprint of the CHT Group
It is our goal to determine the carbon footprint along the entire value chain of CHT. In addition, we want to establish the emissions of all our raw materials and pre-production products for each stage of our own production and determine the use for the end products we produce. For 2022, we will report the CHT Group’s climate footprint for Scope 1 – 3. Scope 3 reporting will only include the Scope 3 categories that were selected as relevant for CHT in the Scope 3 materiality analysis that was conducted. The carbon footprint 2022 of the CHT Group comprises all 27 companies (+ 2 vs. 2021) including all production sites and offices.
The preparation of the carbon footprint follows exactly the Greenhouse Gas Protocol standards and the sector-specific standard for the chemical industry published in 2013.
EMISSIONS ALONG THE VALUE CHAIN
Greenhouse gas emissions along the CHT value chain
The balance distinguishes between three emission areas, or so-called Scopes:
Scope 3: materiality analysis
All Scope 3 categories were evaluated according to their relevance (emission level) and degree of influence on the activities of the CHT Group. We identified categories 3.2, 3.3, 3.5, 3.6 and 3.7 with low emission levels, but with more or less influenceability, and therefore classified them as relevant. We identified categories 3.1, 3.4, and 3.9 with high emissions as relevant and assigned them the highest priority level. In the climate assessment, we will include indirect down-stream category 3.12, which we identified with a medium level of emissions but low influenceability. In accordance with the WBCSD Scope 3 Chemical Sector Guidance, category 3.10 “Further processing of sold products” will not be accounted for. Category 3.11 “Use of sold products” is not relevant for CHT and will also not be accounted for. We report on Scope 3.3 to show upstream value chain emissions from Scope 1 & 2, even though the category was identified as hardly relevant. We identified the remaining Scope 3 categories (3.8, 3.11, 3.13, 3.14, 3.15) as irrelevant.
Greenhouse gas emissions in the CHT Group (GHG Protocol Scope 1 & 2)
In accordance to the GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting Standard we report Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions separately. For Scope 2 emissions, we consider both the location-based approach and the market-based approach. Data is collected for all group companies consolidated in CHT’s financial reporting.
|GHG inventory market based method in CO2e (t/a)
|Total emission Scope 1&2
|Scope 1: direct emission
|Diesel for generator
|Scope 2: indirect emission
Scope 1 emissions of the CHT Group were captured from operating records and using financial accounting data.
Scope 1 emissions do not capture direct emissions of volatile gases, as these emissions are not generated in CHT’s production processes. An analysis of the cooling systems operated throughout the group has shown that emissions of the cooling agents in use occur to an undetectable extent due to continuous leakage checks.
Scope 1 emissions cover the entire CHT Group vehicle fleet including trucks and forklifts; both leased and purchased vehicles were included.
Scope 2 emissions were determined in 2021 using both the location-based method with emission factors from ecoinvent and the market-based method based on location data. The carbon footprint for Scope 1 + 2 using the location-based method resulted in emissions of 21,685 metric tons of CO2(e) for 2022. We have decided to use the carbon footprint based on the market-based approach as the standard for the CHT Group (see table above).
The year 2021 is set as the base year for the CHT Group’s climate reporting. Data was collected globally with an internal online tool and converted to CO2(e) emissions using independent, standardized emission factors. The complete greenhouse gas balance was reviewed and approved by the sustainability and climate consulting company sustainable AG. sustainable AG has made recommendations for action that were implemented in the 2022 carbon footprint.
A change in the calculation standard or a recalculation of the baseline carbon footprint is only recalculated on the basis of subsequent climate data if decisive structural changes, such as acquisitions, divestments or mergers, take place as part of M&A projects.
In 2022, our greenhouse gas emissions under the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, taking into account Scope 1 and Scope 2 (market-based approach, amounted to 15,032 metric tons of CO2 equivalents (e) (2021: 18,531 metric tons)). Of this, 70 % was attributable to Scope 1 (2021: 68 %) and 30 % to Scope 2 (2021: 32 %). Carbon dioxide was by far the largest component of emissions, accounting for > 99 % (2021: > 99 %).
The calculation of Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions generated upstream and downstream of our value chain operations follows the Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Accounting and Reporting Standard under the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and includes the use of generic database values. For 2022, we have determined Scope 3 emissions of 459,937 metric tons of CO2 equivalents (2021: 584,987 metric tons). Due to the lower production volume, there was a significant reduction in total emissions along the CHT value chain in 2022.
The largest contribution to Scope 3 occurred in 2022 with 370,273 metric tons of CO2 equivalents (2021: 449,465 metric tons) in our supply chain. To calculate these upstream greenhouse gas emissions, we used information on the CO2 footprint of raw materials, primarily from external databases, which will gradually be replaced by data provided to us by our suppliers.
The second largest contribution to Scope 3 came from transports from the upstream and downstream value chain with 39,261 metric tons of CO2(e) (2021: 89,175 metric tons).
Waste disposal accounted for 7,902 metric tons of CO2 equivalent (2021: 8,777 metric tons) emissions. The value is based on CHT disposals. We assess the end-of-life scenarios of our products in Scope 3.12 for the year 2022 with 24,360 tons of CO2(e).
Scope 1 – 3 emissions along the CHT value chain in 2022
Total Climate Balance
CHT offers numerous products that make a positive contribution to greenhouse gas emission savings in their applications – compared to conventional alternatives. Some of these products are described below for application in the textile industry.
A balancing of the emissions avoided by the products has not yet taken place, but will be discussed anew as part of the preparation of the climate strategy.
CO2 footprint of our products
In order to increase transparency about our product-specific greenhouse gas emissions, we will successively start calculating the CO2 footprints of our sales products as of 2023. These so-called Product Carbon Footprints (PCFs) include all greenhouse gas emissions from raw material extraction to their leaving the factory gates (“cradle-to-gate”). The PCFs provide us with important information for assessing the climate impact of our products and indications for implementing mitigation measures so that our customers can benefit from reduced CO2 emissions in the value chain. The method we use to calculate PCFs is in line with the “Together for Sustainability” TfS Guideline, which was introduced to the market as an industry standard in September 2022. As a basis for the calculation of upstream Scope 3 emissions, industrial average values and values from commercial databases are used as far as possible, which we will gradually replace with primary data from our suppliers.