Responsible use of resources
Responsible use of water
Water is used at our sites in versatile ways: as a rinsing and cleaning agent during production, as a raw material in products, as well as in 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. As a result, water consumption in 2021 is only comparable with the previous year’s reports to a limited extent.
Our goals are to reduce water consumption and keep the amount of wastewater produced to a minimum, to comply with the legal requirements for wastewater quality and, in addition, to further reduce the share of harmful impurities contained in it. To this end, we have defined suitable consumption-related measures for the sites in our environmental program to further reduce water consumption. 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 2021, the total water consumption of the entire group of companies was 367,769 m³. Compared to 2019, this is an increase by 2.0%. The total water demand includes 99,260 m³ of water used as raw material. As of 2021, the total water consumption has been evaluated and reported without raw material water, therefore a comparison with previous years is not possible.
If the specific water consumption is evaluated in relation to the production volume, a significantly lower amount of water (–4.8%) was consumed in 2021 than in 2019. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we do not consider the 2020 figure base comparable, therefore water consumption was also evaluated and compared with 2019.
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 ensures optimum cleaning performance. The cleaning process is efficient in terms of time and energy consumption, but above all, approx. 60% of the water can be saved compared to the previously used cleaning process by boiling out. In addition to a reduction in water consumption from 2,590 metric tons to 1,036 metric tons (-60%), the new process ensures energy efficiency and reduces the previous energy requirement by 34% with a simultaneous time saving of around 33%.
The CHT Group complies worldwide with the legal regulations regarding wastewater quality. 15 of our 23 production sites worldwide have their own water treatment plant or sewage treatment plant. In 2021, the wastewater quantity1 amounted to a total volume of 181,947 m³. Compared to 2019, approx. 11% less wastewater was emitted and in relation to the production volume,19.8% less wastewater was emitted. A total volume of 164,460 m³ (90%) of pre-treated wastewater was discharged into municipal and public wastewater treatment plants and 15,072 m³ directly into a water body. Around 1% of the wastewater volume remains in local recycling at the site.
1 Up to now, only part of the wastewater has been measured at CHT, namely those which have been subject to a calculation. At some sites for example part of the water is used as sanitary water, which is not included in the calculation of the wastewater.
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 2021, the total amount of waste2 for the entire group was 10,700 metric tons. The comparison with 2019 (7,996 metric tons) in absolute terms shows that the total volume of our waste has risen by 34%.
2Looking at waste volume in relation to production volume, our specific waste volume increased by 19.5% as many subsidiaries carried out significant inventory cleanups in 2021.
The evaluation of the waste volume in 2021 is the focus of a separate project of the production managers, as we are even further away from the targeted reduction of specific waste volume by 10% by 2025.
Hazardous waste accounted for 45% of total waste in 2021. The total amount increased by 17% compared to 2019, mainly due to 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 and district 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.
The worldwide energy consumption of the CHT Group amounted to 257,753 GJ in 2021. In direct comparison to 2019, the absolute energy consumption decreased by 4%. However, compared with 2019, specific energy consumption per metric ton of production volume has decreased by 7% in 2021. This reduction can largely be attributed to the introduction of energy management officers worldwide and the implementation of measures to increase energy efficiency which are already showing initial effects. However, at other sites we have an increasing vertical integration and the resulting longer occupancy times of reaction boilers, which lead to significantly higher energy demands. These changes in the product mix and aggregate mix must be evaluated separately.
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.
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 raw materials and pre-products per activity for our own production and determine the use of the end products we produce. For the year 2021, we will report here the carbon footprint of the CHT Group for Scope 1 + 2 and describe the materiality analysis performed for Scope 3 including the selected Scope 3 categories. In the following year, we will perform an initial calculation for the categories identified as Relevant. The carbon footprint 2021 of the CHT Group includes all 26 companies 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, the so-called Scopes:
Scope 3: materiality analysis
All Scope 3 categories were evaluated according to their Relevance (emission level) and influenceability in relation to the activities of the CHT Group. We identified categories 3.5, 3.6 and 3.7 with low emission levels, but very good 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. We decided to report on these 7 categories first. We identified category 3.10 with a medium level of emissions but low influenceability and therefore decided to conduct further analysis regarding available data before making a final decision to report. We report on Scope 3.3 to show the upstream value chain emissions from Scope 1 & 2, even though the category has been classified as Slightly Relevant. We identified the remaining Scope 3 categories (3.2, 3.8, 3.11, 3.12, 3.13, 3.14, 3.15) as Irrelevant.
Greenhouse gas emissions in the CHT Group (GHG Protocol Scope 1 & 2)
In accordance with 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)||2021|
|Total emission Scope 1&2||18,035|
|Scope 1: direct emission||12,251|
|Scope 2: indirect emission||5,784|
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 23,399 metric tons of CO2(e) for 2021. 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 will be 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.
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.