CHT Sustainability Report 2020


Responsible use of resources

Responsible handling 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. 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 amount of harmful impurities contained within it. To this end, we have defined suitable consumption-related measures for the sites in our environmental program to further reduce water consumption, e.g. through 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.

Water demand

In 2020, the absolute water consumption of the entire Group of companies was 323,583 m³. Compared to 2019, a reduction of 3.2% is recorded. If specific water consumption is evaluated in relation to production volume, almost the same amount of water (- 0.3%) was consumed in 2020 as in 2019. Due to the drop in demand, not only was less produced overall in 2020, but smaller volume units were produced. This leads to more frequent product changes in production and thus to higher cleaning volumes and water consumption in the production facilities.

For this reason, we do not consider the specific consumption figures to be indicative in comparison with the previous year.


CHT has invested in an automatic cleaning system for the production area of the pasty products which previously required a lot of cleaning. Before this investment was taken, 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 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 tonnes to 1,036 tonnes (- 60%), the new process ensures energy efficiency and reduces the previous energy requirement by 34%, while also saving around 33% of the time.

Water emission

The CHT Group complies worldwide with the legal regulations regarding wastewater quality. 14 of our 23 production sites worldwide have their own water treatment plant or sewage treatment plant. In 2020, the wastewater quantity1 amounted to a total volume of 181,280 m³. Compared to the previous year, 11% less wastewater was emitted and in relation to the production volume, just under 2% less wastewater was emitted. A total volume of 165,816 m³ (91%) of pre-treated wastewater was discharged into municipal and public wastewater treatment plants and 15,464 m³ directly into a water body.

1 Up to now, only part of the wastewater is measured at CHT. Only those wastewater quantities are measured, which are also subject to a calculation. At some locations for example part of the water is given away as sanitary water, which does not fall thus into 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 a proper disposal. Furthermore, the legal requirements and local standards of the specific countries are taken into account for waste disposal.

In 2020, the total amount of waste2 for the entire Group was 8,325 tonnes. The comparison with 2019 (7,996 tonnes) in absolute terms shows that the total volume of our waste has risen by 4.1%.

2 Looking at waste volume in relation to production volume, our specific waste volume increased by 2.5%, as in 2020 many subsidiaries took advantage of the Covid 19-induced lower workload to carry out significant inventory adjustments. Overall, the past year cannot be used to draw conclusions on the success of the waste reduction measures implemented worldwide.

Hazardous waste accounted for 50% of total waste in 2020, with the total amount increasing by 1.2% compared to 2019, mainly due to the reclassification of raw materials as SVHC substances in mid-2018. All hazardous waste is disposed of at CHT in accordance with the highest environmental protection standards.

Energy management

For the manufacture of chemical products energy in different forms is needed. We purchase it in form of electricity, oil, natural gas, liquid gas (LPG), wood pellets as well as local heating. Energy is applied 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 234,328 GJ in 2020. In direct comparison to 2019, energy consumption decreased by 5.8%. However, specific energy consumption per tonne of production volume has risen by 11% in 2020. This increase is largely explained by a change in the product mix with an increase in the vertical range of manufacture and the resulting longer occupancy times of reaction vessels, resulting in significantly higher energy requirements. The energy requirements of the processes change only slightly depending on whether large or smaller batch sizes are produced. As a return to larger batch sizes is planned, in our view the specific energy consumption in 2020 cannot be compared with the figures from 2019.

In 2020, we were able to increase our share of renewable energies worldwide by 3% year-on-year to 48,730 GJ; they account for 21% of total consumption.

Emissions of greenhouse gas CO2

Carbon dioxide emissions are mainly caused by combustion of fossil fuels (Scope 1: direct CO2 emissions) and by the external energy purchase in form of electric energy (Scope 2: indirect CO2 emissions). Indirect CO2 emissions via electricity purchases have not been taken into account at present, as we do not yet have global information on electricity labeling.


The direct CO2 emissions were calculated by means of emission factors3. Compared to 2019, direct CO2 emissions in 2019 decreased by 5.7% to 8,086 tonnes compared to the previous year.

3 Emission factors, according to the regulation on the allocation of greenhouse gas emission allowances in the allocation period from 2008 to 2012, Annex 1 (to §§ 4 and 5). Uniform material values for emission factors, calorific values and carbon content of fuels.

The CHT Group has anchored the topic of climate protection in its Strategy 2025 and supports the goals of the “Roadmap 2050” of the German Chemical Industry Association VCI. Since mid-2020, CHT has been a member of the Chemistry4Climate (C4C) climate protection platform, which is a unique initiative of companies, NGOs and the German government. Their goal is to develop joint recommendations for action on climate protection from the perspective of the participating chemical and energy sectors in the coming months. 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.

Our goal is to reduce not only the direct CO2 emissions (Scope 1) for all CHT sites in the coming years but also the indirect emissions (Scope 2) from the purchase of electrical energy. By 2025, the CHT Group will reduce its specific energy consumption (Scope 1) by 10% and invest more in electromobility. In the context of indirect emissions, CHT intends to lead the share of fossil fuels in the energy mix to zero by 2025.

Indirect emissions (Scope 3) upstream and downstream are currently not determined. However, CHT is working on offering its customers so-called “Carbon Neutral Chemical Solutions” for their processes. This requires the support of suppliers and logistics companies in order to be able to assess a technology in terms of emissions upstream and downstream.

Examples of CHT's commitment to climate protection

Example 1:
Smart bio-milling process with QUIMIZIME B for active climate protection in paper production

In the papermaking process, pulp is ground in mills so that it can be further processed. This process requires water, chemicals and a great deal of electricity. The CHT Group has developed an innovative process based on enzyme technology. Enzymes are playing an increasingly important role in today’s paper and pulp production. Used as biocatalysts, they are obtained from natural materials or through fermentation processes. Enzyme-assisted pulp grinding with CHT QUIMIZIME B optimizes energy consumption and productivity in papermaking.

In addition, the use of conventional chemicals in the manufacturing process can be reduced. Further advantages are the positive effects on paper properties.

In 2020, the process was used by several major paper manufacturers in South America and in Europe. Together, the companies have saved energy equivalent to the electricity consumption of a small German town. In total, CHT enzyme technology saved 13,109.6 Mwh of electricity, an amount that could supply approximately 4,370 households.

Less electricity consumption directly benefits climate protection. If, in addition, only electricity from renewable energy sources is used in the production facility, the contribution to climate protection will even be greater.

Example 2:
The use of smart glasses in customer service supports climate protection

We are also taking an innovative approach to climate protection in our customer service, combining climate protection with a digital application through the use of smart glasses.

In the BF Washing Solutions, the customer service team is frequently on site in the laundries to support the operation and use of CHT products. This high level of personal support means that the field service team spends a lot of time on the road, traveling between 70,000 and 100,000 passenger kilometers annually.

By using smart glasses – CHT equips customers and its own employees with the technology – service technicians from the home office can support customers directly with plant control and help the customer employee on site with settings as well as with problem solutions. Using data glasses, images, plans and voice messages can be recorded and made available to other participants via video conferences. This reduces travel, and customer service can continue to provide “live” support to customers and troubleshoot problems using simple communication.

Combined with a service app, customers abroad without data glasses are also able to submit service requests to the service team. All customers can be offered fast and efficient help via remote maintenance. The combination of data glasses and service app rolls out digital customer service internationally. This means that national and international air travel can also be significantly reduced.

Currently, 40 to 50 field service employees in the CHT Group can access the technology.

Other benefits include: Despite travel restrictions due to Covid-19, customer service could be maintained.

The use of smart glasses in Germany will ensure direct savings of up to 132,000 kg of CO2 per year over the next few years in a gradual roll-out (Scope 1). In 2020, the project was launched with ten sales representatives and their customers; 13,200 kg of CO2 were saved.

The use of smart glasses supports the CHT Group’s declared reduction target by 2025.

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