In any industry, effective waste management and minimization are priorities; carbon black is no exception. Waste is generated at all stages of our industrial process, from manufacturing to packaging, though the quantity involved is relatively small. As international regulations and stakeholder expectations become increasingly demanding, we continue implementing strategies to reduce, reuse and recycle the waste generated by our processes.

Managing our waste

We aim to generate less waste, or reuse and recycle materials for the same purpose or for a secondary use. Our sites comply with all applicable health, safety and environmental requirements to ensure that any materials are sent for disposal in the most environmentally sound manner.

In FY2017, we have developed a new waste standard. The standard establishes requirements for the proper accounting, handling, transfer, storage, transport and disposal of solid and hazardous wastes generated during operation and construction of our facilities. It also sets minimum requirements, roles and responsibilities for the management of solid and hazardous waste at our facilities, to protect our personnel and the environment. Training and implementation of the standard, which identifies opportunities to prevent, minimize, reuse or recycle waste, will take place in FY2018.

We also work with organizations such as Repasack® to better recycle our product packaging in Europe and provide our employees with waste reduction training in the workplace. Each of our sites has developed a specific plan for identifying and managing the different types of waste generated by our activities, including metal, pallets, plastic materials, paper and cardboard.

Our waste management approach has evolved over the last four years. During this period, we have improved the identification and accounting of our various waste types including cyclic wastes. As a result, we have decided to change how we communicate waste management in FY2017 by establishing two new KPIs:

  • Waste repurposed, including recycled, reused and recovered (percentage); and
  • Hazardous waste generation intensity (kg/tonne of carbon black).

These two new KPIs, which we will be working on during FY2018, will help us drive further best practices in waste management throughout our manufacturing sites.

Developing best practices in Brazil

We seek to identify and share best practices across Birla Carbon; waste is no exception. Our plants in Brazil have developed several of these practices. Each plant has established and maintains Waste Management Plans (WMPs), which ensure their compliance with regulatory requirements and our own internal standards. Our WMPs aim to minimize waste generation at source, implement segregation at the point of origin and reduce environmental risks, assuring the correct handling and final disposal.

As examples of how we manage waste generation through our WMPs, we:

  • Train our employees and contracted workers to ensure their safety when handling waste, and that waste is managed appropriately to reduce environmental risks;
  • Conduct regular inspections of our waste storage areas;
  • Maintain a comprehensive inventory for all waste types stored, disposed of and repurposed;
  • Ensure compliance with permits for waste disposal and generate annual reports for external regulatory agencies; and
  • Recycle the bags used in our production process.

We also encourage our people to recycle the waste that they generate at home. For example, used oil from the facility and cooking oil from the canteen are recycled by NGOs for biofuel production and soap making – which we ask our employees to do with their own used cooking oil, bringing it in to recycle it through the plant.

  • Waste

Good health and wellbeing

We seek to prevent illnesses indirectly by reducing waste pollution.

Partnerships for the goals

We help achieve the goals by working closely with our stakeholders, including our suppliers, regulators and governments.

20% of our waste is repurposed – an area where we will work harder in future.