All our operating manufacturing plants are certified to the ISO 14001 Environmental Management Standard. By FY2017, a total of seven plants had received certification in the ISO 50001 standard. ISO 50001 stimulates organizations to establish systems and procedures necessary to improve their energy efficiency, use and consumption. We expect all our sites to attain ISO 50001 soon.
Our Environmental Audit Program not only reviews the compliance and implementation of our standards, but also includes biennial safety and compliance audits. These audits conducted by Health, Safety & Environment (HSE) corporate staff and outside auditors include inspections, employee interviews and detailed reviews of regulatory issues at each plant to ensure 100% compliance with national, regional and local regulations. Any issue identified is prioritized and tracked monthly by the Corporate HSE Managers through Enablon, our integrated Sustainability Management tool. In FY2017, we conducted eight audits of our environmental performance and seven of our health and safety performance.
Investing in world-class facilities
To improve efficiency, we are continuously upgrading and enhancing our older plants, while developing a new generation of facilities. In FY2017, we invested $21 million in state-of-the-art technology to help us maximize the efficiency of our manufacturing processes and enhance our environmental performance.
These investments include:
- Making our sites safer for workers;
- Minimizing our environmental impact through better air emission control and more efficient water management;
- Improving our carbon and energy cycles; and
- Enhancing the plants’ appearance for the wellbeing of the employees and the communities.
Building our future in Jining
Our work is driven by Sustainable Operational Excellence (SOE); it is present in everything we do. The greenfield facility that we are building in Jining, China, will produce carbon black to the highest standards from FY2018.
During construction, which began in FY2016, the facility has had exemplary environmental, health and safety performance: no injuries or environmental incidents have been recorded. We have also fully incorporated best practices, enabling us to successfully manage the waste generated during construction. The project has employed over 1,000 individuals, including third-party supervisors and sub-contractors, working on the site for a cumulative 1.7 million hours.
The Jining project has been a clear example of a successful greenfield facility, showing how we can deploy the skills and abilities of our people. We fully expect our new facility to be best in class, meeting and surpassing stringent local, regional and international standards.