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Waste

In any industry, effective waste management and minimization should be a priority; carbon black is no exception. Although the quantity is relatively small, we generate waste at all stages of our industrial process, from manufacturing to packaging, and we are implementing strategies to reduce, reuse and recycle this waste, increasing the circularity of our operations.

Managing our waste

Our strategy aims to reduce the amount of waste we generate and ensure that what we do produce is reused or recycled – whether for the same purpose or for a secondary use. Our sites comply with all applicable health, safety and environmental requirements and we ensure waste materials are sent for disposal in the most sustainable manner.

We have fully implemented our Waste Management Standard, which outlines internal requirements for the proper accounting, handling, transfer, storage, transport and disposal of solid and hazardous wastes generated during construction of and operation at our facilities. The Standard specifies roles and responsibilities for the management of solid and hazardous waste at our facilities to protect both people and the environment. It also encourages sites to consider new and updated waste minimization options at least annually.

Our waste management approach continues to evolve as we have improved identification and accounting of our waste. As a result, in FY2017 we introduced a new KPI to repurpose 75% of waste, whether it is recycled, reused or recovered, by 2030. This will drive further best practices in waste management throughout our manufacturing sites.

Waste: Progress towards our target

75% waste repurposed, including recycling, reuse and recovery, by 2030.

Achieving this target will be challenging. We expect the repurposing of gypsum to make a significant contribution to our performance, but there are currently limited outlets available for doing so in some locations. We are exploring solutions to this challenge with our Aditya Birla Group peers. Recent stronger focus on waste management in our facilities globally, including composting of gypsum at our plant in Thailand, and recycling of scrap material in all our plants, accounts for the marked increase in progress seen in FY2020.

Reprocessing carbon black

When we produce off-grade carbon black, rather than disposing of it, we segregate it and put it through the manufacturing process again until we have a product that meets our stringent quality standards. As carbon black has a long shelf life, customers are also able to return unused carbon black to us so it can be reprocessed. This way, not only are we reducing the waste that we generate but we are also taking steps to close the loop on our production.

Reduce waste in our facilities

The canteen in our Trecate, Italy facility is taking a range of steps to drive progress towards sending zero waste to landfill. In a bid to reduce food waste, Vincenzo De Bortoli, a colleague at the Italian plant, has volunteered to collect leftover bread from the facility and deliver it to a local kitchen, where it is used to make free dinners and lunch boxes for people in need.

How we are supporting the SDGs

SDG 3

Good health and well-being

We seek to prevent illnesses indirectly by reducing waste pollution and by improving handling of hazardous waste materials.

SDG 12

Responsible consumption and production

We strive to consume and produce responsibly by implementing robust circularity strategies to reduce, reuse and recycle any waste we produce.

SDG 17

Partnerships for the goals

Through our local procurement teams, we are assessing the possibility of replacing existing packaging with biodegradable alternatives or options certified as containing recycled material.

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