When Givaudan began its sustainability journey at the turn of the century, eco-efficiency was central to our efforts. As global awareness around climate change passed from scientific communities into popular consciousness, we recognised the part we had to play in minimising the effects of CO2 emissions.
For a decade, Givaudan reported on its varied eco-efficiency initiatives and measures, with some success. However, it was not until 2010 when we set long-term goals linked to our operations that our efforts became more strategic and central to the way in which the business operates – in the full understanding that a sustainable business makes for a successful and profitable enterprise.
2020 targets against 2009 baseline
In 2010, Givaudan established long-range, ambitious aspirations, which included the goal of 'Zero waste, Zero carbon and Zero incidents'. We also set 2020 eco-efficiency targets: against a baseline of 2009, Givaudan established the following reduction targets for 2020, per tonne of production in the case of CO2 emissions, energy consumption, and the generation of incinerated and land-filled waste. For water consumption the target was set against municipal and ground water.
2014 progress against 2009 baseline
Eco-efficiency across the board
With a global operation that covers 88 sites, including 32 manufacturing plants and approximately 50 office complexes, our efforts are very much focused on what we can achieve internally. This is in terms of driving efficiencies in how we produce our materials, but also in the actions of responsible employees who find ingenious ways to reduce our energy needs, as seen in our Green Team Awards, which in 2014 introduced an 'Eco-efficiency' specific category.
With regards to manufacturing our products, we have achieved energy consumption and CO2 reductions in two ways: by producing greater volumes of materials with more efficient energy usage, and also through investing in technologies and procedures that are more energy-wise and eco-efficient.
We are currently making good progress on securing our 2020 targets. In our last sustainability-reporting year for 2014, we achieved 17.2% reduction in energy consumption, together with 24.6% reduction in direct and indirect CO2 emissions. We are also on course in other target areas with 11.7% reduction in municipal and groundwater use, and 36.7% decrease in the total weight of incinerated and land-filled waste.
The following case studies typify the kind of eco-efficiency projects that are implemented across the business every year.
When the rain is something to look forward to
At our Jigani site in India, water requirements have historically been met through purchasing water, which was delivered by road tankers.
In 2012, however, the Jigani Green Team introduced a project for the site to harvest its own rain water through enriching existing dry bore-wells, which were put into operation, quickly making the site self-sufficient for its water needs.
In 2014, the site went one stage further, taking advantage of its low lying position in the landscape, by collecting rain water from neighbouring sites, which sat on higher contours. In moving from a water-starved site, to a water-rich site, not only does Jigani take advantage of a natural resource, and make the water provision essentially 'free', but it also aids the local community in its water resourcing.
Today, the site consumes 8,000 m3 of ground water per annum, but actually gives back 12,000 m3, showing a surplus over the year. Other eco-efficiencies include the reduction in purchased water – carried in road tankers – thus reducing water costs, and CO2 emissions.
The sweet scent of success
At our St. Celoni site in Spain, the key volume ingredient produced is Florhydral: a substance that is widely used in all kinds of perfumery, thanks to its fine reputation as a note that produces a natural, fresh, floral fragrance.
With global demand on the increase, St. Celoni was faced with having to double production of Florhydral in 2014, and aimed to achieve this ambitious new goal through lessening impacts and increasing eco-efficiencies.
Manufacturing Florhydral is a multi-step process that uses a combination of distillation, blending and other processes. The Green Team analysed data and identified three possible improvements that would make production more sustainable and less impactful to the environment. These included: utilising bulk raw materials, as opposed to purchasing 'drums'; changing the gas mixing procedures to save on transport; and optimising steps in the production process.
The process has been an overwhelming success, with St. Celoni achieving its objective of doubling the annual production of Florhydral in 2014. In terms of energy savings, the three-pronged approach has reaped rewards on all fronts, with reductions on truck transportation, for both removing the need for drums and lessened gas requirements. In total the site has saved over 150 MWh of energy usage for the year, fully illustrating the notion that 'more with less' is possible.