Limiting pollution of air and water

The Arkema group is pursuing a series of initiatives and effective measures to reduce its impacts in terms of climate change, air pollution and water pollution by limiting its emissions.

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions

Flame that burns gases in the flare of a factory

A longstanding commitment delivers results

Curbing greenhouse gas emissions is a  priority of the Arkema group. This approach can be illustrated by examples such as:

  • Installation of stack gas treatment equipment such as the thermal oxidizers at the Pierre-Bénite plant in France and the Changshu plant in China  
  • Replacement of boilers by more powerful equipment allowing a gas consumption reduction
  • Replacement of air-conditioners and cold groups by more powerful models.

The Group’s 2025 target is to reduce its direct GHG emissions by 50%, compared with 2012. It was achieved in 2018.

This progress reflects the Group’s dynamic on this matter and the effectiveness of its action plan, which extends to all sites.

Arkema is working on new climate-related targets with regard to the Paris Agreement.

     

Climate

halve greenhouse gas emissions (GHG)

2012201620172018Obj. 2025
EFPI GHG 1.000.600.520.460.50

The challenge of global warming

Greenhouse gas emissions abatement is crucial for our planet and for future generations. Greenhouse gases, including CO2, have long-term effects on the composition of the Earth’s atmosphere, gradually leading to a rise in average global temperatures.

Atmospheric emissions of other substances

Energetic measures to eliminate the most harmful emissions

The Arkema group’s primary concern is to minimize its emissions of the most toxic compounds, namely:

  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  • Compounds that acidify the air (nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide)
  • Particulates
A giant balloon is launched into the air by scientists in the early morning

For VOCs, the Group is controlling emissions:

  • By capturing and treating off-gases that contain them (thermal oxidation or blowhole lavage being the most widely-used treatment techniques)
  • By regular monitoring programs to detect and eliminate any fugitive VOC emissions
     

Air

reduce VOC emissions by 33%

2012201620172018Obj. 2025
EFPI VOC 1.000.800.660.620.67

 

The Group’s 2025 target is to reduce VOC emissions, expressed in EFPI terms, by 33% compared with 2012.

  

Impact of air pollution on living species and the environment

Limiting pollutant emissions to the atmosphere has crucial implications for the future, given their consequences for living species and the environment.

By decreasing VOCs emissions, the Arkema group foster the decrease of a major pollutant: Tropospheric ozone

Sight on settling tanks in the countryside

Emissions to water

No effluents discharged untreated

Diminishing its emissions to water also ranks high among the chief environmental objectives of the Arkema group. The group is especially attentive to effluents that could result in high chemical oxygen demand (COD) or contain high levels of suspended solids (SS).

The Arkema group reduces its COD and high-SS effluent discharge by:

  • Installing its production plants in industrial parks equipped with full-scale wastewater treatment plants
  • Installing physical-chemical and/or biological treatment process units to treat effluents at its more isolated plants
  • Optimizing the treatments wastewater plants or better controlling water sent in station

A particular attention to the wastewaters rejected by the plants

Original solutions are sometimes used for the industrial waters depollution. For example, at Boretto (Italy), the Arkema group uses the socalled phytoremediation or pythodepuration technique. Phytodepuration reproduces the ecological balance of aquatic and moist environments. This natural system is appealing to a treatment by the roots of aquatic macrophytes of reed type phragmites communis and to a layout with a little stream and a swamp. It allows to reduce at a maximum the Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) and to eliminate surfactants initially present.

   

Water

cut COD by 40%

2012201620172018Obj. 2025
EFPI COD 1.000.780.700.590.60

The Group’s 2025 target is to reduce COD emissions, expressed in EFPI terms, by 40% compared with 2012.

These progress are achieved through the water management program: Optim'O

A man and a woman wearing individual protective equipment, are carrying a water withdrawal

The challenge of river biodiversity

A water course must contain dissolved oxygen in order for aquatic fauna to survive. This oxygen comes both from ambient air and from the photosynthesis performed by algae. In a river or stream with excessively high COD, the oxygen available is insufficient to support aquatic fauna.

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