The Arkema group is pursuing a series of initiatives and effective measures to reduce its impacts in terms of air pollution and water pollution by limiting its emissions.
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)
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
The Group’s 2030 target is to reduce VOC emissions, expressed in EFPI terms, by 65% 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.
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).
Arkema 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), Arkema 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.
The Group’s 2030 target is to reduce COD emissions, expressed in EFPI terms, by 60% compared with 2012. These progress are achieved through the water management program: Optim'O.
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.