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Our Environment

  • Our Standards
  • Our Manufacturing
  • Our Environment
  • Our Partners
  • Our Communities
  • Our People
  • Our Products

Employee Engagement

Limiting our impact on the environment is a fundamental part of our business and is something everyone in Coats takes seriously. Coats senior management has defined objectives and targets to achieve the highest practicable standard of environmental performance for the Group. But we would not be able to achieve those targets without the help of all our employees.   They not only drive our processes and help to minimise our impacts, but they also come up with great ideas to improve our performance.

World Environment Day was celebrated at various locations across India in June 2016 and again in June 2017. The aim was to create awareness among employees of the importance of taking positive environmental action to protect nature and the environment. Activities included promotional posters, briefing sessions and gardening and speech competitions.

Carbon footprint

Greenhouse gas (GHG), as measured in kilos per kilo of dyed product, was reduced by over 5% in the last year (4.3 kg CO2e per kg of dyed product compared to 4.6 in 2016). This reflects both reduction in energy use and more use of renewable energy. In 2017, the total carbon footprint of our manufacturing operations (Scope 1 and Scope 2) was 310,578 tonnes, a decrease of 2% compared to the previous year, even though production volumes increased by 3% in the year. Scope 1 covers all direct greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from sources that are under Coats control, e.g. combustion of fuel, and Scope 2 covers indirect GHG emissions from the consumption of purchased electricity.  

Emissions Intensity (tonnes CO2e/$m sales)

Our emissions intensity is shown in the graph to the left. The increase in intensity in 2016 largely reflects a drop in the average revenue per tonne of production. Over the past six years the intensity has dropped by 17%

Renewable energy (% of total energy used each year)

We are looking at ways of reducing our GHG emissions, both by increased efficiencies, but also through the generation or purchase of renewable energy. Over the past five years the proportion of energy usage from renewables has increased to almost 29%.

Our overall impact has reduced by 17% since 2011, our base line.  This has been achieved through a combination of investment in energy efficiency – such as utilising better manufacturing schedules, regular maintenance and optimising building management – as well as in new technology.  We have also seen a change in the energy mix used at our sites e.g. an increased use of biofuels. 

Other renewable energy sources are also important: for example, our Madura Coats plant in India is now sourcing energy from companies supplying solar and wind power, which have installed solar generation capacity in several of our plants on long-term supply agreements.  91% of the electricity used in Coats India now comes from renewables, with zero emissions from its generation.  We have measured the greenhouse gas generated by our refrigerant usage and business air travel, but they each represent less than 2% of the emissions resulting from our manufacturing operations.

Over the last two years, we have also started to look at the emissions associated with the transportation of our products between our units via shipping and air, with the help of our logistics suppliers.  Our calculations to date suggest that emissions associated with shipping of our products was small compared to the impact of our manufacturing operations. Distribution of our products within and between countries over land or air varied between a negligible amount to larger contributions in big countries like Brazil.  Having said that the overall emissions were not significant in comparison to Scope1 and 2 and not material in relation to the complexities of the data collection.   


We also recognise that our activities produce waste and so we strive to reduce, recycle or re-use this where we can.  For the waste that we are unable to eliminate, we make sure that this is disposed of in a safe and responsible manner.


We have continued to reduce our water usage per kg of dyed product by 6% compared to 2016 (>26% reduction in last 5 years) through improvement in process technology. We also continue to increase the recycling of process water which now represents 10% of our water consumption (up from 8% in 2016) This reflects the continued implementation of water recycling projects at our major plants at India, China, and Sri Lanka. Of the water we used in 2017, 77% was discharged as waste effluent (down 2% from 2016).  Any effluent that we discharge must not only comply with local legislation and discharge limits, but also work towards meeting our own internal global effluent policy. This policy was  developed to ensure that all our operations, regardless of location, will meet a high standard in terms of the effluent they discharge.  These standards require our operations to measure and monitor the quality of effluent discharges in terms of a number of criteria, including oxygen demand, pH and metals content. Our internal limits usually go well beyond legal requirements.

In 2016, we signed up to the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) Programme, originally launched in 2011 by six leading brands. Through our commitment to ZDHC, we will be working with the industry to eliminate hazardous chemicals from not only our own operations but also the rest of the supply chain.

See our water case study to see how we are achieving these reductions and for more on our initiatives.

Environmental prosecutions

We had no environmental prosecutions during 2017.  We take our relationships with all regulatory bodies very seriously and, if there is an incident – no matter how small – we are always proactive with the local authorities, undertaking robust investigations into what happened and putting in place measures to prevent any future occurrences.

*The methodology for Scope 1 direct emissions is to convert fuel consumed in kWh to GHG equivalent using the global conversion factors published by the UK's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). The methodology for Scope 2 indirect emissions is to convert the electricity or other purchased energy in each country from KWh to GHG equivalent using the country level conversion factors published by the International Energy Agency, IEA. The resultant figures are then consolidated globally.


Corporate Responsibility case studies

Integrating our approach to Corporate Responsibility across our business operations

Read all case studies