In 2012, the carbon footprint of our operations (excluding transport) was 374 thousand tonnes, 11% down compared to the previous year. The reduction to date has been achieved this 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. Comparing over the longer period, our 2012 emissions are 52% lower than 2000 levels.
During 2012 we also saw an increase in the amount of energy taken from renewable sources, particularly wind power, and also an increase in the amount of energy produced at our sites. This resulted in a reduction in electricity being sourced from the local / national grid (from 48% to 37% of our total energy usage). For example, our Madura Coats plant in India is now sourcing renewable energy from a company supplying wind power. 20% of the electricity used in Coats India now comes from a clean source, with zero emissions from its generation.
While we do not currently measure the emissions associated with the transportation of our products, as much of this is undertaken by third parties on our behalf, we seek to minimise them as much as possible.
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.
Of the water we used in 2012, 91% was discharged as waste effluent. 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 has been 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 often go well beyond legal requirements. See our case studies for more on these initiatives.
We had no environmental prosecutions during 2012. There were a few minor and isolated occurrences, which were dealt with speedily by taking the appropriate corrective actions. We take our relationships with all regulatory bodies very seriously and, no matter how small the incident, we are always proactive with the local authorities, undertaking robust investigations into what happened and putting in place measures to prevent any future occurrences.
Over the coming year we will continue to map our global carbon footprint, taking account of our energy and refrigerant use as well as our transport activities. We will then identify options for improved efficiency and derive targets for 2014 onwards.