We recognise that our environmental impact extends beyond the boundaries of our factory gates as we generate emissions from the energy we use and waste from our production processes, including waste water.
Our environmental policy ensures that our operations around the world maintain a consistent approach to managing our environmental impact. This policy is available on the Policies & Downloads page of this website. In addition, nine of our operations have a formal Environmental Management System in place, including Bulgaria, Hungary and Vietnam, certified to ISO14001.
In 2011, the carbon footprint of our operations (excluding transport) was 457 thousand tonnes. This is a reduction of 3% compared to the previous year on a like-for-like basis, as we have improved our energy efficiency and reduced our energy consumption (view case study – The Energy Reduction Story).
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 2011, 89% 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.
We had no environmental prosecutions during 2011. There were a few minor incidents, which we monitored very closely. 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 be mapping our global carbon footprint, taking account of our energy and refrigerant use as well as our transport activities. We will also establish our baseline of waste production relative to output. We will then identify options for improved efficiency and derive targets for 2013 onwards.