22 Feb Caring for the Future
The whole of 2011 was a year of assessments, setting achievable targets and ambitious goals. With drive and passion I embarked on the journey of sustainability in DyStar to measure its impact on the environment and society and publish the findings through its first ever Sustainability Report 2010. It was an ambitious step from a chemical company perspective to decide to measure their impact throughout the global operations and facilities.
It was not too difficult to achieve this ambitious goal, as DyStar, an environmentally conscious company, has imbedded the sustainable production practices and wealth of product safety measures into its business from the beginning. Yet, it was challenging due to its vast and cross cultural operations. We embraced this challenge believing that the textile industry would be receptive to sustainable products, processes and solutions and would have a common agenda of establishing a sustainable textile industry in the future. The formation of Sustainable Apparel Coalition group is one example. In such scenario, suppliers with high sustainability profile would be respected and welcomed in solving the supply chain issues proactively.
This project gave me in-depth insight into the wealth of sustainable practices DyStar has adopted at various production levels, mature technology and experienced staff. We had to produce environmentally compliant products and define processes to help customers achieve sustainability goals. This initiative gave me an opportunity of assessing our own strengths and weakness in the areas of sustainability and left me with confidence of having well designed solutions in place which can help to reduce and limit the impact of our and our customers’ operations on the environment.
Further to build upon DyStar’s Sustainability Strategy, a sustainability structure was created in the company and my experience of working with internal employees and stakeholders was great. I realized that reducing water use, cutting carbon emissions and treatment and safe disposal of waste are the key environmental areas of concern for our stakeholders and us.
Year 2010 was a benchmarking year for us. Realizing the need for continuous action and motivated with the results, I planned to launch our worldwide Sustainability & Green Program” Caring for the future” in the beginning of this year.
Another journey started of defining the guidelines, spreading awareness, convincing and motivating colleagues to show that sustainable business practices is the way to go to build a sustainable DyStar.
Recognizing that majority of the emissions came from sixteen production facilities, the main focus was on these production to design and implement sustainability strategies. Sustainability councils were formed and areas of emissions reductions have been identified.
It was amazing to see the pool of knowledge our experts have and how they implemented result oriented sustainability practices in their plants to motivate internal colleagues and establish sustainability at the core of their production practices.
I am happy to say that sustainability initiatives at various levels are being implemented now. Recycling of waste water, paper and other hazardous waste were identified as important areas. Electricity, steam and fuel consumption is being looked at seriously to achieve our annual carbon reduction targets. Renewable energy sources are being explored and focus is very much on recycling the waste and reuses the waste energy.
I sincerely wish that our production processes continuously strive to improve in a manner that ensures optimized use of energy and raw materials at every stage. It is great that our Corporate Sustainability Strategy is strongly embedded into the business operations. We have long term vision of reducing our emissions by 20% by 2020 and together we are working towards achieving this goal.
If you wish to know more about our efforts in sustainability or share your views, please feel free to contact me.