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Sun Chemical Sustainability Report: Energy Use Drops

Inks and pigments producer Sun Chemical lowered its global energy usage by between 9 and 15 percent from 2010 to 2011, according to Environmental Leader estimates based on the company’s 2012 sustainability report.

The company also managed to make year-on-year reductions in its CO2 emissions, waste production and water use while maintaining its sales levels, the report says.

In 2010 the company used a total of around 450,000 MWh of energy. In 2011, it used around 390,000 MWh of energy, charts in the report show. This would suggest a 13 percent reduction, but allowing a margin of error, EL puts the drop at between 9 and 15 percent.

The report does not include any exact figures, so Environmental Leader has had to estimate figures from charts. Charts show that this is the fourth consecutive year that the company’s energy use has dropped.

Around two thirds of Sun’s energy use is from purchased electricity while the remainder comes from thermal energy, the report shows. Sun Chemical says that its thermal energy use comes primarily from the natural gas consumed on-site for processing and building heat.

The report does not include a chart for the company’s carbon emissions, but an infographic indicates that Sun reduced its carbon footprint year-on-year.

The company’s water usage dropped from 1 million cubic meters in 2010 to around 850,000 cubic meters in 2011, the report suggests.

Sun’s recorded water use hovered around 500,000 cubic meters from 2007 to 2009, but then doubled from 2009 to 2010, the report shows. The company says that this increase is related to calculation errors in previous years that it has since corrected.

Sun’s waste production fell from around 35,000 metric tons in 2010 to around 30,000 metric tons in 2011. Just under a third of its waste production in both 2011 and 2010 was hazardous waste. The chart shows a general downward trend in waste production from 2006 to today, but a large increase in waste production from 2005 to 2006. The report does not offer any clarification on this jump.

Sun Chemical is undertaking a “phased approach” to its sustainability effort, the report says. The company has set out a roadmap to improve the environmental friendliness of its products and processes.

For its processes Sun plans to:

  • set targets for energy and water consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and waste production;
  • measure and report these parameters regularly, by site and by product;
  • establish actions to improve its performance, then recheck and remeasure.

For its products the company says it has:

  • a structured approach to product development that includes risk management and “eco-efficiency improvements”  as criteria;
  • an infrastructure for product stewardship;
  • a proactive approach in working with customers, industry trade groups and suppliers to promote best practice.

Sun has a supplier management system in place that it uses to assess suppliers’ environmental performance and trigger improvement plans. Suppliers within the plan are scored on their sustainability using scorecards that are updated once or twice a year.

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