We seek to operate our business in a way that is as environmentally sustainable as practical. By using resources such as energy and water more efficiently, and reducing waste, we aim to improve our environmental sustainability further while controlling operating costs.
Tate & Lyle's environmental policy and standards apply to all our activities globally, and we aim to integrate environmental considerations into all major decisions.
Our facilities operate under local environmental authorisations and permits and we require strict compliance with these at all times. If a site inadvertently breaches an operating limit we seek to take steps immediately to resolve the issue and prevent reoccurrence.
We have procedures and programmes in place to manage and minimise the environmental impact of our operations, our packaging and our supply chain.
We have internal and external auditing processes. Our annual internal global compliance audit programme confirms compliance with our environmental and food safety, quality and health and safety management standards.
Additionally, our rolling programme of external, independent environmental compliance audits assures compliance with regulatory requirements.
We include annual environmental sustainability targets in the performance objectives of employees from Executive Committee to plant level. These include energy use, water use and waste reduction, amongst others.
Overall, we are working to address environmental considerations across the life cycle of our products, from our agricultural supply chain to how our products are packaged and transported.
Within our own operations and joint ventures we focus on those aspects of our activities that have the greatest potential impact on the environment, namely our use of energy (and consequent air emissions and carbon footprint), our water use, and waste management.
Beyond our own operations we focus our attention on our agricultural raw material and ingredient supply chain, the transportation of our products to our customers, and our products' packaging.
In calendar year 2012, compared with 2011:
- Energy use per tonne of production increased by 1.6% due to changes in our production mix – with the manufacture of more speciality products, and sitespecific factors such as the installation of new air emissions control equipment.
Since 2008 we have reduced energy use per tonne of production by 10%. Energy efficiency projects implemented this year included optimisation of the steam system at our joint-venture plant in Boleraz, Slovakia; and the installation of energy efficient lighting at Sycamore, Illinois.
- Carbon footprint from energy use decreased by 1.1% per tonne of production due to changes in our fuel mix, alongside energy efficiency projects at many locations.
Since 2008 we have reduced CO2 emissions per tonne of production by 11%.
- Water use per tonne of production decreased by 2.1% due to various water efficiency projects including: at Dayton, Ohio, where water re-use and recycling implemented in 2012 will save up to 45% of the plant's annual water use; and at Decatur, Illinois, which received General Electric's 'Return on Environment' and 'Proof not Promises' awards for water saving initiatives in 2012.
Since 2008 we have reduced water use per tonne of production by 9%.
- Waste to landfill decreased by 11% per tonne of production, due to good progress with waste reduction, re-use and recycling programmes at many facilities. For example, at Lafayette South, Indiana, external waste recovery facilities, which use anaerobic digestion to produce energy from waste, were used to reduce our waste to landfill following on from similar work at our Sagamore plant in Lafayette, Indiana, the previous year.
Since 2008 we have reduced waste to landfill per tonne of production by 26%.
We aim to improve environmental performance in the coming year by focusing on the following areas:
- capital projects and operational practices to reduce our energy use, CO2 emissions, water use and waste to landfill per tonne of production
- working with our customers on reducing our combined environmental impact
- working with our suppliers and others to promote sustainable agriculture.
1 We recognise that installing new air emissions control equipment at several locations over the next few years and the manufacture of more speciality products will make it more challenging to reduce our energy use and CO2 emissions in the medium term.