Environmental Performance 

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.

Our approach
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.

Operational performance
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%.

Looking ahead
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.
Environment graphs



    Environmental sustainability targets 
    We have four medium-term environmental sustainability targets

    Target by end of 2016

    Calendar year 2012 status


    Reduce CO2 emissions from energy use by 12.5% per tonne of production (baseline year 2008)1

    11% reduction in CO2 emissions per tonne of production versus 2008

    In 2012 our joint-venture facility in Hungary started up a new biomass boiler

    Implement packaging reduction programmes with customers representing >50% of sales (£)

    Programmes initiated with customers representing >9% of sales (£)

    In 2012 we changed from a three-ply to a two-ply paper sack for several products, reducing paper use by approximately 1,500 tonnes per year

    Implement transport efficiency programmes with customers representing >50% of sales (£)

    Programmes initiated with customers representing >9% of sales (£)

    In 2012 we piloted a new liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) truck design with a transport contractor in Europe which can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 70% per trip

    Implement sustainable agricultural sourcing programmes for our top 20 agricultural raw materials and ingredients by volume

    In 2012 we evaluated our principal 25 agricultural raw materials and ingredients and progressed sustainable agriculture initiatives

    A number of updated sustainable sourcing criteria and new initiatives are currently in development or implementation

    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.

Managing safely

Water: The global challenge

Water: The global challenge

Water: The global challenge

We use large volumes of water in our manufacturing operations, so at a time of increasing pressure on global resources, and changes in temperature and rainfall patterns, it’s vital that we take a strategic and environmentally sustainable approach to our supply and use of water.

Tate & Lyle has reduced water consumption by 7% per tonne of production through water conservation, recycling and operational efficiencies. Our global plants have on-going programmes and projects for water efficiency, with targets for reduction.

We are conducting reviews of the water requirements of all our manufacturing facilities to compare them with databases of local water supplies and demand. We are also looking at projections of availability into the future, including a ‘worst case’ climate-change scenario for 2050, so that we can plan accordingly.

Tate & Lyle wins top environmental awards
The success of these policies has been vividly demonstrated in the American Mid West. In 2012, despite recent extreme drought and high temperatures, our largest US plant at Decatur, Illinois, won GE’s Return on Environment Award for decreasing water use by nearly 21 million US gallons per year, and the Proof not Promises Award for significantly improving its operational performance.