New Sustainability Programme

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The European chlor-alkali industry has decided to continue its Sustainability Programme, although in a refined way. In 2001, the chlor-alkali industry was one of the first industrial sectors deploying a sustainability programme that monitors and reports on relevant parameters in the fields of health, safety and environmental protection. The new Programme will also focus on communication and outreach.

The European chlor-alkali industry, represented by Euro Chlor, has decided to continue its Sustainability Programme, although in a refined way. In 2001, the chlor-alkali industry was one of the first industrial sectors deploying a sustainability programme that monitors and reports on relevant parameters in the fields of health, safety and environmental protection. The new Programme will also focus on communication and outreach.

SD-Brochure 2011-2021The first Sustainability Programme has delivered major improvements across a broad range of our key impacts, and it has focused companies throughout the sector on the areas where further improvements can most beneficially be made.

Over the last 10 years, energy consumption per tonne of chlorine has been reduced by some 10%. This improve­ment has been due to advances in cell technology and in more energy efficient ancillary equipment. Bearing in mind the nature of the electro-chemical reaction which fixes the energy required this is a major achievement.

Another important milestone of our past programme was the reduction of mercury and chlorinated organics emis­sions: about 60% of the total mercury emissions remaining in 2001 have now been eliminated. By the end of our second programme, mercury emissions from the European chlor-alkali industry will have ceased through the completion of the voluntary phase-out of its mercury process by 2020. The 90% reduction of chlorinated organics emissions from factories achieved in the 15 years prior to 2001 have now been extended to the point where they no longer constitute one of our major impacts. Our past programme has also delivered major improve­ments in the safety field in terms of reducing lost-time injuries, process and transport incidents.

A new parameter has been adopted: the number of hours of training per year per employee, expressed as the aver­age percentage of training hours within the total of man hours work. Euro Chlor is convinced that well-trained workers are central to good performance in the safety, health and environment areas. It is part of Euro Chlor's mission to provide guidance in these domains.

The outreach will enhance transparency, educate the public and create more goodwill towards industry. Euro Chlor will promote the sharing of experiences on communication with site neighbours and other stake­holders as well as on best practices between compa­nies.

A second major activity within this qualitative communications scheme will be the development, over several years, of a comprehensive communications plan in order to highlight to large and varied audiences the multiple benefits of chlorine and its value chain.

Download the new Sustainability brochure (PDF document) and visit the Sustainable Development pages on this site.

  Further information:

Alistair J Steel, Executive Director, Tel: +32 2 676 73 50, 
Dirk Clotman, Communications manager, Tel. +32 473 83 79 64
Additional information on the European Chlor-Alkali sector and its views on
www.eurochlor.org .