Saint-Gobain Abrasives UK has committed to reduce its CO2 carbon emissions by 500 tonnes in 2021.
This includes energy consumption for Abrasives’ UK sites, including gas and electricity, claimed business miles and packaging materials used.
A typical year was reviewed (2019), where improvements had already begun and where further progress could be made.
Discussions on sustainability began during EHS Day in 2020, where the largest contributors to CO2 emissions across multiple sectors and the impact these had on the climate crisis were reviewed. The number one area identified was packaging, and an initiative to reduce plastic and opt for more sustainable solutions was put in place. Packaging Champions (PCs) from across different areas of the business collaborate regularly to evaluate areas for improvement, monitor and share ideas to reduce unnecessary packaging, challenge and improve current practices and discuss advances in new, more sustainable methods of packing and transporting products.
Nine projects are currently underway covering a number of initiatives including removing the use of plastic tape, to exploring reusable packaging for customers. One particular project focused on reducing the plastic wrap used to secure products on pallets, utilising a reduced thickness wrap (23mu to 17mu), with optimised stretch properties meaning less film is required per pallet, generating annual savings of approx. 1,330kg plastic.
In addition, the team are evaluating the replacement of a large extraction unit at the Staverton UK plant, with six smaller units designed to reduce the amount of electricity needed to power the extraction system. A more flexible solution, the smaller units will operate according to production needs, helping to save electricity and drastically reduce CO2 emissions.