We take on our responsibility in the area of safety, health and environmental protection towards our employees, human society and the natural environment, and we will continue to improve and optimize our performance. The safety and health of our employees, the well-being of our stakeholders and the minimization of our impact on the natural environment remain a Group priority. The group is committed to operations and practices, which prevent harm to people and damage to environment or property.
Production, Research and Development
Lonza provides innovative solutions for a demanding market. From the very beginning of a new project, experts in the area of safety, health and environmental protection are part of the development team. The realization of economically and environmentally favorable solutions is an integrated process, which includes material selection, process development, product design, resource conservation and logistics optimization. All business sectors contribute to material improvements in EHS performance, resulting in a significant reduction in accident rates, high standards of industrial hygiene and a sound management of the environmental strain.
Lonza takes action to minimize and where possible to eliminate the generation of wastes by intelligent installation and process planning as well as integrated resource allocation. Every chemical production process creates unwanted by-products. Some of these contain valuable raw materials that can be reclaimed and reused. Only when recycling processes are economically and ecologically unfavorable, Lonza will dispose of wastes by either incineration or landfilling. To ensure sound waste handling practices Lonza has vested in several waste incineration and water treatment plants worldwide as well as a state-of-the-art landfill at the largest manufacturing site in Visp, Switzerland. For wastes that have to be disposed of externally, we follow strict control and audit procedures which supplement local, federal and international legal requirements in this area.
Lonza believes long-term corporate success hinges on outstanding performance in these areas. Our active participation in the Responsible Care and similar programs is an affirmation of our commitment to safety, health and environmental protection. It is a Lonza policy obligation that all our chemical processes are carefully analyzed and assessed in the context of systematic risk analyses. All resulting necessary corrective actions have to be executed before the start-up of a new or modified process.
The safe handling, use and transportation of our products lies in the hand of competent specialists. These experts assess our products on the basis of their bio- and eco-toxicological as well as their physico-chemical properties and derive the appropriate measures within the applicable legal framework. A prerequisite of successful product launches in today's demanding markets is the on-deadline compliance with all statutory requirements like notification, registration, labeling, and the dissemination of material safety data sheets. The comprehensive and timely information of internal and external customers and the authorities is a business condition.
We enter into open dialogue with neighboring communities and other interested parties to discuss current concerns and find mutually satisfactory solutions. We take an active role in community advisory panels at our US locations and maintain close contacts with the local community, the authorities and the wider public at all our production sites worldwide.
Open door days, school projects, community emergency support, close contact with co-producers and active membership in national and international associations illustrate our commitment to continuously improve our performance in the area of safety, health and environmental protection.
We report openly on our activities, we are responsive to concerns or fears, and we take appropriate action when necessary.
Lonza is well prepared to handle the inherent risks of chemical manufacturing. All sites have established their local emergency organization (LEO) to deal with incidents and emergency situations. Alongside the presence of the technical measures to fight an emergency, the LEOs are well organized and regularly trained for their tasks. The potential risk scenarios are discussed and managed in a structured and systematic manner to ensure immediate action and minimize harm to people and damage to property, equipment and the environment.
In addition to the LEOs, Lonza has established a central emergency communications group. Its tasks are to ensure a correct, consistent and timely information of Group management and external bodies. Although our two-stage emergency management organization has proven to be effective and we believe that Lonza is able to adequately deal with potential emergencies and is constantly working on the optimization of our response teams and its organization to further optimize our preparedness.
A considerable amount of capital is spent each year for safety, health and environmental purposes. Current levels of the EHS investments on total investments in plant property and equipment is around 15% to 20% per year and demonstrate our strong commitment to continously improve our EHS efforts and maintain a high level of safety, security, health and environmental protection. At the end of the reporting year 2014, a total of 218 people, 2.2 % of our employees, worked in the EHS field, a percentage that has been fairly stable over the years.
In 2014 EHS operational costs amounted to CHF 56.4 million in 2014, 6 % down on the previous year; capital expenditure on EHS was CHF 27 million, equivalent to 0.7 % of sales and 15 % of the Group’s total investment in fixed assets.
[EHS cost reporting from 2010 relies on a central system data source and cannot be directly compared to previous years.]