Sky with rainbow
  • Air Emissions

    Design and control of pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturing processes are paramount for a sustainable and efficient usage of resources and the minimization of non-avoidable wastes and emissions. Lonza Group applies state-of-the-art technology for air emission abatement.

    In environmental and health terms, our focus is on carbon dioxide (CO2), as the prevailing greenhouse gas and volatile organic compounds (VOC), as precursors to low atmospheric ozone. The lead parameters for air impurities, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide and particulate matter are monitored and reported as well.

  • Carbon Dioxide (CO2)

    CO2 equivalents (CO2e) are based on stationary fuel consumption, electricity consumption and process based GHG emissions. CO2e are calculated from the consumption of the energy sources used multiplied by published location based as well as market based specific emission factors for CO2e. Process specific emission factors are applied where known. CO2e include greenhouse gases CO2, methane, nitrous oxide, and a number of halogenated hydrocarbon compounds. CO2e emissions from incineration processes include fossil fired boiler houses as well waste incineration plants, which use waste solids, liquids and gases as replacement fuels with varying non-fossil/fossil fractions.  So called "Stationary Fuels" represent essentially the fossil based fuels.

    Greenhouse gas warming potentials (GWP) of CO2e are based on IPCC's second assessment report (SAR) for Kyoto protocol gases and on the fourth assessment report (AR4) for other gases.

    (The level change from 2011 to 2012 essentially represents the acquisition of legacy Arch Chemicals companies in late 2011.)



    Total output of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2016 was 755,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e), 7.4% up on the previous year (some adjustments became required since the last annual report publication). Direct emissions (scope-1) amounted to 469,000 metric tons, while indirect emissions (scope-2) were at 286,000 metric tons. 

    CO2e scope-1 intensity in 2016, as measured by kilograms of CO2 emitted per metric ton (t) of finished goods produced, was 810 kg/t, 21% up on the previous year. When referenced to revenues we observe only a 3.7% increase over the previous year.



    More than half of all scope-1 CO2e (57%) emitted is generated by the thermal treatment of waste materials or by chemical reactions during normal production processes; stationary fuel use accounted for 46%.

    Large volumes of high pressure steam are generated by the incineration of solid, liquid and gaseous wastes, and substitute for additional fossil-based energy sources. Lonza utilizes steam as a heat source itself and at some locations also by feeding  to combined heat and power installations, generating electricity, or directly by supplying to a district heating network beyond our industrial borders and thus providing heat for private homes and public institutions.

  • Air Impurities

    These encompass the following air pollutants:

    • Volatile organic compounds (VOC)
    • Nitrogen oxides (NOx)
    • Sulphur dioxide (SO2)
    • Particulate matter

     NOx are generated essentially by incineration processes, while VOC emissions are mainly the result of solvent use in production and cleaning processes.


    Air impurities, totaling 770 metric tons in 2016, were 5% up on the previous year. A recalculation for the time series was required due to a site emissions review, which eventually led to lower values of volatile organic compounds (VOC) and a higher particulate matter contribution. VOC and nitrogen oxides (NOx) were responsible for 80% of all air impurities.

    Technical improvements at emission points have been realized in recent years and contributed to the reduction, which is seen in the sustainable reductive effect in 2013. 

    In 2016 the specific emissions of air impurities (intensity) was at 1.33 kg/t (up 12% on the previous year); and down 2.6% when referenced to revenues (187 kg/mn CHF). 



  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)

    (Preliminary note: VOC emissions were restated as a reporting error was recognized at one reporting site)

    VOC emissions are mainly the result of solvent use in product manufacturing, cleaning and maintenance processes. In 2016 halogenated VOC made up 16% of total VOC. Whereas the use of these organic compounds is driven by product mix, Lonza tries to minimize their consumption where possible. 


    Total VOC emissions in 2016 amount to 263 metric tons. The emission of halogenated VOC was 42 tonnes in 2016 and represents 16% of total VOC emissions.

    With 263 metric tons, the total of VOC emissions in 2016 was down 8% on the previous year. This is lowest ever observed VOC emissions in absolute terms, after the significant drop in 2013 when the commissioning of a RTO thermal oxidation system at our former Belgian operations at Braine almost eliminated their VOC emissions. 

    In 2016 the sites at Visp (CH) and Nanjing (CN) are representing 80%  of the VOC emissions of the Group. Lonza is concentrating on these locations when it comes to VOC abatement.

    Intensity-wise we note a -1.5% decrease of VOC emissions on mass of finished goods and an even more pronounced -15% decrease ofVOC emissions on revenues (CHF).