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  • 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 including natural gas, electricity consumption and process based GHG emissions. CO2e are calculated from the consumption of the energy sources multiplied by published  emission factors. Process specific emission factors are applied where known. CO2e include the 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 (including natural gas).
    Greenhouse gas warming potentials (GWP) of CO2e are based on IPCC's second and fourth assessment report.

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

     (Note: 2017 data exclude Capsugel)

     CO2e Emissions 2017

    Total output of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2017 was 676,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e), 7.2% down on the previous year (scope-1 and scope-2 reductions, as well as adjustments of electricity emission factors of national grids, contributed to the GHG overall reductions). Direct emissions (scope-1) amounted to 425,000 metric tons, while indirect emissions (scope-2) were at 252,000 metric tons.  Indirect scope-2 emissions are calculated by regional specifc standard emission factors from the consumption of purchased electricity or steam in the respective grid regions. They decreased by 3.4% compared with 2016.

    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.


     CO2e categories 2017

    Almost half of all scope-1 CO2e (47%) emitted is generated by the thermal treatment of waste materials or by chemical reactions during normal production processes; stationary fuel use accounted for 51%.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.

    (Note: 2017 data exclude Capsugel.)

     Air Impurities Emissions 2017

    Air impurities, totaling 690 metric tons in 2017, were 12% down on the previous year. Primarily responsible for this significant decrease was emission control equipment at Visp including 74% lower halogenated VOC emissions. VOC and nitrogen oxides (NOx) were responsible for 83% of all air impurities.

    Technical improvements at emission points have been realized in recent years and contributed to the reductions. A major step was realized in 2013, when the thermal oxidizer at Braine exhibited its full potential. Since then on-gong reduction efforts were partially compensated by production increases. In 2017 Visp added further emission control equipment reducing significantly their VOC output.

    In 2017 the specific emissions of air impurities (intensity) was at 1.1 kg/t (down 21% on the previous year); and down 19% when referenced to revenues (152 kg/mn CHF). 

     Air Impurities Categories 2017

  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)

    VOC emissions are mainly the result of solvent use in product manufacturing, cleaning and maintenance processes.

    In 2017 halogenated VOC made up 6% of total VOC a significant reduction from the previous year. Whereas the use of these organic compounds is driven by product mix, Lonza tries to minimize their consumption where possible.

    (Note: 2017 data exclude Capsugel.)

     VOC Emissions 2017 

    Total VOC emissions in 2017 amount to 208 metric tons. The emission of halogenated VOC was 12 tonnes in 2017 and represents 6% of total VOC emissions.

    With 208 metric tons, the total of VOC emissions in 2017 was down 21% on the previous year. This is the lowest ever observed VOC emissions in absolute terms. The year-on-year reduction in 2017 was mainly due to technical control equipment installed at Visp. (Note: The 2013 drop represents  the commissioning of a RTO thermal oxidation system at our former Belgian operations at Braine, which almost eliminated their VOC emissions at that time).  

    In 2017 the sites at Visp (CH) and Nanjing (CN) were representing 72%  of the VOC emissions of the Group. Lonza is continuing to focus on these locations when it comes to VOC abatement.

    Intensity-wise we note a -29% year-on-year decrease of VOC emissions in the reporting year on weight of finished goods and a comparable -28% decrease of VOC emissions on revenues (CHF).

     VOC by Sites 2017