Each manufacturing site maintains a waste disposal operation tailored to relevant waste streams for the efficient and environmentally sound treatment and disposal of waste outputs. All sites are committed to our waste reduction principles and to treating and disposing of all waste materials (including wastewater) in full compliance with local regulations and international standards. The waste management system and performance at our manufacturing sites are both subject to regular inspections and audits.
We carefully select our partners for waste transportation and treatment based on performance and capabilities in Environment, Health and Safety (EHS). We operate our own waste and wastewater treatment facilities at specific locations, such as Visp (CH) and Nansha (CN). Additionally, the energy from on-site incineration of residues and waste gases at these two sites is used for heat energy generation in order to conserve resources.
We are committed to increasing the efficiency of input materials in production processes, including yield improvement, reworking out-of-specification production, and the re-use of ancillaries wherever possible. We strive to reduce effluent by controlling and reducing water inputs and effluent pre-treatments. Final effluents are managed and controlled according to the parameters permitted by local authorities.
Lonza applies state-of-the-art technology for air emission control. The focus is on greenhouse gas emissions (CO2), and volatile organic compounds (VOC), as precursors to low atmospheric ozone. Other parameters monitored are nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide and particulate matter. Continuous investment, technical improvements at emission points and emission control equipment contribute to the control and reduction of such emissions. Air impurity targets are included in site roadmaps where this parameter is material.
Parameters monitored for water pollution are total organic carbon (TOC) or chemical oxygen demand (COD), heavy metals, nitrogen and phosphorus. Depending on the site-specific processes and production, local requirements may also include other relevant parameters. Heavy metals are also monitored, when applicable, e.g. cadmium, copper, nickel. The main source of heavy metals is the usage of metal-containing catalysts. The eutrophying nitrogen (N) and phosphorous (P) containing compounds are also measured.
Scientific evidence confirms that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions contribute to global warming. This is largely caused by the combustion of fossil fuels to provide energy.
To decouple GHG emissions from energy consumption, we strive to increase the proportion of renewable electricity (such as wind, hydro and solar). Our sites include energy efficiency and waste reduction measures in their roadmaps and also apply low-carbon energy alternatives, such as biomass. We have implemented “sustainability by design” standards for energy and water efficiency which enable us to build growth projects with best-in-class sustainable technologies. We also participate in research projects to evaluate carbon capture opportunities.
For more information, please check our latest CDP disclosures and our TCFD report, included in our Sustainability Report.
Energy consumed for manufacturing processes is by far the largest contributor to our climate-relevant emissions. We therefore concentrate on energy-efficiency measures at all our manufacturing sites as part of our continuous improvement effort, and plan to increase the share of renewable electricity.
The energy intensity (GJ/revenue) has steadily been decreasing. This decrease is driven by the transformation of our product mix from basic chemical synthesis to biologics, using bacterial and mammalian systems and higher-value compound synthesis. These processes are less energy intensive in nature. We also benefit from an increasing proportion of modern, energy-efficient buildings, assets and production technologies.
Carbon emissions overview
CO2 equivalents (CO2-eq) are calculated from the consumption of the energy sources multiplied by published emission factors. Process-specific emission factors are applied where known. Chemical processes and reactions may also generate GHG-emissions, (e.g. fugitive CO2 or N2O), which are tracked and reported by our sites. CO2-eq include the greenhouse gases CO2, methane, nitrous oxide, and a number of halogenated hydrocarbon compounds. CO2-eq emissions from incineration processes include fossil fired boiler houses as well as waste incineration plants (using waste solids, liquids and gases as fuel). The carbon intensity (CO2-eq/revenue) has been steadily decreasing across the years.
GHG emissions are categorized into three groups: Scope 1 and Scope 2 cover emissions from our operations and energy use, while Scope 3 includes all other indirect emissions that occur in our value chain. The most important energy sources to us are natural gas, electricity and the thermal processing of our waste products (steam production, combined heat and power). As part of the global industrial community, we are engaged in selecting and implementing energy-efficient solutions.
As generally observed in our industry, Scope 3 GHG emissions are considerably higher than Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions. A significant proportion of our Scope 3 GHG emissions can be attributed to purchased goods and services and capital expenditure.
Water is used for a variety of purposes across our business, including heat transfer and cooling, steam generation, washing and cleaning, sanitization, and as a product ingredient. It is a precious, vital and burdened natural resource of increasing importance and scarcity, which must be actively managed – especially in water-scarce locations. We are taking multiple measures to minimize downstream effects and water withdrawal impacts on our communities and the local environment. Internal standards on water and wastewater include a water balance at a site level to optimize usage and limit losses, requirements to reduce water usage through asset optimization and process changes, and requirements to promote water recycling and the use of rainwater.
Our water usage is divided into two main categories: industrial process water and non-contact cooling water. Industrial water - or water consumed - may be altered chemically and physically by the manufacturing processes. All cooling water cycles are closed-loop systems, whereby the exchanged heat is dissipated by air and evaporation (cooling tower) or by river water as in Visp (CH).
Industrial water consumption, closely related to production volume, capacity use and product mix, ranges to 3 million cubic meters. The decrease in the water consumption intensity (per mio CHF revenue) reflects the water-saving initiatives and changes in the product portfolio .
All cooling water networks are separated from any industrial water networks to prevent accidental pollution of water. Total cooling water used by Lonza averages 29 million cubic meters, mainly from our Visp (CH) site, and the majority returns to water bodies.