Posted on Monday 25th August, 2014
ACL Staticide - Focus on Sustainability in Chemicals
ACL Staticide - Focus on Sustainability in Chemical Processing & Products
Sustainability has many dimensions and facets for chemical manufacturers. Chemical companies also have a responsibility to future generations to implement sustainable methods throughout operations. At ACL Staticide, we accept our responsibility as a chemical manufacturer by taking a concerted, strategic approach to the environment and sustainability. And, in today’s market, the brand leaders must focus on continued sustainability.
The word sustainability is derived from the Latin sustinere (tenere, to hold up). Sustain can mean “maintain", "support", or "endure”. Since the 1980s sustainability has been used more in the sense of human sustainability on planet Earth, and this has resulted in the most widely quoted definition of sustainability: “sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
The simple definition that sustainability is something that improves the direct quality of human life within the carrying capacity of supporting eco-systems, though vague, conveys the idea of sustainability having quantifiable limits. But sustainability is also a call to action, a task in progress or even a “journey”. Some definitions set out common goals or values to achieve sustainability. The so called “Earth Charter” speaks of a sustainable global society founded on respect for nature and natural resources (like chemicals). Now this may be a bit out there, but conducting business and manufacturing in a way that leaves resources available, intact, and healthy for the next generation of business just makes good business acumen. And, at ACL, that’s how we think about it every day.
More than that, sustainability implies responsible and proactive decision-making and innovation that minimizes negative impact and maintains balance between ecological resilience and chemical resource vitality to ensure a desirable planet for all now and in the future. Some specific types of sustainability include sustainable agriculture, sustainable refining, sustainable processes, and sustainable resource development.
In the chemical arena, the solution to sustainable innovation, development, and manufacturing may be all summed up in these 3 keys: reduce, reuse, and recycle (everywhere possible with a consistent, constant focus). At ACL Staticide, we address and focus on these every day in our own manufacturing processes, in our strategic distribution practices, in our turnkey outsource operations, and in the way we run our fundamental business operations. This is because operational sustainability is important to all of us.
Sustainability comes in many forms and can be achieved in many ways; our ACL ISO procedures even include quality procedures designed to achieve high standards of quality, reduce waste, and encourage recycling in virtually every process. In our outsource operations, any off spec or returned material is evaluated immediately to determine its suitability to be reworked and recycled; all material is tested prior to rework to avoid waste and disposal and limiting any impact on the environment. The lion’s share of our packaging uses predominantly non-virgin, recycled materials to limit the impact on environmental resources. In most of our operations, waste and cooling water is rigorously monitored and recycled throughout our processes. Many of our facilities conduct operations on a four (4), ten hour day schedule in order to reduce energy costs and increase efficiencies. We have consolidated similar products and chemistries in order to streamline our product offering to support customer needs and reduce waste and chemical impact on the industry we serve. Additionally, we have implemented 80/20 simplification and lean transformational operations management in many cost and labor intensive production processes in order to drive out energy costs, reduce waste, and specifically reduce our carbon footprint.
In 2014, ACL Staticide set the bar high with the introduction of a more ambitious, next-generation set of technologies and chemistries, focusing our efforts on strengthening relationships within the communities where we operate, continuing to improve our product stewardship and innovation to solve problems, and reducing our emissions/carbon footprint. For us, sustainability is based on a simple principle: everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends either directly or indirectly on our natural environment. Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony. Sustainability is important to making sure that we have and will continue to have the water, materials, and resources to grow our businesses and protect our environment.
In summary, sustainability has emerged as a result of significant concerns about the unintended social, environmental, and economic consequences of rapid economic growth and consumption of natural resources. At ACL, we will continue to strive to maintain and improve our chemical sustainability and reduce our impact on the environment and available resources while producing high quality, high performance, innovative and relevant products for industry.