Pollution and waste generation is threatening our environment and the availability of natural resources on which we depend. We do our utmost to minimise waste and strive for optimal recycling flows at our production sites and offices.
Our production processes are designed to minimise waste output and to generate valuable by-products alongside our intentional products instead. Both our final products and by-products are readily biodegradable and ecologically safe. Our by-products are used in the feed, agriculture or construction industry or for biogas production. However, there are different types of waste generated by our plants.
Traditional production processes of citric acid and lactic acid use lime in fermentation, resulting in the generation of gypsum as a sidestream. Gypsum waste, with a potentially negative impact on the environment, is typically landfilled, due to its impurity profile.
Jungbunzlauer introduced already decades ago a gypsum-free production process for citric acid at our production site Pernhofen, Austria. Today most of our Austrian citric acid is produced with the gypsum-free process. The older production line still applies the gypsum process, being only used to fulfil market demand that cannot be covered by the gypsum-free process. After purification and drying, part of the gypsum generated is a valued by-product in construction, the rest is still landfilled.
At our production site in Port Colborne, Canada, we only use the gypsum-free production process, which was introduced since the production start more than 20 years ago. Our lactic acid factory started more than 10 years ago at our production site Marckolsheim in France. It has been the first production line globally operating a non-GMO and gypsum-free production process on industrial scale.
In addition, large volume raw materials and chemicals are purchased in bulk (barges, railcars, tipper, tank and silo trucks), thereby preventing large volumes of packaging waste in our productions sites and upstream in the value chain.
Each production plant and each office location handles the management of waste individually. Waste is handled and disposed of according to national regulations. There are definitions in place for the different waste categories, and recycling or disposal requirements are specified. At each production plant there is a designated person responsible for waste management, who takes care of the collection, segregation and handling, recording and reporting of waste. In addition, we work together with specialised partners, whose scopes of responsibilities are also clearly defined. Waste generated at each of our production sites is measured and reported internally and to the authorities, depending on the framework of national requirements. A summary is included in the annual Responsible Care® Report for each plant, which is presented to the management.
Individual improvement goals regarding waste are set at each production plant and progress is recorded. Since 2021, waste generated, and waste diverted from or directed to disposal are evaluated according to GRI Standards. More information can be found in chapter 6 in our report.
Waste handling is also a topic dealt with in customer meetings and questionnaires. Packaging waste from our finished products is of particular interest due to upcoming regulations. Jungbunzlauer aims to reduce the need for packaging materials by offering bulk deliveries wherever possible. We also supply material in different types of packaging (e.g. semi-bulk packaging like big bags or IBCs), and either support collection and re-use (IBCs) or use packaging materials (e.g. polyethylene, polypropylene, cardboard, wood) that can be easily recycled.
We strive for an ongoing reduction in waste and for optimal recycling flows.
Production and logistic processes will be improved where possible to minimise waste.
- Optimisation of waste management system in Marckolsheim, France: new waste sorting categories for plastics
Further reduction of corporate waste intensity
Corporate waste intensity was reduced by 4% from 2021 to 2022
Reduce waste by implementing individual projects at our four production sites
Waste reduction projects have been identified and implemented in our production sites
Data collection at production plants according to GRI Standards
Data collection for waste according to GRI Standards has been finalised. In 2022, 9% less total waste was gene-
rated than in 2021. Waste diverted from disposal and waste directed to disposal were also both reduced, by 31% and 8%, respectively
Corporate waste intensity is calculated as waste to landfill of all production sites per quantity unit produced including by-products and glucose.
We are continuously working on reducing waste where possible and optimising waste management in order to recycle more. Meaningful waste targets for the whole Group should be developed in 2023.