Helping Create a Greener World
One of our three strategic growth markets is ‘Environmental’. We produce materials used in automotive catalysts to neutralise noxious gases. Our Isolux® products remove arsenic and other harmful chemicals from drinking water or effluent. Many of our materials, such as magnesium alloys and superformed aluminium sheet are in demand because they are lighter in weight than alternatives, enabling users to improve fuel efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. One of our bigger growth areas is high-pressure containment of cleaner alternative fuels such as compressed natural gas and hydrogen.
Managing Environmental Impact
We, and our predecessor businesses, have been around for a long while, and a number of our sites have been manufacturing at their locations for several decades, including during times when there was less awareness about protecting the environment. Today we are very focused on minimising any on-going environmental impact from our operations and we are also proactively and progressively clearing those legacy issues that we acquired in 1996 with the businesses that now comprise Luxfer Group. We estimate that our expenditures on environmental matters could be approximately $4.0 million in 2014.
Other than for minor violations, the Group has neither created nor uncovered new environmental concerns in more than a decade and we continue to strengthen our controls. All our major sites are expected to achieve ISO 14001 certification to ensure environmental awareness and compliance.
Fourteen of our eighteen sites had achieved certification by the end of 2013. Two more of our large plants achieved certification during the year, and another is scheduled to be audited during 2014. The Group has chosen the proportion of sales revenue generated from ISO 14001-compliant sites as a non-financial key performance indicator, and this figure has now reached 91% compared to 73% in 2012.
Our UK chemicals business is regulated by the European Union regulation concerning the Regulation, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), which aims, among other things, to provide a high level of protection of human health and the environment from the use of chemicals, and to make manufacturers and importers responsible for understanding and managing the risks associated with their use. As a manufacturer and importer, our chemicals business participates in several REACH consortia (as member or lead member), under which manufacturers and importers of like substances register their substance and work together to collect and collate specified sets of information on those substances, which is then used to assess hazards and risks posed by those substances, and how those risks might be controlled.
Managing Energy Use
Energy is a major requirement for the Group’s activities, which involve melting and forming metals, changing the state of chemicals, and running heavy machinery. For the past three years we have had an energy committee encouraging all business units to examine ways to minimise energy usage and looking at innovative ways to reduce our usage and cost.
Our UK operations are regulated under the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC). The scheme is designed to target CO2 emissions not already covered by Climate Change Levy Agreements and the European Union Trading Omissions Scheme. The legislation requires organisations to monitor and report on their energy usage and take action to reduce consumption. We are registered under the scheme. All of our UK operations participate in Climate Change Agreements, with the exception of our gas cylinders plant, due to the nature of its cold-extrusion process.
LUXFER GROUP - a global materials technology company.