We are committed to maintaining the quality of the environment in which we work and aim to reduce the impact of our operations so that we can act in an environmentally responsible manner.
The environment – our products
Many of the products developed by Porvair are used to the benefit of the environment.
- Seal water analysis equipment, which is used, inter alia, to ensure drinking water is fit for consumption, and to analyse sea and river water for signs of pollution or changes to normal mineral composition;
- The patented Selee CSX™ aluminium filter, which is manufactured without phosphates or ceramic fibres, has improved filtration and manual handling benefits over competitor products;
- The patented Selee IC™ iron and aluminium filter uses raw materials produced from clay bodies. These raw materials replace silicon carbide, which is produced using an energy intensive and polluting process;
- The Group’s nuclear filters, which have been fitted to a range of demonstration plants being assessed as part of the decontamination and decommissioning work being carried out at the major US and UK nuclear waste sites;
- The Group has begun to introduce filters which will filter lithium alloys. These alloys are less dense and stronger than aluminium and will allow aircraft of the future to be made lighter and more fuel efficient; and
- Acquisition of Fiber Ceramics. The Fiber Ceramics process will produce a high fired product for steel filtration in four hours compared with the current practice of 44 hours. This results in a reduction in the use of natural gas to fire an equivalent amount of product.
The Group consistently considers methods of improving its environmental profile. Environmental impacts are managed in conformity with local regulatory requirements. The Group’s manufacturing processes have only a limited potential emissions impact. The Group uses solvents in certain of its processes, and has procedures in place for their control. Its Metals Filtration division manages the emissions from its kiln firing operations within agreed regulatory parameters.
The environment – our operations
Recent environmental changes we have made include:
- The Group opened a new facility in New Milton, UK, in February 2015 to rehouse its existing New Milton operations and to provide additional space for growth. It has been extensively refurbished. It has been re-roofed and the external walls re-clad with high insulation cladding.
New thermally efficient double glazing has been installed throughout.
Thermally efficient boilers have been installed to heat the facility. The building has environmentally friendly lighting: LED lighting has been installed in lower ceiling office areas with an expected life of 60,000 hours and induction lighting has been installed in the high bay which has an expected life of 100,000 hours.
These improvements provide a high quality work space for the employees, reduce energy consumption and will lower the heating and lighting costs.
- The Group has opened an extension on the plant in Caribou, ME, US and similar insulation and lighting standards are being introduced there as have been introduced in New Milton.
- Our UK operations offer the cycle to work scheme and in some cases car sharing initiatives.
- Metals Filtration has started to reuse the slurry in cuttings generated during the processing of our aluminium filters. These cuttings are the single largest portion of the waste stream, and represents approximately 12% of the raw materials used in production.
- The division has established a recycling team and a goal of eliminating all waste to landfill from its US plant by 2018.
Greenhouse gas emissions
The Group has implemented the UK Government’s guidance on measuring and reporting greenhouse gas emissions, in line with DEFRA guidelines, using conversion units published by Carbon Trust. The Group reports ‘Scope 1 and 2’ emissions in tonnes of carbon dioxide. Scope 1 covers direct emissions: those that emanate directly from Group operations. This is principally natural gas burned in manufacturing and fuel used in company owned vehicles. Scope 2 covers indirect emissions, those generated by key suppliers, which is principally electricity.
Metals Filtration in the US runs gas powered furnaces to fire its ceramic filters. The gas to run these furnaces is the largest component of the Group’s emissions. Electricity provides heat, light and power for the Group’s premises and other plant and equipment. The plant and equipment is mainly light manufacturing equipment but does include some high pressure presses and electric furnaces.
2010 is used as a base year and ‘kilogrammes of CO2 emission per pound sterling of revenue’ as a measure of intensity. The Group aims to reduce its total intensity ratio over time. Intensity rose in 2015 primarily as a result of the lower revenue in the year, and the additional gas used with the acquisition of Fiber Ceramics.
ENERGY SAVING OPPORTUNITY SCHEME (ESOS) The UK Government established ESOS to implement Article 8 (4-6) of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive (2012/27/EU). ESOS is the mandatory energy assessment scheme for larger organisations in the UK meeting the qualification criteria. The Environment Agency (EA) is the UK scheme administrator.
Porvair has completed all of the first audits and complied with the EA’s 5 December 2015 submission deadline. Porvair will then be required to carry out further ESOS assessments every 4 years. Reports by the auditors will incorporate and include recommendations identifying opportunities for cost saving energy measures.
REACH The first significant impacts of REACH (the European Union regulation concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation & restriction of Chemicals) will have an impact on some Porvair processes in 2016.
In preparation Porvair Filtration Group’s Segensworth site has begun identifying and re-qualifying engineering approved replacement products for existing processes using Trichloroethylene (chlorinated solvent) and Alocrom 1200 (contains Chrome 6) both of which appear on the ECHA Annex XIV list and both products are due to be phased out within the next three years. New de-greasing equipment and cleaning product (Vertrel Sion) has been identified and is currently going through the procurement process. An alternative non Chrome 6 coating has been identified by some customers as being an acceptable alternative or replacement for Alocrom 1200 (SURTEC). In the Metals Filtration Division work has commenced on removing boric acid from the CSX formulation to meet the REACH regulations for product shipped to Europe.