Imerys, Transform to perform

Green Innovation


Sustainable development

Green Innovation

Innovation is at the heart of Imerys growth strategy.

For several years, innovation goals have been factored into our Sustainable Development action plan. These include:
  • The development and introduction every year of products with an environmental benefit,
  • The measurement, from the design stage, of our innovations’ carbon footprint.

The rise in the number of ideas and opportunities led the Group to allocate significantly more resources to R&D and Innovation, increasing 2013 expenses by almost + 7% to €60 million.

Moreover, a growing share of research expenditure is for work on innovations in new markets for Imerys. The Group introduced almost 65 new products in 2013. Several of them offer an environmental benefit, while others improve ease of use. Many high-technology products were also launched. Imerys intends to increase the share of new products in its revenue. The Group thus estimates that €333 million in revenue was generated with products created in the past five years. This is an increase of + 33% compared to 2012.

Our ability to combine minerals enables our customers to make significant, quantifiable improvements, e.g. better controlled, more cost-effective production, lower consumption of expensive raw materials, greater energy efficiency, reduced emissions and environmental impact. We also optimize our own processes to increase our productivity, but also limit our energy consumption and carbon emissions and make better use of natural resources.

To find out more information related to Group's Innovation, click here.

2009, 2010 and 2011 saw the market launch of many new products with an environmental, health or safety benefit. We present some examples below.

  • A range of minerals for bio-based polymers
In Performance Minerals, with the acquisition of the Group Luzenac, Imerys has complimented its range of minerals for bio-based polymers, a fast-growing market segment driven by the trend of lower usage of petroleum-based fuels. Read more

  • Linerfil™ : Saving Energy in Paper-Making (Pigments for Paper and Packaging)
In Pigments for Paper & Packaging, extensive technical work is being done to replace paper fiber with inexpensive pigments in a range of paper and packaging grades. The packaging market currently makes little use of minerals and is likely to grow more than printing and writing paper in the coming years. New pigment grades are therefore being developed to meet the needs of this promising sector. Read more

  • Further development of the New Quick-Drying, No-Cement Variety of refractory concrete
In Monolithic Refractories, the market success of the Quick Dry (QD™) products was confirmed in 2011. This product range, which allows for quicker and safer installation in high-temperature industries (steel, casting, aluminum, cement, etc.), was therefore broadened in 2011. Read more

  • TIMREX® C-Therm 011 and TIMREX® C-Therm 012
In Graphite & Carbon, TIMREX® C-Therm 011 and TIMREX® C-Therm 012 broadened the TIMCAL product portfolio of carbon powders for thermally conductive polymers and engineering composites. Read more

  • Reducing Carbon Footprint thanks to Fiberlink™ 101S (Performance Minerals)
In Performance Minerals, FiberLink™ 101S has enhanced the range of calcium carbonate materials used to make nonwoven fibers for the production of disposable wipes for cosmetics, personal care and household products. Read more

  • Lighter and stronger ceramic products
In Minerals for Ceramics, the Ceramic Centre’s work is particularly focused on the development of lighter, stronger products that save raw materials and energy, and of new, more environment-friendly mineral conversion processes. In 2010, this led to two patent applications, one in lightweight, innovative ceramic products and one in processing techniques. Read more

  • ImerFill®: Reducing Cement’s Carbon Footprint (Performance Minerals)
Imerfill® 15 and 20 were launched in 2008. Since then, they have seen good commercial development. ImerFill® calcium carbonates have been developed to substitute cement replacement materials. ImerFill® products are finely ground, engineered mineral products that enhance the properties of concrete and other cement-based products while reducing the amount of water needed for their application. The production of this cement presents significant energy-savings, improving the carbon footprint of finished product. Read more

  • Improving the Efficiency of Thermal Power Stations or Incinerators (Minerals for Ceramics)
Among the year’s innovations, Minerals for Ceramics teams launched a mineral additive used as an adjuvant in thermal power stations or incinerators. The additive reacts with ash to make it less chemically aggressive. This limits corrosion and prevents solid concretions from forming in heat exchangers and hot gas ducts. In sum, it reduces facility-maintenance needs and improves heat recovery.

  • C-NERGY™, a Range of Additives for Lithium Ion Batteries (Graphite & Carbon)
Car manufacturers are investing on green cars. Research in the energy domain focuses on new Lithium Ion batteries for the future automotive industry: electric and hybrid vehicles. Timcal, an Imerys subsiadiary, is contributing to this progress with C-NERGY™, a range of very high purity graphite and carbon black-based additives used in the production of electrodes for the new generation Lithium Ion batteries. Read more

  • IMercure™ X10: An Environment-Friendly Wood Coating Additive (Performance Minerals)
IMercure™ X10 improves the performance of UV curable wood coating. Read more

  • Recycling Calcium Carbonate Tailings (Performance Minerals)
Efforts to reduce the environmental impact of Imerys products have also prompted to the utilization of mine tailings. Read more

We monitor the rollout of our three-year plan for Sustainable Development through performance indicators defined by internal experts.

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Consumption & Discharges

Manage properly water withdrawals and limit waste production are part of our Sustainable Development goals.

Energy & emissions

For several years, we have implemented action programs to improve the energy efficiency of its industrial activities and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

Restoration & Biodiversity

We strive to lessen negative impacts of our mining and processing activities on biodiversity.