We know that in order to continue to grow over the long term we must strive to be a sustainable company that takes care of the environment and tackles the causes and impacts of climate change. Our environmental policy, supported by a dedicated organization, focuses on both environmental stewardship and acting on climate change.
Sound environmental stewardship is integral to the long term sustainability of our corporate strategy. Knowing and complying with all applicable local environmental regulations is the starting point for controlling and reducing our impacts. By assessing our environmental risks we are able to constantly work to reduce the adverse impacts of our operations in a cycle of continuous improvement.
We implement environmental management systems (EMS) at our sites to ensure we have a robust process to guarantee compliance with local regulations, and to identify, reduce and manage the significant environmental aspects and impacts associated with our activities. Then we audit our performance against the EMS’s targets.
Most of our processes are primarily physical (crushing, milling, and sorting) but we use some thermal processes such as calcination and fusion. Our work produces impacts such as industrial waste and wastewater, hazardous waste and air emissions. We minimize the amount of waste we produce and carefully manage all wastewater discharges.
We are working to increase recycling and mineral deposit optimization at our mines and quarries and to reduce the water consumption of our operations. We have water management plans for the largest water users in the company, and those in areas of water scarcity.
Our operations can also affect biodiversity around our sites and tackling that is a key priority. We have assessed our biodiversity stakes and drawn up a global program to address them. Imerys is committed to respecting the ecosystems surrounding our operations and preserving biodiversity.
We restore our mining sites and quarries not just at the end of their life but on an ongoing basis during their operation, in order to preserve local fauna and flora. We have outlined this commitment as a signatory to the act4nature Business Commitments for Biodiversity and have established a scientific partnership with the "UMS Patrimoine Naturel" (under the supervision of the French National Museum of Natural History, the French Biodiversity Agency and the French National Center for Scientific Research) to advise and support the Group biodiversity program.
In Greece, Imerys is cultivating thousands of rare seedlings to protect and enhance the biodiversity of Milos, a beautiful Aegean island that is home to 810 species of plants, 35 of which are only found there, including around Imerys’ sites.
We are committed to playing our part in reducing the impacts of climate change and contributing to the transition to a low carbon or carbon-free economy. Our long-term climate change strategy covers every aspect of our business: organization, equipment, methods, technology, supplies, transportation, and renewable energies.
Imerys has a long-term climate change strategy to support international commitments and targets. As well as reporting our emissions every year through CDP’s disclosure program, we have also committed to the French Business Climate Pledge and will set our targets through the Science Based Targets initiative.
We will cut our greenhouse gas emissions by making our production techniques more energy efficient and increasing the amount of renewable energy we use. Our main sources of emissions come from using natural gas and electricity in our production processes.
Our energy and environment teams are mapping energy consumption and carbon emissions, and creating action plans to achieve the ambitious targets set, which includes reducing Group CO2 emissions relative to revenue (tCO2/Eur) by 2030 in line with the COP21 2°C trajectory.
We also ask our suppliers to help us by disclosing their energy consumption and emissions, and by working to reduce emissions within their own value chains.
Imerys will also work to create innovative products that can help customers reduce their emissions, for example by making vehicles lighter and providing materials used in electric vehicle batteries.