…and what you can do to support Earth Day 2018
Protecting the environment has been a major initiative in the United States for almost 50 years. In 1970, United States Senator Gaylord Nelson started what would later become a global movement called Earth Day, an event celebrated each year on April 22. The idea originated after witnessing the environmental impacts of a large oil spill which forced a national discussion on clean air and water. This national dialogue ultimately led to the formation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and influential legislation to establish air and water quality goals while ensuring that our nation’s most vital resources are protected. Today, Earth Day is a global movement focused on the environmental issues facing our world.
At Celanese, protecting the environment is integrated into our culture through our Environmental, Health & Safety (EHS) Policy, Guiding Principles, and Management Systems. We have been diligently working to positively impact the world for more than 20 years. We have implemented a global, comprehensive management system with a focus on fundamentals like regulatory and permit compliance, reduction of releases to the environment, risk of offsite releases, and environmental sustainability programs. Since 2010, these programs have achieved:
- 85% reduction in significant and major Releases To Environment (RTE)
- 19% reduction in energy intensity
- 31% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity
- 43% reduction in volatile organic compound (VOC) intensity
- 43% reduction in solid waste intensity
Through our programs since 2010, we have been able the reduce the number of large releases and significantly reduce energy and greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to the amount of power and greenhouse gas emissions from 100,000 homes and cars, respectively. This month, Celanese received the EPA’s Sustained Excellence Award for its continued leadership and superior contributions in energy efficiency and air emission reductions. Our VOC and RTE processes contribute to cleaner, healthier air to breath for everyone. Our waste reduction efforts have reduced approximately 50,000 metric tonnes of solid waste, which is equivalent to the volume of waste from more than 17,000 residential homes.
Why do we put so much effort into these programs and initiatives? It’s who we are, and very much a part of our culture. Stewardship is about taking care of things that don’t belong to us. Celanese has been entrusted to manufacture products that improve the world and quality of life while ensuring we protect our communities, the environment, and natural resources for generations to come. Our programs focus on improving energy efficiency, selecting use and types of fuels, reducing releases of emissions to the atmosphere, and reusing and recycling waste, which continuously lowers our utilization of natural resources and costs.
I am proud of our stewardship efforts and routinely share our accomplishments with my family. Through sharing and encouragement, my children have taken an interest in recycling everything possible. In addition, part of the morning routine involves turning off all lights in the house before leaving for school. While these are straightforward, effortless examples, establishing the mindset at an early age is important to demonstrate that we all have a role in protecting the earth and its resources for generations to come.
While Celanese has made tremendous strides over the last 20 years through our various programs, we will continue to engage, innovate and find new ways to protect the environment by reducing energy and greenhouse gas emissions, encouraging recycling and reuse of materials, and efficient use of water and natural resources. As we celebrate Earth Day, I hope you will find opportunities both at work and at home to protect the environment because I believe it’s the collective efforts of many that make the difference.
Additional information and resources on Earth Day 2018
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is making a number of resources available for reference this coming Earth Day. You can find all these resources under Earth Day Outreach Ideas on their marketing materials page.