Our Product Stewardship initiatives include
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
As part of our sustainability efforts, IVL monitors the effect of our products on the environment by conducting Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Our main product is Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), which is considered as an environmentally friendly polymer with no concerns to safety during its manufacturing process and use. PET is replacing glass, PVC and Polystyrene and is widely used in food and drink packaging. PET is also the main polymer used in synthetic fibers for textiles, with no adverse concerns to the consumers. PET is the only polymer that is recycled in a closed loop to food packaging or textiles.
Highlights of Products done LCA
IVL has carried out LCA studies for its main products PTA and PET and understands the impact on the environment during the manufacturing. Together with Industry partners IVL is assessing the LCA of the use of PET including recycling.
IVL worked with the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands in order to understand the carbon footprint of PET, to assess its environmental aspects and any potential impacts associated with a product and process. The analysis examined our plants in the Netherlands, Lithuania and Poland. The study concluded that the IVL PET plants perform much better than the European average concerning CO2 emissions.
In addition, AlphaPet, one of our wholly-owned subsidiaries in the US, also carried out a Life Cycle Assessment in 2015. The report suggested that the contribution of global warming potential (GWP) of PET manufacturing at the AlphaPet site is comparable to the published literature data.
The Fibers segment conducted LCA studies of >90% products (by volume) produced in Asia in 2017. During 2019 these LCA studies will be revalidated by comparing results across sites and implementing learnings. Other sites, notably Wellman International (for its rPET) and Trevira, have also completed LCA. In all cases, these are to ISO standards and cover cradle to factory gate analysis.
The next step of our initiative is to roll-out our LCA studies to all global sites by during 2019, and perform LCAs for two-thirds of our products, by volume, by 2020.
IVL has a corporate target of:
Life Cycle Management (LCM)
It is the proactive and systematic management of information gained through the LCA that improves decision making. As a result of LCM, IVL is able to more accurately identify cost reductions, process improvements, reduce risks and make strategic product decisions. We intend to commence LCM in all (relevant) IVL operations by 2020.
Eco-design Criteria & Product Safety Communications
IVL has implemented numerous process efficiencies that have resulted in dramatic efficiencies (measured by energy, GHG/ton of production). As IVL seeks further efficiency gains, eco-design criteria evaluation and decision-making will be more formalized throughout the entire organization as part of our global Product Stewardship standard.
IVL provides Safety Datasheets in GHS SDS format to customers. GHS formatted product labels are complete. IVL, in keeping with Product Stewardship and Sustainability Leadership best practices, will begin the process of making these product safety communications more readily available through the company websites. This pro-active disclosure is in-line with the expectations of our customers and stakeholders, as well as leading initiatives such as Responsible Care.
Renewable Sourcing and Bio-base Feedstocks
IVL is active in research and development projects aimed at using bio-based feedstocks for chemical products. The current confidential nature of these collaborations prohibits greater disclosure.
In order to realize greater acceptance and growth of these renewable alternatives, a number of current challenges -- such as scaling up the new technologies to achieve commercialization, staying on top of new technologies, as well as ensuring dynamic portfolio technologies and relationships -- will require continued innovation and deepened partnerships between Brand Owners, resin producers and others in the PET supply and value chain.
IVL is ensuring full compliance of its products with all applicable legislation and local regulations. IVL operations start at a baseline of a low chemical toxicity footprint. In order to promote best practice and industry leadership, IVL has a system of benchmarking all its productions sites and is committed to further reducing potential toxicity in all its products.
IVL is leading several industry organizations aimed at identifying new concerns related to the use of its monomers, additives and the use of the final product in sensitive applications such as packaging of food, pharmaceutical products and drugs. IVL monitors all of the international environmental regulations and takes appropriate action, if necessary, to ensure that each of its products remains in compliance with all established toxicity threshold limits.
IVL is identifying potential restrictions to the use of its monomers, manufacturing processes and final products and has a system to work with industry organizations to address these concerns in an early stage and avoiding that they result in legislative restrictions.
With regard to chemicals and their safe use REACH is one of the most important European Community Regulations. The aim of REACH is to enhance the protection of human health and the environment through the better and earlier identification of the intrinsic properties of chemical substances and by applying appropriate safety assessment and risk management for the use of those substances. IVL met all the 2010 and 2013 REACH deadlines. Our REACH statements can be provided by the regional sales organization.
EU Member States Competent Authorities or the European Chemical Agency, may prepare dossiers for the identification of substances of very high concern. The outcome of this identification procedure is a list of substances that may be restricted or completely forbidden in the future. IVL affirms that it does not intentionally add substances of very high concern or that its products contain these in concentration amounts above 0.1% weight.
Substances of Very High Concern
As part of IVL’s global Product Stewardship program, IVL will maintain its own Restricted Substances List while developing a “Beyond Restricted Substances” list where the company will seek alternatives to these substances. These substances may not be directly regulated today, but as there is sufficient concern among stakeholders, IVL will be proactive in monitoring and seeking alternatives.
Auriga Polymers, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company in the US, along with PET National representatives, are closely monitoring California Proposition 65 regulations, as potential new limits are being proposed for ethylene glycol that would impact the PET Industry. Antimony is also under increased scrutiny with Prop. 65, though no new limits have been proposed. Auriga has also been looking to replace existing colour correcting transition metals with lower toxicity colorants.