Report of the Directors
Business Review

Environmental Performance in 2011/12

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Other Emissions

Emissions from our operations are generated from a number of sources including combustion processes, materials handling and chemical reactions and are typically licensed by local regulations. All sites monitor emissions to ensure compliance with these regulations and set their own absolute targets aimed at reducing significant emissions as part of their local environment, health and safety improvement plans.

In 2011/12, our total emissions of acid gases have increased by 40% to 444 tonnes sulphur dioxide (SO2) equivalent and were up 19% relative to sales. This was mainly due to an increase in emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) from our operations.

Compared with last year, total NOx emissions were up 44% at 566 tonnes and increased 23% relative to sales. The increase on 2010/11 was due to higher production rates at several facilities, a full year of data from Savannah and Riverside and from more robust data this year from three sites that reviewed their data collection methods for combustion generated NOx and, as a result, have reported more accurate values.

The group’s total SO2 emissions increased by 4.5 tonnes (or 10%) to 47.5 tonnes but fell 6% relative to sales. Our absolute emissions were impacted by a 6.2 tonne increase in SO2 emissions from our Brimsdown, UK site which was partly due to increased use of its combined heat and power (CHP) generator. Emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were 4.1 tonnes (or 2%) higher at 189.8 tonnes in 2011/12 but decreased by 13% relative to sales. This increase is mainly as a result of a full year’s data from Savannah and Riverside which accounted for an additional 27 tonnes of halogenated VOCs. However, overall, our emissions of halogenated VOCs reduced this year.


The group generated 120,363 tonnes of waste during the year, an increase of 6% in absolute terms but 10% lower relative to sales. Waste to landfill increased significantly in the year, up 4,543 tonnes (or 74%) to 10,708 tonnes. Achieving zero waste to landfill by 2017 is one of the group’s Sustainability 2017 targets and initiatives across our sites to reduce waste to landfill were impacted this year by the generation of waste produced from construction projects to expand operations at a number of our sites.

In terms of other waste streams, 5,251 tonnes of waste were sent for incineration (up 9%), 16,023 tonnes were sent for recovery (down 11%) and 90,677 tonnes of waste were sent for treatment and disposal by third party waste service providers (up 6%).

Packaging Wastes

Johnson Matthey collects and quantifies the different types of packaging waste recycled by our sites as shown in the table below:

Waste Recycled

Packaging type 2012
Steel 2,314 1,847 +25
Paper 704 258 +173
Plastic 1,148 439 +162
Wood 3,003 896 +235

Good progress has been made this year with many sites recycling a greater proportion of packaging waste as a result of initiatives to increase awareness of recycling. At our Clitheroe, UK site, its packaging waste this year has included a greater proportion of plastic and wood, both of which have been recycled, thus contributing to improvement in the overall group figures for these two materials.

Johnson Matthey complies with international agreements, regulations and policies that govern the international shipment of waste. During 2011/12, 4,293 tonnes of waste (2010/11 4,295 tonnes) were moved between countries, predominately for the reclamation and reuse of metal from spent catalysts at our Brimsdown, UK refinery.

Water Consumption

During the year, water consumption increased by 6% in absolute terms but was down 10% relative to sales compared with 2010/11. Most of this increase is from sites reporting a full year of data for the first time and from an increase in mains water use at our Brimsdown, UK site where very dry weather reduced the scope for water harvesting. Of the total water used by the group, 91% was supplied by local municipal water authorities, 6% was drawn from boreholes and 3% was taken from local water courses. Total effluent decreased by 18% this year to 1.4 million m3, mainly as a result of more accurate reporting from one of our sites. Of the total effluent produced, 82% was discharged to local authority sewers after treatment and in accordance with local discharge consent agreements and 18% was discharged to water courses after treatment and within quality limits set by local water authorities. The method of water treatment used at each site is appropriate to the effluent quality and volume and the requirements of the receptor.

The chemical oxygen demand (COD) test is commonly used to indirectly measure the amount of organic compounds in water. Most applications of COD determine the amount of organic pollutants found in surface water (e.g. lakes and rivers), making COD a useful measure of water quality. In 2011/12 the group discharged organic chemicals equivalent to a COD of 260 tonnes into water courses, as regulated by local emission limits at each manufacturing facility. This is a 4% increase on the prior year which resulted mainly from the first full year of data reported by some sites.

Johnson Matthey has a robust and effective management system which requires all sites to report environmental incidents to the group’s EHS department. During 2011/12 no significant spillages to the environment of raw materials, intermediates or products have been reported by the group.

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