Report of the Directors
Business Review

Environmental Performance in 2012/13

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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 2012/13, our total emissions of acid gases have decreased by 25% to 334 tonnes sulphur dioxide (SO2) equivalent. This was mainly due to reductions in the emissions of both oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and oxides of sulphur (SOx) at several of our larger sites. Compared with last year, total NOx emissions were 420 tonnes which represented a 26% reduction in both absolute terms and relative to sales.

The group’s total SO2 emissions reduced by 16% to 39.9 tonnes, benefiting from a reduction in reported emissions from our Brimsdown site in the UK, which is Johnson Matthey’s largest emitter of SO2. Emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) also fell this year by 2% to 185.6 tonnes.


The group generated 110,448 tonnes of waste during the year, a reduction of 8% in both absolute terms and relative to sales. Waste to landfill decreased significantly in the year, down 70% to 3,218 tonnes, benefiting from a reduction in waste from construction activities at our sites as a number of projects to expand our operations reached completion. Achieving zero waste to landfill by 2017 is one of the group’s Sustainability 2017 targets and improved performance this year was also boosted by initiatives across our sites to reduce their landfill waste.

Johnson Matthey’s facilities set rigorous internal targets to reduce waste to landfill. A number of sites have renegotiated waste disposal contracts with contractors who specialise in processing each different type of waste. For example, our Kitsuregawa site in Japan has accelerated progress towards its waste reduction target using this approach. Not only has the site achieved a 1.3 tonne reduction of plastic waste, all plastic waste was recycled and together this resulted in zero plastic waste to landfill. Our Clitheroe, UK site has also partnered with waste contractors to divert waste from landfill and several other sites have investigated industrial symbiosis to find alternative routes for their key waste streams.

In terms of other waste streams, 3,685 tonnes of waste were sent for incineration (down 30%), 13,100 tonnes were sent for recovery (down 18%) and 82,592 tonnes of waste were sent for treatment and disposal by third party waste service providers (down 9%).

Whilst we have historically presented data on the different types of packaging waste recycled by our global operations, in efforts to reduce the reporting burden on site personnel we have chosen to no longer formally report on our performance in this area. Our sites around the world continue to collect and quantify this information for their internal inventories. To meet Johnson Matthey’s compliance within the UK’s packaging waste regulations, we collect and report on steel, paper, plastic and wood packaging waste recycled by our UK sites through Valpak, a compliance services consultant who is the leading provider of producer responsibility and recycling solutions.

The subject of waste continues to be a polarising topic among environmental experts because of varying opinions on the credibility of other disposal routes compared with disposal via landfill. While it is Johnson Matthey’s target to send zero waste to landfill, our focus has been to reduce, reuse and, where possible, recycle. The introduction of our Manufacturing Excellence programme has reinvigorated our waste reduction efforts this year. Our sites now evaluate their waste beyond simply a material destined for disposal and consider factors such as time, expense, resource, procurement. As a result, there has been a greater focus on reducing the amount of material wasted, the reuse of raw materials in our processes and on the recycling of raw materials where possible.

Water Consumption

During the year, water consumption increased by 11% compared with 2011/12 to 2.4 million m3. Water use increased at 11 of our sites, primarily as a result of increased production and from new plants coming on line at our facilities in Panki, India and Tennessee in the USA. 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 increased by 9% this year to 1.5 million m3, mainly as a result of increased activity at our operations. Of the total effluent produced, 86% was discharged to local authority sewers after treatment and in accordance with local discharge consent agreements and 14% 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 2012/13 the group discharged organic chemicals equivalent to a COD of 226 tonnes into water courses, as regulated by local emission limits at each manufacturing facility, a decrease of 13% on prior year.

Johnson Matthey has a robust and effective management system which requires all sites to report environmental incidents to the group’s EHS department. During 2012/13 no significant spillages to the environment of raw materials, intermediates or products have been reported by the group.

In ongoing efforts to further improve our internal reporting systems for environmental data, during the year we have developed and tested an enhanced system. We plan to introduce the new system to our sites in 2014 and historical data will be transferred to it in advance of its launch. User training will also be provided. The new, more user friendly system will provide greater consistency and clarity of reporting across our global operations.

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