Fine Chemical Custom Manufacturing: Sustainable Innovation Without Boundaries

Since its initiation in 1970, World Earth Day has provided an opportunity for individuals, institutions and businesses to reflect on their shared obligations to planet Earth and their collective duty towards ensuring a clean, healthy world for future generations.

CABB Group – an industry leader in fine chemical custom manufacturing - is taking advantage of numerous opportunities to improve its sustainability efforts and reduce its environmental footprint.

The company’s fine chemicals portfolio and its commitment to custom manufacturing involve sophisticated chemical synthesis in a number of areas including healthcare, agrochemical and electronics.

CABB leverages innovative green technology and partners with stakeholders across the industry, allowing the company to make vital progress towards more sustainable operations and processes.

CABB has set itself bold CO2 targets as part of its commitment to both the UN Global Compact and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The company is currently on track to secure a 30 ktpa reduction in CO2 emissions from 2019 levels by 2025.

Transparency is a key factor in CABB’s transition to more sustainable operations, and the company aims to be open about what it has achieved and has yet to do via its detailed Sustainability Reports (first published in 2019).

Boundaryless Sustainable Innovation

CABB’s sustainability efforts can be encapsulated in two key terms: partnership and innovation. Both are key to reducing the company’s environment footprint across its range of custom chemical manufacturing sites, ensuring these innovations are consistent between facilities.

CABB is ideally positioned to be a leader in sustainable fine chemical manufacturing.

The company is large enough to employ cutting-edge technologies and collaborate with key stakeholders to enhance the sustainability and efficiency of its sites, yet small enough to sidestep unnecessary centralization and bureaucracy, ensuring that tangible improvements can be rapidly implemented.

Sustainability in Practice

Using this approach, CABB has transformed a number of its custom manufacturing locations – most notably in terms of CO2 emissions.

Kokkola (Finland)

CABB collaborated with key partners in the Finnish chemical industry to convert the site to 100% renewable hydroelectric power, reducing Kokkola’s CO2 emissions by almost 6 ktpa - equivalent to the average carbon footprint of approximately 830 EU citizens.

This reduction in CO2 emissions is better than that of 95% of the company’s peers, leading to CABB’s Kokkola operation being awarded a prestigious Gold Medal for sustainability from EcoVadis - a global leader in business sustainability ratings.

Pratteln (Switzerland)

CABB’s site in Pratteln (close to Basel) was also awarded an EcoVadis Gold Medal thanks to its collaboration with industry partners and its introduction of hydroelectric and nuclear power to the site - work that ultimately reduced CO2 emissions by 2 ktpa.

Jayhawk (USA)

CABB’s Jayhawk site in Kansas has worked closely with local governments and utility providers for a long time, leveraging this mutually beneficial relationship to invest in renewable power.

As the site is located in the flat prairies of the Midwest – an ideal location for wind farms - around 25% of the site’s electricity is sourced from wind power. This translates to a 2 tpa reduction in CO2 emissions, which is anticipated to increase as more wind power becomes available.

Value-Driven Approaches to Sustainability

CABB’s approach to sustainability and smarter energy consumption is closely linked to the company’s core values – quality, safety, partnership and innovation.

In its work to explore opportunities for growth, CABB also identifies opportunities for savings and efficiencies for its partners, for example:

  • Transferring sustainable membrane technology for electrolysis between CABB’s Gersthofen site in Germany to Switzerland’s Pratteln site.
  • Sharing the best practices with key partners at the Kokkola industrial cluster, supporting them to reduce overall waste to zero.
  • Utilizing the shared Verbund System to enable efficient and sustainable sulfonation and chlorination at Pratteln, fully integrating production plants, material flows, energy usage, site infrastructure and logistics.
  • Leveraging sustainability as a central metric when deciding where projects should be located within CABB’s facility portfolio.

Sustainability for Planet and People

CABB’s core partnership, innovation and sustainability efforts intersect with the company’s approaches to safety and quality. This begins in individual teams, where it is not typically possible to attract and retain quality staff without a strong, demonstrable commitment to sustainability and reducing environmental impact.

CABB is deeply aware of the health and safety aspects of working with custom chemicals, both in terms of the company’s responsibility to its employees and its impact on the wider community.

With Safety as a core value, CABB employs a system of health and safety scorecards and risk management processes in conjunction with comprehensive staff training requirements and a commitment to ensuring that every product is of high quality and environmentally sustainable.

Quality is also a key component of CABB’s wider sustainability efforts. The company continually explores new means of supporting its investors and customers as it strongly believes that long-term economic growth and cleaner operations are not mutually exclusive goals.

The Pratteln site is an ideal example of this principle, whereby almost every chemical side stream at the facility is recycled back into the production stream. This allows for a more sustainable manufacturing process - both environmentally and financially.

CABB's culture of sustainability encourages and supports every member of staff to aim for the company’s common goals. Should a plant struggle with an aspect of CABB’s sustainability goals and metrics, other plants will lend their time and expertise, supporting managers to ensure that quality is central to their operations.

Future-Focused

CABB’s focus on sustainability is a cornerstone of its business, intersecting with every one of the company’s goals and values. CABB’s approach to integrating new technology, its relationship-building efforts or its work to maintain secure communities and happy customers cannot function in isolation.

The company’s stakeholders benefit from a combination of manufacturing excellence, safety, quality, innovation, sustainability and partnership. CABB aims to be an industry leader while working in a way that is kind to both people and the planet – on World Earth Day and the days that follow.

Acknowledgments

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by CABB Group GmbH.

For more information on this source, please visit CABB Group GmbH.

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