As most manufacturing companies will know, achieving optimum delivery whilst minimising risk to the environment is something that requires a lot of forethought and planning; if not out of concern for the surroundings of others, then for your brand’s image and reputation. Being environmentally responsible or conscious is no longer a bonus or a status symbol; it’s something more and more consumers and business clients are demanding, making it a crucial element of our services.
Chemical companies are perhaps even more under scrutiny when it comes to gaining and retaining the public’s trust. As chemical manufacturers, we understand the importance of having a commitment to the environment and taking steps to reduce negative impact wherever possible.
Every year, we review our current efforts and strategies to see where we can improve, introducing new procedures where necessary and refining current ones. Here are just some of the ways chemical companies can up their environmental responsibility.
- Use recyclable packaging wherever possible
Although recycling packaging in the chemical industry can bring challenges due to hazardous materials and cross-contamination, we advise recycling materials wherever possible in order to keep both costs and waste low. Materials such as HDPE can be easily recycled and lend themselves well to various packaging options.
- Develop your policy in line with environmental indicators
Every company should have a plan in place to take necessary steps that reduce their environmental impact. This should be based on measurable environmental indicators that can play a real role in shaping your policies and be reviewed and monitored regularly to ensure continual improvement.
- Ensure your employees are well informed of your policies
In order to build up a unified environmental approach, it’s essential all employees and anyone else working on behalf of your organisation are on the same page. They must be aware of the company’s responsibility and the necessary steps needed on a daily basis; whether it’s in their own role or throughout the company as a whole.
- Make your commitment public knowledge
Finally, making your company’s commitment public knowledge will not only be great for your brand image, but also for your own accountability. When strides are made towards minimising environmental impact in the chemical industry, people should and want to know about it. So shout your message for all to hear!
Lean Manufacturing Processes
Lean manufacturing processes not only help to avoid unnecessary spending; they also go a long way towards minimising waste and reducing environmental impact.
Here are some of the main ways chemical companies can integrate lean processes into their everyday practices.
- Correct batch sizes
At ReAgent, we don’t do minimum batch sizes. Instead, we make batch sizes to client specifications and calculate them to avoid producing waste. Each of our operators has precise work instructions that guide them through the process.
By making a small extra amount of the product, we can allow for any packing errors and avoid larger waste in the future (for example, making 102L of a product instead of 100L).
- Calibrated machinery
By measuring out raw materials accurately and calibrating equipment, manufacturers can ensure that just the right amount of product is dispensed.
- Safe packing techniques
During the packing process, spills and waste can be kept under control by using spill capture objects, such as trays, sumps or special flooring. This helps to reduce the chances of pollution should there ever be an accidental spill. If the inevitable occurs, get a spill kit ready,
Packing directly from vessels, instead of long transfer lines, can also be beneficial in reducing leaks and spills and eliminates the worry of burst pipes.
- Small sample sizes
As any chemical manufacturer will know, most chemical waste is produced from samples of raw materials. Samples which cannot be reused or recycled need to be disposed of as waste, but by keeping sample sizes small, waste disposal can be greatly reduced to around 6-12 months.
Located in the North West of England, ReAgent is a family-run chemical manufacturer that has spanned over three generations. Over the last five years it has undergone substantial growth, working to attain its strong green credentials, ISO accreditations and is now working towards BS OHSAS 18001 Occupational Health and Safety Management.