Visions, milestones, obstacles and achievements have all been features of the journey towards sustainability started five years ago. The United Nations declared 2011 “The International Year of Chemistry” laying down a host of challenges. Sustainable chemistry, impact reduction and product and process innovation are just some of the challenges and the Aquafil Group is today among the leaders in implementing these objectives in the world of synthetic fibers and plastic polymers and the company continues to achieve outstanding results year after year. Since 2007 the company has made substantial reductions in their consumption of fossil fuels ( -6%) and water ( -15%). They have cut their emissions of C02 and climate altering gasses ( -29%). They have dealt with the issue of waste by increasing the percentage of separated waste and making reductions in the use of packaging ( -42% unsorted waste). They are, and always will be, a real example of how to construct truly sustainable changes.
One of the major events of 2011 has been the inauguration of the ECONYL Regeneration System based at the Ljubljana production facility fulfilling the dream of regenerating polyamide waste when it reaches the end of its life cycle. They can regenerate consumer items and materials at the end of their life cycles, extracting the nylon 6 from material otherwise destined for incineration or landfill. Producing a regenerated raw material which has the same chemical and technical characteristics as new material is a real step in the direction of sustainable chemistry.
Projects contributing to our sustainability efforts at Aquafil USA include:
Energy – Installation of a photovoltaic system on the roof of the building with a system that produces 525,000 kWh of power annually and prevents the emission of 64 tons of CO2.
Emissions – Completion of a project to reduce VOC emissions per product unit by 20% through the activation of a new extrusion tower and the implementation of structural improvements.
Waste – Consolidation of the project to recycle and re-use all the post-industrial polymer waste previously sent to external agencies. Now the waste is sent to the new engineering plastics line which is using this type of waste and the waste from the coloring process.
Certainly our journey towards sustainability does not end here and new challenges await to stimulate and motivate us.
View the 2011 sustainability report @ www.aquafilusa.com