The success of a company no longer refers exclusively to profits and market share. Currently, companies holding leading positions in the market also make sustainability and environmental protection a priority. INVISTA demonstrates its commitment to sustainability through three focus areas: manufacturing excellence, product sustainability and corporate responsibility.
In recognition of World Water Day on March 22, INVISTA, one of the world’s largest integrated producers of polymers and fibers, presented the results from its sustainability-focused Planet Agenda program. The program, which aims at developing technologies and materials that will minimize the environmental footprint generated in the manufacture of fibers, looks at how to enhance the performance of fabrics, while also safeguarding the health and safety of INVISTA employees and those in the communities in which we operate around the world.
In Brazil, Planet Agenda includes key actions made by the INVISTA site in Paulinia, where LYCRA fiber is produced. The site was certified with ISO 14001 (for Environmental Management) in 1997. In 2002, a wastewater system was installed in order to improve efficiency and save the use of water in the manufacturing processes.
From 2003 to 2011, the use of this system resulted in a 23 percent reduction in water use, based on a measurement of cubic meters of water used per ton of production. In other words, the Paulinia site’s actions represent a saving of enough water to fill 80 million bottles of one liter. Since the implementation of water reuse 10 years ago, the Paulinia site expanded its LYCRA fiber production by more than 100 percent.
"We identified that actions like that would create long-term value for society and contribute to the overall quality of life", said Operations vice president for Americas and Europe, Nicésio Cascone.
The Effluent Treatment Station
The viability of the Effluent Treatment Station (ETE) at its Paulinia site required a high financial investment. If estimated in current values, the investment would be about R$1 million , which was invested in the purchase of new equipment such as tanks, pumps and filters—as well as in the implementation of the whole project, with efforts to train professionals to monitor the system for reuse.
Other goals of Planet Agenda involve Product Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility. In this area, the Paulinia site strictly follows safety practices and has celebrated more than 38 years without lost time injuries. Related to waste reduction, 100% of the packaging used in the manufacture is reused on site or sent for recycling. Moreover, since 2006 no LYCRA fiber waste was sent to the landfill for disposal.
Over the past 20 years, the Paulinia site has reduced its energy consumption by 41 percent (per ton of production) through improvements in the electrical system and the conversion of boiler fuel in natural gas. In 2010 alone, the amount of energy the site saved was more than 10,500 Brazilian’s average household energy use. By 2020, the company has committed to the goal of a 20 percent reduction in its energy intensity, or energy consumption per ton of production.
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