Reporting & Data

Reporting & Data

Cultivating Change: Sustainable Innovations for a Greener Future

The 2022 Sustainability Report features results for HSES, greenhouse gas emissions, energy, water, and waste. It further demonstrates progress relative to the metrics established in the inaugural Ecovyst Sustainability Report from 2021, released in June 2022, and toward aligning with the applicable U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This report also includes updates on our social sustainability goals for 2025 and 2030, reflecting our organization’s dedication and commitment to environmental stewardship, our employees, and the communities where we serve.

Our 2022 Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Materiality Matrix

Our 2022 materiality assessment was performed by Tidal Consulting to identify and prioritize sustainability aspects for Ecovyst based on relevance to the business and importance to key stakeholders. The box at the upper right location contains the subjects of highest relevance to both Ecovyst and our employees, shareholders, customers, communities, and external stakeholders. We have addressed these topics in our 2022 Sustainability Report and are currently using this matrix to examine and improve our ESG policies and procedures.

Safety Data

Our unwavering goal is to make every day a Perfect HSES Day and to achieve Best-in-Class safety performance. In our 2019 Sustainability Report, we had set a goal to achieve top quartile TRIR performance in the chemicals industry by the end of 2020. In 2020, we accomplished our goal by achieving our lowest TRIR of 0.11 in a decade, which —placed us in the American Chemistry Council (ACC) Top Quartile safety performance of 0.14. As of year-end 2021, Ecovyst’s safety performance was solid with a Total Recordable Incident Rate of 0.11 running below ACC’s Top Quartile benchmark of 0.34.

Although we experienced an increase in TRIR performance of 0.42 in 2022, which put us in the ACC Second Quartile of 0.35 to 0.77, we have implemented and continue to implement, actions to enhance our safety performance. We have added significant resources to our Health and Safety support staff to work with operating sites to improve our safety performance. In addition, we introduced new and improved training, employee health and wellness, and process safety program components. In 2022, we hired two additional process safety engineers and appointed an employee health and wellness coordinator.

At Ecovyst, we also track Lost Workday Incident Rates (LWDIR). Since 2016, we have had extremely low LWDIRs with the highest rate recorded in 2018. This represented a total of five incidents across the entire year covering approximately 3,200 employees. The overall trend remains positive, and we are pleased to report that in 2020 and 2021 we had zero LWDIR cases.

We had one Lost Workday Incident in 2022, and we are taking corrective actions to reinforce behavioral safety, training, and good management practices to reduce these occurrences.

 

Additionally, since 2016, there have been no Level 3 environmental releases; Level 3 is our classification for the most significant environmental releases within Ecovyst. As part of Ecovyst’s dedication to protecting the environment, we track, investigate, and take action to prevent the recurrence of all releases, including minor releases captured and briefly stored in containment systems within our sites with no release to the environment. Our goal is to prevent HSES events from occurring by proactively taking action to remove the potential for an event and reducing the potential for risk beforehand.

We are committed to the safety of our people, our environment, and our community. To learn more about our commitment to safety, please see our HSES information on pages 14 through 16 in the 2022 Sustainability Report.

Environmental Metrics

With decades of internal environmental reporting across the Ecovyst businesses and with a focus on improving our sustainability processes, we began a corporate-driven effort to capture consistent environmental metrics for energy, waste, and water in 2018. In 2019, we made improvements to our data collection process, including aligning with the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards’ definitions and metrics. We follow the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol to calculate our Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions for all manufacturing, research, and large office facilities.

Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions

In our 2019 Sustainability Report, we shared our total GHG emissions at the company level. In early 2020 after our 2019 data was assured by iCompli, we established the goals of reducing our absolute greenhouse gas intensity by 15% by 2025 and 25% by 2030 from our 2018 baseline. Our intention going forward is to set significant numerical goals in this area that are practical and realistic and that will also result in significant positive environmental impacts.

As of December 31, 2022, we continue to trend relatively flat with respect to our absolute greenhouse gas and absolute greenhouse gas intensity for 2022 relative to our 2018 baseline despite production increases, with a 3% reduction from 2019. 92% of our GHG emissions come from our Ecoservices business segment, which is also a significant contributor to other sustainability objectives by recycling sulfuric acid and providing waste treatment services. In 2022, we regenerated 1,327 thousand metric tonnes (TMT) of spent sulfuric acid and burned 56 TMT of high heat value waste in our regeneration furnaces.

We are fully committed to identifying and implementing meaningful ways to reduce GHG emissions and GHG intensity at our sites.

 

In our efforts to reduce our overall impact on the environment and, over time, see a significant reduction in absolute greenhouse gas emissions and absolute greenhouse gas intensity, our company plans to continue to employ optimization projects and energy efficiency initiatives to improve our global impacts. We anticipate that endeavors such as these will help us make progress toward our 2025 and 2030 goals.

Here are some of the optimization projects and energy efficiency initiatives undertaken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and absolute greenhouse gas intensity:

At our Ecoservices locations:

  • The Baton Rouge, LA plant improved its overall natural gas consumption by five percent (5%) and reduced CO2 emissions by 4,900 tons per year. This was attributable to the installation of a Distributed Control System (DCS) furnace optimization system. The DCS allows plant operators to closely monitor temperature and oxygen inside the furnace to control the amount of natural gas needed for proper operation. The success of this project earned our Baton Rouge plant the Ecovyst Environmental Initiative Award for the Most Impactful Climate Change Reduction Project. Since completing the first furnace optimization project at Baton Rouge in late 2021, we have installed the system on the second Baton Rouge furnace and at our Dominguez, CA plant. We had targeted a ratio of 2.34 MMBtu natural gas/ton of acid produced and achieved an average ratio of 1.82 MMBtu/ton of acid produced in 2022, which represents additional targeted reductions of >20%. We plan to complete furnace optimization projects at our remaining Ecoservices plants by 2028. We expect further natural gas consumption reductions upon implementation.
  • The Hammond, IN plant reduced electricity consumption by converting fluorescent lighting to more energy-efficient LED lighting.

At our Advanced Materials and Catalysts locations:

  • The Conshohocken, PA office transitioned from fluorescent lighting to LED lighting during the renovation of the Main Building. By installing approximately 230 LED light fixtures, we achieved an estimated savings of 32,000 kWh and reduced CO2 emissions by 20,000 lbs. per year. 
  • The Conshohocken, PA pilot plant conducted a compressed air study that tracked voltage, current, and system air pressure to optimize operations of our variable speed air compressor system. This optimization project saved approximately 58,000 kWh per year, for a reduction of approximately 36,000 lbs. of CO2.
  • The Delfzijl, Netherlands plant is proof of Ecovyst’s focus on pushing for clean energy and diverse energy sources. In 2022, 55% of the total consumed electricity was produced by windmills, an increase from 30% in 2021. Based on the green energy gap that we managed to close, we aim to have more than 80% of the Delfzijl site’s total consumed electricity to be sourced from renewable energy by 2024. Not only does this initiative support renewable resources, but it also results in the reduction of environmental impacts.
  • The Delfzijl, Netherlands plant analyzed several years’ worth of natural gas usage and developed a software program to minimize natural gas-fired calciner idle times by analyzing production flow during start up and cool down periods and during product switch outs. The software program was initiated in 2022 and resulted in reductions in natural gas usage and associated GHG emissions by determining when to shut down or start up the calciners and how to optimize cool-down periods during short breaks. Looking ahead, we plan to further reduce idle times by focusing on improved response to unexpected situations, such as equipment failure, and through better product scheduling, such as planning longer runs and performing fewer switches between different product grades.
  • In 2022, the Kansas City plant continued to capture energy from the ten (10) solar panels purchased in 2021, which will eliminate approximately 120 tons of CO2 over their expected lifetime. This initiative was made possible through a beneficial membership with the Kansas City Board of Public Utilities (BPU) Community Solar Farm program, advancing environmental solutions for the local community. Because solar panels do not produce carbon dioxide or air pollutants, this relationship with BPU is creating a greener world. The offset is the equivalent of eliminating 235,000 miles of single automobile emissions, planting 2,780 trees, or recycling 370 tons of waste versus putting it in a landfill. 

We are dedicated to driving meaningful sustainability-related improvement in our global footprint by linking each function to sustainability goals and targets and actively driving and monitoring progress while identifying new and creative mitigation measures to reduce our environmental impact. 

Waste Generation

Our employees take an active role in identifying waste reduction opportunities at each of our plants, which has resulted in several improvements in our waste management practices and waste minimization methods. Minimizing waste from the production, handling, transport, and disposal of our products is central to our sustainability strategy and is reflected in our 2025 and 2030 goals to reduce hazardous waste. 

We have seen significant improvements in our overall hazardous waste output and intensity since our baseline year of 2018 (0.0032). For 2022, our hazardous waste intensity was at a near record low of 0.0007.

Critical advancements in waste management improvement efforts at one of our facilities helped to reduce our hazardous waste generation rates from 2018 by approximately 70% in 2020 to approximately 80% in 2022.

At the end of February 2021, we acquired a facility in Texas. This facility generates hazardous and non-hazardous waste and resulted in a 23% year-over-year increase in non-hazardous waste generation.

Improvements made at our Kansas City plant allowed us to reduce chemical usage in one of our zeolite processes by 50% in 2022, as well as decrease the amount of fresh chemical required per production run by over 50%. At our R&D pilot plant in Conshohocken, a new waste handling station enabled us to reduce the number of hazardous waste packs by 30%. 

These overall improvements reflect our ongoing commitment to Sustainability and pursuit of a greener environment. As a result of these and other company-wide advancements, we are on track to meet our 2025 goal of reducing process-related hazardous waste disposal by 40% relative to our 2018 baseline. 

Our overall hazardous waste production and waste intensity increased slightly in 2022 compared to 2021, which reflects our company’s increased production levels in 2022. However, the figures still represent a dramatic decline from our 2018 baseline and are once again below our 2025 goal of achieving a 40% reduction in process-related hazardous waste disposal. Nevertheless, we continue to evaluate opportunities for additional hazardous waste minimization at our plants.

Hazardous Waste Generated (mt) & Waste Intensity (2018-2022)

Water

Ecovyst continues to closely monitor and improve our water data collection process and site water balance data. We understand the critical importance of preserving our natural resources and doing our part to enhance water quality.

We track and review all our water impacts and releases in our HSE Perfect Days metrics reporting and reviews.

We began tracking our water intensity and withdrawal in our baseline year of 2018. Our 2018-2022 data shows a relatively flat trend in total water withdrawal and water intensity, and we witnessed an overall reduction in 2020 due to lower production levels during the global pandemic. Our 2022 water usage remained below our 2018 baseline. 

As a result of the pandemic, we saw slightly lower production levels in our Catalyst business in 2020 and 2021. Higher water use, coupled with this reduction in production, has created a modest but anticipated uptick in intensity by year-end 2021. Several new innovative processes at our Kansas City plant resulted in a 553,000-gallon water reduction in 2022. 

Our Ecoservices plants use water as a raw material. So, as production increases, our water withdrawal rates also increase.

We continue to focus on improvements to our water management programs as part of our sustainability journey. It is our goal to conduct water balances and implement water use reduction projects.

Energy Management

Energy management is an important component in reducing our carbon footprint; therefore, our goal in this area is to define and implement Energy Management Plans at all sites by the end of 2025. Our Engineering and Environmental teams work to identify new initiatives to reduce energy consumption on an ongoing basis. To learn more about our energy management plans, please see page 12 of our 2022 Sustainability Report.