June marked World Environment Day 2019, with this year’s theme being “Air Pollution”. Of course, we can’t stop breathing the air around us, but we can do something about the quality of air that we breathe, be it at home or at work.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that 4.2 million people die prematurely each year as a result of exposure to ambient air pollution and that 91% of the world’s population lives in places where air quality exceeds WHO guidelines.
In the UK, Imerys operations undeniably generate air pollution. We have permits which allow us to release emissions (mainly particulates) into the air. However, we need to minimise our emissions; and this is one reason why we undertake periodic inspections to make sure that our control equipment is working correctly and helping where possible to minimise our impact.
Our vehicles generate exhaust particulates and dust from roadways. This is why we clean roadways, damp our pit roads down when it is dry and have our vehicles regularly serviced.
Imerys has taken positive steps to help support cleaner energies where possible and reduce our footprint. We have solar panels on our UK sites to help generate clean energy, a state-of-the-art clay drying facility and associated heat, power and effluent-treatment plants at our Rocks Tube Press also helps reduce our impact, and a global Imerys initiative – SustainAgility – which aims take Imerys beyond corporate compliance and progress toward sustainable business transformation.
We are also supporting our local community, by developing a Garden Village in Cornwall, UK- an entire housing development focused on using sustainable materials, building techniques and resources, creating a community with a smaller carbon footprint – all whilst retaining a large proportion of natural flora and fauna.
Recently, the UK also received its ISO 4001 accreditation, which means our operations work as effectively as they can to reduce our environmental impact. In fact, some of the key criteria for the accreditation include:
- Increased prominence of environmental management within the organization’s strategic planning processes
- Addition of proactive initiatives to protect the environment from harm and degradation, such as sustainable resource use and climate change mitigation
- Improving environmental performance added
- Lifecycle thinking when considering environmental aspects
- Addition of a communications strategy
To learn more about our CSR, visit here