CO2 emissions & energy
Convinced that a sustainable activity in the pharmaceutical or cosmetics sectors must necessarily propose an ambitious decarbonization trajectory, the SEQENS Group has been fully mobilized since 2008 to accelerate its low-carbon transition and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. This historic commitment, involves measuring its CO2e emissions, defining ambitious reduction targets and implementing concrete actions at all its industrial sites. This is all the more important in view of the constraints linked to the increasing scarcity of fossil fuels, the rising cost of energy and, of course, the challenge of climate change.
- Reduce CO2e emissions per ton of product manufactured by 45% between 2011 and 2025 on scopes 1&2.
- Reduce energy consumption per ton of product manufactured by 10% between 2021 and 2025
- Achieve a 50% share of renewable and recovered energy by 2025
- Improve the energy efficiency of buildings, processes and utilities (consume less).
- Decarbonize the energy used (consume differently) by promoting the use of less carbon-intensive energy at our production sites (switching from coal to gas or electricity, energy recovery, on-site renewable energy production) or by purchasing certified renewable energy .
- Develop innovative processes and breakthrough solutions to reduce the carbon footprint of manufactured products.
This project allowed the construction of a new manufacturing unit for isopropyl alcohol (IPA2), a fundamental solvent in chemistry and pharmaceutical synthesis, on the Roussillon Novapex site. This project is a reference in terms of energy efficiency, clean production process with no environmental discharge (water, VOC, effluents). The knowledge, the optimization of the existing process since 2010 and the recovery of the steam’s fatal energy have allowed to reduce by about 70% the steam consumption. In addition, this new unit will enable us to relocate active ingredients in France, reduce our dependence on third countries and limit disruptions such as those experienced during the Covid 19 health crisis. This project is part of the “France 2030” plan and the “Support for investment and modernization of industry” program, which aims to accelerate ecological transformation, increase Europe’s economic resilience and technological independence, develop activity and create jobs in a sustainable manner.
Water is an important component of SEQENS’ industrial activity. Utilities (steam, cooling water, process water, etc.) are by far the main use of water for the Group. It is thus mainly used as a vector for cooling or heating manufacturing processes.
Water is also used to clean equipment and networks between production campaigns, in order to comply with quality standards related to the manufacture of products.
However, not all resources are unlimited, and their industrial use must be controlled and limited as much as possible, especially in areas of water stress. In order to contribute positively to the preservation of water resources, SEQENS is committed to reducing its water consumption.
- The installation of closed loops, especially for the cooling of process equipment.
- Optimization of water consumption through the installation of new, more efficient equipment, automated systems, water-saving materials, etc.
The water used to cool the reactions enters, heated, in these cooling towers. The cooled water is then reinjected into the system. Thus the new isopropyl alcohol production unit (IPA2) is in a closed loop, which will reduce water withdrawal by 1.69 million m3 per year. These new towers have also been integrated into the water cooling circuit of the existing workshops, again improving water management.
SEQENS’ production activities generate routine waste inherent to the manufacturing and packaging processes. Most of these wastes are hazardous wastes, in particular solvent-based liquid wastes.
In order to fight against the waste of natural resources and to limit the impact of production activities on the environment, SEQENS is committed in its EHS policy to preserve natural resources and to reduce at all levels the environmental footprint of products and processes.
SEQENS aims to reduce the quantity of hazardous waste generated, in particular the quantity of solvents consumed, and to improve the end-of-life of waste by promoting waste recovery (material or energy).
- Reduce the amount of waste
- Reuse waste internally wherever possible, as raw materials or solvents in the same or another manufacturing process.
- Recycle waste externally
- Recover energy from waste
In 2017, for regulatory and safety reasons, the Couterne site has changed the solvent in one production process, which also involves changing one of the raw materials (resin). In 2021 and 2022, the teams have optimized the manufacturing process and characterized the new waste generated. This waste can now be recovered for energy purposes at the site (75%), with the remaining 25% being treated at the site’s physico-chemical plant.
The manufacturing, storage and transportation of raw materials, products and wastes involve various risks of potential impacts related to the release of toxic chemicals on the environment and human health.
The Group systematically prevents the industrial risks of its activities, and in particular the environmental impacts on the sites where they are carried out, whether these concern the soil, water or air.
Each site has a general environmental analysis that must be updated regularly and whenever a significant change occurs. Any implementation of new equipment or manufacturing processes, or any change in industrial processes, is also subject to risk assessment and action plans to reduce potential impacts.
All activities performed by employees (permanent or temporary) are covered by an analysis of environmental aspects, including routine and maintenance activities. The preventive measures described in the internal procedures must be respected in order to avoid any pollution (soil, surface water, groundwater, air, etc.).
Response plans in the event of accidental events are in place and are the subject of training for the people concerned. The proper implementation of these measures is verified during preventive visits by insurers and during periodic EHS audits.
Depending on the site, if significant risks are identified or if regulations or SEQENS standards impose specific requirements, a more detailed assessment is carried out for the activities concerned. Appropriate action plans, or even immediate action if necessary, are implemented to reduce these significant risks to an acceptable level.
- The Beer Sheva site in Israel has installed a new alkaline absorption column to treat acid gas emissions upstream of the VOC treatment unit.
- The Roussillon Novapex site has installed a VOC analyzer which allows for continuous monitoring of atmospheric emissions.
- The Villeneuve-la-Garenne site has installed an activated carbon treatment unit for an effluent containing traces of dichloromethane.
- The Wuxi site has installed a new activated carbon washing and treatment tower, improving the efficiency of the treatment of gaseous emissions and avoiding the release of odorous substances (acetic acid).