Orion Engineered Carbons, is a leading global producer of carbon black. The company has two business segments: specialty carbon black and rubber carbon black.
About Orion Engineered Carbons
Our sustainability initiatives are built around four basic themes, which we refer to as the cornerstones of our sustainability strategy:
• Sustainable growth (growing our business sustainably; and contributing to sustainability through our products);
• Being compliant in our day to day operations;
• Living our values; and
• Driving sustainability along our value chain.
Our business model is intrinsically aligned with the sustainability agenda. We recover carbon from hydrocarbon-based byproducts. The better we are at extracting carbon from these feedstocks, the less carbon dioxide (CO2) is emitted. Hence our carbon recovery rate (yield) and CO2 emissions per ton of carbon black are key metrics for us; and advancing these are a “win-win” for our business and the environment.
Approximately 45% of all capital investments approved since 2011 have some measure of positive environmental impact, including yield improvements. In addition to reducing carbon emissions, we are taking action to reduce sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particulate matter (PM). In the U.S. alone, we plan to invest some $250 million over a 5-year period to reduce emissions of SO2, NOx and PM.
Our products also support our customers in their efforts to improve the performance of their products that have positive impact on the environment. For instance, our technical rubber grade products make tires more fuel efficient and last longer. In one estimate, based on laboratory test results, our advanced carbon blacks are expected to reduce tire rolling resistance by 15 to 17% that would lead to as much as 5% fuel savings. In late 2018, we enhanced our line of conductive carbon blacks with the goal of supporting lithium ion batteries for the electric car industry.
Additionally, we supply energy to many of our host communities and contribute to reduction of CO2 by reducing their fuel consumption. For example, in Cologne, Germany, we are part of the district heating system that replaces coal. In Yeosu, South Korea, we provide high pressure steam to industrial customers that would otherwise have used fossil fuel.
We are acutely aware of our social responsibility to the environment, as well as to all those who work at our sites and to others across the value chain. Accordingly, compliance to us is about being responsible at every moment in every process at all of our locations to the highest applicable standards whether they be pursuant to the local laws and regulations, or to Orion’s global operating standards, particularly in the areas of safety, environment, health and quality.
Living our values
As a global business, we manufacture in 10 countries with a global supply chain network comprised of 14 production sites, including one joint venture. This allows us to draw on talents from multiple locations and presents us with the opportunity and challenge of developing people across multiple locations. Accountability and meritocracy are key tenets to how we recruit, grow and promote our people across all regions. We believe that diversity in nationality, race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identification, and age, to name a few, is and will be a source of competitive advantage.
Value chain participation
We do not outsource any of our risks, including sustainability risks, to our suppliers. From this perspective, it is our belief that one of the key tests to any operation’s commitment to sustainability is the extent to which sustainability drives its procurement decisions. In 2019, we are renewing our commitment to sustainable procurement by requiring all procurement managers to take ongoing training to become more effective in driving sustainable procurement and to focus on minimizing our sustainability risks.
Orion 2018 Sustainability Report