Chemical firm scoops industry award for impressive efficiency

Increasing productivity by 80% while cutting energy bills by 70% and halving waste might seem like an optimistic MD's fantasy but that is exactly what Solvay did to win the Chemical Industry Association's (CIA) Sustainable Development Award.

The Cheshire-based company received the accolade at the CIA awards dinner, held in Manchester on Wednesday, July 6.

The judges heard how Solvay has a firm commitment from both management and the employees to sustainable development, not just for the environmental benefit but because it makes good business sense too.

The company put the efficiency saving down to lower cost steam and electricity production, a new recycling system ensuring waste is put back in the plant and a new effluent filter, to name just a few changes.

The site has also spent more than £50, 000 on silencing noise emissions and reducing dust levels over the past five years.

Dr Dave Bott, judge of the award and technology assessment consultant, DTI, Said: "It is unusual to find such a complete approach.

"This kind of thoroughness is an example to the rest of us - it is inspirational that they saw the opportunities and took them with such enthusiasm."

The Sustainable Development Award is sponsored by Octel Corp and this year's runners up were AstraZeneca, BP Chemicals, Hydro Polymers, Rhodia Pharma and Shell Chemicals UK Ltd. By Sam Bond



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