MINDING OUR RESOURCES
Using resources effectively and responsibly
Every day, FMC looks for ways to improve our operations, processes and products. We work to find a positive balance between the benefits our products provide, the environmental impacts of their production, and economic realities.
As a manufacturing organization and raw materials provider, we acknowledge that we have an impact on the environment. Our objective is to minimize our impact per ton of product produced, known as “intensity”.
- FMC’s energy intensity has declined by 3 percent since 2009.
- Our greenhouse gas intensity has increased by 11 percent over the same period, but some projects that will contribute to a reduction in this intensity are underway and others are being considered.
- We have decreased our water intensity by 16 percent since 2009.
- Our intensity in criteria emissions, largely related to combustion sources, has remained essentially flat since 2009.
- Waste intensity at FMC has declined by 11 percent since 2009, including a 15 percent reduction in hazardous waste intensity.
Some of our environmental successes come with little or no downside, such as the production of biopolymers from natural, renewable raw materials. Others are more challenging and complex. For example, as the world’s largest producer of natural soda ash, we understand that our operations in the western United States are inherently energy-intensive, but they use 40 percent less energy than the alternative method of soda ash production. Ongoing improvements in energy efficiency are desirable for FMC, both economically and from a sustainability perspective.
In other product areas:
- FMC is a leader in supplying seaweed-derived ingredients to customers worldwide in the form of carrageenan and alginates, providing food, pharmaceutical, personal care and many other products with some of their most important properties.
- We process carrageenan and alginates from both farmed and naturally occurring sources of seaweed around the world, using responsible harvesting practices that ensure steady replenishment, year after year.
- We are at the forefront of utilizing renewable wood pulp in pharmaceutical and food applications.
- Many of our products help our customers minimize their carbon footprint by reducing non-renewable energy consumption in product storage and transport.
- We are one of only a few companies supplying advanced lithium materials needed to bring rechargeable electric vehicles and smart grid storage systems into widespread use. FMC scientists and engineers are working to improve and extend battery life, delaying the need for disposal or recycling of batteries and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.
- We are formulating crop protection products that help farmers produce larger crop yields with fewer chemicals. A noteworthy customer segment is sugar cane, where our efforts to help growers protect this valuable crop are fostering the expanded use of sugar cane as a renewable alternative fuel for cars, trucks and other vehicles.
The above examples only scratch the surface of our efforts to manage and respect the Earth’s natural resources while fostering innovation that aims to minimize our use of non-renewables. To read about other ways we are minding our resources at FMC, please check out our 2011 Sustainability Report.