Environmental Protection

Environmental Protection

Our environmental protection actions strive to minimize operating impacts, protect our environment and develop initiatives to raise awareness about preservation of environmentally valuable zones and natural resources. We endeavor to maintain the greatest efficiency of all resources used in our operations, based on principles of industrial “reduce, reuse and recycle”. Our environmental commitment also includes:

  • Water and energy use optimization
    • In 2014, we invested a total of US$3,947,012 in environmental control projects; primarily in energy optimization and saving activities, wastewater treatment systems, protection against chemical spills, noise reduction and industrial waste management.
    • Mexichem features an Energy Efficiency Program in its main Vinyl business plants. The program has been implemented in other operating sites and, as a result, we have been awarded various categories of the Energy Saving Prize from the National Commission on Energy Saving for several years.
    • Some activities carried out to save electric energy are:
      1. Installing high-efficient motors
      2. Installing variable speed drives in motors
      3. Installing more energy efficient PVC resin drying equipment
      4. Suspension of processes at peak hour
      5. Insulation of iced-water pipes
  • Industrial waste reduction
    • In 2014, 46,981 tons of residues were generated, 99% of which were non- hazardous. The most frequent disposal method was landfill and compacting cells (80%), reuse and recycle (17%), incineration (2%) and industrial confinement (1%).
    • The percentage of industrial recycling achieved is an average of 11%, having its best performance at our Fluent business, where non-specified PVC residues are recovered to be reintegrated to the process, thus closing the product life cycle.
    • Mexichem has cutting-edge technology for producing PVC resins, which incorporates closed-cycle processes for recovering the non-polymerized portion of the vinyl chloride monomer and returning it to the process in order to be used in successive production sessions.
    • We have several programs to minimize waste, both industrial and hazardous. These programs have allowed us to significantly reduce the amount of generated residues. Reduction achieved in 2014 of industrial waste generation is 84% since 2010, while reduction of hazardous waste has been 79% for the same period.
  • Emissions to the atmosphere control
    • We carry out an inventory of our green-house gases (GHG) emissions tallying up direct and indirect ones relating to our consumption of electrical energy and fossil fuels. Our commitment to reduce GHG emissions is oriented towards energy saving and efficiency in processes, involving our stakeholders.
    • Energy consumed at Mexichem comes mainly from two sources: electricity and natural gas, and is mostly provided by external companies. We also use, but at a lower level: vapor, diesel and LP gas.
    • The tendency of emissions generating climate change has declined. Our emissions reduction projects due to efficiency, education and technological changes have been fruitful: we have uncouple our economic growth from our GHG emissions as seen on the graph. Furthermore, we have established a goal to reduce an additional 5% our GHG emissions base line by the year 2018.
    • We have significantly reduced Ozone- Depleting Substances (ODS). We feature an ODS emissions reduction program. We have worked to reduce them to a minimum possible since 2007 and thanks to this program they have been reduced by more than 96%. The graph shows the emissions reduction achieved during the last few years.
  • Development of protection plans for biodiversity, soil, superficial water and aquifers.
    • Although our operations pose no danger to the local biodiversity, Mexichem is concerned about species located within our sites. We therefore consider it important to learn about them and determine their degree of endangerment. In this process we have identified six species with different levels of extinction risks, according to the National Commission for Biodiversity Knowledge and Use, (CONABIO): two vulnerable species, two threatened species and two in danger of extinction within the area of the mine and two fluorspar processing plants in Mexico: Villa de Zaragoza and Río Verde, San Luis Potosí, and Álamos de Martínez, Guanajuato.
    • Oceanus Mexican organization has developed specialized technics to reforest coral reefs by building nursery gardens with PVC pipelines. Mexichem contributed to the project by donating PVC pipelines to reforest reefs in Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo, Mexico.
    • In 2014, we carried on the closure plan of the sulfur extraction plant in Veracruz, Mexico, which consisted of withdrawing pipelines and equipment from the extraction zone and reforesting 30 hectares with native vegetation to offset environmental effects. The plan includes follow-up on environmental remediation for a ten year period.
  • Investigation and development to design and manufacture safer and more environmentally friendly products.