Today. Tomorrow. Together. As a proud sustainability advocate, committed to bringing customers and communities more sustainable solutions for a better world through our distribution and supplier networks, Univar Solutions is taking action every day in our facilities, labs, warehouses and offices to reduce our carbon footprint, save on energy and help customers achieve lower to no emissions goals. More than a call to action, our aspiration to do more today and contribute to a better tomorrow means we are making real-world changes to our business that promote operational excellence in the areas of environmental, social and corporate governance. We’re growing together and partnering with suppliers and customers to find new ways to help reduce waste, conserve energy, improve resource consumption and extend the lifecycle of products through reuse, recycling and recovery techniques.
Read on to see how we’re supporting the journey toward a sustainable future as we help communities stay healthy, fed, clean and safe.
1- Diverting waste with ChemCare Services
We strive to reduce our waste and assist customers in finding sustainable solutions for some of their would-be wastes. Our ChemCare Services team has helped some of our customers divert tons of waste into reuse applications and recycling. Two of the biggest industries we’ve significantly impacted are the pharmaceutical ingredients and electronics manufacturing markets. In pharmaceuticals, we recovered an isopropyl alcohol (IPA) side stream that would have become waste. By working closely with our partners, we used this material as an added ingredient in manufacturing a commercial chemical and reprocessing it to produce an industrial-grade IPA.
In another instance, we took a spent sulfuric acid stream that had previously gone to a landfill and recycled it, selling it as an industrial-grade product. Further, we can take a propylene glycol by-product stream and channel it into many applications such as antifreeze and industrial coatings. In all these instances, ChemCare reduces waste generation, removes material from landfills, and delivers extra value to our customers, demonstrating at significant volumes the additional value of Univar Solutions’ diverse networks and logistics for circular resource use.
2 - Access to clean water
In industrial and municipal water treatment, Univar Solutions is directly delivering the materials that help keep the water coming out of the tap clean and safe to drink for our communities – from the flocculants that help clear up water during treatment to the disinfectants used to ensure it is suitable for safe drinking and the enzymes and microbes that help users implement more sustainable wastewater treatment systems.
As a purpose-driven and values-based company, Univar Solutions, in partnership with Mauser Packaging Solutions, acquired sixty 275-gallon Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBCs) for delivery to the Navajo Nation. The IBCs were used to store and distribute 16,500 gallons of much-needed water to many remote areas during the challenging COVID-19 outbreak.
Partnering with Aquaid in 2020, we also helped provide clean drinking water to rural communities across Africa by supporting donations used to install community-based water pumps. Each pump can produce up to 10,000 liters/litres of potable water each day, supplying upwards of 300 people in a village or community with clean drinking water and water for productive use.
3 - Circularity in packaging
In addition to delivering products, we also work with customers across our regions to return packaging to our operations and reconditioners. Collaborating with teams locally, we send containers for reconditioning and reuse rather than recycling or disposal, extending the life of the resource and reducing environmental impacts. Through 2019, our teams globally sent more than 6,700 tons of packaging for reuse, saving material quantities of virgin material use, emissions, water use, and energy compared with scrapping used containers.
This consideration of sustainable packaging also extends to marketing sample kits for our suppliers’ strategic ingredients, for example, using reusable silicone and jute bags that are made to go beyond single-use consumption.
4 - New state-of-the-art sustainable blending facility
In 2021, Univar Solutions announced the groundbreaking of a new state-of-the-art blending facility in Abbotsford, BC, designed with sustainability top of mind. The facility is expected to open during the first half of 2023 and aligns with Univar Solutions’ long-term commitment to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
The site is designed with the principles of our sustainability commitments embedded throughout it. With the goal of offering energy-efficient technology and compliance through the latest emission standards and innovative logistic and storage strengths, the facility will also include a whole-site tank telemetry system for real-time product inventory. This will help make blending more efficient while reducing the risk of incidents through the latest engineering controls.
With a state-of-the-art containment strategy helping to minimize impact to the environment while increasing safety, the facility is expected to set a new industry standard.
Delivering sustainable business across regions
At Univar Solutions, sustainability is more than an aspiration – it’s core to how we conduct business. Learn more about our sustainability goals to 2025 and download a copy of our 2020 Sustainability Report.