Conserve. Protect. Enhance.
In our environment, we take care to conserve, protect and enhance natural resources. Through innovation, operational excellence and environmental stewardship, we seek to protect life and to continuously improve our environmental performance.
We have established companywide policy, standards, programs and procedures to ensure that we continuously improve our environmental performance and protect the well-being of our communities.
We have been successful in lowering many air emission levels over the past 20 years. We recently converted our Corunna, Ontario ethylene manufacturing facility to enable it to use up to 100 percent natural gas liquids as feedstock. The feedstock shift, along with process improvements, is expected to significantly reduce the facility’s emissions of sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides (key air pollutants) and carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas).
We believe that greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction solutions must protect the environment and enable economic benefits, including investment in new technology. For more than 30 years, we have captured and provided up to 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year for enhanced oil recovery – the equivalent of removing more than 20,000 passenger cars from our highways each year.
In addition, we prefer to use rail transportation to truck because of its lower emissions intensity. When possible, we use local suppliers to reduce transport costs and related emissions.
We have reported our GHG performance publicly for more than 20 years and voluntarily reported our progress before it was a regulatory requirement. Third-party assurance is conducted for GHG emissions data from our Canadian assets.
Water Use and Quality
Water is important to our industrial operations and we focus on minimizing our impact on this valuable resource. When possible, our manufacturing sites reuse water multiple times, and many of our sites capture and use precipitation.
The majority of water we use is returned to the environment, often through evaporation from cooling towers. Water returned to surface water bodies goes through extensive testing before discharge to meet regulatory obligation and strict environmental standards.
We support and promote the responsible use, capture and reuse of plastic products within our own company, with our customers and in our communities. We also collaborate at the industry level to promote the benefits of plastics recycling throughout North America.
The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change on behalf of the Government of Ontario named NOVA Chemicals as a recipient of a 2015 Minister’s Award for Environmental Excellence award. The company was recognized for its work to move from oil-based feedstock to a lighter ethane-based feedstock at its Manufacturing East facility in Corunna, Ontario. Operationally this results in significant reductions in Corunna’s emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide and carbon dioxide.
In 2014, we converted the Corunna ethylene cracker to use ethane feedstock from the Marcellus Shale Basin. NOVA Chemicals was the first petrochemical company to use Marcellus shale ethane as feedstock. The $250 million project allowed the company to use 100% natural gas liquids to produce ethylene and co-products for use by our downstream operations and to sell to third parties.
The conversion supports growing North American demand for our products, positions the facility for long-term competitiveness and economic viability while meeting our environmental and sustainability objectives and targets.