That’s according to Eric Hopmann, chief executive officer of DyStar Group, which just released its 2015 Sustainability Performance Report and revealed that it’s well on its way to reaching its environmental targets ahead of schedule.
The colorant specialist said its resource usage intensity was 14 percent lower last year than in 2011—more than halfway toward its goal of reducing energy, water and raw materials usage, as well as emissions and waste, by 20 percent by 2020. At the same time, the group’s global sales revenue surpassed $800 million for the third straight year.
“We view these results as a testament to the long-term value of our vision to become the most sustainable and responsible supplier of colors, chemicals and services to the global textile industry,” Hopmann said in a letter introducing the report.
In 2015, DyStar reused 449 million gallons of water, while 1,700 tons of waste was recycled, reused or recovered. Compared with 2011 levels, the group also reduced energy intensity by 16 percent, emissions intensity by 14 percent and water intensity by 34 percent—despite total production volume going up by 14 percent over that same period. In addition, raw materials usage was down 24 percent, waste levels were lowered 15 percent and wastewater intensity was cut 18 percent.
Those aren’t the only changes DyStar made last year. The group also launched its Levafix Eco range of dyes based on completely new chemistry free of p-chloroaniline (p-CA) and other regulated amines, as well as Cadira Reactive and Cadira Polyester, which aim to help textile producers achieve significant resource savings. Meanwhile, the DyStar Textile Services division introduced Eliot, a free online tool that helps stakeholders make informed and responsible choices in product selection and process optimization, no matter their location.
Notably, a total of 1,700 DyStar products are now compliant with both Oeko-Tex Standard 100 and ZHDC MRSL 1.1, while 1,150 products are Bluesign approved. In addition, 5,000 are pre-registered with the European Union’s REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals).
That being said, some challenges still exist. Some production locations observed increases in their energy intensities as a result of prioritizing regulatory compliance and human safety obligations. For example, at DyStar’s plant in Nanjing, China, natural gas consumption shot up by 920,000 cubic meters following the installation of a natural gas-dependent thermal oxidizer system which is operated to purify waste air streams. Elsewhere, the Apiúna production plant in Brazil experienced a 9 percent jump in energy consumption—the result of a more energy-intensive product mix as well as the implementation of a safety precaution requiring the use of one additional stirring vessel.
But sustainability is a journey, not a race, and DyStar is on the road to increasing resource efficiency and productivity in the textile supply chain.
“The numbers speak for themselves—our teams have covered much ground in establishing safe and ethical conduct among our business units; creating responsible products and solutions across the value chain; and improving resource efficiency throughout our 14 production sites,” Hopmann said. “Now that we have put the house in order, it is time to set our sights further afield and see the bigger picture.”