Canadian Plastics

Nova reports progress on its sustainability strategy

Nova’s new 2019 Sustainability Report highlights four areas of the Calgary-based company’s long-term strategy: circular economy, citizenship, climate care, and sustainability in operations.

June 17, 2020   Canadian Plastics

A new report from Nova Chemicals Corp. details the Calgary-based company’s progress so far in meeting the goals of its sustainability strategy.

Nova’s new 2019 Sustainability Report highlights four areas of the company’s long-term strategy: circular economy, citizenship, climate care, and sustainability in operations.

To create a plastics circular economy, Nova says that it’s designing plastic resins and products to expand a market for recycled plastics, advance recyclable packaging designs, and help customers choose more sustainable options. In 2019, the company announced the development of seven new polyethylene ready-to-recycle resins that will help customers meet sustainability targets and drive demand for recycled content. These new resins enable reuse in applications such as stretch films, stand-up pouches, multipack collation shrink and heavy-duty sacks. “Along with industry associations and others, Nova is committed to making 100 per cent of plastics packaging recyclable or recoverable by 2030; and 100 percent of plastics packaging re-used, recycled or recovered by 2040,” the company said in a June 17 statement, pointing to its recent announcement to collaborate with Enerkem to capture the value of post-use plastic through advanced recycling innovations.

Under its global citizenship initiative, Nova is a founding member of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste and a strategic partner for Project STOP. “We are pleased to see exciting new developments as both organizations mature and collaborate to solve global challenges,” Nova’s president and CEO Todd Karran said in the statement. “In addition, Nova became the first Canadian based company to pledge to support Operation Clean Sweep Blue and strengthened its commitment to zero pellet loss.” Karran also noted that, in 2019, Nova employees volunteered nearly 6,000 hours and made a combined contribution with the company to United Way totaling nearly US$1.5 million. Other significant corporate investments included Cdn$2 million as Platinum Sustainability Sponsor for the 2019 Canada Winter Games and Red Deer College, Alberta, as well as a Cdn$2 million investment in the Nova Chemicals Health & Research Centre at Lambton College in Ontario.

Nova’s climate care activities include reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity by four per cent in last year five years. The company completed two capital projects that reduced its GHG emissions: a furnace revamp project that improves efficiency and an equipment improvement project that reduces steam demand. The combined impact of those projects is a total reduction of 110,000 tonnes of CO2e, Nova said, which is equivalent to removing more than 20,000 cars from the road each year. “Over the last decade, [Nova] has reduced its GHG intensity by 12 per cent, primarily resulting from the conversion of its ethylene manufacturing facility in Corunna, Ontario, to enable use of up to 100 per cent natural gas liquids as feedstock as well as investments in other capital projects,” Nova said.

As far as sustainability in operations, Nova says it is reducing the amount of waste that it produces, minimizing what is sent to landfill for disposal, and finding new value streams for the waste generated from its operations. “In 2019, more than 27,000 tonnes of waste was diverted from landfill, which represents 58 per cent of company-wide waste,” Nova said. “Programs included recycling of concrete and waste polymer, energy recovery for waste streams with a high energy value, and reusing lime sludge as a soil amendment by local farmers. In addition, more than 4,000 tonnes of polyethylene scrap was recycled and used to make new plastic products.” In addition, Nova is a founding member of Responsible Care, the chemical industry’s commitment to improve health, safety, security, and environmental performance and continues its commitment today. “In 2019, Nova achieved its lowest recordable injury rate in 10 years,” the company said. “This milestone was made possible by the individual commitment of each employee and reflects the belief that a workplace with zero injuries is possible.”

“We believe businesses like ours can be a positive catalyst for change and are pleased to share our progress as we deliver on our commitment to the betterment of society, the environment, and the economy,” Karran said. “As global citizens, we are working to be part of the solution to specific challenges: plastics circular economy, plastics in the ocean and climate change. We continue to advocate for science-based dialogue and policy decisions that encourage responsible use, collection, recycling and recovery of plastic to make the elimination of plastic waste a reality.”


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