NOVA Chemicals Corporation a leading producer of chemicals and plastic resins, published its 2019 Sustainability Report this month, with details on how the company is working to shape a world that is better tomorrow than it is today.

NOVA Chemicals’ 2019 Sustainability Report highlights four areas of the company’s long-term strategy: Circular Economy, Citizenship, Climate Care and Sustainability in Operations. The report has been prepared in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI®) Standards: Core option.

1. Creating a Plastics Circular Economy

NOVA Chemicals is leveraging its expertise to design 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 to 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 Chemicals is committed to making 100% of plastics packaging recyclable or recoverable by 2030; and 100% of plastics packaging re-used, recycled or recovered by 2040. 

2. Global Citizenship

“Plastic is and will continue to be a valuable material that makes our lives healthier, easier and safer,” said Karran. “Plastic does not belong in the environment. We have a responsibility to address this challenge and, with others, we are taking action.” NOVA Chemicals 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,” said Karran. In addition, NOVA Chemicals became the first Canadian based company to pledge to support Operation Clean Sweep® Blue and strengthened its commitment to zero pellet loss.

NOVA Chemicals engages with its local communities and invests in organizations dedicated to making a difference and improving quality of life. In 2019, employees volunteered nearly 6,000 hours and made a combined contribution with the company to United Way® totaling nearly $1.5 million (USD). Other significant corporate investments included $2 million (CAD) as Platinum Sustainability Sponsor for the 2019 Canada Winter Games and Red Deer College as well as a $2 million (CAD) investment in the NOVA Chemicals Health & Research Centre at Lambton College.  

Caring for the Climate

NOVA Chemicals reduced its greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity by four percent 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, equivalent to removing more than 20,000 cars from the road each year.  

Over the last decade, the company has reduced its GHG intensity by 12 percent, primarily resulting from the conversion of its ethylene manufacturing facility in Corunna, Ontario, to enable use of up to 100 percent natural gas liquids as feedstock as well as investments in other capital projects.   

Continuous Improvement in Operations

NOVA Chemicals 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% of company-wide waste. 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.

NOVA Chemicals also 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 Chemicals achieved its lowest recordable injury rate in 10 years.