Investments and expenditures in the areas of environment, safety, and health protection (ESH) are usually triggered by specific events. These could be altered security or occupational safety requirements or, external requirements such as stricter emission control or waste water limit values can play a role in the environmental category. In addition, new production processes or product changes often require new construction or changes to existing facilities. These are recorded as the ESH component of the overall investment. This makes ESH investments a component of the general investment planning and not the subject of an isolated cost-benefit view with distinct capital recovery periods.
The total amount of ESH investments in 2016 was about CHF 26.7 million, of which 52% was spent on process and plant safety, 5% on health/safety, 9% on fire protection, and 33% on environmental protection, with focus on waste water and air emissions. The expenditures for ESH protection in the operative facilities amounted to over CHF 135 million in 2016, of which CHF 71.5 million were used for environmental protection alone.
Investments for the reduction of energy consumption are a different story. The aim is to secure permanent resource, to save cost and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A secondary condition of this planning is an amortization period of less than five years for corresponding investments.