Resource Efficiency and Environmental Protection

Sustainability is a core element of Clariant’s purpose »Greater chemistry - between people and planet,« reflecting the company’s commitment to environmental sustainability and ethical practice. Interest of investors, customers, and other stakeholders in sustainability topics has been on the rise for years and is growing further. The company follows a responsible approach to resources and the environment. It increasingly employs environmental management systems for responsible energy and water consumption, waste reduction, and the prevention of pollution, toxic and other emissions to air and soil, and further ecosystem impacts. Resource efficiency and environmental protection is also reflected in the 1+5 sustainability focus areas, particularly in »zero waste and pollution,« »fighting climate change,« and »increasing circularity.« Read more in the Growth Opportunities from Sustainable Products and Solutions chapter. The corresponding technological and behavioral changes affect Clariant’s complete value chain, from the raw material feedstock to the end-consumer markets.

The reduction of energy consumption and GHG emissions is a main focus in Clariant’s Sustainability Transformation in the field of »fighting climate change.« Examples of this responsible approach to resources and the environment include the significant reduction of fossil fuels such as coal and oil in the Functional Minerals Business (as of January 2023: AdsorbentsAdsorbentsUsually solid substances which are able to selectively accumulate certain substances from adjacent gaseous or liquid phases.View entire glossary ) through sun drying/natural drying programs at various locations in Europe and Asia. Following the success of exothermal reactions for heat integration in the production site at Gendorf, Germany, the installation of new larger heat exchangers has resulted in the purchase of less steam and a reduction of associated GHG emissions. Read more in our section focusing on GHG emissions


    Continuing operations   Discontinued operations   Total 2022   2021 2
Total greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1 & 2, CO₂ equivalents) (in m t)   0.64   n.a.   0.64 4   0.82 5
Total indirect greenhouse gas emissions for purchased goods and services (Scope 3, CO₂ equivalents) (in m t) 6   2.58   n.a.   2.58   3.19
Water intake (without »pass-through« water) (in m³/t production)   2.24   n.a.   2.24   2.17
Wastewater generation (in m³/t production)   1.62   n.a.   1.62   1.48
Sites in areas of high water stress with advanced water management (%)   75   n.a.   75   56
Landfilled nonhazardous waste (in kg/t production)   45.1   n.a.   45.1   51.5
Hazardous waste (in kg/t production)   11.3   n.a.   11.3   8.8
Nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions (in kg/t production)   0.12   n.a.   0.12   0.12
Energy consumption (in kWh/t production)   680   n.a.   680   733
Greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1 & 2, CO₂ equivalents) (in kg/t production)   168   n.a.   168   185
Indirect greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 3, CO₂ equivalents) (in kg CO2e/ CHF sales) 6   0.67   n.a.   0.67   0.82
Total water intake (without »pass-through« water) (in m m³)   9.5   n.a.   9.5   15.4 3
Total wastewater generation (in m m³)   7.4   n.a.   7.4   11.2
Total quantity of waste (in thousand t)   270.4   n.a.   270.4   225.8
Total energy consumption (in m kWh)   2 592.5   n.a.   2 592.5   3 244.0
1 Clariant follows the »control approach« in the consolidation of the data
2 Every three years, Clariant validates environmental data from all production sites. The last full reporting campaign was in 2020, including estimated discontinued data for Business Unit MasterbatchesMasterbatchesThese are plastic additives in the form of granules with dyestuffs or other additives used to dye or alter the properties of natural plastic.View entire glossary for the first half-year. In interim years, including 2021, the reduced reporting scope comprises the larger sites responsible for at least 95 % of production.
3 2021 data is reported with a new definition of water intake without »pass-through« cooling water. Therefore, it is not comparable to previous years.
4 This includes 0.02 m t of biogenic CO2 emissions
5 This includes discontinued operations
6 Other green house gases (GHG) like CH4, N2O, HFCs are not relevant and therefore not included.
Management approach

Management approach

To minimize negative effects on the environment and to safeguard natural resources, Clariant relies on top management’s attention and a corporate culture that prioritizes environmental stewardship.

In 2022, Clariant incorporated its Environment, Safety, and Health Affairs (ESHA) department into the Service Unit Group Innovation & Sustainability from the Service Unit Group Operational Excellence, to align the organizational structure with the core importance of ESHA in realizing the sustainability transformation of the company. Specialized ESHA teams set the standards for environmental protection and resources. They ensure via audits that the executing business units and country organizations who have full operational responsibility adhere to them. There are quarterly coordination meetings between corporate, regional, and business unit ESHA teams. By 2022, all sites had achieved an external certification and operated along the ISO 14001 standard.

Clariant regularly monitors progress toward its sustainability targets. In 2021, the company developed a new internal dashboard, the »Sustainable Operations Cockpit« (SOC). The SOC shows the actual GHG emissions of every production site by energy category, enabling a monthly tracking of Scope 1 & 2 emissions by site, region, and business unit. This allows for a timely analysis of the impact of GHG emission reduction projects, the impact of production increases, and other production changes as well as to take corrective actions in case of target deviation. Such a detailed tracking has proven to be invaluable to get the organizational buy-in for bonus-relevant targets and to refine the medium-term CAPEX plans for emission reductions. In addition, the Clariant Project Tracking Tool (CPTT) tracks the implementation of individual improvement projects related to environmental performance and the related improvements themselves.

Scope 3 target achievement is monitored monthly by a Scope 3 dashboard. Quarterly progress for Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions are discussed in the Global Innovation and Sustainability Council and in the Executive Leadership TeamExecutive Leadership TeamThe Executive Leadership Team (ELT) consists of the Executive Steering Committee (ESC) along with the Chief Human Resources Officer, the Chief Technology & Sustainability Officer, the Chief Corporate Development Officer, and the General Counsel. By bringing all key functions together, Clariant ensures fast decision-making while incorporating all internal stakeholders’ needs. The ELT supports the ESC by promoting dialogue among its members, exchange of information and enabling awareness of the Group’s environment.View entire glossary Meeting, and then presented to the Board of Directors.

Sustainability targets

Sustainability targets

In 2021, Clariant published sustainability targets under the lead of the Key Function Sustainability Transformation. In line with the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTiSBTiThe Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) is a partnership between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), World Resources Institute (WRI), and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The SBTi is the lead partner of the Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign - an urgent call to action from a global coalition of UN agencies, business and industry leaders, mobilizing companies to set net-zero science-based targets in line with a 1.5°C future. More information: www.sciencebasedtargets.orgView entire glossary ), the com­pany’s Science-Based Targets demand ambitious absolute reductions by 2030, compared to 2019:

  • Scope 1 & 2 greenhouse gas emissions – 40 %
  • Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions from purchased goods and services – 14 %

Furthermore, Clariant has set itself more sustainable operations targets for the period 2019–2030, measured by impact per ton of production:

  • Water intake (without »pass-through« cooling water) – 20 %
  • Wastewater generation – 25 %
  • Share of sites in areas of high water stress that apply advanced water management 100 %
  • Landfilled nonhazardous waste – 40 %
  • Hazardous waste – 25 %
  • Nitrogen oxide emissions – 30 %

All business units have developed a roadmap toward these 2030 sustainability goals. In this context, they defined improvement projects, planned their implementation, calculated medium-term investments and specific intermediate reduction targets for 2025.

018PROGRESS TOWARD 2030 TARGETS All diagrams refer to the production activities of continuing business only (=without PigmentsPigmentsPigments are substances used for coloring; they are used in a technical manner, for example in the manufacture of dyes, varnishes, and plastics. In 2020, Clariant launched the divestment process of its Pigments business, which was completed on 3 January 2022.View entire glossary ).

graphic: Clariant: Progress towards 2030 targets: Greenhouse gas emissions, Hazardous waste generation, Water consumption, Non-hazardous waste generation, Wastewater generation, Scope 3, category 1 purchased goods and services, Sites in areas of high water stress that apply advanced water management, NO<sub>x</sub> emissions

Overall, guided by its ambitious targets, Clariant’s environmental performance has improved significantly over the last 15 years. The investments related to environment, safety, and health amounted to CHF 36.6 million in 2022, including CHF 15.9 million for environmental protection. The expenditures for environment, safety, and health protection in operative facilities amounted to over CHF 110 million, including CHF 62 million for environmental protection.

Since 2019, CO2 emissions (Scope 1 & 2) have decreased by 10 %. Year-on-year, Scope 1 & 2 emissions fell by 0.09 million t CO2 in 2022. Various initiatives enabled the strong 13 % decrease. Scope 1 emissions were reduced by 0.035 million t CO2 by replacing coal and diesel with solar/natural drying at various sites, replacing coal with biomass for steam generation at Bonthapally in India, and small-scale energy efficiency measures. Scope 2 emissions were reduced by 0.055 million tons of CO2. Long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) in Indonesia and the US contributed significantly to reducing GHG emissions, as did renewable electricity certificates (RECs) and solar panels installed at various sites. In addition, the switch from fossil fuels to renewable fuels and low-carbon fuels for steam generation by local steam suppliers had an impact on reductions. Finally, an investment in heat integration to recover energy from a highly exothermic reaction enabled the purchase of less steam from a third-party supplier.

Clariant wins prestigious ACC Sustainability Leadership Award for success of its global climate campaign

For the second year in a row, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) acknowledged Clariant’s efforts to reduce environmental impact by rewarding the company with the ACC Sustainability Leadership Award in the category »Environmental Protection.«

With a free load of its innovative nitrous oxide removal catalyst EnviCat®, Clariant helps ten nitric acid producers worldwide to cut more than 4 million tons of CO2 equivalents annually. This corresponds to 95 % of their annual harmful nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. Translated into a more palpable number, this corresponds to the emissions of more than 860 000 gasoline passenger vehicles driven for one year. N2O molecules remain in the atmosphere for an average of 114 years, which is 25 times longer than carbon molecules.

The Sustainability Leadership Award recognizes outstanding initiatives led by chemical industry visionaries advancing sustainability. The external panel of experts judged that Clariant is dedicated to developing innovative products that can considerably reduce its customers’ environmental footprint. They applauded Clariant because of the impact the company’s products make on helping create a better, more sustainable world.

Watch the video EnviCat® N2O

Other goals and targets

Other goals and targets

Clariant abides by the principles of the Responsible Care® Global Charter, which was initiated by the members of the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA). It creates a global vision and highlights the commitment of the industry to continuous improvement in the environmental, health, and safety performance of chemical producers worldwide.

Furthermore, Clariant adheres to its own goals and targets set in its Sustainability Policy, Code of EthicsCode of EthicsThe Code of Ethics is laying down Clariant’s commitments and is intended to be a guide with ethical principles and examples to enable all personnel and associated parties to act with the highest standards of integrity.View entire glossary , Internal ESHA Management System, ESHA Guidelines and Guides, internal audits, and Management Bylaws of the Executive CommitteeExecutive CommitteeUntil 30 June 2022, the Executive Committee was mainly responsible for implementing and monitoring the Group strategy, for the financial and operational management of the Group, and for the efficiency of the Group’s structure and organization. Effective 1 July 2022, the Executive Committee was replaced by the Executive Steering Committee (ESC).View entire glossary . They contain principles for environmental protection and prioritize measures that avoid or minimize negative environmental impacts. In 2020, the company finalized its internal quality audits, which are a central element of the ESHA management system.

Corporate programs of resource efficiency and environmental protection

Corporate programs of resource efficiency and environmental protection

To reduce energy consumption, minimize greenhouse gas emissions, and reduce waste streams, Clariant has set up long-running lead initiatives within the business units, such as eWATCH™ and the Clariant Production System Yield, Energy, Environment (YEE) initiative. Under the leadership of the program »Sustainable Operations,« a »core team for Sustainable Operations« consisting of members from Group Operational Excellence (GOE), Group Innovation & Sustainabaility (GIS), and business units has been established. The team meets biweekly and tracks progress toward annual targets and 2030 targets. There is an exchange regarding best practices, new regulatory developments, new policies and guidelines, and new technologies. As a result, further improvement projects have been identified and are currently being implemented.



Since 2013, the program eWATCH™ has helped to minimize energy consumption and increase energy efficiency. It is a process to analyze energy consumption across operations and to identify cost-saving opportunities. Using eWATCH™, Group Operational Excellence (GOE) systematically assesses site maturity and proposes improvement measures along three dimensions: operating system, management system, and employee system. GOE also supports business units in providing investment roadmaps and evaluating technical savings potential to ensure the company achieves its new 2030 targets.

The Clariant Energy Intelligence Guide (CEIG), a component of the eWATCH™ employee system, supports careful management of the company’s energy demand. CEIG combines information, advice, best practices, and successful optimization projects, as well as key figures and tools that support energy efficiency. It enables users to systematically improve the energy efficiency of the equipment in use.

With its global initiative »eWATCH™ goes digital,« Clariant aims to profit from the latest measurement and monitoring technologies. They ensure full visibility and high granularity of energy generation and consumption. Analyses in this context show a savings potential of up to 10 % for energy and utilities as well as opportunities for lower costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

Through the Clariant Project Tracking Tool, Clariant measures the outcome of eWATCH™ by cost savings and project tracking (122 projects in 2022). Through the Sustainable Operations Cockpit, Clariant measures the outcome of eWATCH™ by energy consumption and CO2 impact. Since 2013, Clariant has saved a total of CHF 35.9 million through eWATCH™ by implementing energy efficiency measures and energy-purchasing optimizations. In 2022 alone, the savings amounted to CHF 6 million.

Clariant Production System Yield, Energy, Environment (YEE) initiative

Clariant Production System Yield, Energy, Environment (YEE) initiative

The Clariant Production System (CPS) is an important component of the Clariant Operational Excellence program. Its goal is to achieve the highest productivity and financial performance at the pro­duction sites by identifying, developing, and implementing good practices. Applying the CPS leads to improvements in safety, productivity, conversion costs, energy consumption, and product quality.

The Clariant Production System Yield, Energy, Environment (YEE) initiative is a holistic approach built on an organizational blueprint. The YEE team consists of four people, one of whom was contracted in 2022 to focus on energy. The team conducts Maturity Value Assessments, which analyze yield, energy, and the environment of a specific unit with the aim of finding the overall maximum per­formance. For example, it defines the way to increase yields, improve energy efficiency, and reduce waste streams by analyzing pro­duction processes and production units. Jointly with IGSM and ESHA, CPS assesses the site maturity against the blueprint through Operations Assessment audits to create a comprehensive picture of energy opti­mization potential.

Since its inception in 2012, YEE has saved more than CHF 60.5 million. In 2022 alone, YEE allowed for cost savings of CHF 6.2 million.



Clariant is continuously optimizing its energy consumption with dedicated energy efficiency programs, including capital expenditures into new energy efficient technologies. Although energy consumption depends on several variables, such as production levels, product mix, and production technologies, Clariant monitors absolute and relative energy consumption as one means to assess the effectiveness of its energy savings measures. The energy efficiency measures, combined with the switch to renewable energy, reduce Clariant’s financial risks deriving from carbon pricing. Additionally, the sustainable products provided by the company help customers to save energy in their own production processes.

Clariant established the first Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) together with the site service provider Celanese at a site in Clear Lake (US), covering 20 % of the annual electricity demand.

For five sites in Indonesia – Cileungsi, Cimapag, Medan, Cikampek, and Tangerang – Clariant concluded a ten-year contract for green electricity supply (PPA) generated from geothermal heat.

Other sites like Baroda and Bonthapally, India; Heufeld, Germany; and Jiangsu and Jiaxing, China, partially use directly or indirectly self-generated renewable electricity.

For various sites, Clariant has been purchasing certificates for 100 % green electricity:

  • Since 2019: Knapsack, Germany; Jacarei and Vitoria da Conquista, Brazil
  • Since 2020: Aberdeen, UK; Novara, Italy; and Oberhausen, Germany
  • Since 2021: Bakersfield, Midland, and Reserve, USA; and Suzano, Brazil
  • Since 2022: Callao, Peru; Hoechst, Germany; Maipu, Chile; Louisville, USA; Jacarei and Ananindeua, Brazil; Santa Giusta and S’Aliderru, Italy

Furthermore, Clariant has certified some sites according to the new ISO 50001 standard for energy conservation. It passed the surveillance audits globally and prepared for the updated standard at sites, primarily in Germany and Spain. By the end of 2021, around 25 % of production sites (including discontinued business units) were certified, and Clariant produced more than 35 % of its production volume at sites certified with ISO 50001.

Energy consumption

Energy consumption

Across the Group, Clariant records total energy consumption from energy sources. While the total energy consumption decreased by 2 % since 2019, the energy consumption per ton of produced goods has increased by 4 % due to product mix and lower production volume.

The company consumes energy in the form of process heat, steam, cooling, and electricity. With respect to process heat and steam, it uses direct primary energy sources to generate them or has them supplied by site service providers. Its main primary energy source is natural gas, while it uses coal only in very few locations. Clariant requires steam to heat reactors and separators, such as distillation columns. Wherever possible, it applies the remaining heat of the resulting condensate either for steam generation again or for internal heating purposes. The company also needs energy for drying as a part of its mineral processing. Clariant reduced its use of fossil fuels significantly through the sun-drying of betonite.

Electricity is necessary for electric motor drives in mixers, pumps, and other process-engineering equipment; for measurement and control technology; as well as for lighting. Clariant endeavors to increase its share of electricity obtained from renewable sources on an ongoing basis. In 2022, it was at 47 %, considering all measured energy sources.

Energy consumption

    Continuing operations   Discontinued operations   Total 2022   2021 1   2020   2019 1   2018
Total energy consumption within the organization (in m kWh)   2 593   n.a.   2 593   3 244   3 071 2   3 204   3 209
Relative energy consumption (in kWh/t production)   680   n.a.   680   733   758   754   739
Total fuel consumption within the organization (in m kWh)   1 587   n.a.   1 587   1 859   1 653   1 795   1 781
Oil   8   n.a.   8   70   49   60   83
Natural gas   1 211   n.a.   1 211   1 285   1 154   1 248   1 254
Diesel   83   n.a.   83   128   95   113   54
Energy crops (bagasse/briquettes)   34   n.a.   34   97   65   125   121
Other (e.g., coal, woodchips, waste)   251   n.a.   251   279   289   235   269
Total electricity consumption (in m kWh)   518   n.a.   518   610   626   704   768
Total steam consumption from outside the organization (in m kWh)   488   n.a.   488   759   685   685   660
1 Every three years, Clariant validates environmental data from all production sites. The last full reporting campaign was in 2020, including estimated discontinued data for Business Unit MasterbatchesMasterbatchesThese are plastic additives in the form of granules with dyestuffs or other additives used to dye or alter the properties of natural plastic.View entire glossary for the first half-year. In interim years, including 2021, the reduced reporting scope comprises the larger sites responsible for at least 95 % of production.
2 First half-year 2020 data for Business Unit MasterbatchesMasterbatchesThese are plastic additives in the form of granules with dyestuffs or other additives used to dye or alter the properties of natural plastic.View entire glossary are estimated based on the last full reporting campaign in 2017.
Reductions in energy requirements of products and services

Reductions in energy requirements of products and services

Clariant evaluates the energy consumption of products through its Portfolio Value Program (PVP), which looks at energy consumption from raw materials to the use phase. The company aims to help its customers reduce their energy consumption. For this purpose, Clariant reworked its assessment criteria in 2021. A reviewed version of all criteria has been implemented in 2022. Full information on PVP is described in another chapter: Read more in Growth Opportunities from Sustainable Products and Solutions.



Water management is a key topic for the chemical industry, as it uses water as a product ingredient and in numerous production processes that result in the release of wastewater effluents. Efficient water management protects resources and saves costs in wastewater treatment.

The importance of water management differs according to local conditions. Clariant therefore sets water intake targets on the local level, while it monitors regulatory developments on a regional and national level. The company has implemented strict environmental regulations to ensure that its activities have no measurable impact on the surrounding flora and fauna.

Clariant’s plants and office buildings are located almost exclusively in industrial parks or appropriate commercial districts with the required infrastructure. This includes a sufficient and stable water supply primarily from river water supplied via third parties, especially at large production sites. Before discharging the river water into the site’s piping system, it passes through various filter systems.

Clariant also systematically tracks water-related business impacts in annual surveys to regional ESHA teams and, where necessary, engages with relevant stakeholders within the organization to deal with specific water-related impacts. Site, regional, business unit, and corporate ESHA teams assess if water-related impacts are taken care of and if sites are prepared for future emergencies, such as storms that can result in the suspension of operations.

Water withdrawal and intake

Water withdrawal and intake

Clariant records the entire volume of water withdrawn and taken in. Since 2021, the company revised its definition of the Water Consumption indicator and renamed it as »water intake« to exclude pass-through cooling water (sustainability 2030 target KPI). In 2022, of the 9.5 million m3total water quantity that the company took in, it used about 13.2 % for cooling production plants, 70.4 % for production processes, and 16.4 % as a product component (sold with the product to customers) or for steam/ice generation, irrigation, or sanitary purposes. Water intake per ton of produced goods – one of the target KPIs – increased from 2.17 m3per ton in 2021 to 2.24 m3in 2022 due to significant volume effects and product mix.

For the majority of its operations, Clariant uses fresh water with a total dissolved solids (TDS) concentration of less than 1 000 mg/l. At only one site in Brazil, the company withdraws seawater and treats it before use, because there is no access to fresh water. The exact quality of the consumed water differs with each business and purpose and with the quality needed for the specific product portfolio and production process.

Water withdrawal and Intake

    Continuing operations   Discontinued operations   Total 2022   2021 1   2020   2019 1   2018
Total volume of water withdrawn (in m m3)   23.7   n.a.   23.7   42.5   40.8 2   44.0 2   49.0 2
Surface water   6.2   n.a.   6.2   6.8   6.3   7.5   8.0
Groundwater   4.3   n.a.   4.3   5.2   5.2   5.7   8.9
Seawater   0   n.a.   0   0.1   0.2   0.1   0.1
Third-party water   13.2   n.a.   13.2   30.4   29.0   30.9   31.9
Total water intake consumption (in m m3)   9.5   n.a.   9.5   15.4 3   41.0   44.3   49.0
1 Every three years, Clariant validates environmental data from all production sites. The last full reporting campaign was in 2020, including estimated discontinued data for Business Unit MasterbatchesMasterbatchesThese are plastic additives in the form of granules with dyestuffs or other additives used to dye or alter the properties of natural plastic.View entire glossary for the first half-year. In interim years, including 2021, the reduced reporting scope comprises the larger sites responsible for at least 95 % of production.
2 The sum of water withdrawal sources does not equal the total water withdrawn due to the exclusion of an insignificant amount of rainwater as a withdrawal source.
3 2021 data is reported with a new definition of water intake without pass-through cooling water. Therefore, it is not comparable to previous years.
Wastewater management

Wastewater management

Clariant leads the water it has used in its various production processes into its comprehensive wastewater management. The company makes sure it follows local regulations regarding discharge limits at all production sites. It treats the priority substances of concern, as identified in the wastewater discharge permit, based on the type of industrial operation, not generalized at the Group level.

For assessing wastewater quality, it consolidates water quality indicators at the Group level, such as concentration of heavy metals, nitrogen and phosphorus compounds, soluble salts, total suspended solids (TSS) as well as biological (BOD) and chemical oxygen demands (COD), which are the indicators of organic content in wastewater. COD discharged in the wastewater decreased significantly from 2 046 t in 2021 to 709 t in 2022 due to lower produced quantities and discontinued businesses.

Before transferring the effluents to third-party or municipal wastewater treatment plants, Clariant often pretreats wastewater at its own sites in a multistage chemical and physical procedure. Only small amounts of heavy metals remain in the discharged effluent, with concentrations partly at or below detection limits. In combi­nation with constant monitoring, this approach ensures that discharged wastewater does not impair receiving water bodies and ecosystems.

In 2022, wastewater generation per ton of production increased from to 1.48 m3per ton to 1.62 m3due to significant volume effects and product mix.

In 2022, Clariant was imposed six nonmonetary penalties for noncompliance with water discharge limits.

Water discharge

    Continuing operations   Discontinued operations   Total 2022   2021 1   2020   2019   2018
Total volume of planned and unplanned water discharge to all areas (in m m3)   7.4   n.a.   7.4   11.2   11.4   11.9   12.6
Surface water   3.5   n.a.   3.5   7.5   7.7   7.9   8.2
Groundwater   0   n.a.   0   n.a   n.a   n.a.   n.a.
Seawater   0.2   n.a.   0.2   0.5   0.4   0.5   0.5
Third-party water treatment   3.7   n.a.   3.7   3.1   3.2   3.5   3.6
1 Every three years, Clariant validates environmental data from all production sites. The last full reporting campaign was in 2020, including estimated discontinued data for Business Unit MasterbatchesMasterbatchesThese are plastic additives in the form of granules with dyestuffs or other additives used to dye or alter the properties of natural plastic.View entire glossary for the first half-year. In interim years, including 2021, the reduced reporting scope comprises the larger sites responsible for at least
95 % of production.
Water risk management

Water risk management

In 2017, Clariant undertook a Group-wide water risk assessment, employing the Aqueduct Water Risk Map developed by the World Resources Institute (WRI). The tool locates the sites in water stress areas and calculates an overall water-risk score as a combination of quantity, quality, and regulatory and reputational risks. Clariant shortlists all sites that fall under the risk category of medium at a minimum. Regional water risk assessments refine the global outcome further with specific knowledge of the sites’ geography, water use, operations, revenue, and expenditure. Using this two-step risk assessment, Clariant then shortlists sites located in areas of high water risk and updates these water risk assessments every year.

The risk assessments revealed that in 2022 a fraction of Clariant production sites (<20 %) were situated in areas under water risk and that around 30 % of the total water intake was from sites identified to be under water risk/stress. Also, around 30 % of the total water discharge was to such sites. For these sites, the site management, together with the regional ESHA teams, has performed in-depth assessments since 2019 to conceptualize and execute water risk management at the site level. The aim is to manage risks responsibly, as the sustainability target KPIs for 2030 include a 100 % achievement of advanced water management at sites in areas of high water stress or risk. To ensure continuous operations in such areas, reducing water intake and increasing water reuse are essential.

At the CatalystCatalystA substance that lowers the activation energy, thereby increasing the rate of a chemical reaction without being consumed by the reaction itself.View entire glossary production site Cikampek in Indonesia, a detailed site-level water risk assessment was carried out in 2022 by the site operations, together with the country ESHA management. This detailed site-level assessment identified management measures for addressing long-term water risks.

Waste management

Waste management

Waste management is critical for Clariant: It relates to the company’s sustainability commitment and has a direct link to disposal costs. Clariant’s waste management performance has improved continuously over recent years thanks to global programs and ongoing efforts at individual sites. During the development and manufacture of products, the company makes every effort to generate as little waste as possible. As part of the circular economy platform and according to its ESHA guideline on waste management, Clariant also tests options to use waste as a raw material, and always prioritizes waste avoidance, recycling, and reuse over disposal.

At the site level, the company minimizes waste generation through high-quality standards and comprehensive planning: Through the Yield, Energy, Environment (YEE) initiative, Clariant improves its yield and reduces its waste. It maintains waste cadasters at each production site and monitors the waste-related data in detail to enable proper classification and handling. Indicators include the weight of hazardous and nonhazardous waste by disposal method, the properties of waste components, and the number and volume of significant spills. Internal records document proper dis­posal according to local regulations.

Most of Clariant’s waste generated is sent to third parties for treatment, recycling, or disposal by contractors approved by local regulators, who comply fully with requirements of transport and waste legislation. Clariant arranges transportation according to the plant the waste originates from, the amounts that accrued during the period, the properties of the waste components, and how the hazardous waste can be recycled or disposed of.

In 2022, Clariant’s total waste generation decreased by 4.7 %, falling from 74.4 kg to 70.9 per ton of production. The total waste generated decreased by 13 % mainly due to production volumes impact as well as measures implemented to reduce non-hazardous waste. The increase in hazardous waste generated is due to waste reduction projects at different sites. In addition, nonhazardous waste decrease did not increase in proportion to the increase in production because more intermediates were sold in 2022 at Business Unit Functional Minerals sites. The total waste generated from production sites is not always directly dependent on the production volume, as the product portfolio changes influence the waste generated significantly. Most of Clariant’s nonhazardous waste generated is from the neutralization of acidic wastewater in the Business Unit Functional Minerals.

Waste by type and disposal method

in thousand t   Continuing operations   Discontinued operations   Total 2022   2021   2020   2019 4   2018
Total weight of hazardous waste, with a breakdown by the following disposal methods where applicable: 1   43   n.a.   43   59   63   61   55
Recycling 2   10   n.a.   10   13   17   16   23
Landfill 2   2   n.a.   2   14   11   14   8
Treatment 2   31   n.a.   31   33   35   31   37
Total weight of nonhazardous waste, with a breakdown by the following disposal methods where applicable: 1   227   n.a.   227   270   259   277   177
Recycling 2   14   n.a.   14   30   31   21   20
Landfill 2   189   n.a.   189   226   221   248   148
Treatment 2   24   n.a.   24   14   7   8   10
Total waste (hazardous and nonhazardous) 1   270   n.a.   270   329 3   328   337 5   232
Total waste (hazardous and nonhazardous) (kg/t production) 1   71   n.a.   71   74   81   79 5   53
1 Waste generated from Clariant activities
2 The listed waste-handling channels also contain waste from other producers on-site but managed by Clariant. This additional third-party waste is not reflected in the total waste figures.
3 The sum does not add up as the numbers are rounded.
4 Every three years, Clariant validates environmental data from all production sites. The last full reporting campaign was in 2020, including estimated discontinued data for Business Unit MasterbatchesMasterbatchesThese are plastic additives in the form of granules with dyestuffs or other additives used to dye or alter the properties of natural plastic.View entire glossary for the first half-year. In interim years, including 2021, the reduced reporting scope comprises the larger sites responsible for at least 95 % of production.
5 All figures are rounded, resulting in discrepancies between the total waste generated and the breakdown figures.
Pollution prevention

Pollution prevention

Clariant is committed to operating sustainably and decreasing pollution that results from its business activities. Decreasing pollution is not only a social mandate, but also required by legis­lation in many countries around the world. By preventing pollution, Clariant decreases risks to human health and the environment. Consequently, this also reduces the risk of potential liabilities and negative impacts on the brand.

Safety management system

Safety management system

Guaranteeing the safety of people and the environment is Clariant’s highest priority. An effective safety management system to identify, assess, and control risks in the production process is indispensable. In close cooperation with the European Process Safety Center (EPSC), Clariant has helped to develop a simple and representative measurement system with the aim of establishing an industry-wide standard.

The system records and systematically assesses smaller substance and energy releases to avoid major incidents. It cat­e­go­rizes them as process safety events (PSE) according to criteria stipulated by the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) as part of the ongoing improvement of the process safety of production systems. In addition, PSE are investigated at the site level with Root Cause Analysis (RCA) techniques, and the measures are followed-up. If the PSE is considered significant (Score ≥ 3 points), the measures are followed-up at the corporate level.

In 2022, Clariant’s rate for Process Safety Events decreased significantly from 0.46 to 0.36. In total there were 43 cases, a decrease of 35 % compared to the 66 cases of 2021. Of the 43 cases, 80 % (34) had a low impact and, therefore, were in the lowest category. Significant process safety events for Clariant are those with a score of ≥ 3 points according to ICCA criteria. In 2022, Clariant had 9 cases considered significant, compared to 6 cases in 2021. However, the Process Safety Severity Rate is maintained in 0.63. After a process safety event, Clariant conducts an investigation to determine its root cause (using, e.g., fishbone or fault tree analysis) and establish corrective measures to avoid recurrence. The results and the measures are tracked at the site level and at the corporate level with the Corporate Reporting Tool (EBR@ILX) to ensure an effective implementation.

Personal and organizational causes represented 54 % of the total PSE, whereas technical causes made up 44 %. In 2022, the effective implementation of Management of Change and the first Process Safety Academy positively supported the reduction of PSE. For 2023, a new edition of Process Safety Academy will be conducted in APAC, and refresher trainings on the Safe Behavior program will be delivered.

For 2022, the number of significant spills increased from six to nine with a total volume of 12.88 m3. Spills of liquids handled in Clariant’s production plants are process safety events that fall under the ICCA criteria. They can be of a diverse nature, but in 2021, all of them were contained on-site in paved areas and were adequately retained and treated according to local waste regulations. Nobody was hurt as a result of the spills.

Safety management

    Total 2022   2021   2020   2019   2018
Process safety event rate 1   0.36   0.46   0.36   0.48   0.46
Number of significant spills   9   6   17   2   4
Total volume of significant spills (m3) 2   12.88   13.24   78.69   1.30   6.70
1 Process Safety Event rate = Number of Process Safety Events * 100 / FTEs
2 All spills were contained on-site without any releases to the environment. Due to the new definition of significant process safety events (PSEs) and spills based on the ICCA criteria, all PSEs with a score of ≥3 points are considered significant. With this new definition, the numbers reported this year are not comparable with previous years and the difference is higher.
Protection of ecosystems

Protection of ecosystems

Ecosystems provide a variety of critical resources and services such as clean water, energy, recreational areas, and protection from flooding. Clariant aims to monitor and remedy all impacts in order to maintain invaluable ecosystems.

Operational sites in protected areas

Operational sites in protected areas

Since all of Clariant’s sites are located in industrial parks or areas designated as industrial zones by local municipalities, they usually do not affect vulnerable ecosystems. However, the company tracks the number of chemical production sites in biological reserves or in areas with a high biodiversity value. In 2022, there were none.

Significant impacts of activities, products, and services on biodiversity

Significant impacts of activities, products, and services on biodiversity

If there are protected areas near Clariant’s sites, the company makes sure to follow local regulatory guidelines to prevent pollution in the protected areas. Where possible, it extends its monitoring along the value chain, for example, by evaluating products with its Portfolio Value Program (PVP), based on which all critical raw materials are specifically reviewed.

If there are unprotected areas, like forests, in the immediate vicinity, Clariant ensures that its production sites do not have any appreciable adverse effect on the surrounding flora and fauna by following all local rules and regulations.

Palm oil

Palm oil

Clariant is aware of the potential impact of palm oil and its culti­vation on biodiversity. Therefore, the company is a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and aims to prevent ecological degradation caused by the clearing of land for palm oil plantations. It emphasizes this palm oil policy in its first new Innovation Arena, which centers on the bio-based economy.

Clariant promotes global palm oil policy

To raise awareness of the potential impact of palm oil and its cultivation on biodiversity, Clariant promoted the Global Palm Oil Policy within the procurement team in webinars, equipping the team to address Clariant’s commitment in their day-to-day discussions with the suppliers.



At bentonite mining locations, Clariant exceeds social and community expectations regarding the conservation of surrounding ecosystems. Clariant’s geologists develop plans to minimize environmental impact associated with drilling. This includes carefully removing the topsoil and overburden to preserve it for land restoration. During mining, Clariant ensures that the resident fauna can easily move to adjacent areas. It sun-dries the bentonite before transportation in order to reduce its weight.

When closing mines, Clariant collaborates with local experts to restore the land for forestry or agriculture. In certain areas (such as southern Bavaria), animals from the Red List of Threatened Species have repopulated after reclaiming. With these efforts, Clariant ensures healthy relationships with local communities and protects ecosystems.