March 5, 2007

Chemical producers record 14% drop in total emissions

Member companies of the Canadian Chemical Producers' Association (CCPA) released 40,300 tonnes of substances other than carbon dioxide (CO2) to air, land and water in 2005. This represents a decline in total emissions of 14% over 2004 and a reduction of 84%, or 219,000 tonnes, since 1992 (the first year of reporting). The CCPA recently documented its members' latest achievements in its 14th consecutive Reducing Emissions report, published as part of its long-standing Responsible Care program.

Releases to water have been virtually eliminated, totalling 814 tonnes in 2005; this is a 99.4% reduction since 1992. Air emissions (except CO2) now make up 98% of all national emissions, and these decreased by 15%, or 6,500 tonnes in 2005.

Since 1992, notes the Association, air emissions have been reduced by 84%, with the same level of decline achieved in emissions per unit of product. By 2010, the CCPA projects that emissions per unit of product will have dropped further, to 87% compared to 1992 levels.

Excluding CO2, nitrogen oxides (NOX), carbon monoxide (CO) and sulfur oxides (SOX) constituted the majority of air emissions in 2005, almost all related to the operation of certain chemical processes and the burning of fossil fuels for energy. CO emissions declined by 1,470 tonnes in 2005 from 2004, while NOX emissions were reduced by 16% during the same period. Total emissions of all three compounds have decreased by 47% (26,866 tonnes) since 1992.

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from CCPA member facilities were 5% lower in 2005 than 2004 (expressed as CO2 equivalent), with emissions per unit of output having declined by 62% since 1992. This, notes the report, is attributable to improvements in energy efficiency and changes in the energy intensity of members' operations. CO2 emissions have been reduced by 19% since 1992.

Releases of ozone-depleting substances (ODS) showed an increase of 10%, or 48 tonnes, in 2005 over 2004, although overall emissions of ODS have declined by 54% since 1992. This takes into account a 99% reduction in emissions of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and a 34% drop in emissions of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs, the main CFC substitute) since 1992.

Reductions in other priority substances have included a 25% drop in releases of known and probable carcinogens to air, land and water in 2005 from 2004 levels and a 5% decrease in emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to all media. These results reflect reductions of 95% in carcinogen emissions and 81% in VOC emissions since 1992.

The 14th Reducing Emissions report may be viewed on the CCPA Web site, www.ccpa.ca.

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