Waste

We work continuously to reduce and avoid waste. Where possible, waste products are recycled. The rest is disposed of in an environmentally sound manner in compliance with local regulations. We classify the waste generated by our business activities as hazardous or non-hazardous in line with national legislation. Linde’s main waste products are oil and oleaginous materials, chemicals, waste containing metal, and gas cylinders. Most gas cylinders are fully recycled at the end of their useful life. Closed-loop systems for products help to increase material and resource efficiency and to cut the volume of waste produced. Lime slurry, for example, a by-product of acetylene production, can be used in other industries with no further treatment required.

Waste and recycling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2012

 

2011

 

2010

 

2009

Assured by KPMG Sustainability

1

Incineration waste is partly used for heat recovery.

Total waste

thousand t

 

68.5

 

64.4

 

71.9

 

68.3

Non-hazardous waste

%

 

71

 

57

 

61

 

52

Hazardous waste

%

 

29

 

43

 

39

 

48

Recycled materials

%

 

41

 

26

 

43

 

28

Incineration waste1

%

 

18

 

30

 

28

 

28

Landfill waste

%

 

26

 

31

 

22

 

35

Other disposal method

%

 

15

 

13

 

7

 

9

In 2012, we generated a higher volume of non-hazardous waste, partly attributable to our Gist logistics division – which reported an increase in business activities. At the same time, we managed to reduce our volume of hazardous waste, particularly as a result of various waste treatment measures. In Africa, for instance, initiatives to increase the recycling share had the effect of reducing the volume of waste for disposal by around 40 percent compared with the prior-year figure.

Our waste management targets are determined by regional requirements, as the type of waste produced differs significantly from one site to another depending on the processes being carried out. In the UK, for instance, Linde has set a regional target of increasing its waste recycling rate to 65 percent by 2014, having already achieved 55 percent during the year under review. Since 2008, waste management efforts there have saved around EUR 240,000.

During 2012, we analysed volumes of waste generated and total waste-related costs at several hundred sites. As a follow-up initiative, we launched a pilot project in Southeast Asia at the beginning of 2013 to evaluate improvement potential in waste management and identify best-practice sites.

10,000liters of helium recovered from medical equipment

Our commitment to responsible waste management extends to joint efforts with our business partners. In 2012, for instance, we joined forces with a customer in Germany on a project intended to recover the valuable rare gas helium from disused MRI scanners prior to metal recycling, around 10,000 litres last year. Helium is used to cool down the magnets in the scanners. Our AGA subsidiary in Estonia has developed a process targeted at landfill sites for oil shale waste and protecting groundwater. This method is now being used within a project co-funded by the EU. The aim is to close as many of these sites in Estonia as possible by 2013 and develop these areas for public use over the coming years.

Responsibility along the value chain

Highlighted: areas in the value chain connected to the topics covered on this page

Global Reporting Initiative

UN Global Compact

Measuring sustainability