Raw materials and resources

For us, making efficient use of resources is a key lever in reducing our environmental impact and cutting costs. As a producer of air gases, our most important raw material is air from Earth’s atmosphere. We generate a material share of our revenue with products that are based on this natural, renewable raw material. In the manufacturing process, our principal input is energy. Here, to protect resources, we rely on measures designed to increase energy efficiency in our own plants and processes worldwide.

In addition, Linde uses materials such as steel and aluminium. These metals are required in particular for the manufacture of components used in plant construction. Gas cylinders, which are a main packaging material, are reused and refilled. On average, a typical Linde cylinder will be used three and a half times a year, and it can have a service life spanning decades.

We also support our customers in using resources efficiently. When processing various materials, such as aluminium and rubber, gases from Linde can lower energy consumption and emissions compared to conventional recycling methods.

  (XLS:) Download

Usage of resources and materials1 (in tonnes)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2013

 

2012

 

2011

 

2010

Assured by KPMG

1

The indicators on the usage of resources and materials were overstated for the year 2011 in the previous year's report and therefore adjusted retrospectively.

Raw materials and supplies

 

57,750

 

57,170

 

59,950

 

65,700

Packaging materials

 

3,990

 

4,765

 

5,850

 

6,300

As a result of the first-time application of the revised accounting standards, the sites in the scope of our reporting changed in the 2013 financial year. Accordingly, the key financial, environmental and employee KPIs for 2012 were adjusted retrospectively. In addition, the KPIs for employees, occupational health and safety and environmental protection for the year 2012 were retrospectively adjusted to account for the effects of the acquisition of the US homecare company Lincare. To ensure that the figures for 2012 and 2013 can be compared, we reported the full year 2012 for Lincare.

Renewable raw materials

Linde technologies also help promote the use of renewable raw materials. In the 2013 financial year, we continued to develop promising technologies and cooperate in the field of renewable raw materials. We have, for instance, extended our cooperation with Sapphire Energy, Inc. The shared goal is to develop a technology for commercial use that enables algae biomass to be processed into green crude oil on an industrial scale, creating a viable, environmentally friendly source of energy. Beyond the partnership to date, in which Linde has been responsible for supplying the algae production plants with CO2, we are now working together with Sapphire Energy to develop a technology that converts algae biomass into a product that is similar to crude oil and that can be processed into conventional biofuels at existing refineries. To this end, our activities include building the first commercial demonstration plant at Sapphire’s site in New Mexico (USA).

In 2013, we handed over the new Fraunhofer Centre for Chemical-Biotechnological Processes (CBP) in Leuna, Germany, to our customer. We subsequently received a follow-up order to expand the CBP. The aim of the CBP is to upscale innovative biotechnological and chemical processes for commercial production, enabling companies to manufacture chemical base products from renewable raw materials.

In the reporting period, we also improved the Carbo-V® technology to such an extent that this process is ready to enter demonstration operations with a partner. During this process, wood and wood-like biomass, which can already be harvested in a way that conserves resources and does not compete with food production, are processed into biofuels, such as biodiesel.