Alexandra Coffey named Senior Sustainability Manager of KraussMaffei Group

Alexandra Coffey named Senior Sustainability Manager of KraussMaffei Group

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Effective 1 Jan. 2023, KraussMaffei Group has appointed Dr. Alexandra Coffey as Senior Sustainability Manager, reporting directly to the Management Board, said Sustainableplastics.

The position has been newly created by KraussMaffei and underscores the company’s dedication to becoming a completely sustainable company in the medium and long term. More specifically, KraussMaffei plans to reach the EcoVadis “Gold” rating level by 2026 and to achieve a corporate carbon footprint of zero and operate all plants worldwide in a CO2-neutral manner by 2030. In 2035, KraussMaffei will have a Product Carbon Footprint of zero, manufacturing its entire range of machines in a CO2-neutral manner.

Coffey was previously with the Schorghuber Group, where she was also responsible for sustainability. Her thematic focus areas are CO2, single-use plastics, the environment and supply chain sourcing obligations.

Her task will now be to further develop and implement KraussMaffei's global sustainability strategy. The company has set itself the goal of being one of the best machine and system manufacturers for the plastics industry in the areas of sustainability and cost-effectiveness by 2025.

"Striving for greater sustainability is an absolute must for us as a leading manufacturer of machinery and equipment for the production and processing of plastics and rubber. We are pursuing ambitious goals in this regard and are positioning ourselves accordingly for the future” said KraussMaffei board member Jorg Bremer.

We remind, KraussMaffei Group will transfer its KraussMaffei High Performance AG business into an independent unit operating under the Netstal name on 1 October. The new subgroup will manage the Netstal new machines and service business worldwide from its subsidiaries, according to KraussMaffei CEO Michael Ruf.

Environmental groups take Danone to court

Environmental groups take Danone to court

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The environmental groups ClientEarth, Surfrider Foundation Europe and Zero Waste France have filed a lawsuit in France against Danone over its global plastic pollution, said Sustainableplastics.

According to these NGOs, Danone is not doing enough to reduce its plastic footprint, and is thus in violation of France's Duty of Vigilance act. This act was passed in 2017 and holds large French companies responsible for the impacts of their activities worldwide, including subsidiaries and the totality of their supply chains. Under this law, companies over a certain size must publish an annual "vigilance plan' that establishes effective measures to identify risks and assess and prevent severe impacts on human rights and the environment.

In September 2022, these same three environmental groups put Danone and eight other food industry giants on legal notice over what they then described as the companies' 'threadbare plastics approach', alleging inadequate acknowledgement and management of plastic pollution stemming from their business models, leading to their failure to live up to their duties under the law. The NGOs stated that in the vigilance plans of these companies, some referred to incomplete or unsatisfactory measures on plastic; some - like Danone - omitted to mention plastic completely; and some failed to publish a plan at all.

While Danone replied to the formal notice letter, the three NGOs viewed the response as insufficient, saying it did not adequately address their demands.

Monday, 9 Jan. they therefore filed a lawsuit against the French company in the Paris Tribunal Judiciaire, in which they maintain that Danone should map the impacts its use of plastics has on the environment, climate, health and human rights from production to end-of-life and provide a complete assessment of its plastic footprint, including plastics used in producing the products it sells, plastics used in logistics and promotions and plastic packaging. Based on this assessment, the company should put together a 'deplastification' plan with quantified and dated objectives and act on it.

According to the French newspaper Le Monde, who contacted the company, Danone "firmly refuted" the accusations made against it and assured that its vigilance plan "meets the requirements set by the legislator."

In 2021, Danone used more than 750,000 tonnes of plastics for its packaging – the equivalent of almost 75 Eiffel towers – which is even more than it did in 2020. Plastics are present throughout its value chain, with a considerable amount used to package its products, including water bottles and yoghurt pots. Moreover, Danone has topped the plastic polluter ranking in Indonesia for the last three years, say the NGOs - 'trudging ahead without a serious plan to deal with plastics, despite clear concern from climate and health experts and consumers, and a legal obligation to face up to the issue'.

Solutions for reducing plastic in the food sector include eliminating unnecessary packaging, rethinking product design and shifting to reusable/refillable packaging models. The next steps in the court case will be determined by a judge in an initial hearing in the next couple of months.

As per MRC, PepsiCo wants to cut the use of virgin plastic by 50% serving and use 50% recycled content in plastic packaging by 2030. Beverage and food supplier PepsiCo has announced a new goal to cut virgin plastic per serving by 50 per cent across its global food and beverage portfolio by 2030 as part of its new “pep+,” or PepsiCo Positive, company initiative.

French refinery, metro strikes loom in clash over pension reform

French refinery, metro strikes loom in clash over pension reform

MOSCOW (MRC) -- France's CGT trade union on Thursday called for strikes in the refinery sector against plans to make people work longer before they can retire and Paris metro unions said they would do "everything they can" to stop the pension reform, said Reuters.

The French will have to work two years longer, to age 64, before retiring, if the reform, announced by Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne on Tuesday, is adopted by parliament. They will also need to work longer to get a full pension.

All unions have already announced a nationwide day of strike and protests for Jan. 19, but have also warned that more action will follow in different sectors.

The CGT union called on refinery workers and other staff in the petrol sector to strike on Jan. 26 for 48 hours and on Feb. 6 for 72 hours, at which date they said the strike could be further extended and include halting operations at refineries.

"One day (on Jan. 19) will not be enough to make the government back down on this reform," Eric Sellini, CGT coordinator at TotalEnergies, told BFM TV. "If the conflict were to last, there would inevitably be consequences for refining operations, with potentially a stoppage of the installations in the weeks to come."

Last autumn, a strike at the refineries and depots of TotalEnergies and Exxon linked to wage demands led to a shortage of gasoline for several weeks in several regions. Borne called on unions to be "responsible" and not harm the economy.

"There is a right to strike, there is a right to demonstrate, but I think it is also important not to penalize the French," she said.

We remind, LANXESS and French energy group TotalEnergies have entered into a cooperation on the supply of biocircular styrene. Unlike conventional styrene, the raw material used by TotalEnergies is based on tall oil, which is derived from a tree resin and is a by-product of pulp production. LANXESS uses the styrene to produce sustainable ion exchange resins. These products are applied primarily in the treatment of wastewater and chemical process flows as well as in the food industry.

Nghi Son refinery to shut for 55 days from August 25 for maintenance

Nghi Son refinery to shut for 55 days from August 25 for maintenance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Vietnam's largest refinery, Nghi Son, will be shut down for 55 days starting August 25 for major maintenance, the Ministry of Industry and Trade said, as per Reuters.

The 200,000-barrel-per-day refinery will process 7.96 MMt of crude oil this year, the ministry said in a statement.
This will be the first major maintenance at the refinery, which started commercial production in May, 2018. The refinery supplies more than a third of Vietnam's needs for refined fuels.

Nghi Son Refinery and Petrochemical suffered a leak at its residual fluid catalytic cracking (RFCC), which had been shut down since late last month. The ministry said the unit will be restarted on Jan. 15 at the latest. The closure of the unit causes a 20%-25% fall in the refinery's total output.

Nghi Son refinery is 35.1% owned by Japan's Idemitsu Kosan Co, 35.1% by Kuwait Petroleum, 25.1% by Vietnam's state oil firm PetroVietnam and 4.7% by Mitsui Chemicals Inc. Vietnam's other refinery, the 130,000-barrel-per-day Binh Son, will also be shut down from June 22 through to August 11 for maintenance.

We remind, Vietnam's largest oil refinery will complete repairs needed to fix a technical problem at its residual fluid catalytic cracking (RFCC) unit by Jan. 15. The 200,000-barrel-per-day Nghi Son Refinery and Petrochemical had a leak at the RFCC unit, the government said on Friday, adding the problem would reduce the refinery's output by 20%-25%. Nghi Son, which provides more a third of Vietnam's petroleum needs, is one of only two oil refineries in the country.

Borealis acquires a majority stake in Renasci

Borealis acquires a majority stake in Renasci

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Borealis acquires a majority stake in Belgian recycling firm Renasci, the polyolefins producer announced.

Borealis announced the acquisition of a ; today it announces an increase of its investment to acquire a majority stake of 50.01%, signalling on-going confidence in the potential of Renasci’s patented SCP concept to drive the circular transformation. The investment is an important component of Borealis’ strategy to reach its ambitious circular goals, which target a six-fold increase in the volume of circular products and solutions to 600 kilotonnes by 2025, rising to 1.8 million tonnes by 2030. The acquisition will support Borealis to reach these goals by providing increasing long-term access to chemically recycled feedstock from Renasci’s Ostend facility and through enabling access to key circular technologies.

SCP is unique because it enables the processing of multiple waste streams using different recycling technologies under one roof, resulting in exceptionally high valorisation of waste. Through leveraging its market access, know-how, and innovative technological capabilities, Borealis will accelerate the implementation of the SCP concept and will also explore opportunities for replicating the model in strategic locations.

“With this investment, we mark another milestone on our path to realising our Strategy 2030 goals. Our acquisition of a controlling stake in Renasci has the potential to unlock significant progress on circularity for our entire industry, and is proof of the spirit in action,” says Borealis CEO Thomas Gangl.

We remind, Borealis, one of the world’s leading providers of advanced and sustainable polyolefin solutions, and a European front-runner in polyolefins recycling; and VERBUND, Austria’s leading energy company, announce that they have signed a ten-year power purchase agreement (PPA) to supply hydropower to Borealis operations in Schwechat, Austria, starting in January of 2023.