Formica Group announces progress towards carbon neutrality

The Formica Group has released its second report on its path to carbon neutrality by 2030. The company’s Materializing Sustainability  report presents data on the company’s environmental impact in 2021 and its path to carbon neutrality, including a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2026 through a 25% reduction target and a 25% offset through the purchase of carbon credits.

Formica Group’s goal is to reduce its environmental impact while continuing to provide clients with high-quality products. By 2026, in addition to a 25% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, the company aims to reduce its primary (fossil) energy demand by 10% and its water footprint by 5%. The company is focusing on the part of the life cycle that begins and ends at the factory – the stages over which it can exert control and influence – to set clear and measurable objectives.

Formica Group believes that reducing its overall environmental footprint is essential to ensure its sustainability and the environment’s future. Therefore, sustainability is integral to the company’s philosophy based on three pillars: do no harm, do good and do better.

Formica Group measures its impact, sets targets to reduce it, and monitors and reports on its progress. To this end, the company creates quality products with long life spans that limit the need for replacement. Finally, to do things better, the company carries out projects designed to help absorb or reduce carbon emissions not directly related to its plants or product range.

As part of its sustainability approach, Formica Group wants to address three environmental factors: global warming, primary energy demand and water consumption. However, the urgent global warming imperatives require the company to make CO2 emission reduction its top priority for the coming years. Formica is therefore focusing on projects able to reduce the 110,263 tonnes of CO2 emissions its product manufacturing generates.

Between 2019 and 2021, the Formica Group saw a 20% reduction in its global warming impact in North America. Two factors account for this shift: first, the increased energy efficiency of materials used in its two manufacturing plants and second, its U.S. Evendale plant’s energy efficient shift to 100% renewable electricity, thus joining its Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu plant, already powered by Hydro-Québec hydroelectricity.

From 2021 to 2026, Formica aims to cut CO2 emissions from its production activities by 25% (27,500 tonnes) through energy efficiency, green energy procurement and material efficiency.

 Development of sustainability advancements

Formica Group has implemented multiple strategies to increase its energy efficiency. First, the company will use closed-loop systems and promote optimal thermal energy recycling throughout processes. It will source green energy, including electricity and gas from renewable sources (solar, hydro, biogas), and maximize material efficiency, including improving material yields, internal recycling, and revising product construction to reduce the number of materials used. Finally, it will source renewable raw materials, including resins from biosources.

Apart from these internal measures that will take the company closer to its goal, Formica Group plans to offset its CO2 emissions by purchasing carbon credits. The company has also initiated efforts to identify and select projects to reduce its carbon footprint further.

These efforts include two waste reclamation projects undertaken in partnership with Université de Sherbrooke, the first of which aimed to reduce the volume of natural gas used in the plant’s presses by recovering materials destined for landfill. After two years of research and development, this project is currently being implemented. The second project, which kicked off in January 2023, will also aim to reduce the company’s CO2 emissions and run for the next two years. The company will continue to provide updates on the progress of its projects to reduce its carbon footprint and on the results achieved in future reports.

“We’re very proud of our commitment and the concrete improvements we’ve achieved to date. We’ll continue to review our production operations and business practices to continually improve for the sake of the environment and our clients,” says Christelle Locat-Rainville, Formica Canada Marketing Manager.

For more information, see Formica’s second “Materializing Sustainability” report.