Climate change is one of the most urgent challenges facing society today, and Chemours has an important and complex role to play in the transition to a low-carbon economy.
We produce and supply essential products that enable the lower-emissions and energy-saving technologies demanded by our growing world – all while working to reduce our manufacturing emissions. In 2018, we set up the internal programs and systems needed to achieve our climate goals.
Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is a key part of our responsible chemistry commitment. When we think about our contributions, we start with the GHG emissions generated by our manufacturing operations, including our use of purchased electricity and steam. These are the GHG emissions we control and can target for reductions. But we don’t stop there—we are also beginning to think about all the other GHG emissions generated along our value chain that are indirectly connected to our activities and where we may be able to influence future reductions. These GHG emissions are directly managed by others and include emissions such as those generated from the production of raw materials we purchase, employee business travel, and our customers’—and their customers’—use of our products. In 2018, we undertook a thorough accounting effort, leading to a more complete GHG emissions inventory. This helped ground our starting point as we work to reduce our GHG emissions intensity and move toward our ambitious goal to be carbon positive by 2050.
To help us understand, track, and report our GHG emissions, we followed the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard. This standard provides best-practice guidance on how to inventory GHG emissions directly generated by our manufacturing operations (Scope 1) and the indirect GHG emissions (generated by other companies) associated with our use of purchased electricity and steam (Scope 2). Together, these two GHG emissions categories represent the carbon footprint needed to make our products.
As we progress our journey toward becoming carbon positive, we will focus on reducing our current Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions while increasing the use of our products, like our low GWP Opteon™ HFO refrigerants, that help our customers and their customers avoid generating more emissions. More information can be found in our GRI Content Index, sections 302 and 305.
Opteon™ Emissions Benefit
Opteon™ low global warming potential (GWP) HFO refrigerants are a crucial part of our quest to become carbon positive by 2050. While customers choosing Opteon™ benefit from the product’s high efficiency and compatibility with existing equipment, they also receive a significant emissions benefit. Emissions are avoided every time Opteon™ is used in place of a higher GWP refrigerant. In 2018, avoided emissions from Chemours Opteon™ sales totaled 34 million metric tons of CO2e, up from 20 million metric tons the year before. Continued growth in Opteon™ HFO refrigerant sales will further increase the potential emissions avoided by this new generation of refrigerants.
When the time comes to replace large-scale equipment at our production facilities, we look for more-sustainable solutions in our pursuit of responsible chemistry.
New Johnsonville, TN
Major GHG Reductions
Steam for our New Johnsonville, TN, plant comes from a third party, which has been using a coal boiler to generate it. In 2017, the site worked with that third party to upgrade the steam-generating facilities to a new combined cycle heat and power (CHP) system that uses natural-gas
turbines. The new system started up in January 2018 and achieved a 145,000 metric-ton reduction in GHG emissions over the year.
Louisville Works, Louisville, KY
Improving Cooling with More-Sustainable Products
Our Louisville Works plant has a number of large, low-temperature industrial refrigeration machines that supply the cooling needed for the manufacturing process. We are replacing the largest of these machines with a unit that will use our own Opteon™ XP10, which is a non-ozone-depleting, low GWP refrigerant. The new refrigeration system will go online in 2020.