Croda Inc is spending plenty of green these days—$100 million on one site alone—to make its operations more sustainable. Most recently, in October, the company broke ground on a $2.3 million solar installation project at the company’s Atlas Point facility in New Castle, DE.
The 777kW project, which is expected to be completed by year-end, will reside on 2.5 acres of the plant property and will generate approximately 5% of the site’s electricity—equivalent to the power consumed by 130 homes. Additionally, the solar panels will reduce the site’s annual CO2 emission by more than 1.381 million pounds—the approximate equivalent of CO2 emitted by 1,345 airline flights from New York to Los Angeles. Croda has partnered with EnterSolar to procure solar panels manufactured in Delaware and installed by Delaware labor.
The solar installation is one of several sustainability initiatives at Croda’s Atlas Point facility. Earlier in 2013, Croda began channeling methane gas from a nearby landfill to power more than 70% of the Atlas Point manufacturing operations with a combined heat and power (CHP) unit.
“We are committed to renewable energy and today marks another step for us,” said Bob Stewart, site director, Atlas Point. “We’re at 75%, we want to get to 100%.”
Later this year, Croda expects the facility to receive certification by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil for its advanced initiative to support sustainable palm oil and palm kernel oil derivatives in the manufacture of its specialty ingredients.
“Our objective is to make sustainability a point of differentiation for our business. We are confident this strategy will generate even greater benefits for the environment in which we operate, for the communities of which we are a part, and for the people with whom we work,” said Kevin Gallagher, president, Croda Inc. “These projects don’t happen as the result of a single person. They’re about being successful as an organization.”
Since acquiring the plant in 2006, Croda Inc has invested $100 million in upgrades to the facility. Over the next three years, Croda plans to invest $50 million more in upgrades at Atlas Point to enhance and expand the site, according to the company. Earlier this year, for example, Croda powered up its combined heat and power landfill gas system, one of the cleanest and most efficient energy projects in the nation—and the world is taking notice.
Croda was ranked 25th in the 2013 “Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations” report, compiled annually by Corporate Knights, a Canadian media organization specializing in corporate sustainability. It is the most extensive data-driven corporate sustainability assessment and is based on the financial, social and environmental performance of nearly 4,000 of the world’s largest listed companies. Initiatives such as the landfill-gas-to-energy project and the solar panel installation at the Atlas Point facility contribute to Croda’s high ranking.
“Sustainability is important to Croda,” noted CEO Steve Foot at the solar panel dedication. “This is the start of our journey in sustainability. It’s been well done, but we have a long way to go. The journey has just begun.”