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Health, Safety, Environment & Sustainability (HSE&S)

Doing our Part to Reduce Environmental Impacts Today for a Better Tomorrow

HSE Mission Statement and Guiding Principles

Our highest priority is to manufacture, market and distribute products in a responsible manner that protects the environment and safeguards the health, safety and security of employees, contractors, customers and the community.

Our Guiding Principles focus on safety, personal accountability and HSE performance. We center on continual improvement and voluntary participation in Responsible Care®, RC14001® and ISO14001.

Our full list of Guiding Principles may be found here.

HSE Perfect Days

At PQ, we strive to complete each day without any material employee injuries or environmental incidents, so we instituted our HSE Perfect Days process to measure our progress toward that goal and to drive continuous improvement in health, safety and environmental performance.

We define an “HSE Perfect Day” as a day without:

  • OSHA recordable injuries
  • First aids requiring professional assistance
  • Level 1 or greater releases
  • Deviations from environmental permits and HSE legal requirements
  • HSE Notices of Violation
  • Life-Saving Behavior violations

As an organization, we have set annual Perfect Day and Total Recordable Incident Rate goals and targets that link to performance and drive accountability.

Quick Fact: We started tracking “HSE Perfect Days” in 2019. Three of our four businesses had “HSE Perfect Days” more than 89% of the time in 2019. It is our goal to achieve HSE Perfect Days at least 90% of the time across all businesses by 2022.

Our HSE Management Systems

We have a comprehensive HSE management system that promotes continual improvement of HSE performance. This approach includes a “Plan-Do-Check-Act” system to evaluate risk, plan for improvements, implement controls, monitor processes, and make corrections or other improvements.

Our HSE management system is aligned with the ISO14001 and chemical industry RC14001® standards and reflects the commitments as established in our HSE Mission and Guiding Principles.

For over 15 years, our HSE management system has been certified to international standards. We continue to enhance our Plan-Do-Check-Act improvement process using these strategies.

Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR)

Our unwavering goal is to become a leading company in HSE performance within the industries in which we participate. In 2019, we achieved our lowest TRIR in more than a decade—approaching the American Chemistry Council’s (ACC) Top Quartile safety performance and there were no Level 3 environmental releases for the first time in the history of our recording them.

As reported by the member companies within the ACC, our target is to achieve top quartile TRIR performance in the chemicals industry by the end of 2020.

PQ Principles: Behavioral Safety and Operational Safety

We have global operating processes in place to protect our employees, the community, and the environment. We have robust systems to control processes, and any changes to those processes are reviewed before implementation to ensure the safety and well-being of all personnel.

Specifically, we have implemented the PQ Principles, which are 20 tenets (10 Behavioral Safety and 10 Operational Safety), to help prevent workforce incidents and injuries, as well as to preserve asset integrity and avoid loss of containment.

While only a few of our plants in the United States are subject to the OSHA Process Safety Management Program (PSM) or the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Risk Management Program (RMP), we apply Best Practices across all of our facilities worldwide—going above and beyond local requirements to ensure the safety of our employees and the community.

Cleaner Air and Safer Water

In 2019, we had zero Level 3 environmental releases from any of our global sites. It is our goal to continue to have no Level 3 releases from our sites causing significant adverse impacts to the environment in 2020 and beyond.

Embracing Sustainable Practices

Emissions: GHG, Waste & Water

It is our goal to reduce emissions across all of our facilities. We strive to reduce waste through process improvements and the search for beneficial new uses for our co-product material. We also are working towards a robust water management program.

  • We have established robust Councils related to manufacturing, engineering and supply chain management, including our furnace efficiency group, to help identify ways to improve our furnace efficiencies and energy consumption company-wide.
  • Councils work in conjunction with each other to develop environmental improvement opportunities by finding synergies between manufacturing, engineering, and the supply chain. The capital improvement process has generated multiple energy recovery solutions generated by these and other initiatives.

Examples of our Environmental Management System in Action

We know that it’s critical to have a robust environmental management system in place. Here are a few examples of ours at work:

  • Across our facilities, we have completed environmental impact assessments that include an evaluation of energy efficiency impacts, waste, and recycling opportunities.
  • The management of change (MOC) process evaluation tool, called eMOC, has significant considerations for the environmental impacts of process and operational changes. As a result, our capital improvement processes include evaluation of the HSE impact of any process modifications (including any effect on the environment and the community) and allow for management information regarding improvements that directly benefit the environment.
  • The transportation risk assessment process evaluates the potential for environmental impacts and improvement opportunities based on the mode of transport and type of materials. We use this process to develop and implement evaluation and performance criteria for third-party relationships.