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Environmental Performance



Grace' global EHS policy requires us to conduct business and operate facilities in an environmentally sound manner with a focus on eliminating unplanned environmental releases, improving efficiencies and reducing waste, and meeting community, state, and national regulations in jurisdictions where we operate around the world.


Regulatory Citations







​Regulatory Penalties







Reportable Releases**


*Amount includes penalty for violation by a vendor amounting to $90,600 of $107,851

**Reportable releases include releases to the air, water or land that exceed a government reportable quantity, or are otherwise reportable by law, regulation, or permit condition.


We believe the most material environmental impacts of operating our facilities are energy and water use as well as the proper handling of materials in our feedstocks and waste byproducts. For over two decades, Grace has implemented an annual productivity program of continuous improvement projects throughout our operations. We began our 6-Sigma journey in 1999 under CEO Paul Norris, training Blackbelts and reducing variability and cost. By 2005, CEO Fred Festa added LEAN manufacturing and new focus on supply chain productivity. In 2008, we made a public commitment to reduce energy consumption per ton of product produced. Our Chief Executive Officer Hudson La Force introduced the Grace Manufacturing System in 2017 and the Grace Value Model with its focus on Customer-Driven Innovation, Operating Excellence, and Integrated Business Management in 2018.

Year over year, this relentless focus on improvement—now built into our operating rhythm—has driven significant efficiencies in our manufacturing operations, making them less resource intensive for energy, water, and raw materials such as caustic, all while improving yields and better managing costs. The results also show up in reductions in greenhouse gas emissions per pound of production in particular manufacturing lines.

Today, our productivity projects are a deeply engrained part of our drive towards Operating Excellence with annual performance objectives and related KPIs tied to the annual performance evaluations of our manufacturing leaders. 


We are committed to cutting energy consumption and associated greenhouse gas emissions by improving energy efficiency and sourcing energy from renewables. In 2007 Grace established a global, company-wide goal of reducing energy intensity by 20 percent by 2017. While we did not achieve this overall goal, Grace remains committed to finding new opportunities to minimize our environmental footprint. 

For example, our ISO 50001-certified facilities in Worms and Düren, Germany adhere to ISO's continuous improvement system with respect to energy use. Our Worms facility operates a combined heat and power unit that provides 95 percent of the electricity requirements.

The historical emissions data presented in the table below follows the American Chemistry Council's Responsible Care Green House Gas Reporting protocol. 







​CO2e (Tons)







​CO2e Intensity (lbs./lbs.)







​Energy (MMBTU)







​Energy Intensity (Btu/lb,)







Grace has recently aligned its greenhouse gas reporting processes to conform with the World Resource Institute's (WRI) Greenhouse Gas Reporting Protocol. This process changes the scope of reported emissions, and how emissions are calculated, and was utilized in our 2019 submission to CDP. Going forward, Grace will use the baseline established in our CDP submission using the WRI Protocol for energy and carbon emissions reporting.


At Grace, we are committed to the minimization and safe disposal of all waste, including hazardous waste, associated with our processes. We implement this commitment through our global Environment Health and Safety EHS policy, and adherence to the Responsible Care® initiative.


Grace also has a strong track record in avoiding the disposal of materials by recycling at other industries that find value in the materials 

  • Grace specialty catalyst facilities in Baton Rouge, Curtis Bay, Norco and Tarragona employ a variety of processes to recover and either reuse or resell solvent thereby reducing the generation of waste.

  • Rather than dispose of the high-concentration stream of sodium aluminate as waste from our Raney® catalysts manufacturing process, we resell it from our Chattanooga, TN operations.

Grace's EHS Management System requires implementation of purchasing and procurement controls that identify, communicate, and effectively address EHS risks and requirements for suppliers and contractors engaging in off-site waste processing and disposal and recycling of materials ("High Risk Vendor Approval Process"). We conduct due diligence on hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facilities to ensure that we are using vendors with technologies that are permitted and designed to protect the environment and we limit our plants to using only audited and approved vendors.


Some of our products are water intensive. Between 2013 and 2018, total water consumption decreased approximately 4 percent and water intensity (gallons per pound of production) decreased 24 percent.

​Water (MM Gal)
​Intensity (Gal / Lb Production)

Each of our businesses continue to reduce water consumption intensity (water used per unit of production) within their discrete manufacturing processes.

  • Our Lake Charles catalysts facility modified manufacturing processes to remove wetting/drying steps, which cut both water use as well as energy required for drying.
  • Investments in plant instrumentation at our Valleyfield facility has optimized wastewater management to protect local river ecosystems.
  • Filtration equipment optimization and vacuum pump seal water recovery projects have led to a 23 percent decrease in water consumption over a 10 year period at our Valleyfield facility.
  • Process water recycling and gravel filter regeneration at our Worms facility decreased water usage by roughly 5 percent annually.



As part of our Responsible Care reporting requirements, we have historically tracked NOx and SOx emissions from our U.S. operations which account for approximately 50 percent of global Grace production.

  • FY 2018 NOx emissions from U.S. operations: 44.9 tons
  • FY 2018 SOx emissions from U.S. operations: 0.0299 tons

Going forward Grace will track these emissions globally.