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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,)







*Note: for 2019 our Scope 1 emissions were 575,773 MT CO2e, and our Scope 2 emissions were 175,675

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.

climate risks and opportunities

The Grace Value Model defines how Grace creates and delivers value to customers, investors and employees. Our focused portfolio and customer-driven innovation enable us to meet the needs of our customers in a carbon constrained world. Through operating excellence and disciplined capital allocation Grace continually improves through critical investments in resource intensity reduction, energy efficiency and cost reduction projects that ensure our facilities will be competitive. Among our key growth drivers are the demand for stricter environmental standards and an increasing global focus on sustainability.

Grace presently has a fully integrated enterprise-wide hazard and risk assessment process. The process assesses business continuity risks such as the potential for key sites or systems to be compromised or fail due to any number of potential initiating events. This process covers all manner of causes including those arising from severe weather events, product safety, and evolving regulations that might impact market acceptance. Our risk assessment process includes the evaluation of emerging regulations, technological trends including the transition to a lower carbon future, and acute physical risks such as extreme weather events and heat stress. All of these are evaluated as potential hazards and ranked in conjunction with all other risks. As an ongoing part of its Responsible Care Management System, Grace regularlyassesses the environmental aspects of its activities, products, and services and their associated environmental impacts that are relevant to the organization. This includes but is not limited to its current and planned operations, and any conditions that may arise as a result of impacts related to climate change or policy responses thereto. Risks are communicated to the Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Environment, Health and Safety (C-suite level position) and relevant impacted stakeholders.

Multiple Grace facilities globally are located within 20 miles of a coast, placing them at risk from increased severity of hurricanes and weather events that could cause production interruptions. Key suppliers and associated distribution routes for raw materials and finished goods are located within 100 miles of a coast, increasing susceptibility to interruptions from severe weather events. Multiple customers are located along a coast; their facilities could be impacted by increased severity of extreme weather events. An increasing number of countries are likely to adopt carbon taxes to accelerate a low-carbon transition, likely impacting Grace's costs of compliance but also providing opportunities for new, more efficient catalysts and materials.

Grace's catalysts drive value in the petrochemical industry by reducing the amount of feedstock required to separate and create petrochemicals. The move towards a lower carbon future will require higher efficiency that can be achieved through the use of high efficiency catalysts.. Grace continues to increase the activity of our catalysts, providing downstream efficiency benefits to our customers. Increases in energy efficiency and process optimization are opportunities for Grace to be more competitive against less efficient companies as governments continue to either adopt carbon taxes or develop market based solutions to greenhouse gas reduction.

Grace's focus on energy efficiency and productivity will continue to allow our facilities to compete effectively in a carbon-constrained environment under anticipated market conditions. Focus on energy efficiency and process optimization enable Grace to be in a competitive position within the EU ETS, limiting the impact of the EU ETS Market Stability Reserve on Grace.


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.

Total Waste (MT)
​Hazardous (MT)


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)

Grace utilized the WRI Aqueduct tool to approximate the level of Baseline water stress at each of its facilities around the world. Areas with a baseline water stress score above 3.0 (High to Very High) were identified as being within water stressed areas. Based on this screening, 48% of Graces total water withdrawals are from water stressed areas. Based on Grace's prioritized assessment of its hazards and risks, water-related risk issues have not presented a significant enough risk to conduct a more thorough targeted hazard and risk assessment of our organizations water risks. Regardless, we continue to strive towards the decreased consumption of water resources throughout our operation.

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.

​SOx (MT)
​NOx (MT)
​VOCs (MT)