In a circular economy, manufacturers want to re-use raw materials. But they have to be as good and as safe as the original material. We recover high-quality materials from the waste we treat. We protect the materials loop from contamination. So we are a link in the circular economy.
Raw materials are rare and expensive. But our economy needs them. So, we have to start using materials and energy more intelligently. Waste plays an important role in that. By recovering high-quality materials from waste, we are saving primary raw materials.
Europe wants to replace primary raw materials with materials reclaimed from waste wherever possible. For example, by 2030 all plastic packaging in the European Union must be recyclable. Furthermore, Europe wants member states to recycle half of the plastic packaging by 2030.
Closing the materials loop
Industry uses raw materials to make products. Once these products have reached the end of their life, they become waste. Indaver recovers valuable raw materials from this waste, a new raw material for industry. It does so in its high tech facilities. That way we are closing the materials loop.
Creating value from waste
We supplement mechanical recycling methods with new techniques for chemical and thermal recycling. With our Molecule Management approach we break down complex waste products into their basic building blocks. These are a high-quality raw material for industry. Indaver continually invests in technological innovation to improve the quality of the materials even further.
Indaver Metal Processing: precious metals from industrial waste
Precious metals are rare and valuable metals such as palladium. They are used as industrial catalysts. It is therefore ecologically and economically beneficial to recover these metals. Indaver does that with IndaMP (Indaver Metal Processing). This is a thermal process that separates the precious metals from solvents in pharmaceutical waste and collects them in the residues. We have converted an existing facility at our Antwerp site. So our customers have a constant and sustainable supply of precious metals. As a result, they are less dependent on raw materials from outside Europe.
We are still consuming a lot of energy from fossil fuels such as petroleum, coal and gas. These fuels put a stain on the environment. They have to be incinerated to produce energy. In doing so they emit pollutants and greenhouse gases, including CO2. This contributes to global warming. They are also becoming increasingly expensive because they are being depleted.
By 2030, Europe wants greenhouse gas emissions to have reduced by 40% compared to 1990. Energy consumption has to reduce by at least 32.5%. At least 32% of energy must be renewable. In the longer term we need to take even more drastic action. That is the only way to keep global warming within reasonable limits.
By 2030, 32% of the energy in Europe must come from renewable sources. This concerns energy from wind, sun, water, heat and to a lesser extent biomass.
Producing sustainable, safe and affordable energy
Indaver offers a sustainable alternative for fossil fuels. We recover energy from the waste that we treat thermally. We supply this energy as steam, hot water or electricity to families and businesses. We are thus reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions. We are increasing the portion of renewable energy.
ECLUSE: reliable, affordable and sustainable energy for businesses.
In 2018, construction of the industrial steam network ECLUSE was completed in Antwerp’s Waasland port in Belgium. The network opened officially on 15 March 2019. ECLUSE sends the steam from Indaver's and SLECO’s waste-to-energy facilities through a network of pipes. Five companies purchase the steam. One company uses the condensate heat. These companies no longer need to make steam themselves in their steam boilers. Consequently, they can reduce their consumption of gas, a fossil fuel.
CO2 is one of the biggest culprits of climate change. 90% of this gas is created in energy production. The more energy-efficient our facilities, processes and buildings are, the lower the CO2 emissions. By 2030, Europe wants to see greenhouse gas emissions reduce by 40% compared to 1990.
Economical use of energy
Indaver is constantly looking for ways to keep its own energy consumption as low as possible. We analyse our plants and processes to see how we can improve our energy management.
Climate neutral/Low carbon
Indaver is committed to low-carbon solutions. We are working towards a ‘modal shift’, whereby we combine road transport with more sustainable transport by water or rail. We also limit CO2-emissions from our logistics activities and our staff transport in other ways. We strive for climate-neutral sites and facilities.
Power-to-Methanol: sustainable methanol for Antwerp port
CO2 is released during thermal treatment at our facilities. In the Port of Antwerp, Belgium, we have started conducting a test to produce sustainable methanol from this CO2. Methanol is an important raw material for the chemical industry. Currently, this methanol is being produced using fossil raw materials. In this pilot project, the methanol is produced from collected CO2 and sustainably-generated hydrogen. This is done through a new process, Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CCU). For every tonne of methanol produced, the Port of Antwerp will avoid releasing one tonne of CO2 into the air. Thus making the Antwerp port more CO2 neutral.
In a circular economy, materials are constantly re-used. These materials have to be clean and safe. That is the only way to keep manufacturers’ and consumers’ faith in the materials chain.
Waste doesn’t just contain usable materials but also hazardous components. These unwanted and hazardous substances must not contaminate the materials and food chains. So, the circular economy needs safe sinks.
We destroy any remaining hazardous elements that must not enter the materials chain. Where there are contaminants that cannot be destroyed, we treat them and/or store them safely. That is our 'Safe Sink' guarantee.
Our facilities are located near to companies and residential areas. A wide variety of animals, plants and insects live around our sites. We do everything we can to ensure our activities do not endanger any of the lives in our environment.
We keep the environmental impact of our activities to a minimum. We promote biodiversity. We strive for minimum impact on the air, water and soil. We are economical in the use of water in our own processes. We prevent contamination of the soil and groundwater on our own sites.
Continual monitoring of the emissions guarantees that the purified flue gases that leave the chimney, always meet the strictest environmental standards. In the Sustainability report, we publish a report on our achievements in this area from our main facilities.
Biodiversity forms an important part of every environmental license for a new location, or for an adaptation or expansion. We minimise or compensate for the impact of the works in our facilities on nature. We produce compost that keeps the soil fertile and stimulates biodiversity.
In our processes, we replace new raw materials with recovered materials wherever possible. We limit our ecological footprint from transporting waste.
IndaChlor®: limiting the impact on marshlands
Indaver is building IndaChlor® in a "wetland area" - marshlands where specific fauna and flora flourish. We have planned the site and the facilities to limit the impact on the ‘wetlands area’ as much as possible. But that doesn't always work. In that case, Indaver is creating similar areas in other parts of the Port. We are leaving the fauna present as undisturbed as possible. We are installing adapted lighting, amphibian ladders, reservoirs and bat boxes.
Sustainable mobility policy for staff
To reduce congestion and CO2 emissions, Indaver is actively engaged in a sustainable mobility policy for its own staff. Staff can work somewhere other than their desk, such as from home or at another location closer to home. They are made aware of avoiding unnecessary travel. The new meeting culture is based more around conference calls, Skype and video. In Belgium, Indaver also facilitates financially viable (tax friendly) and practical use of alternative modes of transport such as an e-bike or bike, shared and pool cars, carpooling and public transport. To help staff in their choice, they receive individual advice about their daily commute.