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Emissions, effluents and waste

Taking into account the nature of its pharmaceutical industrial activity (especially inhibiting technologies), Virbac does not generate any visual, noise or odour pollution. Virbac is investing increasingly in respect of the environment: taking into account HSE impacts in the management of industrial projects and strengthening of the Risk Management department. Furthermore, the Group’s environmental principles are adapted in the subsidiaries according to the different local regulations. Thus in a number of sites such as St. Louis and Boston in the United States, Penrith in Australia and Carros in France, the majority of waste water from manufacturing is recovered and treated as hazardous industrial waste in accordance with the local regulations of the countries concerned.

The direct and indirect emissions of greenhouse gases (scope 1 and 2) correspond to emissions linked to the consumption of different energies (in this case gas and electricity) in all industrial sites across the world, as well as the greenhouse gas emissions linked to refrigeration fluids. All of these emissions represented 24,414 equivalent tonnes CO2, these emissions are up sharply (+20%) on a like-for-like basis (excluding Uruguay) due to the increase in energy consumption (see indicator EN3); but mainly due to a very strong increase (+282%) in emissions of refrigerant gases in 2016, representing 2,083 equivalent tonnes CO2, following several successive breakdowns at a Carros facility in France using refrigerants with a high CO2 emission.

In accordance with the CO2 regulations for companies with more than 500 employees, Virbac has committed to a plan for the reduction of greenhouse gases linked to energy consumption (gas and electricity). Thus, in addition to all the thermal insulation already installed, all the “anomalies” (valves, taps, bends etc.) have also been insulated on all the steam networks at the Carros sites in France. This additional thermal insulation has already led to a 1% gain in total gas consumption. This savings plan will be continued in 2017 with the installation of an energy recovery system on the effluent treatment plant for organic production units.

Due to the nature of its activity and the energy used, Virbac generates low NOx emissions (linked to boilers fuelled with natural gas at production sites equipped with them) and no significant SOx emissions. Although NOx emissions are not measured, based on the emission factors provided by the US Environmental protection agency (EPA) site, the amount of NOx emitted by the United States relating to sites covered by this report represents approximately 15 tonnes for the year 2016. However, analyses will be carried out on combustion installations representative of the Carros sites in France (which account for nearly 50% of the Group’s production) in order to adapt the emission factor given by the EPA to the reality of the installations on the Virbac sites. Overall, the other possible emissions, particularly Volatile Organic compounds (VOC) related to operations, are considered insignificant given the confinement of operations.
The quantity of industrial water discharged by all the Virbac sites worldwide is 168,407 m3 in 2016. Given the activities at Virbac’s industrial sites, the main pollutant discharged into industrial waters is COD (Chemical oxygen demand). This indicator, measured since 2013, shows that 99 tonnes of COD were emitted by the industrial sites of the whole Group in 2016. Discharges therefore increased by 11.6% (on a like-for-like basis, excluding Uruguay) due to the ramp up at the new production site in Mexico (+44%), the gradual return to normal at the St. Louis site in the United States (+20%), the new take-up of the PPM site in Boston in the United States (representing nearly 3% of the total) and an increase in the discharges from the Carros site in France (+10%). On almost all production sites, the quality of these industrial discharges improved thanks to the drop of almost 6% of COD rejected (on a like-for-like basis, excluding Uruguay).
Virbac produces two kinds of waste: non-hazardous industrial waste and hazardous industrial waste. These are managed by the sectors dedicated to waste collection and sorting in order to recycle or develop it optimally according to type.
Improving non-hazardous industrial waste sorting at source and reducing its volume
Virbac has contributed to implementing a collection system for non-hazardous waste (aluminium, iron, glass, cardboard, plastic, paper, etc.) at the Carros industrial area since 2003, through “Carros Indus’tri”. This system (regularly studied by local communities or other industrial areas wishing to imitate it), managed by the CAIPDV, evolved in 2015 into “Tri&Co” following the optimisation and harmonisation of collection frequencies, among other things. Thus, all non-hazardous waste from the Carros sites is treated by service providers located within a radius of less than 40 km with 100% recycling and therefore 0% landfilling. Like most Virbac sites, the Argo Navis site in Mexico is setting up pre-packaging facilities for non-hazardous waste to optimise the volumes produced and thus truck rotations.
Controlling volumes of hazardous industrial waste
Virbac ensures traceability up to the point of disposal of all its hazardous waste: soiled packaging, laboratory, production, medicinal or infectious wastes and chemical effluents (mostly incinerated, and therefore thermally recovered or recycled for solvent recovery). Finally, Virbac is continuously improving the collection system through the establishment of new and even more selective channels, making it possible to reduce the proportion of waste that cannot yet be recycled.
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