FreiLacke receives the Responsible Care Prize 2016

VCI distinguishes chemical companies for outstanding projects

(Baden-Baden) – This year’s Responsible Care Prizes for Baden-Württemberg’s chemical industry are awarded to companies in Bräunlingen and Ladenburg: Under the motto “Our best projects – 25 years of Responsible Care”, FreiLacke and ICL-BK Giulini are the regional victors.

What is Responsible Care?

The Responsible Care initiative stands for the constant improvement of health and safety protection, environmental protection and safety in companies that operate within the chemical industry – independently of legal requirements. Responsible Care provides management tools, examples of good practice, information and recommendations on topics such as environmental protection, product responsibility, occupational safety, health and safety protection as well as transport safety. The initiative also fosters dialogue on these issues.

An initiative with a future

This year, Responsible Care celebrated its 25th birthday in Germany. Throughout this time, the initiative has proven itself to be vital and flexible. The current and future role of Responsible Care can be viewed as the contribution to various aspects of responsible behaviour within the chemical industry. Future areas of focus will be, amongst others, product responsibility, energy efficiency and resource conservation, as well as water usage and security. Responsible Care is an integral component of “Chemie hoch 3” (http://www.chemiehoch3.de).
The decorated projects in detail (in alphabetical order):

FreiLacke – VOC-compliant container cleaning preserves resources and improves working conditions

Occupational and operational safety as well as the pursuit of its own environmental objectives are of utmost importance at FreiLacke. With the introduction of a VOC-compliant container cleaning system, the conservation of resources and improvement of environmental protection and working conditions within the company can all be achieved to a significant degree.

The project began in 2010, when an improvement to the cleaning process for initial containers used within the production of coatings was sought. This was because ethyl acetate, a standard solvent, had predominantly been used for cleaning the stainless steel containers. This results in high VOC emissions, which significantly impacts air quality. Furthermore, as a result of the large volume of air, the energy output for the operation of the required air intake and exhaust systems is high. The implementation of a new cleaning process is also supposed to help fulfil the new emission control guideline for VOCs.

Now, following the selection of a new solvent and the construction of a new cleaning system at the company, an annual quantity of 86,500 kg of ethyl acetate can be saved at FreiLacke. The VOC emissions can be reduced from 30,000 kg per year to 651 kg per year; this equates to a reduction of 98%. In addition to the significantly reduced solvent usage, the potential danger to employees was also notably decreased. FreiLacke has been able to meet its high standards for environmental and health and safety protection.