The world leader in industrial thread manufacturing, headquartered in the UK, Coats has come up with its 2019 Sustainability Report, titled ‘Pioneering a sustainable future: making it happen’. Having a workforce of 17,000 people across six continents and revenues of US $1.4 billion, Coats identified five priority areas – water, energy, effluent and emissions, social and living sustainably to progress towards a more sustainable future.
Coats is fully committed to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) principles on Human Rights, Labour, the Environment and Anti-Corruption, and continues to progress the implementation of these principles in operations and across its supply chain.
The report covers key sustainability performance data from 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2019.
“For many years, Coats has had a robust approach to sustainability and 2019 saw progress made in the first year of our new strategy. We have set ambitious goals to deliver by 2022, as we continue pioneering towards a more sustainable future. The commitment and enthusiasm of our employees, management teams and partners give me confidence that the progress we have made in 2019 will set us on a glide path to achieve our sustainability targets. Sustainability is a source of differentiation and value to multiple stakeholders.” Rajiv Sharma, Group Chief Executive, Coats
Targets by 2022
- 40per cent reduction in water intensity (litres/kilo)
- 7per cent reduction in energy intensity (kWh/kilo) to be sourcing renewable energy wherever feasible
- Reduce waste by 25per cent
- Meet zero discharge of hazardous chemicals effluent standards
- Introduce awards like ‘Great place to work‘for all key sites, aiming to get all employees contribute to community activities
- All premium quality polyester threads to be recycled by 2024
The company’s global goal is to reduce water used per kilogram of thread produced by 40 per cent by 2022 against its 2018 baseline. In 2019, it consumed 7.4 million cubic metres of water, which equates to 90 litres per kilogram of product. This is a 2 per cent reduction compared to 2018. The organisation has a long-term vision of dyeing processes that are waterless.
In 2019, Coats used 770 million kWh of energy (electricity and fossil fuels) to manufacture its products. This equates to a reduction of 3 per cent in total energy compared to 2018. Its energy use per unit of production has also reduced to 9.3 kWh per kg of production, (2018: 9.4 kWh per kg). This is a reduction of 1 per cent vs 2018.
In 2019, the total carbon footprint of its operations (Scopes 1 and 2) was 275 thousand tonnes. This is a 5 per cent decrease compared to 2018 on a like-for-like basis. As of the end of last year, over 60 per cent of its effluent was compliant with ZDHC standards, putting it on track to meet its target
Over 95 per cent of its raw materials are oil-based plastic fibres. In 2019, total materials purchased by the company were 1,42,398 tonnes, out of which, total waste generated was 12,450 tonnes. 67 per cent of its units are sending zero waste to landfills. Coats has trained its staff globally to use new waste management system.
It is pertinent to mention here that Coats managed to achieve all this in 2019 despite its slightly lower production levels than 2018. The company is also scaling its community investment programmes, offering more focus while boosting the impact of its activities through vital partnerships, the first of which will be announced this year.
“I am satisfied with the headway we are making as we pioneer a sustainable future. The commitment and enthusiasm of our employees, management teams and partners give me huge confidence that the progress we have made will continue over the next year as we undertake this vital journey for our business and our stakeholders,” says Rajiv.
Development in India
A Faridabad (North India) unit of Coats is in an area of high water table decline, but this is a unit where the company has long been aware of water supply issues and is already recycling up to 90 per cent of its water in order to minimise its need for fresh water.
In 2019, Coats completed the implementation of a very significant ZLD system at its largest site in India at Ambasamudram, Tamil Nadu. The site has also chosen a solar plant, which provides 3.7 per cent of the energy it needs for both the sites in Ambas and Madurai – nearly 150 kWh per day. Another 90 per cent of energy comes from renewable energy generated off-site and is provided by the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board. In the coming years, Coats is aiming to add another 750 kWh to its solar plant here.