Environment | Our approach to sustainability


The environment

Adisseo constantly aims to reduce the impact of its activities on the environment. To this end the company has rallied together to reach the public environmental objectives it set in 2018, while contributing to UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.



Sustainable development indicators

Natural resources economics and the fight against climate change are part of our primary areas of progress.

The objectives we set back in 2018 for a 20% reduction between 2015 and 2025 of the intensity of our water and energy consumption as well as our greenhouse gas emissions are about to be achieved and even exceeded this year.

Nevertheless, 2019 was marked by a slight increase in water and energy consumption intensity and greenhouse gas emissions due in particular to the prolonged restart of our European units after a long technical interruption (required to carry out regulatory controls and/or significant process changes).

Thus, from 2020, we will set new, even more ambitious objectives.


Activity maintained at a high level

The activity index reflects the evolution of quantities produced in our major industrial production sites. Despite a lengthy technical interruption (for regulatory controls and/or significant process changes), activity remained at a high level in 2019 after steadily increasing for the past few years. This should be viewed in light of controlled and improved environmental results.


Material consumption is directly linked to the stable rate of activity over the last few years.



O’disseo receives the visit of DREAL

The construction of the new “O’disseo” water treatment plant in Commentry (France) is ongoing and represents a global investment of EUR 19.3 million. The installation will treat 5,500 m3 of water per day and will help reduce odour emissions and meet the new environmental standards that will apply in 2021.

As construction is nearing completion, Adisseo has received a visit from DREAL, which carries out environmental police missions on industrial and agricultural sites to help reduce risks and nuisances for the environment and public health.

The meeting enabled Adisseo to discuss the project’s development and the elements that indicate compliance with the rules and regulations, in full transparency with the authorities.

The Commentry site secures its water supply

In ever-increasing periods of drought and of climate change, water has become a major issue. The Commentry site has introduced a major action plan to save water.

In 2019, 10% of water consumption was saved. Moreover, the site diversified its supply by choosing to pump from the neighbouring river (La Torche), thereby relying less on more sensitive sources.

1 %

of water
consumption saved


Good control of water consumption at a high level of activity. Note the effectiveness of the various improvement and industrial water economy measures, especially at the Commentry site (France).


Significant progress on COD and suspended solids discharges despite a rate of activity that has remained high. Improvement plans are still being developed to reduce our environmental impact in this field with several ongoing investments in the water treatment units of several of our industrial sites.

Adisseo reduces its greenhouse gas emissions

Every four years, according to French law and in compliance with the Environmental Code, Adisseo publishes a report on its greenhouse gas emissions. Several projects have been carried out during this period which have helped reduce these emissions by more than 20%.

At the same time the green energy development programme which the Burgos site (Spain) concluded with the supplier Engie in 2018 became effective at the start of 2020. For a period of 10 years this contract will help the Burgos plant significantly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions related to the purchase of electricity to power its installations – a further step towards Adisseo Group’s goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2025.

Adisseo’s “Zero Emissions” policy

Several Adisseo sites in France are equipped with electric vehicles.

At the Antony headquarters (France), charging terminals for electric vehicles, installed since 2017, have helped avoid the emission of 3150 kg of CO2 during the 24,242 km travelled with zero emissions. Currently, HQ has four electric vehicles and is planning to purchase two more in 2020.

The building has also set up a new courier organization with a single service provider. Thanks to this new contract with ONET, the 787 errands that are done every year are now carried out in 100% electric vehicles with zero emissions.

This approach was initiated four years ago in the Commentry site (France) by the Prevention, Safety & Intervention Department with the purchase of three electric vehicles. These mail distribution vehicles which belonged to La Poste have been reconditioned to meet mobility needs on the industrial site. With one battery charge per week, maintenance costs are low.


Kms travelled

in zero emission


Greenhouse gas emissions (sum of direct and indirect emissions) are relatively stable despite the relatively significant impact of the prolonged restart of the European units after their technical interruption. The supply of vapour by a biomass plant in Commentry (Allier, France) has also enabled Adisseo to benefit from a more virtuous production method since 2018.


NOx and  SOx emissions have remained at a low level in 2019 as in the previous year. This is the result of various reliability improvement and investment measures, e.g. the gas effluent treatment furnace in the Roussillon site (France) where an injection of ammonia helped reduce the quantity of NOx in the fumes.

1 %

productivity increase
of our food system


50% is the necessary increase in productivity of our food system to feed 10 billion people. This is the current share of habitable land needed for food production.

Source: GEO6, ONU 2019

The Roches-Roussillon site reduces its energy footprint

A new effluent treatment furnace for a production unit in the Saint Clair du Rhône site (France) was put into service in September 2019.

This EUR 8.5 million investment enhances the energy recovery of the fumes by producing vapour at 40 bars. This vapour directly fuels a turbo alternator to be transformed into electricity, thus making the site more self-sufficient in energy and less sensitive to potential electric disturbances.


Since its implementation, this equipment has produced a higher output than expected. Improvement works are ongoing to limit noise pollution.

New heating system in the Saint Clair du Rhône site (France)

At the end of 2019 the warehouse’s oil heating system was replaced with a heat pump. The regulation system helps adjust the temperature when the building is unused.

This installation complements the building’s insulation work carried out in the last few years.

The consumption of more than 40,000 litres of fuel per year has been replaced with electricity consumption, which is better for the environment.


per year for heating


Particular attention was also given to reducing noise thanks to an acoustics study and sound traps to eliminate any noise disturbance and ensure the well-being of users and the neighbourhood.


Total direct energy consumption is directly related to the rate of activity and is controlled thanks to improvement measures which aim to reduce its consumption (optimisation of consumption and energy recovery, etc.). The implementation of the biomass plant in the Commentry site (Allier, France) increases the share of purchased primary indirect energy. The primary indirect energy produced was higher in 2019 following the smooth running of the Chinese platform in Nanjing.

Waste collection for an environmentally-friendly initiative

This summer, employees from Adisseo Singapore decided to act with the help of their families to raise awareness to the environmental issue of plastic in the oceans. Wearing protective gloves and carrying bin bags, they needed two days to collect all the waste on the beach on Saint John’s Island. In total, some 15 bags were filled with bottles, plastic straws and other waste.

A similar initiative was carried out with the organization of waste collection in the CERN site (France) with the participation of 15 or so employees who picked up the waste in the site’s surroundings. Twenty minutes was enough for these volunteers to clean the perimeter. This action is part of an individual and daily environmentally-responsible approach. To encourage this environmentally-friendly action, a waste collection box accessible to all will be installed close to the site.


(in thousand metric tons)

The global quantity of waste from our activity has stabilised. The quantity of mud from the water treatment plant used for landfill clearly decreased in 2018 due to the declining activity of the Commentry site (France), which is the main contributor. Several ongoing investments in the water treatment plants in several of our industrial sites will likely help us progress further in the field.


Initiating actions for sustainable development

The different Adisseo entities are setting up initiatives to contribute to the company’s environmental approach.

Antony (France): Sensors and presence detectors have been implemented to better manage lighting, air conditioning and heating. An environmental certificate was awarded for the paper and cardboard recycling approach. Finally, the dilution stations help limit the consumption of household, 90% biodegradable products with no organic compound emissions.

Nanjing (China): 15 participants attended a seminar dedicated to sustainable development. For the occasion, they visited the site’s logistics centre.

Barbastro (Spain): LED lights have been installed as well as a new, more efficient heating system for the offices and the changing rooms.

North America: The teams participated in a month long “Zero Waste” challenge and implemented the 5 R’s: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot. A training day was organized, with a sustainability simulation: “The Fishing Game”, that explained how sustainability and resource management works.


Sixgreen rules” have been implemented in the research centres and employees are committed to following them: sorting waste for re-use, saving electric energy, saving water, optimising space in one’s mailbox, reducing paper printing, and favouring car-sharing for work.

Each research centre has also carried out specific measures including:

Cinabio: The laboratory’s waste treatment is managed by Suez. “Mailbox cleaning” operations have been carried out on a monthly basis, a water fountain and LED lights have been installed and old domestic appliances in the cafeteria have been replaced.

Cinatech: Bi-monthly meetings (the “DD Cafés”) are organized to share good ideas and address sustainable development-related issues.

A new sustainable evaluation tool for R&D projects

Sustainable development is increasingly considered in decision-making relating to new projects carried out by Adisseo. For example, the company is working at several levels to improve its environmental footprint as well as that of its customers, through advantages provided by its products.


Now, beyond their mere innovative and competitiveness-enhancing dimension, R&D projects are evaluated according to their Sustainable Development impact. To this end an ASSET evaluation chart has been implemented to ensure the decision-making process of R&D projects.

This evaluation chart relies on three pillars of sustainable development: the environment, social concerns (including health and safety) and the economy, which each have clearly defined criteria. This tool complements the life cycle assessments (LCAs) carried out for ongoing projects and helps identify the most virtuous projects and their areas of improvement.