Skip to main content

Environmental Performance

Grace' global EHS policy requires us to conduct business and operate facilities in an environmentally sound manner with a focus on eliminating unplanned environmental releases, improving efficiencies and reducing waste, and meeting community, state, and national regulations in jurisdictions where we operate around the world.





Regulatory Citations




​Regulatory Penalties




​Reportable Releases**




*Amount includes a penalty for violation by a vendor amounting to $90,600 of $107,851
**Reportable releases include releases to the air, water or land that exceed a government reportable quantity, or are otherwise reportable by law, regulation, or permit condition.

Incident Management

Reportable releases and regulatory citations are investigated using industry-standard methods to identify the root causes and/or contributing factors leading to these events.  Cross-functional teams work to identify containment, corrective, and preventive actions to address identified root causes.

Operational Efficiency

We believe the most material environmental impacts of operating our facilities are energy and water use, as well as the proper handling of materials in our feedstocks and waste byproducts. For over two decades, Grace has implemented an annual productivity program of continuous improvement projects throughout our operations. We began our 6-Sigma journey in 1999 under CEO Paul Norris, training Blackbelts and reducing variability and cost. By 2005, CEO Fred Festa added LEAN manufacturing and a new focus on supply chain productivity. In 2008, we made a public commitment to reduce energy consumption per ton of product produced. Our former Chief Executive Officer Hudson La Force introduced the Grace Manufacturing System in 2017 and the Grace Value Model with its focus on Customer-Driven Innovation, Operating Excellence, and Integrated Business Management in 2018.

Year over year, this relentless focus on improvement—now built into our operating rhythm—has driven significant efficiencies in our manufacturing operations, making them less resource-intensive for energy, water, and raw materials such as caustic, all while improving yields and better managing costs. The results also show up in reductions in greenhouse gas emissions per pound of production in particular manufacturing lines.

Today, our productivity projects are a deeply ingrained part of our drive towards Operating Excellence with annual performance objectives and related KPIs tied to the annual performance evaluations of our manufacturing leaders.

Energy and Carbon Emissions

We are committed to cutting energy consumption and associated greenhouse gas emissions by improving energy efficiency and sourcing energy from renewables. Grace has established a target to reduce Scope 1 and Scope 2 Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 22 percent from a 2019 baseline by 2029. To achieve this goal, Grace is committed to finding new opportunities to minimize our GHG footprint.

Emerging regulations such as the EU ETS may impact the cost of energy with restrictions of emission allowances within cap and trade systems. As Grace facilities require a significant amount of energy for its operations, these restrictions are expected to increase our operating costs in the short to medium term. We are also facing increasing pressure from our customers and investors to report organizational emission data. 

To meet these challenges, Grace has integrated a projected price of carbon into capital planning processes to promote investment in projects that will reduce emissions and increase efficiency at our facilities, particularly those under carbon trading systems. For example, our Curtis Bay facility began operating its combined heat and power plant that reduced its emissions by approximately 7,000 MT CO2-e. Its two generator sets produce about 5 MW of electric power, accounting for 40% of the facility’s annual electricity consumption. The combined heat and power plant at our Worms, Germany facility supplies 95% of the facility’s electricity requirements.

The historical emissions data presented in the table below follows the American Chemistry Council's Responsible Care Green House Gas Reporting protocol.

  2018 2019* 2020
CO2e (Tons) 809,546 751,449 697,407
CO2e Intensity (lbs./lbs.) 1.42 1.19 1.48
Energy (MMBTU) 11,242,919 6,886,621 12,179,690
Energy Intensity (Btu/lb,) 9,888 N/A 12,900
*Note: for 2020 our Scope 1 emissions were 517,327.46 MT CO2-e and our Scope 2 emissions were 115,349.53 MT CO2-e. 

Grace has recently aligned its greenhouse gas reporting processes to conform with the World Resource Institute's (WRI) Greenhouse Gas Reporting Protocol. This process changes the scope of reported emissions, and how emissions are calculated, and was utilized in our 2019 submission to CDP. Going forward, Grace will use the baseline established in our CDP submission using the WRI Protocol for energy and carbon emissions reporting.

In 2020, Grace reported 10% reduction in Scope 1 emissions from 2019. Grace’s global production volume dropped from 2019 primarily because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We expect a slight increase in our Scope 1 emissions for 2021 as our production operations normalize. Meanwhile, our 2020 Scope 2 emissions decreased by 34% compared to 2019. This was driven by impacts to global manufacturing and administrative operations as well as energy emission initiatives (i.e. combined heat and power plant go-live at our Curtis Bay facility accounting for 15% of Grace’s total reduction).

Our reported energy consumption in 2020 increased from 2019 due to a calculation error reported for our 2019 fuel consumption data which has since been corrected. Purchased electricity from the grid accounted for 8% of our total energy consumption, which represented a 22% decrease from 2019. Overall, we anticipate fluctuations in our 2021 GHG emissions and energy consumption due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2020, Grace began disclosing to CDP its Scope 3 emissions (indirect emissions that occur in the upstream and downstream activities of its value chain) for the 15 categories defined by WRI. We used the WRI Scope 3 Evaluator tool to calculate our Scope 3 emissions. Additional information on our Scope 3 emissions can be found in Grace’s 2021 CDP Climate disclosure

Scope 3 Category 2020 (MT CO2-e)
Purchased goods and services 1,107,132.80
Capital goods 65,176.75
Fuel-and-energy-related activities (not included in Scope 1 or 2) 152,059.71
Upstream transportation and distribution 0.00
Waste generated in operations 24,898.42
Business travel 785.10
Employee commuting 6,290.00
Upstream leased assets Not relevant 
Downstream transportation and distribution 5,947.66
Processing of sold products 678,967.84
Use of sold product Not relevant 
End of life treatment of sold products 95,001.44
Downstream leased assets Not relevant 
Franchises Not relevant 
Investments  Not relevant 
*Note: Emissions from upstream transportation and distribution are captured in Category 1: Purchased Goods and Services, since cost for delivering goods is often included in the cost of goods.

There are no emissions associated with Grace’s products after they are sold. Grace does not have any upstream or downstream leased assets, franchises or investments. 

Our public CDP Climate Response can be found here.

Climate Risks and Opportunities

The Grace Value Model defines how Grace creates and delivers value to customers, investors and employees. Our focused portfolio and customer-driven innovation enable us to meet the needs of our customers in a carbon-constrained world. Through operating excellence and disciplined capital allocation Grace continually improves through critical investments in resource intensity reduction, energy efficiency and cost reduction projects that ensure our facilities will be competitive. Among our key growth drivers are the demand for stricter environmental standards and an increasing global focus on sustainability.

Grace presently has a fully integrated enterprise-wide hazard and risk assessment process. The process assesses business continuity risks such as the potential for key sites or systems to be compromised or fail due to any number of potential initiating events. This process covers all manner of causes including those arising from severe weather events, product safety, and evolving regulations that might impact market acceptance. Our risk assessment process includes the evaluation of emerging regulations, technological trends including the transition to a lower-carbon future, and acute physical risks such as extreme weather events and heat stress. All of these are evaluated as potential hazards and ranked in conjunction with all other risks. As an ongoing part of its Responsible Care Management System, Grace regularly assesses the environmental aspects of its activities, products, and services and their associated environmental impacts that are relevant to the organization. This includes but is not limited to its current and planned operations, and any conditions that may arise as a result of impacts related to climate change or policy responses thereto. Risks are communicated to the Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Environment, Health and Safety (C-suite level position) and relevant impacted stakeholders.

Initiatives to increase both operational and supply chain resiliency to extreme weather (e.g., hurricanes, storms), fire, and other disruptions are actively assessed and implemented on a global scale.  Several sites have undergone audits by third-party providers which assess a wide variety of potential physical risks.  Identified risks are incorporated into the enterprise risk management and capital authorization processes.


Multiple Grace facilities globally are located within 20 miles of a coast, placing them at risk from increased severity of hurricanes and weather events that could cause production interruptions. Key suppliers and associated distribution routes for raw materials and finished goods are located within 100 miles of a coast, increasing susceptibility to interruptions from severe weather events. Multiple customers are located along a coast; their facilities could be impacted by the increased severity of extreme weather events. An increasing number of countries are likely to adopt carbon taxes to accelerate a low-carbon transition, likely impacting Grace's costs of compliance but also providing opportunities for new, more efficient catalysts and materials.


Grace's catalysts drive value in the petrochemical industry by reducing the amount of feedstock required to separate and create petrochemicals. The move towards a lower carbon future will require higher efficiency that can be achieved through the use of high-efficiency catalysts. Grace continues to increase the activity of our catalysts, providing downstream efficiency benefits to our customers. Increases in energy efficiency and process optimization are opportunities for Grace to be more competitive against less efficient companies as governments continue to either adopt carbon taxes or develop market-based solutions to greenhouse gas reduction.

Grace's focus on energy efficiency and productivity will continue to allow our facilities to compete effectively in a carbon-constrained environment under anticipated market conditions. Focus on energy efficiency and process optimization enable Grace to be in a competitive position within the EU ETS, limiting the impact of the EU ETS Market Stability Reserve on Grace.

Waste management

At Grace, we are committed to the minimization and safe disposal of all waste, including hazardous waste, associated with our processes. We implement this commitment through our global Environment Health and Safety EHS policy, and adherence to the Responsible Care® initiative. Grace has established a target of reducing its waste sent to landfills (in tons) by 5 percent from a 2019 baseline by 2029. This includes reductions in hazardous waste sent to landfills.

Grace actively works to minimize the generation of hazardous waste by:

  • Partnering with recycling facilities to reclaim metals from catalysts
  • Working with vendors to reclaim and recycle mercury from testing equipment
  • Reclaiming spent solvents prior to disposal
  • Working with R2 certified electronics recycling vendors
  • Working with drum recyclers to minimize the disposal of waste drums





Total Waste (MT) 67,862 74,200
Hazardous (MT) 10,122 10,448
Total Recycled Waste (MT) 656 9,886.90


Grace also has a strong track record in avoiding the disposal of materials by recycling at other industries that find value in the materials

  • Grace specialty catalyst facilities in Baton Rouge, Curtis Bay, Norco and Tarragona employ a variety of processes to recover and either reuse or resell solvent thereby reducing the generation of waste.
  • Rather than dispose of the high-concentration stream of sodium aluminate as waste from our RANEY® brand catalysts manufacturing process, we resell it from our Chattanooga, TN operations.

Grace's EHS Management System requires implementation of purchasing and procurement controls that identify, communicate, and effectively address EHS risks and requirements for suppliers and contractors engaging in off-site waste processing and disposal and recycling of materials ("High-Risk Vendor Approval Process"). We conduct due diligence on hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facilities to ensure that we are using vendors with technologies that are permitted and designed to protect the environment and we limit our plants to using only audited and approved vendors.


Some of our products are water-intensive. Between 2013 and 2018, total water consumption decreased approximately 4 percent and water intensity (gallons per pound of production) decreased 24 percent. Grace has established a target to reduce water consumption by 10 percent from 2019 levels by 2029.





​Water (MM Gal)




​Intensity (Gal / Lb Production)




Grace facilities monitor water discharges through effluent flow meters and sample collection points for parameters and at intervals specified by our facilities operating permits.  Common parameters include temperature and pH.

Grace utilized the WRI Aqueduct tool to approximate the level of Baseline water stress at each of its facilities around the world. Areas with a baseline water stress score above 3.0 (High to Very High) were identified as being within water stressed areas. Based on this screening, 9 percent of Graces' total water withdrawals are from water-stressed areas. Based on Grace's prioritized assessment of its hazards and risks, water-related risk issues have not presented a significant enough risk to conduct a more thorough targeted hazard and risk assessment of our organization's water risks. Regardless, we continue to strive towards the decreased consumption of water resources throughout our operation.

Each of our businesses continues to reduce water consumption intensity (water used per unit of production) within their discrete manufacturing processes.

  • Our Lake Charles catalysts facility modified manufacturing processes to remove wetting/drying steps, which cut both water use as well as the energy required for drying.
  • Investments in plant instrumentation at our Valleyfield facility have optimized wastewater management to protect local river ecosystems.
  • Filtration equipment optimization and vacuum pump seal water recovery projects have led to a 23 percent decrease in water consumption over a 10 year period at our Valleyfield facility.
  • Process water recycling and gravel filter regeneration at our Worms facility decreased water usage by roughly 5 percent annually.

 Our public CDP Water Response can be found here




SOx (MT)



NOx (MT)







Join our newsletter program.

Subscribe to receive the latest news and insights.

Want to talk to an expert?

Product and service inquiries

For all Grace product and service inquiries including:

  • Adsorbents
  • Catalysts and Additives
  • Fine Chemicals/Custom Manufacturing
  • Silicas
  • UNIPOL® PP Licensing
  • Safety Data Sheet

Non-product related inquiries

For all non-product related inquiries including:

  • Careers
  • Community and Social Responsibility
  • Corporate Communications
  • Media Relations
  • Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS)
  • Vendor and Supplier Submissions