Chemical manufacturing companies are currently saddled with increasing environmental management challenges at both the facility and the corporate levels. New regulatory requirements, coupled with a shift of the burden of proof for compliance down to the facilities through the use of Title V permits, significantly increases the workload for plants. At the corporate level, the trend toward sustainable business practices and the implementation of new programs in support of these values, such as Responsible Care and ISO 14001, necessitates increased control over corporate-wide environmental data for rollup reporting.
Thus companies have a two-fold challenge: how to implement a data management system that offers sufficient granularity and functionality for complex facility-level compliance while still providing an enterprise orientation suitable for the needs of corporate HES departments. For The Arkema Group, the solution lay in the implementation of opsEnvironmental™, the environmental management information system (EMIS) from IHS. Through its use of the software, Arkema has achieved gains in efficiency that translate to real savings for the HES department.
Data Management Needs: Plant Level to Corporate Level
The Arkema Group is one of the largest chemical companies in the world. With an employee roster of over 19,000 people and 90 facilities spread over three continents, Arkema’s annual sales total over 3 billion Euros. Prior to Arkema’s North American opsEnvironmental™ implementation, each of the company’s U.S. plants used its own home-grown system for environmental data management, often consisting of a series of spreadsheets, hand calculations, and/or customized databases. As regulatory requirements became increasingly complex, and particularly with Title V permits imminent, plant environmental personnel at six of the company’s U.S. facilities made an appeal for software to help them cope with the increased compliance burden. The facilities’ need for a new compliance management solution intersected with a need on the corporate side for a standardized, consistent and dependable method of data collection across the company - one which would ensure data integrity while decreasing the amount of time spent on corporate reporting. So in 2001, ATOFINA decided to invest in an EMIS in order to streamline its environmental management at both the facility and corporate levels.