< Company Core Values
As a company committed to sustainable modern agriculture, American Vanguard has a fundamental responsibility to minimize our environmental footprint and preserve our natural resources. Our U.S. manufacturing and formulating plants are subject to numerous federal, state, and local laws and regulations, some of which require registration, permitting, and reporting. Our environmental managers work with our Technology and Production Teams to build continuously improving programs adapted to these different regulatory agencies. They regularly conduct environmental training for employees and inspect all facility operations to ensure appropriate control measures are in place that effectively minimize risk and hazards.
We strive to improve the efficiency of all our operations and monitor and manage our performance using key indicators. While some data is estimated, such as water use at our Axis, AL facility, we strive to conserve and carefully manage our resources, whether directly measured, or not.
For the purposes of comparing year-on-year performance, we have provided actual and normalized data for certain indicators that are directly affected by manufacturing output, such as energy consumption and waste generation. For this report, data is normalized to revenue; we may utilize a more direct production-related normalization factor in future reports.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
AMVAC’s greenhouse gas inventory includes Scope 1 direct sources, such as combustion emissions, and Scope 2 indirect sources, such as purchased electricity and natural gas. The Climate Registry Default Emission Factors, May 2018 were utilized for fuels, while U.S. EPA’s eGRID2016 data summary tables were utilized for electricity-related emission rates.
Our electricity usage and GHG emissions will show similar trends because the great majority of our GHG emissions are attributed to purchased electricity.
Energy for our manufacturing and formulating operations is mainly supplied by electricity and natural gas. Electricity is supplied to our facilities from the local grid. While actual electricity consumption increased from 2016 to 2017, along with an increase in production, normalized electricity use declined.
Natural gas consumption also increased from 2016 to 2017, primarily from an increase in production at the Axis facility. However, actual natural consumption increased by about 19%, while the normalized increase was less than 5%. This section does not include our Hannibal, MO operations, which operate under a manufacturing and shared services agreement. We intend to include environmental performance data for the Hannibal facility in future years.
Water is supplied to our Los Angeles facility from a public water source and is used for production, sanitary purposes and human consumption. The Los Angeles plant also captures rainwater which is largely used for production purposes.
A combination of well water and public water are supplied to the Axis, AL facility by the adjacent facility, via a shared services agreement. The water usage data, unchanged from 2016 to 2017, is estimated and is based on the amount specified in this shared service agreement. Terms of the agreement are negotiated on a periodic basis.
The Marsing, ID facility obtains potable and production water from an on-site well. The great majority of water pumped from the on-site well is used for irrigation of surrounding alfalfa fields and is not included in the consumption values, below. In our 2011 Report on Sustainability, irrigation water consumption was estimated at approximately 55 million gallons per year, and has been more closely managed since that time. We continue our efforts to better conserve irrigation water and provide a better consumption estimate in the future.
While each manufacturing plant strives to conserve and recycle water and to minimize the generation of wastewater, all locations discharge certain types of wastewater.
The Marsing plant does not discharge any process wastewater and discharges only sanitary wastewater to the local sewer district.
The Los Angeles plant captures and uses as much rainfall as possible with the remaining amount pre-treated and discharged to the local sanitation district in compliance with a permit. However, in rainy years, such as the winter of 2016, a larger-than-typical amount of captured rainwater required pre-treatment and discharge. The Axis plant also captures rainwater in production containment dikes, which is contained, sampled, and analyzed. Wastewater is pumped to a neighboring company for treatment and discharge under the terms of a shared services agreement and in compliance with state permits. While certain process wastewater can also be treated under the shared services agreement, most process wastewater is accounted for in the sections on hazardous and non-hazardous waste, further below.
Non-hazardous wastes generated from our operations include certain process wastewater, spent vapor and liquid phase activated carbon, universal waste (such as used oil and fluorescent light bulbs), and ordinary trash. The decrease of non-hazardous waste from 2016 to 2017 was due to improved waste stream segregation that resulted in less waste overall.
Our internal Technology Team works closely with our Manufacturing and Environmental Teams to minimize the amount of waste generated at each plant. We continue to invest significant resources to fine-tune our manufacturing processes, improve waste segregation, and improve our formulation and packaging lines.
Our manufacturing processes generate a variety of waste regulated as hazardous, including off-specification products, personal protective equipment containing hazardous residues, hazardous by-products and spent solvents. Hazardous wastes are shipped off-site and treated at permitted, regulated treatment facilities or recovered for fuel blending.
The varying mix of products manufactured at the Axis facility can play a large role in the amount of hazardous waste generated. The increase in hazardous waste in 2017 was mostly due to a three to four times increase in the production of two products, both of which are associated with higher rates of hazardous waste generation. The Axis facility has implemented many successful waste minimization projects and will continue to strive to decrease the amount of hazardous waste generated from all production activities.
A Success Story: Collaborating to Improve Efficiencies and Reduce Waste
Since 2013, AMVAC Manufacturing, Environmental and Technology Teams collaborated to reduce the risk, cost, and environmental impact posed by the off-site transportation, treatment, and disposal of hazardous and non-hazardous waste.
The most notable achievements were made at the Axis, Alabama plant. Through a combination of manufacturing process improvements, treatability assessments and more effective segregation, several projects amounted to a substantial reduction in hazardous and non-hazardous waste generation and off-site management. Due to varying rates of waste generated per product and greatly varying production from year to year, waste savings are discussed on a basis of pound of waste per pound of product (lb. waste/lb. product)
- Tokuthion – from 2013 – 2016, tokuthion waste managed off-site decreased by 30%. Although the waste generation rate increased 23% in 2017, compared to 2016, it is still below the 2013 level.
- Nemacur® production greatly increased in 2017. One factor contributing to AMVAC’s ability to increase production by such a large amount was the 90% decrease in waste generation, compared to 2015/2016, when Nemacur production began.
DDVP Process Improvements
- Tribufos – from 2013 – 2017, tribufos waste managed off-site decreased by over 70%
- DDVP production has typically generated a small amount of waste and off-specification product. Process improvements have greatly improved the yield and quality of DDVP and, since 2016, have nearly eliminated all waste from this process.