Energy use and efficiency
We use a significant amount of energy to manufacture our products in the form of electricity, steam and fuel. We work to reduce our energy intensity each year, which in turn reduces both our costs and our environmental impact.
We use resources as efficiently as possible, recovering and reusing waste heat in the chemical manufacturing process, and employing best practices in energy management. Where feasible, our manufacturing sites use combined heat and power cogeneration systems, which recover waste heat to produce electricity.
In 2017, we launched a company-wide energy savings management standard that sets out requirements and guidance for every site to measure and reduce energy use. Sites are required to have a five-year energy improvement plan in place. Our network of energy leaders at each site are always looking for new ways to conserve energy. Best practice guidance helps energy leaders identify further improvements they can make to reduce energy costs. Our energy excellence program supports the network through training and site visits to continuously improve energy performance.
The amount of energy we use is closely linked to production levels. In 2017, our production increased by 6.4% compared with 2016, and our global energy use increased by 6.8% over the same period, resulting in a 0.5% increase in the energy intensity of our operations compared with 2016. In 2017, we made energy efficiency improvements at many of our sites worth 4.5 million gigajoules.
We are focused on saving energy and using resources efficiently to reduce our carbon emissions. Our operations are subject to the European Emissions Trading System and we purchase annual emission allowances to meet our obligations.
As with energy use, our carbon emissions are tied closely to production. In 2017, our global CO2 equivalent (CO2e) emissions increased by approximately 5% compared with 2016 due to increased production across our sites. However, our global carbon emission intensity slightly decreased in 2017 compared with 2016.