Methacrylate Monomers: Sustainability



At Lucite International we are committed to the sustainable development of our business, which means that environmental, economic, social and cultural considerations are at the heart of our strategic planning process. They are also the defining factors in how we operate globally.

Turning this commitment into practice has led to us developing a set of action-oriented promises that are helping to drive progress. As a Company, we will:

  • Implement practices that promote economic security, social betterment and environmental stewardship and will strive for continuous improvement in these areas.
  • Operate ethically across all global regions, treating employees, stakeholders, customers and suppliers with integrity and fairness to ensure we continue to be a sustainable business that enhances the world we live in.
  • Place paramount importance on ensuring the short, medium and long-term safety, health and welfare of everyone we impact upon.
  • Make our performance transparent to our people and wider stakeholder groups by ensuring adequate measurement processes are in place and that data is shared via the Company’s website.
  • Understand the impact of our global operations, establish processes that are internationally recognised and encourage external auditing of our systems.
  • Work with our supply chain partners to identify opportunities and then develop and promote sustainability-led solution.
  • Align the existing resources of our Company towards meeting these objectives while ensuring that we attract and retain talented people who have both the knowledge and expertise in sustainability that can be applied to all our various disciplines.


The European LCA for Methyl Methacrylate (MMA) manufactured via the ACH route is now available. LCA is one way of providing a means of building a picture of what happens throughout the life of a product, from obtaining the raw materials to create it, right through to when the product is either recycled or disposed of. Publication of the MMA LCA is a big step forward in providing an accurate view of MMA’s environmental impact.

As a part of a CEFIC Methacrylates industry group sponsored study, the three key MMA producers in Europe each carried out independent studies to produce LCAs using ISO14044 methodology, which were externally verified. PlasticsEurope took the three studies provided by the CEFIC industry group and used them to produce a combined European LCA report for MMA.

Why is this important?

The EU is working towards all materials having an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD). The EPD will sit alongside the Reach Safety Data Sheet (SDS) and Technical Data Sheet (TSD), providing a comprehensive picture of the Safety Health and Environmental (SHE) characteristics of the material product. For anyone carrying out their own LCA for products they manufacture, the new MMA LCA, produced to the most up to date standard, can be used as a reliable building block. From the new MMA LCA report the environmental impact most commonly considered at present is the Global Warming Potential (GWP), which is also referred to as the ‘carbon footprint’. The EPD for European MMA reports that the Global Warming Potential (GWP) is 3.47 kg CO2 per kg of MMA.


CEFIC Eco-profile MMA 2014-03.pdf

CEFIC EPD MMA 2014-03.pdf



Cassel site is Lucite International’s largest European methacrylate production facility. The issue of sustainability has always been of the highest priority and today sits at the core of our business planning and operations.


Our aim is to establish and maintain best-in-class ACH/MMA manufacturing facilities, management systems and performance, while continuously reducing our impact on the environment and use of non-renewable resources. Since the original targets were published, every member of the team has been working diligently in the spirit of our KAITEKI philosophy to achieve progress against those goals.

Eight key target improvement areas



1/ Environmental Emissions
Target: 70% Reduction in discharges to water of Cyanide, Ammoniacal Nitrogen and Total Organic Carbon by end 2020 against a 2010 baseline
Result: By taking action to reduce emissions at source a reduction of 59% Cyanide, 14% Ammoniacal Nitrogen and 27% Total Organic Carbon has been achieved. A review is currently in progress to assess further options to reduce at source as well as final treatment options to achieve the 70% reduction target.

2/ Climate change/energy
Target: Obtain ISO50001 certification prior to the ESOS Regulations deadline of 5/12/15
Result: Cassel site obtained ISO50001 certification following a successful stage 2 assessment by LRQA in January 2015.

3/ Water management
Target: 20% reduction in total site water usage by end 2020 against a 2010 baseline
Result: Water usage has reduced by 26% since 2010 already exceeding the 20% reduction target. Reductions have been made by using less water for washing down equipment, not leaving hoses running, cooling one of the effluent streams by improving heat transfer, which in turn requires less water for cooling purposes.

4/ Community relations
Target: Zero justified complaints received from members of the public
Result: There have been no justified complaints from members of the public in the last three years. Any enquiries made by regulators or members of the public are investigated immediately and a response is made the same day.

5/ Biodiversity
Target: Create new habitat on site from the MCIS Plant excavation material in line with the Cassel site Regional and National Biodiversity Action Plans
Result: The project to create a wildflower meadow using the substrate from the MCIS plant excavation is complete and the area has already become a valuable resource for a range of wildlife including insects, butterflies, birds and mammals. The meadow is flourishing with plants and flowers, which support a large colony of the Dingy Skipper butterfly – a species of conservation importance that tend fare best on brown-field sites. We’re proud to report that INCA recommended that this habitat creation project be included as a case study in the forthcoming Tees Valley Nature Partnership prospectus.

6/ Travel and transport
Target: Create a travel plan to provide employees with information on the various options for travel to/from work
Result: A travel plan has now been issued. It includes information on public transport options with bus and rail routes and timetables and information on parking and facilities for cyclists. Employees are encouraged to car share where possible.

7/ Waste Management
Target : Re-use and recycle waste where possible and zero waste to landfill by 2020
Result : In 2010 50% of our waste was landfilled compared to 18% in 2015. The amount of non-hazardous waste recycled in 2015 was 82% up from 68% in 2010.

8/ Air Emissions
Target: Reduce environmental emissions by 20%
Result : Carbon monoxide emissions have reduced by 27% since 2010. Work continues to reduce emissions of sulphur dioxide and VOC’s.

Continuous improvement / ISO registration
In order to deliver continuous improvement in the eight key sustainability areas, we are committed to developing, reviewing and updating management systems and processes that are efficient, easily understood, fit for purpose and integrate with each other as much as possible.

Cassel has been certified to ISO14001 Environmental Management System since 2000. In January 2015 the site achieved the new Energy Management System ISO 50001, which was issued in July 2011. Obtaining certification to the standard is just the first step and we look forward to sharing updates on future developments with you as we work towards making Cassel as energy efficient as we can.


2050 Vision

We know that the sustainable development journey requires a long-term commitment to learning and a targeted approach to operational evolution.

Lucite International is, and always has been committed to building a sustainable business for the long-term and we have been routinely addressing the challenge of improving our social, environmental and economic impact for many years. On a continuing basis, this takes the form of constant attention to reducing the quantity, value and impact of what we consume in order to create solutions for customers.

The emphasis is now changing to highlight the search for more fundamental solutions to longer-term, challenging goals. For example, in respect of carbon emissions, energy consumption and the need for completely different sources of renewable and carbon neutral raw materials. All of these represent opportunities to significantly improve our overall sustainability and we are actively working in a number of areas to achieve our goal of becoming the world’s lowest environmental impact producer of MMA.


2020 Commitments

Environment: Our initial objectives are to:

  • Reduce energy and water consumption by 20%
  • Reduce our CO2 emissions by 20%
  • Reduce waste through wider and more efficient re-usage and recycling.

Economic: The changes we are making will deliver bottom line value as well as having the wider benefits that sustainable developments deliver. Examples of where these will come from are;

  • Reducing our reliance on costly fossil fuels and other increasingly scarce resources
  • Increasing our re-usage and recycling capabilities
  • Partnering with others to achieve progress across our sustainability agenda.

Social: We will continue to be a good neighbour and focus on the positive impact we can make to our local communities and for future generations by:

  • Being a strong local employer that embraces diversity and offers opportunities to people at all stages of their career – school leavers to experienced people
  • Continuing to foster close relations with local people where communications are frequent, open and transparent
  • Addressing concerns from our external stakeholders in a swift, open, honest and professional manner
  • Continuing with our charitable works that benefit those in need
  • Working with our supply chain to define collaboration opportunities where we can make a bigger difference together.

Cultural: As an international business we have a long and rich heritage of working across all geographic and cultural boundaries. As part of our sustainability agenda, we will maintain focus on the cultural impacts of our business by:

  • Continuing to learn about, and be sensitive to current affairs that might impact our relations with customers and suppliers wherever they are based
  • Continuing to embrace learning and promote best practices that arise from working across boundaries
  • Looking at way in which we can continue to evolve our own corporate culture so that we are equipped to address the challenges of our time and in the future.


Growing sustainable markets

Lucite International has a long heritage of supplying high quality, acrylic-based products that are used in a wide variety of domestic and industrial applications. As the markets for these applications grow and new ones emerge, we will both respond to demand and lead with new, sustainable, solutions-based ideas. Our network of global manufacturing sites means that we are well placed to meet these demands locally using efficient transportation methods that have the lowest possible environmental impact.

Looking forward, the provision of sustainable solutions will play a bigger part of meeting the needs and aspirations of customers and we will work with customers and our industry partners to achieve responsible growth.



Growing sustainable relationships

We know that one of the keys to achieving a sustainable business is our ability to build and then harness the potential of having great relationships with all of our stakeholders. This means listening hard, leading the debate and collaborating selectively so that we grow in a sustainable way together.

Applying life cycle thinking means that we are working with suppliers and customers to understand and define improvements that can reduce environmental impacts through all stages of the cycle. And each organisation has a part to play. Our current focus is to:

  • Work with customers to define and identify improvements in overall product life cycles and consider end of product life strategies
  • Define optimum transportation strategies with logistics providers to minimise Green House Gas impacts
  • Work with industry partners to provide accurate product information
  • Work with governments and regulators to provide timely information and support the development of effective legislation.


Reducing environmental impact

Our 2020 environmental objectives are to:

  • Minimise our reliance on fossil fuels for energy and raw materials
  • Minimise our use of water by 20%
  • Re-use, recycle and achieve zero waste to landfill
  • Reduce our environmental emissions by 20%.

Today Lucite International either meets or exceeds current environmental requirements at all of its operating sites. We will continue to develop our capabilities to minimise our environmental impact by taking a life cycle view of what can be achieved at every stage. Fossil fuels provide both raw materials and energy to our manufacturing operations. We will continually aim to maximise our material conversion efficiencies and reduce energy use, which, in turn, will reduce the amount of CO2 and other greenhouse gases emitted by our production facilities. Our operations generate only low levels of solid waste, most of which is packaging materials and we are on track to meet our objective of having zero landfill waste by 2020.