Materials maker Nova Chemicals is moving closer to meeting its sustainability goals.
Calgary, Alberta-based Nova, one of North America's largest polyethylene resin makers, unveiled its 2019 Sustainability Report on June 17.
"We believe businesses like ours can be a positive catalyst for change," President and CEO Todd Karran said in a news release. "As global citizens, we are working to be part of the solution to specific challenges: plastics circular economy, plastics in the ocean and climate change.
"We continue to advocate for science-based dialogue and policy decisions that encourage responsible use, collection, recycling and recovery of plastic to make the elimination of plastic waste a reality," he added.
Nova's 2019 Sustainability Report highlights four areas of the company's long-term strategy: the circular economy, citizenship, climate and sustainable operations. For a plastics circular economy, officials said that Nova is designing plastic resins and products to expand a market for recycled plastics, advance recyclable packaging designs and help customers choose more sustainable options.
In 2019, the company announced the development of seven new ready-to-recycle PE resins that officials said will help customers meet sustainability targets and drive demand for recycled content. These new resins can be reused in applications such as stretch films, stand-up pouches, multipack collation shrink and heavy-duty sacks.
Along with industry associations, Nova is committed to making 100 percent of plastics packaging recyclable or recoverable by 2030, and 100 percent of plastics packaging reused, recycled or recovered by 2040.
Globally, Karran said, plastic "is and will continue to be a valuable material that makes our lives healthier, easier and safer," but that the material "doesn't belong in the environment."
"We have a responsibility to address this challenge and, with others, we are taking action," he said.
Nova is a founding member of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste and a strategic partner for Project STOP. In addition, Nova was the first Canadian firm to pledge to support Operation Clean Sweep Blue and strengthened its commitment to zero pellet loss.
Nova also is involved in the communities where it operates. In 2019, employees volunteered nearly 6,000 hours and made a combined contribution with the company to United Way totalling nearly $1.5 million. Other significant corporate investments in 2019 included sponsoring the 2019 Canada Winter Games and Red Deer College in Alberta and investing in the Nova Chemicals Health & Research Centre at Lambton College in Ontario.
In waste disposal, Nova in 2019 diverted more than 50 million pounds of waste from landfills. That amount represented 58 percent of company-wide waste. Programs included recycling of concrete and waste polymer and energy recovery for waste streams with a high energy value. Almost 9 million pounds of PE scrap also was recycled and used to make new plastic products.
Nova employs almost 3,000 worldwide and has annual sales of $3.6 billion.