Caring for our planet

We need radical and sustained action to solve our planet’s complex environmental challenges.

The industrial minerals industry has a visible impact on natural habitats, local ecosystems, water resources and air emissions. Our sector is rightly facing tougher environmental regulations and our customers, investors, local communities and other stakeholders are expecting more of us.

We know that in order to continue to grow over the long term we must strive to be a sustainable company that takes care of the environment and tackles the causes and impacts of climate change. Through SustainAgility™, this begins with transparency about our impact on the environment, proactively anticipating evolving global needs and using our expertise to develop innovative solutions to help drive change. 

These challenges create exciting opportunities for all of us. We aim to be a leader in environmental responsibility in our sector to help preserve the planet for our communities and future generations, as well as protect our long-term future as a business.

Our efforts to protect the environment have earned us the EcoVadis certification.

Read our Environmental Charter


Stewards of the environment 

Imerys has a vital role to play in driving change and protecting the environment. 

Our proactive, transparent approach to reducing our global environmental impact involves robust environmental management, optimizing our use of natural resources and preserving and restoring biodiversity.

By being a leader in environmental responsibility and exploring sustainable new ways to operate, we can help preserve the planet as well as our long-term future as a business.

The complexity and interconnections between environmental challenges means they cannot be solved in isolation. We are collaborating with external stakeholders to pool our technical expertise and knowledge, share best practices, develop sustainable solutions and measure results.

Solving these global challenges also requires local action. We all have a role to play within our everyday jobs and local communities to tackle these issues. Our action plans for specific sites take into account local characteristics and we are raising awareness and rolling out training programs locally to support our environmental stewardship initiatives.

Robust environmental management systems

Knowing and complying with all applicable local environmental regulations is the starting point for reducing our impact. By assessing our environmental risks, we are able to work constantly to reduce the adverse impact of our operations in a cycle of continuous improvement.

We implement environmental management systems (EMS) at our sites to ensure a robust process to guarantee compliance with local regulations, and to identify, reduce and manage the significant environmental aspects and impacts associated with our activities. Then, we audit our performance against the EMS targets.

We minimize the amount of waste we produce and carefully manage all wastewater discharge.

Natural resource efficiency

The growing demand for the world’s precious mineral and water resources is placing ever-increasing pressure on our natural systems. To help reduce this pressure, the industrial minerals sector has a crucial role to play in developing ways to make better use of these natural resources.

Imerys strives to use the world’s resources as efficiently and responsibly as possible by employing smarter production methods, optimizing the use of mineral deposits, reducing water consumption and exploring ways to create a more sustainable and circular value chain.

Being able to provide our customers with high-performance end products in a responsible and sustainable way is crucial to our long-term success.

Biodiversity and land restoration

The unprecedented decline in global biodiversity calls for urgent action. Vital work is being done to protect precious ecosystems, but the world needs to do more.

Reducing Imerys’ biodiversity footprint and protecting and restoring nature is key to our social license to operate, our reputation and our ability to access vital mineral resources over the long term. Our ultimate goal is no net loss of biodiversity. We have outlined this commitment as a signatory to the act4nature Business Commitments for Biodiversity.

To coordinate our actions, we have put in place a global program to assess and address our biodiversity impacts. This global roadmap outlines clear objectives and solutions, taking into account the diverse nature of our operations, locations and their individual ecologies. Our research on biodiversity conservation methods and our land rehabilitation pilot projects inform our strategy.

But the complexity of the global biodiversity threat means we cannot solve it alone. We have established a scientific partnership with the UMS Patrimoine Naturel (under the supervision of the French National Museum of Natural History, the French Biodiversity Agency and the French National Center for Scientific Research) to advise and support the Group biodiversity program, and we partner locally with leading external experts, universities and organizations. These global and local partnerships allow us to tap into scientific expertise to build our shared technical  knowledge and tools, and ultimately achieve our goals.

Action on climate change

The climate crisis poses an urgent and irreversible systemic threat to our planet, with unimaginable environmental and social consequences. This calls for global action towards a low-carbon economy in line with the internationally accepted limits of global warming, as set out in the Paris Agreement.

Companies have a pivotal role to play in reducing emissions and developing low-carbon solutions, particularly in the industrial minerals sector. Our operations contribute to greenhouse gas emissions through the energy and processes we use. We have a responsibility to play our part and lead our industry’s response, and have expressed this commitment through the French Business Climate Pledge.

Climate change has led to a rapid shift in public opinion and to changing expectations among our customers, investors, regulators and other shareholders. There is a strong appetite for more sustainable solutions, and specialty minerals are a key part of this. 

We must ensure that our products continue to meet the needs of society as the world transitions towards a low-carbon economy. This creates a risk to our long-term future as a business, but also exciting new opportunities for us.

Gilleys solar farm installed on rehabilitated land near our Karslake mining area in Cornwall UK provides renewable electricity to power our nearby kaolin operations.

Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030

Our systematic approach to combating climate change permeates all aspects of our business, from the energy we buy and the processes we use, to the way we manage our supply chain and the products we provide to our customers.

We have a clear climate change roadmap in line with the commitments of the Paris Agreement, with transparent objectives and concrete actions to significantly reduce the carbon emissions of our operations and develop low-carbon products for our customers.

Our long-term climate change strategy covers every aspect of our business: how we are organized, how we run our operations, governance, risk management, targets, financing and measurement. 

We are committed to:

  • reducing our absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG (Greenhouse Gas) emissions by 42% by 2030 (using 2021 as base year), in line with a 1.5°C trajectory.
  • reducing our scope 3 GHG emissions in absolute terms by 25% within the same timeframe. 

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) has officially validated in July 2023.

Raising awareness about our carbon footprint and empowering our people to drive change is key to achieving our ambitions. This means providing the right training and tools to support our people at the local level, sharing best practices and driving innovation.

SustainAgility: Our sustainable solutions

We are equally committed to promoting climate change solutions by assessing the carbon footprint of our product portfolio and working with our customers to help them transition to low-carbon, circular economy solutions.

This involves an ambitious, science-based, systematic program, with clear targets and action plans to improve awareness of our footprint, inform our business decisions and drive innovation and new product development. It means we can respond to our customers’ changing expectations and demonstrate the environmental and social benefits of our products to drive our future growth, for example through engineered minerals for plastics and rubber which make vehicles lighter; recyclable coatings for carton board packaging; and materials used in electric vehicle batteries.