Sustainable Solutions Unlocking the potential of minerals
Imerys is the world’s leading supplier of mineral-based specialty solutions. Our mineral expertise and innovative mindset enable us to extract and transform minerals responsibly and in a sustainable way over the long-term.
Our ambition is simple: we want to unlock the sustainable potential of minerals.
We are on a journey to achieve this ambition, with clear measurable objectives, through what we call SustainAgility™. Through SustainAgility™, we can be a positive force for change.
As part of this approach, we want to ensure our product portfolio is as sustainable as possible so as to limit environmental impacts across the value chain. We therefore use our technological expertise to create new products that help meet the challenges of global megatrends such as climate change and resource scarcity.
Under the banner SustainAgility™ Solutions, we have defined a scientific approach to developing and managing our product portfolio from an environmental and societal point of view.
Standardized Life-Cycle-Assessment methodology
Based on a standardized Life-Cycle Assessment methodology including cradle-to-grave reviews, the SustainAgility™ Solutions method provides us with a better understanding of the environmental footprint of our products at all stages of their life cycles as well as a strong framework for providing customers with reliable and specific data.
The assessment scores our products and services on two factors:
• Sustainable value creation – the balance between the economic value created and the environmental damage involved in mining and manufacturing our products.
• Market alignment – the level of sustainability-related benefits or challenges (interdisciplinary assessment based on an evaluation of public communication and feedback from key stakeholders).
Our recently introduced Pioneer certificate denotes a product that provides the highest social and environmental contribution to the downstream value chain, whilst demonstrating a low environmental impact in its production phase compared to its economic value.
Meet some of our Pioneer products that contribute to our own customers' sustainable development agendas:
- Automotive plastics
- Kiln Furniture
- Recycled plastics
HIGH ASPECT RATIO HAR® FOR AUTOMOTIVE PLASTICS
Imerys high aspect ratio HARⓇ talc is designed for use in thermoplastic polymer compounding.
- Increases flexural modulus by about +20% compared to conventional fine micronized talcs
- Improves heat distortion temperature
- Guarantees dimensional stability
Using high aspect ratio HAR® talcs in automotive parts allows manufacturers to make thinner, lighter auto parts contributing to making cars lighter without compromising performance, improving fuel economy hence decreasing CO2 emissions.
JETFINE® FOR ENHANCED PERFORMANCE IN BIOPLASTICS
JetFine® is an engineered ultrafine mineral solution which considerably improves biopolymer performance making compounds fit-for-use to substitute conventional thermoplastics.
JetFine® ultrafine talc improves:
- Stiffness and impact resistance
- Temperature resistance
- Processing parameters
- Crystallization speed
Using JetFine® in biopolymers transforms compounds into suitable and cost-competitive substitutes for fossil-sourced, non-biodegradable thermoplastics.
IMERCARE® P-SCRUB FOR PLASTIC-FREE SCRUB COSMETICS
100% natural perlite ImerCare® P-Scrub grades are ideal, eco-friendly alternatives to plastic beads used in scrub applications, meeting current trends for plastic-free cosmetic solutions.
Developed using patented engineered technology, ImerCare® P-Scrub combines the hardness of volcanic rock with the softness of spherical particles to provide a gentle, physical exfoliation effect in face and body scrubs.
A full life-cycle-analysis of ImerCare® P-scrub shows that the range contributes to reducing the footprint of the final formulated product compared to polyethylene based formulation:
- No plastics discharged into water sewage systems when rinsing
- Reduced impact on climate change due to lower environmental profile from manufacturing:
- 80% less non renewable energy
- 60% less impact on climate change
SHRINKSAN® ECOFRIENDLY KILN FURNITURE
Sanitaryware producers traditionally use single-use tiles or ‘plates’ during the firing process to avoid deformation and defects in ceramic toilets. Once used, these shrinking plates are disposed of generating tons of waste each year.
ShrinkSan® is a patented kiln furniture system capable of effectively managing piece contraction during firing while remaining reusable and therefore sustainable.
ShrinkSan® kiln furniture can be used more than 800 times, allowing sanitaryware producers to significantly reduce the amount of waste they generate (about 3 tons of waste for 1,000 pieces produced).
BARRIKOTE™ WATER-BASED SOLUTIONS FOR RECYCLABLE PACKAGING
Imerys Barrikote™ is a unique family of fully formulated water-based barrier solutions for paper and board which provide excellent barrier performance against grease, liquid, water vapor and oxygen while limiting the use of polymers.
Barrikote™ offers an alternative to single-use plastic in food and drink packaging where it:
- Reduces the requirement for a special polymer to give full barrier properties for comparable performance to polyethylene (PE)
- Provides better recyclability: 50–60% less rejects compared to PE-lined board
- Facilitates recyclability in existing paper recycling infrastructures
IMERLINK™ - A MINERAL COMPATIBILIZER FOR RECYCLED PLASTICS
ImerLink™ is an innovative, engineered mineral solution designed specifically to compatibilize recycled blends of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).
Key technical benefits
- Creates effective links between the components of the PE/PP blend through a reactive process
- Improves mechanical properties of recycled PE/PP blends creating an optimum stiffness/toughness ratio
- Improves aesthetical properties
- Broadens the scope of recycled blends to include higher value applications
Key sustainability benefits
- Enables downstream value chain actors to increase use of recycled plastics, meaning less plastic goes to landfill
- Reduced sorting means less energy consumption and fewer CO2 emissions to recycle PE and PP
- Aligned with European Commission Plan for a more Circular Economy
- Enables remanufacturing and high-quality plastics recycling, including post-consumer / industrial waste.