The role of sustainability in times of crisis

The role of sustainability in times of crisis

Currently, companies have to deal with a variety of global challenges. The Covid pandemic is not yet over and the war in Ukraine is leading to an energy crisis. Securing the supply chain requires enhanced crisis management. The noticeable cost pressure is another stress factor. Topics such as sustainability are therefore being pushed into the background.

Sustainability in focus

A common approach to dealing with crises is to do what is urgent before what is important. Many companies have therefore changed their focus. This also leads to little external pressure to launch sustainability activities. So far, there are hardly any cases where companies have lost orders due to a lack of sustainability efforts. Although this approach is understandable, sustainability and the reduction of CO2 emissions remained the themes of the decade. Lack of transparency, standards and key figures in sustainability activities also hampers the progress. Regardless, the primary driver of sustainability efforts lies with the management.

Outlook

However, it should be noted that more and more companies are compiling sustainability reports, although not all are legally obliged to do so. The number of companies audited according to sustainability standards is also growing and public communication around sustainability is becoming increasingly popular. We recommend not to lose sight of this important issue. By revising the internal crisis management, new capacities can be created.

Sulfuric Acid struggle in Europe

Sulfuric Acid struggle in Europe

Sulfuric acid is one of the most important basic chemicals. It can be produced by burning sulfur or as a by-product of smelters. The United States in particular produces this product most often. As the world’s largest chemical producer, sulfuric acid makes up a large proportion.

Causes of the deficiency

The local price of sulfuric acid is a significant indicator of the general state of a country’s economy. In recent months, the price of the product has increased in Europe. This is mainly due to boosts in the price of elemental sulfur due to supply shortages. This supply shortage arose during the economic downturn at the beginning of the pandemic. Sulfur is produced as a by-product of petroleum refining. As fuel demand had declined at the beginning of the pandemic, refineries stopped production and processed less crude oil. Consistent demand led to a shortage of supply that continues to this day. Demand for acid continued to expand. In addition, sulfuric acid is used in lead-acid storage batteries in solar parks, a rapidly-growing energy source. Another challenge is that sulfuric acid plants are very maintenance-intensive. Transport and logistics costs continue to rise.

Recommended actions

Supply shortages may occur in the future. Sulfuric acid is an essential chemical used in a variety of products. We recommended to analyze your portfolio and building up stocks of safety warehouses.

The castle in Kempen

The castle in Kempen

Our office is located on the Lower Rhine in the picturesque town of Kempen. It is known for its historical sights. In addition to the historical center, a castle is a landmark of the city and is within walking distance of the office.

History of the castle

The ‘Kurkölnische Landesburg‘ delights with its appeal. Originally built in 1396-1400, it was restored in neo-Gothic style after a great fire in 1856. First constructed at the request of the Archbishop of Cologne, the building holds a long history. Whether it was occupied by French revolutionary groups in 1794 or used as a school building from 1863-1925 – the ravages of time have not taken away the castle’s impressive beauty.

The castle today

At the present, the property is used as a district and city archive and is also an adult education center. From the inside, the castle is unfortunately not open to the general public, but culturally interested tourists can request a visit at the Town Hall. Also, the former castle courtyard is now a public park. Perfect for a relaxing stroll.

Digitization in the chemical industry

Digitization in the chemical industry

Digital media have experienced significant growth in recent years and are now irreplaceable in everyday life. Companies also benefit from digitization, for example through increased productivity and competitiveness. Therefore, it has become irreplaceable for entrepreneurs to think about their digital future and invest in it.

Opportunities

Digitization is a dominant issue for the chemical industry in particular. The range of possibilities is wide. It varies from digital solutions for production, maintenance and plant planning/construction to cyber security, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain to big data, machine learning, smart analytics and 5G. Here, it is necessary to differentiate whether digital solutions are to be used for business processes or production. While many companies have already implemented numerous options for their business processes, according to experts estimates, production still offers a lot of potential for expansion among the industry’s big players.

Digitization at Petrex

We have already taken numerous measures to make our business processes more efficient. For example, we invested in a cloud-based ERP system with a multimodal approach. We will continue to examine possible new steps.

Our Human Capital Management

Our Human Capital Management

Our employees are our assets! For this reason, we have evaluated human capital management to guarantee a high level of job satisfaction and a good work-life balance.

The role of the employees in our HCM

We are convinced that we are only as good as our employees are. Our working conditions include flexible working hours, home office (especially in times of the Covid pandemic), and thoughtful health management. We support our employees in a variety of ways – not only with free coffee. We offer regular training courses to keep their know-how up to date and implement various training to promote their physical and mental health. Also, we are family-friendly.

Green chemistry

Green chemistry

Measures around the topic of sustainability are trending. This is justified because environmental protection has become more important than ever before. The current situation leads to more foresight and a more critical reflection of the supply chain.

What is green chemistry?

The so-called green chemistry tries to actively live the idea of sustainability by trying to take appropriate measures in production. For example, pollution is reduced, energy is saved and waste is recycled. The 12 basic principles of green chemistry were developed by the Environmental Protection Agency. They read as follows:

  1. Prevention of waste
  2. Maximize Atom Economy
  3. Less Hazardous Chemical Syntheses
  4. Designing Safer Chemicals
  5. Safer Solvents and Auxiliaries
  6. Increase Energy Efficiency
  7. Use of Renewable Feedstocks
  8. Reduce Derivatives
  9. Use catalysts
  10. Design for Degradation
  11. Real-time analysis for Pollution Prevention
  12. Minimize the potential for accidents

Outlook

We are pleased to note that production conditions have enhanced at many companies. But continually improving its sustainability is a dynamic process in which we are happy to support our business partners. We also continue to work actively on the optimization of our existing concepts.

Young Masters soccer tournament

Young Masters soccer tournament

The Young Masters soccer tournament will take place again this year. It’s the biggest event for children’s soccer in the region and a must for all soccer fans. Numerous children of different ages are looking forward to competing against each other. 3 Days of fun and over 2.000 visitors are waiting!

About Young masters

Soccer connects generations, strengthens the sense of community and also promotes fitness and motor function. Children can make their way into this team sport and playfully improve their skills. The little athletes enjoy their time and love the concept “1:0 for children”.

Support by Petrex GmbH

We are pleased to be a partner of the long-established football club FC St. Hubert. Petrex GmbH is proudly supporting the PETREX Junior Cup 2022 financially and taking part in the trophy ceremony. We are looking forward to joining this event on 12.6.22.

Chemspec 2022

Chemspec 2022

The choice of the right suppliers and the exchange of knowledge within international industry networks are more important than ever. The upcoming trade fair Chemspec offers the ideal opportunity for this. It will take place from May 31st to June 1st in Frankfurt, Germany.

About

Chemspec is the leading international trade fair for fine and specialty chemicals. With a highly specialized exhibition profile and participants from all over the world, the event is key for all industry specialists. Some of the world’s largest suppliers and manufacturers show in-depth and comprehensive information on the latest trends and products in the industry.

Meet us

The upcoming exposition is also a must occasion for us. Team Petrex is looking forward to strengthening its partnership with suppliers and customers as well as creating new business opportunities through this event. We would be happy to meet you. Please ask your contact person to arrange an appointment.

Arbor Day

Arbor Day

April 25 is a day to remember the significant role of trees and nature. Today, traditionally arbors are planted for raising awareness of the environment. The tree is also a sign of hope.

History

As early as 1872, the American journalist Julius Sterling Morton said, “Other holidays serve as a remembrance, Arbor Day points to the future. ” He submitted the Arbor Day Resolution to the government of Nebraska to show the importance of forests as resources. Inspired by this demand, the annual festival developed in the following years.

Our conviction

Environmental protection also plays a major role for Petrex GmbH. That’s why we used the day as an opportunity to plant 440 trees via GrowMyTree. As a result, approximately, 9.680kg of CO2 can be neutralized per year. This amount corresponds to the average annual output of a German citizen. We are pleased to be able to contribute to the reforestation of the world.

Overview UK REACH

Overview UK REACH

The UK left Europe in January 2021, but even today there are still some uncertainties. In terms of legislation, only Northern Ireland continues to have EU customs and chemicals legislation. With the introduction of REACH UK, the European model was replicated in the UK with the changes needed to make it operable in a domestic context. Both REACH regulations operate independently of each other, so both should comply.

New measures for UK REACH

Every business must identify and manage the risk presented by their substances by considering their role in the supply chain. All chemicals traded in the UK must be registered over one tonne per year. Companies based in the UK can register by the Health and Safety Agency. Non-GB companies can appoint a UK-based only representative. An IT-Reach system has also been introduced.

Uk REACH and Petrex GmbH

We are currently working on adaptions to ensure legally compliant sales. Also, we recommend checking your status at REACH UK.