Wilmington, Del., Jan. 26, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ashland is a premier specialty materials company comprised of solvers that re-think chemistry to innovate and answer complex challenges for customers with an increasingly conscious and proactive mindset for sustainability. Since the company moved its headquarters from Covington, Kentucky to Wilmington, Delaware several local sustainability initiatives have been completed to further the company’s sustainability journey. Over the last three years Ashland has been recognized by the American Chemistry Council, the Society of Chemical Manufacturing Association, the European Sustainable Cosmetics Summit and more for safe and sustainable initiatives.
“Ashland is on a journey to expand renewable and sustainable solutions, help improve customers’ products and processes, reduce our environmental impact, preserve the world’s natural resources and enhance the quality of life in the communities where we operate,” said Guillermo Novo, chairman and chief executive officer, Ashland.
Consistent with the company’s Responsible Care policy, Ashland actively endorses the concept of conservation of biodiversity by operating worldwide in a manner that minimizes effects on natural habitats and biological resources. The company combines conservation and corporate sustainability goals with environmental remediation efforts.
Since 2014, several former Ashland remediation sites have achieved certification through the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC), a non-profit, non-lobbying international organization dedicated to increasing the quality and amount of wildlife habitat on corporate, private and public lands. This includes the Ashland Research Center in Wilmington.
Ashland’s employees, known as “solvers,” have worked with Wildlife at Work (WAW), a Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) program and the site has achieved a WHC Silver Conservation Certification. Together, a wildlife habitat has been restored around a closed landfill (2.3 acres), including nesting sites for birds. Solvers assist in annual monitoring to continue to maintain the habitat and promote nesting. In 2020, Ashland expanded the WAW program.
Also, in 2020 Ashland and the Delaware Nature Society designed a natural flora and fauna garden for the Wilmington campus which included the installation of a native plant meadow. The project began last spring and is expected to be completed by the end of the calendar year. The plan includes the creation of a trail that allows visitors and employees to walk through and enjoy the native meadow. The meadow will provide a habitat for wildlife, including butterflies, bees and other pollinator species. A long-term management plan has been developed for the area that includes invasive plant control, habitat improvement and more.
A first for Ashland, and one of the largest solar carports in the state of Delaware, Ashland worked with Constellation Energy, a subsidiary of Exelon, and built approximately 904 kilowatts (“kW”) of solar energy generation at the Wilmington location.
“Solar energy is clean energy,” said Nicole Voss, director, sustainability and environment, Ashland. “This exciting initiative will help us reach our 2025 Sustainability goals.”
Along with the electrons from the project going to power Ashland’s campus, the onsite solar project also delivers renewable energy certificates (“RECs”) to Ashland, which can be retained and retired to help offset the company’s Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions. With more of Ashland’s energy requirements coming from a carbon-free source like onsite solar, the company can begin to transition operations away from fossil fuels and promote a more sustainable energy future. Overall, the project will generate enough electricity annually to power the equivalent of approximately 160 typical households.
To date, solar energy carport structures have been installed for both visitor and employee parking lots on the Wilmington campus, creating a very visible public commitment to sustainability for Ashland. Working with Edison Energy as their project advisor and technical consultant, Ashland and Constellation broke ground on the project in January 2020. The solar carport was officially completed in October 2020 and is already delivering clean energy to the campus.
“We applaud the leadership and commitment Ashland has demonstrated towards creating a more sustainable future,” said Oded J. Rhone, CEO of Edison Energy. “Setting ambitions goals across sourcing, operations, and product solutions represent a major milestone for a company with such complex operations. Edison Energy is honored to work with a leading organization that is focused on mitigating its climate-related business footprint with a focused renewable energy and sustainability strategy.”
As Ashland progresses along the corporate sustainability journey and advances towards its 2025 goals, the company has already begun several additional efforts to reduce carbon emissions and pursue more renewable energy for their global facilities.