OCTAL Petrochemicals at the Gulfood Awards
OCTAL Petrochemicals, the largest PET sheet producer and integrated packaging company in the world, was honored with the ‘Best Environmental Sustainability Initiative’ Award at the prestigious Gulfood Awards 2012 in Dubai. The Gulfood Awards, now in their third edition, have firmly established themselves as the region’s leading and most sought after accolade in the food and beverage industry. Judged by an international panel of independent industry experts, the awards attracted more than 120 entries from 30 countries in 20 different categories.
The ‘Best Environmental Sustainability Initiative Award’ recognized OCTAL’s technical leadership and steadfast commitment to reducing its environmental impact and carbon footprint. The company’s state-of-the-art complex in the Salalah Free Zone was purposely designed and built to yield superior quality products that offer waste and cost reduction benefits, increased productivity for thermoformers and unmatched environmental advantages. To date, OCTAL has invested more than US$ 600 million in environmental sustainability for the deployment of ground-breaking technology and proprietary production methods to produce PET resin and PET sheet with the lowest carbon footprint in the world.
“Innovation is at the heart of our sustainability agenda and we have invested heavily to ensure that our operations leave a positive legacy for future generations,” said OCTAL’s Chairman Sheikh Saad Suhail Bahwan. “OCTAL is a US$ 1 billion packaging company and is focused on meeting the needs of the increasingly demanding food processing industry in the Middle East and beyond. We have always considered environmental performance integral to our business. This award provides us added impetus to continue our quest to establish OCTAL as the recognized leader in responsible stewardship of natural resources, inspired by a culture of metrics, transparency and accountability.”
“The company has successfully eliminated five energy-intensive stages of the conventional sheet production process thereby reducing energy consumption by 67%. Our specially adapted burners consume up to 20% less gas which is considerable considering that our entire energy requirement is derived from clean combustion of natural gas,” Bahwan added. As a result, OCTAL’s PET sheet, DPET, boasts 25% lower carbon footprint than conventional APET as confirmed by Renewable Choice Energy and Intertek Expert Services. The reduction per ton is equivalent to driving 4,135km in an average passenger vehicle.
In a recent study of the annual energy consumption using OCTAL technology, Intertek verified that OCTAL consumes 63.3% less grid electricity and 22.7% less heat energy for the production of PET resin when compared to conventional bottle grade resin. A total of 51,088,591.26 Kg of CO2 was reduced from OCTAL’s entire 2010 production which translates to flying a full plane of 320 passengers around the world approximately 39 times.
OCTAL’s facility in the Salalah Free Zone contributes to greener operations with its perimeter greenbelt, solar-powered lights and high-efficiency lighting system. Impact on local water resources is minimized since 100% of the water used on site is derived from urban waste water. 80% of the process water is then recovered and recycled in the manufacturing system or used to irrigate the green belt.
OCTAL is one of the founding members of the renowned Sustainability Consortium at the University of Arkansas, USA. The independent organization of diverse global participants aims to advance science to drive a new generation of innovative products and supply networks that address environmental, social, and economic imperatives. As an active member of the Consortium’s Packaging Group whose participants include international heavy-weight conglomerates like Walmart, P&G and Unilever, OCTAL aims to develop tools for measuring carbon impact in packaging of food and other consumer products.