As a pioneer in the circular economy, the Prayon Group is constantly striving towards improving the sustainability of its production processes in terms of procurement, intra-group circularity, and the recovery of secondary products from its manufacturing units.
Contribution of this pillar to the Sustainable Development Goals
Our key indicators
- Share of raw material purchases from external by-products;
- The proportion of by-products generated by Prayon that are recovered internally or externally.
As one of the Prayon Group’s special characteristics, it uses a single product to develop dozens of different applications. As a pioneer of the circular economy, we are always aiming to make the most of by-products upstream, within the Group, and downstream of our sites.
- The liquid sulfur used to produce sulfuric acid for our two production units is an oil refinery by-product;
- The Smelter sulfuric acid we use is a chemical company by-product;
- The soda we use is a chlorine producer co-product.
- Fluosilicic acid is reused internally;
- Washing water is recycled to recover the phosphate still present;
- Off-specification products are valorized by being reintroduced into the various processes.
- More than 80% of calcium sulphate (gypsum) is recovered: these phosphate rock by-products have been used since 1974 in the construction sector (plasterboard, cement) by a company close to our Engis site;
- The fluorine present in phosphate ore contributes, in the form of fluoride salts, to the manufacture of toothpaste;
- By-products are valorized in other sectors such as agriculture, for example, by creating innovative solutions capable of improving agricultural yields.
With a view to taking circular practices further and becoming fully involved in these new development opportunities, the ‘Circular Economy Plan’ aims to substantially reduce the environmental impact of the Prayon Group’s activities, while building a circular corporate culture.
This plan reflects our ambition of promoting a clean environment, sustainable development and a positive societal footprint by taking concrete action in favor of the climate while making sustainability a lever for industrial performance. It combines large-scale projects with a strong impact on our operations and results (profitability), as well as smaller projects, which are more limited in scope, but which contribute to the coherence of our approach and the improvement of our sustainability culture. All these projects also contribute to Prayon’s social responsibility.
The plan involves all Prayon Group staff and the organization as a whole, with a particular focus on the industrial sites. In practical terms, the Circular Economy Plan is based on a gradual improvement process spread over several years.
Our achievements in 2022
- More than a quarter of our raw materials originated from by-products of other industries;
- To share our best practices in circular gypsum recovery, Prayon welcomed high-ranking representatives from the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry to Engis as well as an Indonesian delegation from Petrokemia Gresik, an Indonesian fertilizer manufacturer;
- A visit from the Walloon Minister for the Economy and Innovation, Willy Borsus, as part of the “Circular Wallonia” initiative. The visit highlighted Prayon’s role for almost 50 years as a circular economy pioneer. Gypsum, a by-product of Prayon’s industrial process, is used as a raw material by our neighbor, Knauf. An example of industrial symbiosis;
- Implementation of a new procedure for the revalorization of used computer equipment at the Engis site: internal refurbishment and donation to technical and specialized schools in the Liege region. Also, support provided by of one of our technicians for improvement of the network at a school;
- Nomination as a contender for the first “Trends Impact Awards” in the category “Circular Economy” for the project “Circular economy in phosphorus chemistry”.