17 Jan The DyStar Group Statement on Environmental Lawsuit in China
The recent environmental public interest lawsuit involving DyStar Nanjing Colours Co., Ltd (DNCC), a subsidiary of the DyStar Group, has aroused concern from valued stakeholders. We acknowledge and deeply regret any damage that may have been done to the environment and have accepted the fine as well as the sentence that was meted out to the individuals who acted unscrupulously. However, it is important to highlight that the facts of this incident were distorted by certain members of the media. We wish to correct some of the gross misinformation that has spread both online and through newspapers.
In late 2010, two plant employees of DNCC arranged for a chemical trader to collect used sulfuric acid resulting from the synthesis production of vat dyes at the plant. Though the trader was licensed to trade and deal with hazardous chemicals, it later came to light that they did not possess licenses to treat and dispose hazardous waste. The two employees who assisted in the arrangement acted in violation of both government regulations and company rules. By intentionally misrepresenting their activities, the trading company had convinced senior managers at the plant that the used sulfuric acid would be transferred to other companies who were able to safely reuse the substance in their manufacturing processes. Although well-intentioned, the team had admittedly overlooked existing safeguards in DyStar’s procurement procedure to participate in what they were led to believe was a sustainable solution.
We were informed by authorities in May of 2014 that the trader in question had, at some point in time, started transferring used acids to a third party who, in turn, was caught illegally discharging chemicals from multiple companies, including those from DyStar, into the local canal. Our company cooperated fully with local authorities throughout the investigation that ensued. It was revealed to us that the two employees who secured the arrangement had also received bribes from the trading company and were subsequently sentenced to jail.
DyStar management has not once authorized the illegal disposal of waste material in any of the countries where we operate. Under no circumstance does DyStar encourage or condone actions that can compromise the well-being of the environment and the communities who depend on its resources. Without exception, this principle applies to all managers and employees, as well as service providers.
This experience was a valuable learning lesson and highlighted weaknesses in our structure that were unfortunately exploited by rogue individuals inside and outside the company. Since the incident was brought to our attention in 2014, we have instated a new framework of policies and optimized our compliance system to prevent similar incidents from occurring. Across the world, all DyStar manufacturing plants now conduct regular site inspections of waste and wastewater management contractors to determine, to the best of our ability, whether they act in compliance with laws and regulations. Beyond implementing more rigorous supplier audit and approval procedures, however, a new Fraud Policy and Code of Business Conduct now govern the interaction of our staff with suppliers. Internally, we enable employees to bring known incidents of unethical conduct to the attention of senior management without any risk of retribution.
Each year since 2010, we have reported the details of our waste and wastewater management efforts in the annual Sustainability Performance Report. We are transparent about the programs and policies implemented to protect and conserve natural resources. This year, and in keeping with our principle of transparency, we will take part in the Carbon Disclosure Project’s Water Questionnaire. DyStar remains fully committed to the goals of sustainable development and will continue to invest time, energy and resources in the on-going effort to improve practices across our industry.
Global Corporate Communications
DID: +65 6671 2897
The DyStar Group is a leading dyestuff & chemical manufacturer and solution provider, offering customers across the globe a broad portfolio of colorants, specialty chemicals, and services. With a heritage of more than a century in product development and innovation for the textile industry, DyStar also caters to multiple sectors including the paints, coatings, paper and packaging industries. Its expansion into the food & beverages and personal care sectors reinforces the company’s position as a specialty chemical manufacturer. DyStar’s global presence offers customers reliable access to experts from offices, competence centers, agencies and production plants spanning over 50 countries.
DyStar’s key service divisions assist brands & retailers and their industry partners from their first inspiration throughout the entire supply chain to ensure that they meet stringent quality and ecological specifications, reduce costs and shorten lead times. They offer state-of-the-art color communication through CSI; textile and ecology testing through Texanlab; ecology and environmental advice, supply chain auditing and consulting for RSL compliant sustainable processes through Sustainable Textile Solutions group.
The DyStar econfidence® program is designed to provide assurance to textile customers that the dyes and chemicals supplied by DyStar comply with legal requirements. econfidence® also provides expertise so that selected products are compliant with voluntary Restricted Substances Lists (RSLs), including those of brands and retailers. Backed up by the most extensive eco-testing program of any chemical supplier in the industry, econfidence® supports long-term partnerships along the supply chain and fosters a more sustainable textile production.
Fully dedicated to quality management, DyStar is an ISO9001 British Standard Institution (BSI) certified company. Their products for food & beverage undergo additional certifications, such as FPA, GFSI (SQF 2000), Kosher, Passover, and Halal. Each batch of certified food colors is tested and approved by a United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) laboratory.
Visit www.DyStar.com for more information.