Environment FAQ


Environmental policy and management

Does Syngenta have an Environmental Management System in place and is it certified?

We have a Health, Safety and Environmental (HSE) management system that covers our global operations. It is tailored to our business, but is comparable with other recognized HSE management systems. We believe it is more comprehensive than current ISO, EMAS and OSHA systems. We go beyond standard industry models with the inclusion of much more demanding risk management and reporting requirements. Where there is a local requirement to do so we have secured ISO certification in order to meet specific customer requirements.

All of our sites are required to undergo an annual review of their HSE management system to ensure its continued effectiveness.

What is Syngenta's commitment to environmental protection?

Our commitment to environmental protection is clearly set out in our Code of Conduct and HSE Policy and Standards. As a leading global company committed to sustainable agriculture, we have a responsibility to protect the environment. Our industry leading commitment to environmental performance plays a key part in developing and protecting our reputation with all our stakeholders.

Our Environmental Codes of Practice establish minimum requirements that must be followed to reduce potential soil, surface water and groundwater contamination. We believe that good environmental management is everyone's responsibility. Our leaders are expected to champion our standards and encourage every employee in every location to take personal responsibility for reducing our environmental impacts.

Read more about our HSE strategy

Read more on our Annual Review (p. 38)

Does Syngenta monitor environmental compliance?

Local environmental laws and regulations, and the way in which they are enforced, vary greatly around the world. We treat all local requirements as the minimum standard and often go much further as part of our consistent approach to compliance across our business.

We maintain Health, Safety and Environmental (HSE) management systems across all our sites to ensure compliance with our own standards and external regulations. Each site measures and monitors its environmental impacts. Unplanned releases from our chemical manufacturing activities are a particular concern and we allocate significant resources to prevent such incidents. We report our environmental compliance in our Annual Review (p. 59).

Syngenta also produces an annual Letter of Assurance, which covers a review of HSE risks, local performance, compliance with legal requirements and Syngenta HSE Policy and Standards, and progress against HSE improvement plans. This method ensures that local managers take personal accountability for the management of risks and all compliance issues.

Compliance and risk management is integrated and reviewed in all functions of Syngenta as part of operational management and governance. Risk and compliance issues are addressed, and escalated, if necessary, to the Syngenta Executive Committee and Board-level Corporate Responsibility Committee (CRC) review twice a year.

Is Syngenta impacted by REACH?

Syngenta's own active substances that meet the requirements of REACH Article 15.1 are considered exempt from REACH regulations. However, we manufacture and import raw materials, intermediates and co-formulants that are covered by REACH.

We monitor REACH and other environmental regulations globally to ensure we comply with requirements. We successfully met the requirements of the first two phases of REACH on target in 2010 and 2013, and have integrated the REACH requirements into our existing operations. We are on-track to meet the final phase deadline in 2018 and we have processes in place to ensure any relevant new raw materials, intermediates or co-formulants attain REACH registration.

A number of our sites have been selected for audit by authorities as part of the REACH program so far and all have achieved successful outcomes.

Operational eco-efficiency performance

How does Syngenta measure its environmental performance?

Robust reporting processes enable us to understand, monitor and report performance over time. We monitor and report annually the following key performance indicators: energy efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions, other air emissions, water use, wastewater, and waste. We report our environmental impact in absolute terms and normalized against sales to measure intensity as our business grows.

Read more about our environmental performance in our Annual Review (p. 37)

Is Syngenta's environmental performance data assured?

An external auditor is appointed annually to assure the Corporate Responsibility data – including environmental data - published in our Annual Report. This is completed in compliance with the International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3000.

PwC has conducted the external assurance of our corporate responsibility reporting since 2004. Find out more about PwC's Independent Assurance Report in our Annual Review (p. 61).

Does Syngenta measure greenhouse gas emissions in its supply chain?

We monitor all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions relating to our operations – even those outside our direct control in our supply chain. We support the World Resources Institute/World Business Council for Sustainable Development protocol to measure emissions generated within our supply chain. We also work with suppliers to share best practice regarding GHG emissions reduction initiatives and improve their data collection systems. Although we do not have complete data on greenhouse gas emissions across our supply chain, we do provide an estimate and have begun work to quantify this. For example, we have been working with our chemical suppliers since 2011 to quantify the indirect carbon emissions associated with production of the chemicals we purchase.

Read more about our environmental performance in our Annual Review (p. 37)

Environmental liabilities

Does Syngenta have any environmental liabilities connected to its productions sites, products, or legacy issues?

A number of the sites we have taken over from legacy companies or acquired through mergers and acquisitions carry environmental liabilities, including issues relating to old production and landfill sites.

We take these legacy issues very seriously. We directly participate in project organizations adopting a risk-based approach to secure, monitor or clean-up these sites. We apply our high standards of environmental management and protection to these sites in the same way we would any other.

Read more in our Financial Report (Notes 2 and 25 to the Group Consolidated Financial Statement)

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