DSM Integrated Annual Report 2020

Other emissions to air















VOC efficiency improvement versus 20151


continuous improvement





VOC (x 1,000 tons)








All data presented in Planet are subject to the non-financial reporting policy.


The 2019 VOC efficiency improvement has been restated due to a correction in the calculations for one location


The increase in emissions in 2020 is due to the inclusion of acquired sites, which do not contribute to efficiency improvement calculations in the year of addition

Our reporting on ‘Other emissions to air’ focuses on volatile organic compounds (VOCs), as these are the most significant emissions in this area. We continue to report our nitrous oxide (NOx) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions in the Sustainability statements and via the company website. However, these emissions are not material due to improvement actions executed in the past.

We continue to work on our VOC emissions

Our objective is to continuously reduce our VOC emissions, resulting in a more than 50% efficiency improvement by 2021 — an increase on our previous aspiration of 40% for the three emissions by 2020. In 2020, our VOC efficiency remained stable versus 2019. Smaller improvements were offset by negative production effects, while the majority of the larger abatement projects have been executed in previous years. Our absolute VOC emissions increased due to the inclusion of acquired sites in the reporting scope. As this is the first year of reporting for these sites, they do not contribute to the VOC efficiency improvement.

In Yantai (Shandong Province, China), ethanol emissions were reduced by more than 50% compared to 2019 due to the implementation of several process improvements, improving staff awareness and monitoring. This improvement does not contribute to the year-on-year VOC efficiency improvement result because it is only the first year of reporting for Yantai, but it does contribute to the overall company VOC level in 2020.

Nitrogen oxides. These gases are released mainly during combustion and cause acidification.
Sulfur dioxide. This gas is formed during the combustion of fossil fuels and causes acidification.
Volatile organic compounds. The term covers a wide range of chemical compounds, such as organic solvents, some of which can be harmful.