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  • Press Release

Ascend Performance Materials Receives Responsible Care® Award for Commitment to Emissions Reduction

Jenny Heumann Godes

WASHINGTON (June 3, 2022) – The American Chemistry Council (ACC) recognizes Ascend Performance Materials with its 2022 Responsible Care® Initiative of the Year award, for its transition to cleaner energy at its Decatur, Alabama, manufacturing facility and overall commitment to reducing emissions. 

Ascend’s Decatur site manufactures key raw materials used to make nylon 6,6, a material used in everyday products, including automotive parts, airbags, electronics, textiles and other consumer goods. The process to produce these raw materials requires both steam and electricity.

In December 2021, Ascend replaced Decatur’s legacy coal-fired steam boilers with three new cogeneration units to help reduce the company’s overall environmental footprint. These new units will not only produce steam, but will also generate electricity onsite. Once fully operational, the units are projected to reduce the facility’s permitted emissions of pollutants including nitrous oxide, sulfur oxide, carbon monoxide and VOCs, by 80 percent, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent. This reduction is the equivalent to removing approximately 60,000 passenger vehicles from the road every year. 

“Our investment in three state-of-the-art cogeneration units helped move our Decatur facility into a new generation of energy sourcing and illustrates our commitment to implementing processes and technologies that will help reduce our environmental impacts,” said Amanda Castro, vice president of capital engineering at Ascend. 

When operating at capacity, the new cogeneration units produce enough steam to power the entire site and offset most of the site’s electricity consumption from the grid, while also adding 11 new jobs. This effort is part of a larger commitment by Ascend to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2030, in support of the UN Global Compact’s Sustainable Development Goals. 

“Responsible Care companies are committed to advancing sustainability while producing the vital products consumers rely on every day. By investing in cleaner energy sources and committing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Ascend clearly demonstrates its commitment to Responsible Care’s ethos of doing more, and doing better,” said Tara Henriksen, ACC’s Managing Director of Responsible Care. “We are proud to recognize Ascend as the 2022 Responsible Care Initiative of the Year award winner.”

The Responsible Care Initiative of the Year winner was selected by ACC members and Responsible Care Partner company representatives, who heard presentations from two company finalists at a special Responsible Care webinar and then voted to select the winning project.

For more information on Responsible Care, visit: www.americanchemistry.com/rc

American Chemistry Council

The American Chemistry Council’s mission is to advocate for the people, policy, and products of chemistry that make the United States the global leader in innovation and manufacturing. To achieve this, we: Champion science-based policy solutions across all levels of government; Drive continuous performance improvement to protect employees and communities through Responsible Care®; Foster the development of sustainability practices throughout ACC member companies; and Communicate authentically with communities about challenges and solutions for a safer, healthier and more sustainable way of life. Our vision is a world made better by chemistry, where people live happier, healthier, and more prosperous lives, safely and sustainably—for generations to come.

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