site-specific goals can be set; specific actions can be planned, approved, and implemented; and progress can be measured.
Ciba believes that site-specific goals are more effective in achieving results than are companywide, across-the-board targets that apply to all facilities. With this approach, priorities can be set according to the highest environmental needs or to maximize the environmental return from a given investment level. For instance, it would make little sense for Ciba to establish an internal company goal of an across-the-board 10-percent volatile organic compounds (VOC) emission reduction at all sites, when three manufacturing facilities account for about half of the corporation's worldwide emissions.
Each year, the quality of SEEP data inputs has improved. When sites first started reporting in 1990, the quality of the data was not always reliable, and many of the numbers reported represented estimates rather than measured values; increasingly, the reported values are based on actual measurements.
Although completion of the SEEP report requires a significant amount of time and effort by site personnel, Ciba's experience has been that it quickly gained broad support from facilities. The SEEP information allows site managers to critically review facility environmental performance, set concrete objectives, and monitor progress over time. In addition, the information is helping sites with their local and national external reporting.
When comparing data across the corporation, remember that fluctuations occur in the number of sites reporting. This has varied as more and more small sites submit reports for the first time or as sites are acquired or sold. Hence, data are not strictly comparable from year to year but nevertheless provide a clear and valid picture of trends.
A review of the SEEP information since its inception has shown many positive results and some that are disappointing (Ciba-Geigy, Ltd., 1993):
Between 1990 and 1992, Ciba's overall energy use increased by about 8 percent. The energy requirement was met by purchasing electricity from public utilities and primary fuels such as natural gas, oil, and coal to produce heat. These sources of energy were used directly in the buildings and processes, converted to steam for process heat, or converted to electricity in Ciba's own generators. Increased requirements for pollution control equipment and automation of processes and operations resulted in increased electricity usage of about 9 percent.
Between 1990 and 1992, Ciba's worldwide facilities continuously reduced overall emissions of sulfur dioxide by about 43 percent. These reductions were achieved by using more natural gas, which is sulfur free; by changing from heavy to light oil, which contains less sulfur; and by increasing the incineration of wastes in units with flue-gas cleaning to remove sulfur dioxide.
Between 1990 and 1992, Ciba's worldwide facilities reduced nitrogen