West Bromwich manufacturer features in programme about achieving net zero

Screenshot of a YouTube video showing a female newsreader wearing a red jacket standing in front of some screensPrevious #MadeInSandwell star Robinson Brothers has featured in a programme made by the Chemical Industries Association (CIA) in partnership with ITN Productions highlighting the initiatives that UK chemical manufacturers are taking to achieve their net zero goals. 

The chemical industry is committed to delivering more sustainable solutions for a cleaner, greener future. Not only are chemicals essential components to energy-saving products but cutting emissions and transforming chemical production could have a huge impact globally. 

Anchored by an ITN Productions presenter, ‘The Chemical Industry – Our Route to Net Zero’ explores what the chemical solutions of the future look like and highlights examples of best practice, innovative solutions and technologies meeting green regulations and significantly contributing to societal advancements based on world-class chemistry.

The short news-style film includes a look at how Robinson Brothers is challenging the perceptions around chemical companies and the environment with its environmental and sustainaibility efforts to reduce emissions and waste.

West Bromwich-based Robinson Brothers is a leading UK chemical manufacturer of fine chemicals and rubber accelerators. It supplies the pharmaceutical, medical devices, veterinary, agrochemical and speciality chemical industries, as well as many others.

In 2019 Robinson Brothers celebrated its 150th anniversary and it continues to play an important role at the heart of the Sandwell community, employing many specialists across the manufacturing industry and engaging with local schools and universities to offer work placements and apprenticeships.

The company is committed to achieving net zero goals in chemical manufacturing and energy efficiency has remained a core objective for many years. It understands the importance of tackling climate change by reducing global warming to preserve the world for future generations and has implemented initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint. 

It has identified that achieving net zero requires multi-disciplinary action and a culture of continuous improvement so process improvement groups regularly review manufacturing processes to identify effective methods of manufacturing and opportunities for solvent recycling and/ or reduction.

Some of the initiatives it uses in its mission to achieve its net zero goals include reusing most of its packaging – such as pallets and drums – to add to the company’s carbon footprint reduction. 

Also, the company’s bespoke thermal oxidizer consumes waste solvents to generate steam used in manufacturing processes, which reduces the volume of gas consumed and in turn reduces the carbon footprint. 

Managing Director Adrian Hanrahan said: “It is vital for us to preserve this world for the generations ahead. We have spent several years monitoring and assessing our operations to make improvements in efficiencies and energy reduction. Simple changes like reducing, replacing or entirely removing solvents from our processes would have a positive nudge towards our net zero goals.” 

In an interview about the recent programme, Chief Executive of CIA Steve Elliott said: “The chemical sector and innovations in chemistry are at the heart of providing real solutions to combat climate change, so we are pleased to again have the opportunity to showcase some of the important initiatives our industry is undertaking. 

“Now, more than ever is the time to be focusing on net zero because society increasingly and rightly expects it and we as a sector want to meet that expectation, to deliver a more sustainable future for everyone”.

While there is no simple route to achieving net zero and Robinson Brothers faces challenges in balancing energy efficiency versus technical operations and the financial investment required, the company is committed to the challenge. 

It believes that support from the Government would enable manufacturers, such as itself, to make the transition to low-carbon economies and that more funding streams are needed to support the cost and infrastructure of moving towards green manufacturing techniques and cleaner energy. 

Visit our Going Greener page to find out what your Sandwell business can do to achieve sustainability and protect the environment. We have gathered resources to help businesses in the borough play their part in conserving energy, reducing carbon use and carbon dioxide emissions, and helping to prevent human-made climate change.