Sustainable development

In what respect is sustainable development of particular concern to Feralco?

Feralco is a young Swedish industrial group. It was established in 2000, and specialises in water treatment products, especially inorganic coagulants. Since its inception, the group has grown mainly through acquisitions, and is now No. 2 in its sector in Europe with 13 production sites in 8 countries. Thus, Feralco participates in drinking water supply for more than 100 million people in Europe.
Serving the water market naturally requires a strong environmental consciousness from us. Access to safe water for all is undoubtedly one of the challenges of the twenty-first century, but it is also a sine qua non of economic and societal development. In Europe we have trouble to realise how the implementation of effective water treatment in the mid-nineteenth century contributed to the industrial revolution. After 150 years of intensive use of resources the water cycle remains at the heart of concerns, but now in terms of the harmonious development of man and environment: sustainable development.
To Feralco offering simple, cheap and environmentally-friendly ways is at the heart of our business.

Can chemistry and sustainable development go together?

Feralco produces inorganic coagulants based on iron and aluminium, hence its name: Feralco = FER (iron) & ALuminium COagulants.
Inorganic coagulants have been used since antiquity to purify water. The Chinese indeed mastered the use of these products 2,500 years ago! (Although in a form far less developed than today of course ...)
The principle of these inorganic products is, oversimplified, this: the base is an ore of aluminium or iron, which is »activated« and placed in solution on our production sites. This activation can be likened to the formation of »mini-magnets«, which, when added in very small doses of water, capture/magnetise all unwanted substances (suspended matter, colloids etcetera). This action allows on one side to separate purified water and on the other flocs containing our products, now inactivated, and everything that we do not want to end up in tap water.
It is therefore natural substances that come from the earth, which are activated, used, and return to Earth.
Today, at the heart of the debate on sustainable development, it is important to see this cycle because it helps to understand, at least in this case, that chemistry can rhyme with sustainable development.

Moreover, beyond the reality of the application of mineral coagulants in everyday life, Feralco strives to minimise its ecological footprint, with sites of last-generation »zero emissions« and ongoing commitment to reduce CO2 emissions related to transport of our raw materials as well as finished products. These elements and commitments are grouped in our Charter for Sustainable Development.
Feralco has also initiated a dialogue with stakeholders of business (employees, suppliers, customers etcetera) to enhance its level of social responsibility, best guarantee of industrial continuity – as well as financial.

Ludovic Huitorel, CEO Feralco Europe