Investor Overview / Sustainability / Our Environmental Commitment

Our Environmental Commitment

Environmental Standards - ISO 14001

Hexcel’s EHS management system is a set of policies, processes and expectations used to ensure we systematically meet compliance commitments and continuous improvement goals. By creating a corporate management system, Hexcel pro-actively seeks and acts to improve EHS performance, operating systems, safety conditions and workforce cultures, and reduce wastes and costs without compromising performance or service. The pursuit and implementation of this robust system demonstrates a commitment by Hexcel’s senior leadership, while reassuring our customers and stakeholders that a committed partner and reliable system is in place to sustain their supply chain, while being a model corporate citizen.

Hexcel began its pursuit of ISO EHS certification in 2013 and by the end of 2018, most of our sites attained ISO 14001 certification. By 2020, we expect to have all operating sites certified and integrated into the Hexcel Corporate ISO 14001 certificate.

We also monitor the environmental commitment of our supply chain. 25 of our top suppliers, representing approximately 80% of our annual raw material purchasing spend, reported ISO 14001 certification for all or most of their sites when surveyed.

Renewable Energy Procurement

Consistent with the favorable environmental impact of our composite lightweighting products, we seek to minimize the environmental impact of our operations, including the use of renewable power for generating approximately 25% of our global power consumption needs.

Solar Power

We manufacture honeycomb core in Casa Grande, Arizona, U.S. in a 443,000 square foot facility. As part of our initiatives to optimize energy usage and sourcing, a cross-functional team researched renewable power options for this facility. This initiative led to the signing of a power purchase agreement (PPA) for more than 1.1 megawatts of solar power from the local electric utility. This PPA led to a reduction in energy costs overall for the facility. This is just one of many examples of renewable power adoption globally as we continue to evaluate cost-effective solutions to further increase our utilization of renewable power.

Energy Conservation Savings

Utilizing a cross-functional team, Hexcel reduced energy consumption approximately 15% globally from 2015 to 2018. During this three year period, new facilities were added in France and Morocco and existing facilities were expanded to support the sales increase of approximately 18% during the same time period. These energy savings were achieved by reducing energy consumption, leveraging our scale to reduce the price we pay for power, and sharing energy management best practices across Hexcel. Examples of projects undertaken include:

  • Installation of heat recovery exchangers to recover energy from our production processes and reduce consumption of electricity and natural gas
  • Retrofitting existing facilities with low-energy LED lighting and incorporating the latest energy efficiency standards in new facilities
  • Incorporating sensors and other energy management tools to save energy and reinforce our saving-energy culture
  • Modifying our start-up and shut-down processes for individual product lines in a manner that reduces energy consumption
  • Incorporating electric-powered oxidation ovens in our production process at select sites to leverage the usage of renewable power and reduce natural gas utilization


We utilize a series of industrial-scale ovens to carbonize the precursor we produce to generate our carbon fiber and for the manufacture of our honeycomb composites. The Hexcel EHS team gathers real-time emissions data from these ovens using portable emission analyzers that we purchased. We then use this data to fine-tune the burner systems, leading to three benefits including (1) minimizing CO2 emissions; (2) reducing natural gas consumption which saves money; and (3) ensuring compliance with internal and regulatory standards. We have achieved very favorable results at a number of our facilities already and we are continuing this initiative to evaluate all of our facilities by 2020.

Waste & Recycling

We have been recycling our waste for a number of years and we continue to work at increasing the percentage recycled each year.

  • Over 90% of our dry carbon fiber waste is recycled from our European and U.S. operations.
  • 20% of our prepreg carbon fiber waste is recycled or repurposed and our goal is to increase this amount by 20% each year as we work to double this amount.
  • Water reuse and reclamation programs at our Decatur, Alabama, U.S. PAN manufacturing facility led to a 30% reduction in water consumption
  • Nitrogen-rich wastewater from our Salt Lake City carbon fiber facility is reclaimed and used by a neighboring golf course, reducing their need for fertilizers.
  • We made a strategic investment in Carbon Conversions Inc. (CCI), a composite recycling firm that reclaims dry, wet and cured carbon fiber to repurpose. This total lifecycle approach provides an environmentally-friendly recycled product for aerospace and industrial applications with product characteristics and performance that meets our high standards.
  • We purchased re-usable plastic shipping pallets for shipments between some of our facilities.

Plastic pallets

Awards & Recognition

  • Our Burlington, Washington, U.S.A. facility has been recognized in 2019, 2018 and 2017 as a Clean Air Winner by the Washington State Northwest Clean Air Agency. Winners must comply with all applicable air quality regulations for at least three years and employ additional clean air practices in at least two of the following categories: energy efficiency; emissions reductions; air pollution prevention practices; and transportation. This facility won gold awards in 2019 and 2017 and was honored as the sole Platinum Award winner in 2018. Learn more at NW Clean Air Alliance business award winners
  • Our Kent, Washington, U.S.A. facility recycles approximately 80% of its solid waste by volume and as a result, received Leader Level recognition from the multi-state EnviroStars™ Green Business program in 2018 and 2017. Our Kent facility was recognized under the predecessor program each year from 2013-2016 by being named to the Best Workplaces for Waste Prevention and Recycling list compiled by the King County (Washington) Solid Waste Division. Learn more - Greenbiztracker - Hexcel Kent