At Methanex, we are charting our course to sustainability by making strategic investments in people, communities, and energy innovation.

Welcome to our 2016 Responsible Care and Sustainability Report.

Message from the CEO

Message from the CEO

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2016 was a year of record production and sales for Methanex, with ten plants in operation in six regions around the globe. The dedication and agility of our teams enabled us to navigate a difficult industry environment, respond to market conditions, and ultimately strengthen our leadership position in the industry, as evidenced by our sales.

Our priority is always the safety and well-being of our employees, contractors, and the communities where we do business.

We strive to keep people safe from harm, both in and outside the workplace. Over the year we saw a substantial improvement in our safety metrics across our operations. This is the result of enhancements we made to our incident-investigation and lessons-learned processes, and a concerted effort to strengthen our safety culture.

Protecting the environment is also central to our Responsible Care program. I am very proud to report that 2016 marked our third consecutive year with zero significant environmental spills. This achievement is the result of our continued focus on spill prevention and on process-safety programs that prevent the loss of containment of substances that can potentially harm people and the environment.

The use of methanol in various energy applications continued to grow in 2016. As a fuel and energy source, methanol is providing solutions to air-quality issues in many regions because of its clean-burning properties. In China, for example, methanol is being used to replace coal in industrial boilers and is helping to improve local air quality. The use of methanol as a vehicle fuel continues to grow as governmental policies are supporting wider commercialization of methanol blends.

Methanol is also being used as a clean-burning fuel for ships. In 2016 we took delivery and welcomed seven new methanol-fueled ships into our Waterfront Shipping fleet. The innovative vessels have been running successfully and achieved accolades from the marine industry for their use of clean-burning methanol as an alternative marine fuel.

As demand and new markets for methanol grow, we remain committed to the safe use and transport of methanol. I am proud of the outstanding results we achieved in in 2016 for the safe rail transport of our product in North America, evidence of our team’s strong commitment to product stewardship. Around the globe, we reached thousands of people last year with methanol safety education seminars, presentations, courses, and meetings. It is imperative that we continue to engage our supply-chain partners, customers, methanol users, and communities to support the safe use and handling of methanol.

Year after year, the commitment of our employees to investing and volunteering in the communities where we live and work is an inspiration to me. I commend the team for the many hours they gave to make a positive impact in their home communities.

As we go forward in 2017, we will continue to collaborate with our stakeholders and focus on Responsible Care and sustainability initiatives in a growing methanol market.

John Floren
President and Chief Executive Officer

About this Report

About this Report

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Welcome to our 2016 Responsible Care® and Sustainability Report.

This report covers the period from January 1 to December 31, 2016, and focuses on Methanex’s performance and impact in five key areas: Sustainable Energy Uses of Methanol, Environment, Workplace, Community, and Product Stewardship.

We report on our activities and achievements as part of our commitment to Responsible Care and sustainability, our accountability to the public, and our pursuit of continual improvement.

This report includes descriptions of how we manage our material aspects and, for some aspects, our quantitative measures, or key performance indicators (KPIs).

These KPIs help us drive progress and measure conformance to our policies in Responsible Care, product stewardship, and human resources/talent management. They also reveal trends and help us identify issues that require further action.

Our reporting scope includes assets over which Methanex has direct or part ownership and full operational control. In the case of our wholly owned subsidiary Waterfront Shipping Ltd., our reporting boundary includes time- or spot-chartered vessels to the extent that Waterfront has commercial control through charter party contracts.

A printable summary version of this report is available here. Please visit our website for past reports and to learn more about Methanex, our safety policies, and our product methanol.

Scroll down to find out about our initiatives and accomplishments from last year.

Responsible Care and Sustainability at Methanex

Responsible Care and Sustainability at Methanex

At Methanex, Responsible Care and sustainability mean that we adhere to the highest principles of health, safety, environmental stewardship, and social responsibility. We are committed to having a positive impact on the communities and environments in which we live and work, and to acting responsibly in everything we do.

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Our Approach to Responsible Care and Sustainability

Our Approach to Responsible Care and Sustainability

To guide and implement our Responsible Care and sustainability practices, we employ a structured approach that starts with clear organizational accountability.

Our corporate governance policies ensure that business decisions and practices live up to the highest standards of accountability, ethical behaviour, and Responsible Care.

Our Responsible Care and Social Responsibility policies and practices are established by our Executive Leadership Team and endorsed by our Board of Directors. The Board’s Responsible Care Committee oversees safety and environmental programs, while the Public Policy Committee focuses on our Social Responsibility Program.

Through these two committees, the Board monitors ethics, accountability, governance, business relationships, operations, stewardship, community involvement, and safety of people and the environment.

These Responsible Care policies and practices are then embedded throughout the entire organization, from the Board of Directors all the way to individual employees. The most senior position in Responsible Care, the Vice President of Responsible Care, reports directly to the CEO, whose performance goals and incentives are linked to Responsible Care key performance indicators (KPIs). The KPIs reflect all the main elements of our Responsible Care programs and are stretch targets to drive continual improvement. These targets cascade to the CEO's direct reports and, as a result, throughout the organization.

Responsible Care Program

Responsible Care Program

Our Responsible Care Program is founded on the Responsible Care Ethic and Principles for Sustainability, a sustainability initiative recognized by the United Nations and adopted by the global chemical industry. It is based on the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada’s (CIAC) Responsible Care® ethic, principles for sustainability, and codes of practice, and follows a “Plan, Do, Check, Act” cycle to enable continual improvement.

The Responsible Care Ethic & Principles for Sustainability

The Responsible Care Ethic & Principles for Sustainability

Our commitment to Responsible Care and sustainability compels us to:

  • Work for the improvement of people’s lives and the environment, while striving to do no harm
  • Be accountable and responsive to the public, especially our local communities, who have the right to understand the risks and benefits of what we do
  • Take preventative action to protect health and the environment
  • Innovate for safer products and processes that conserve resources and provide enhanced value
  • Engage with our business partners to ensure the stewardship and security of our products, services, and raw materials throughout their life cycles
  • Understand and meet expectations for social responsibility
  • Work with all stakeholders for public policy and standards that enhance sustainability, and act to advance legal requirements and to meet or exceed their letter and spirit
  • Promote awareness of Responsible Care, and inspire others to commit to these principles

Global Responsible Care Management System

Global Responsible Care Management System

Our Global Responsible Care Management System (GRCMS) helps us implement our Responsible Care Ethic and Principles for Sustainability and our integrated health, safety, security, environment, and quality (HSSEQ) policy.

The HSSEQ policy ensures that we meet or surpass regulatory requirements and apply a forward-thinking approach in making improvements and implementing best practice.

The GRCMS is a rigorous, integrated management system that covers all aspects of our program both globally and locally: health, safety, environment, security, process safety, reliability, emergency preparedness, crisis management, social responsibility, sustainability, and product stewardship.

To ensure compliance with the GRCMS, we have a global risk-based Responsible Care internal audit program that reviews upper-level management practices. This program also helps us assess performance, manage risk, verify conformance with laws and internal requirements, and drive continual improvement. We communicate regularly to the Board about the overall health of our Responsible Care systems.

We use third-party assessments to provide external benchmarking and maintain the integrity of our processes. Verification, which occurs on a three-year cycle, is primarily conducted through the CIAC or, in Trinidad and Louisiana, the American Chemistry Council RC 14001.

Stakeholder Engagement

Stakeholder Engagement

Our Responsible Care policies ensure that we recognize and respond to community concerns about our operations and products. We also promptly provide information concerning any potential health or environmental hazard to the appropriate authorities, employees, and stakeholders.

We have established community advisory panels (CAPs) at our manufacturing locations to promote communication between Methanex and our fenceline communities. Composed of a cross-section of independent community representatives, these CAPs provide a valuable forum for open and honest communications.

Material Aspects

Material Aspects

Material aspects refer to topics that are of significant interest to our stakeholders or that have economic, environmental, or social impacts on Methanex, our stakeholders, or society at large. We identify our top material aspects through an internal assessment of topics that are important to our key stakeholders and that influence Methanex’s success in the longer term.

These material aspects were identified as a priority based on a management review and are emphasized within this report:

Sustainable Energy Uses of Methanol

  • Methanol as a marine fuel
  • Methanol as a vehicle fuel
  • Methanol as a power source
  • Renewable methanol

Environment

  • Emissions from manufacturing
  • Emissions from marine shipping
  • Water management
  • Waste management
  • Spill prevention and response

Workplace

  • Health and safety
  • Talent management

Community

  • Community impact
  • Community investment

Product Stewardship

  • Safe distribution and handling
  • Methanol user safety
Sustainable Energy Uses of Methanol

Sustainable Energy Uses of Methanol

We support the development of new, innovative methanol applications. As the global demand for energy continues to grow, so does the demand for methanol as an alternative source of energy and fuel.

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Sustainable Energy Uses of Methanol Highlights

Methanol as a Marine Fuel

Methanol as a Marine Fuel

In 2016, we took delivery of seven new methanol-fueled ships—the first of their kind in the world.

This groundbreaking achievement was the result of Waterfront Shipping’s collaboration with partners Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd., Westfal-Larsen Management, and Marinvest/Skagerack Invest. These 50,000 dead-weight-tonne vessels are each built with the world's first MAN ME-LGI two-stroke dual-fuel engines.

Operating these engines on methanol significantly improves emissions. These engines can also continue to run on fuel oil, marine diesel oil, or gas oil. The delivery of these ships demonstrates our commitment to innovation in meeting regulatory requirements and in building awareness of sustainable energy applications of methanol.

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Methanol as a Vehicle Fuel

Methanol as a Vehicle Fuel

We continue to lead initiatives around the world to promote methanol as a clean-burning vehicle fuel.

In 2016, we engaged in broad education and stakeholder outreach to help communicate the environmental advantages of methanol in energy applications and to promote the message of Responsible Care, both as an incentive for methanol fuel applications and as a message of safety for its proper handling and use.

For instance, we worked closely with China’s Ministry of Industrial and Information Technology (MIIT) to promote high-level methanol blending. This is the first time MIIT has ever partnered with a foreign company in this capacity.

As part of that work, we co-led seminars that promoted a methanol-fuel pilot program and shared Responsible Care messages on sustainability and safety. These seminars included 500 participants from all sectors of the methanol value chain and built valuable relationships for further partnerships in this region. Government officials provided positive feedback, stating that these seminars have laid a solid foundation for the safe expansion of methanol fuel application in China. In fact, MIIT is planning to expand the methanol vehicle-fuel pilot program to several new provinces.

We are also exploring demonstration projects in Egypt and Chile to further promote the environmental and economic advantages of methanol in fuel blending.

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Methanol as a Power Source

Methanol as a Power Source

We supported the development of technical and safety standards to support the growth of methanol-fueled industrial boilers in China.

For environmental reasons, there has been growing demand in the use of methanol as a fuel for industrial boilers in China, which traditionally burn coal.

In 2016, we established a methanol industrial-boiler demonstration project with key partners in the region, including Jinjingda Environmental Thermotechnical Co., Ltd., Beijing Sinder-Vet Technology Co., Ltd., and the China Association of Alcohol and Ether Clean Fuel and Automobiles (CAAEFA).

The demonstration boiler will be tested in 2017 with the aim of supporting the development of relevant technical and safety standards.

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Renewable Methanol

Renewable Methanol

As a key shareholder and partner with Carbon Recycling International (CRI) in their work with renewable methanol, we supported their continued development of health, safety, and environmental practices.

As interest in renewable methanol projects grows, we believe it is important that robust management systems and practices are in place for safe production, handling, and use of methanol in new markets. This becomes even more crucial as CRI expands its technology with other renewable methanol projects, including those in China and Europe. Some examples:

  • Geely, a large vehicle manufacturer in China, announced a strategic investment in CRI last year, and launched a 12-month pilot program in Iceland with seven 100% methanol flex-fuel vehicles powered by Vulcanol, CRI’s renewable methanol product.
  • In Europe, a four-year project involving 11 companies from six countries will utilize surplus gases from steel production to produce methanol, planned for use as a fuel on the Stena Germanica ferry.
  • In collaboration with industrial partners in Europe, CRI is implementing its emissions-to-liquids (ETL) technology in an innovative renewable-fuel pilot plant, which will recycle captured CO₂ from the emissions of a coal-fired power plant.
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Environment

Environment

We take a multi-pronged approach to minimize our environmental impact. We make efficient use of natural resources, such as natural gas, energy, and water. We also minimize the production of waste and emissions, and have a comprehensive spill-prevention program.

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Environment Highlights

Emissions from Global Manufacturing

CO₂ Emissions from Methanol Production

Emissions from Global Manufacturing

Our CO2 emissions intensity from methanol production decreased by 6% compared to 2015.

Methanex generated 4,118,285 tonnes of CO2 emissions (on an equity basis) from methanol production in 2016. Our total global production of methanol increased 35% from 2015, while CO2 emissions increased by only 27%. The intensity of CO2 emissions improved by 6%, from 0.625 tonnes of CO2 per tonne of methanol in 2015 to 0.587 tonnes CO2 per tonne of methanol in 2016.

These improvements were mainly due to our new, energy-efficient Geismar 2 plant.

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Emissions from Marine Shipping

Waterfront Shipping CO₂ Emissions

Emissions from Marine Shipping

We reduced CO2 emissions intensity from our marine shipping fleet by 5%.

In 2016, the volume of cargo (i.e., methanol and backhaul cargos) transported by Waterfront Shipping increased significantly (42%), but CO2 emissions increased by only 31% (from 428,914 tonnes in 2015 to 563,830 tonnes in 2016). Overall, we saw a 5% improvement in CO2 emissions intensity (from 77.6 to 73.6 kg CO2/tonne of cargo carried).

There are several reasons for the improvement. First, Waterfront Shipping replaced some older, less efficient vessels with newer ones that have larger cargo capacities, which in turn achieves greater transport efficiency. We also took delivery of seven new dual-fuel vessels, all of which have greater energy efficiency features and are the first of their kind to run on clean-burning methanol.

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Water Management

Water Management

We decreased the amount of water used for methanol production by 18% to achieve a ratio of 2.38 m³ water per tonne of methanol.

Four of our sites use water originating from freshwater sources for methanol production. In 2016, these sites consumed 12,624,989 m³ of fresh water (which excludes ~25% returned to the source as treated wastewater) to produce 5,310,399 tonnes of methanol.

The ratio of water consumed per tonne of produced methanol fell from 2.92 m3 in 2015 to 2.38 m3 in 2016. This improved efficiency of our water use is largely due to our new Geismar 2 plant, which consumes less water per tonne of methanol produced.

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Waste Management

Waste Generated / Recycled

Waste Management

We recycled or reclaimed approximately 45% of waste generated by plant operations.

From year to year, the amount of waste generated at Methanex is highly dependent on plant turnarounds and projects. In 2016, our Trinidad site had a turnaround, accounting for approximately 33% of our total recycled waste. The majority of recycled material was nonhazardous spent catalysts, steel from machinery, piping, and wood.

Other nonhazardous waste disposed to landfill includes materials such as insulation, spent filtering resins, asphalt, and sludge, which are disposed in accordance with local regulations.

Over the last few years, we’ve been steadily decreasing the volume of hazardous waste we generate, while recycling as much hazardous waste as possible. In 2016, 3% of our total waste was hazardous, of which half was recycled. On average, more than 95% of our waste is nonhazardous.

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Spill Prevention and Response

Environmental Spills

Spill Prevention and Response

For the third consecutive year, we had zero significant spills.

We were able to achieve our goal of zero spills due to our continued focus on prevention and lessons learned. Through our process-safety management initiatives, we’ve increased our monitoring of systems that can impact safety and the environment.

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Workplace

Workplace

The safety and well-being of our employees, contractors, and the communities in which we do business is our number-one priority. Our talent-management programs are designed to ensure that staff have the knowledge and tools to be successful, and opportunities to maximize their potential.

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Workplace Highlights

Preventing Injuries

Global Recordable Injury Frequency Rate (RIFR)

Global Recordable Injury Severity Rate (RISR)

Preventing Injuries

We lowered the severity of injuries by 48% from 2015.

The lowered severity rate (see RISR chart, below left) is largely due to improvements we made to our job planning practices, and greater focus on managing hazards related to high-risk activities such as confined-space entry, working at height, and electrical work.

However, we did see an increase in injury frequency rates with contractors (see RIFR chart, left), so we made improvements to our contractor-management and job-supervision processes.

Improving Incident Investigations

Improving Incident Investigations

We improved our incident investigations, near-miss reporting, and lessons-learned programs.

In 2016, we introduced action verification and regular quality checks to our incident-management process. With greater rigour applied to corrective actions and their follow-through, we can now more effectively learn from root causes and prevent future incidents.

Near-miss reporting continued to improve in 2016: we had 956 near-miss reports, nearly double our 2015 reports. Corrective actions from near-miss reporting are a priority and are acted on promptly. Near-miss reporting helps to prevent incidents by identifying and correcting unsafe practices and hazards before an incident occurs. Its critical value lies in the completion of corrective actions generated by the reports.

In 2016, we also introduced guidelines for sharing and taking action on lessons learned from incidents. Each site is required to review lessons-learned reports from other sites, determine applicability to their site, and implement actions to prevent similar incidents. The increased rigour of the sharing process brought a marked improvement in the quality of these reports and in completion of preventative actions across all our manufacturing sites.

Improving Process Safety

Improving Process Safety

We developed six new process-safety initiatives, focusing on preventing significant incidents related to our product and processes.

Our Process Safety Management (PSM) program is focused on safely containing hazardous materials within the plant systems. In 2016, we improved risk management and global standardization within our PSM programs.

This work included:

  1. A Process Hazard Analysis standard that defines requirements for risk studies
  2. Process-safety key performance indicators, now tracked through global reporting systems
  3. A standard for critical-process safe operating limits
  4. A standard for safety critical equipment, to guide implementation in 2017–2018
  5. Globally published acceptance criteria for process-safety risks
  6. Agreement on global requirements for process-safety management systems at each site

By understanding and recognizing process-safety risks, we can manage them appropriately and maintain the integrity of our assets and systems.

Promoting Health

Promoting Health

We continued to focus on global health promotion and management initiatives.

In 2016, we established a Health and Fitness to Work Network. This global forum helps Methanex health professionals share information, questions, and experiences to enrich their roles in leading health promotion across the organization.

Mood buttons worn to encourage conversations about wellness during Mental Health Week in Vancouver

Health-promotion initiatives in 2016 included a screening program for bladder and bowel cancers in New Zealand, a hydration-awareness campaign in Geismar, a weight-loss challenge in Trinidad, and a mental-health awareness week in Vancouver.

Engaging our Employees

Engaging our Employees

Our 2016 Employee Engagement and Culture survey had an outstanding response rate of 93% and gave us valuable feedback about our core values and business processes.

The response rate from our 2016 survey is a great indication of how invested our team members are in their workplaces. In addition, their top rankings—in the areas of Responsible Care, strategy, and organizational culture—tell us they are aligned with our core values.

Employees told us that we “walk the talk” when it comes to caring for the health and safety of our people and environment. They have a genuine feeling of belonging to a caring family and feel confident in knowing how their individual work roles tie in with our strategic objectives.

While we celebrate these responses as significant achievements, we also look hard at the survey areas where we have room to improve. This is why, in the coming year, we will focus on learning and development opportunities and the effectiveness of our business processes and systems, to address employee concerns in these areas.

Employees’ own words about Methanex, captured from responses to the survey question, “If I could choose one thing we’re doing really well in this organization, it would be....”

Building our Responsible Care culture

Building our Responsible Care culture

We have trained nearly 1,000 employees and contractors in Switch On to Responsible Care, as well as three more internal workshop facilitators.

Our Switch On to Responsible Care program reminds people of their own personal reasons for working safely. In 2016, we continued advancing and embedding this message in Switch On workshops for employees and contractors at our manufacturing sites.

A team building exercise with ropes during the Switch On to Responsible Care workshop in Medicine Hat

We now have seven employees who are accredited as internal facilitators for the program. This enables us to continue introducing the message to new employees and taking the message deeper into our organization and culture.

Meeting business and employee needs with global mobility

Meeting business and employee needs with global mobility

In 2016, nearly 40 employees had the opportunity to work outside of their home countries.

Through our Global Mobility Program, we can seamlessly deploy global resources for the mutual benefit of Methanex and our employees. Through the program, employees can take international assignments, which promote knowledge and cultural exchange within Methanex and promote employee growth.

In the last year, 20 employees undertook international assignments. In addition, our Trinidad Atlas plant turnaround provided 19 employees with the opportunity to undertake extended business trips ranging from two weeks to two months.

Promoting Diversity and Inclusion

Promoting Diversity and Inclusion

In 2016, we continued to give importance to diversity and inclusion in our workplace.

Our Methanex Diversity Policy identifies three key diversity attributes—experiential, demographic, and personal—that enhance and improve our organization. In 2016, through our talent-management programs, we continued to foster diverse teams of people from different backgrounds and regions and with unique skills, experience, and perspectives.

We recognize the need to support women in careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). At our Trinidad manufacturing site, one-half of the process-engineering team is women. Three of the six women on this team started their careers in the Graduate in Training program, one of our talent-management initiatives. Their development included hands-on learning and development opportunities in Trinidad and at other Methanex sites.

Community

Community

We continuously look for ways to create positive and sustainable impacts in our communities. We invest in the communities where we do business, through grants, education, regional development, and volunteerism. Our goal is to build and support healthy communities that are great places to live and work.

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Community Highlights

Community Impact

Community Impact

We held 23 community advisory panel (CAP) meetings around the world, engaging communities about topics that matter most to them—and to us.

Vibration testing demonstration at Methanex New Zealand Family and Friends Open Day

The topics of our CAP meetings vary considerably by region. Here are some highlights from 2016:

In Punta Arenas, Chile, CAP meetings included discussions about plant operations, Responsible Care behaviours, and the site’s pioneering work in fostering the inclusion of people with disabilities in the workplace. CAP members also helped us select charities to receive contributions through our Social Responsibility Program.

The Medicine Hat, Canada CAP developed a community outreach plan to better interact with the broader community and raise awareness of CAP activities. In 2017, we will conduct a Responsible Care presentation to address the CAP’s questions about regional greenhouse gas (GHG) legislation and share information about our GHG management policy and site practices.

In Taranaki, New Zealand, CAP discussions covered plant maintenance issues, plant flaring and noise during unexpected shutdowns, pipeline excavation work, and community fundraising. The local council presented proposed land-use zoning changes that may impact the Methanex site, and we provided updates on new health and safety regulations.

Damietta, Egypt CAP meetings focused on community needs, with CAP members advising on social investments that made a meaningful difference in the community.

Geismar, USA CAP meetings featured discussions on plant activities, traffic considerations, sustainable infrastructure, HAZMAT responses, and chemical awareness.

Trinidad CAP members asked about potential risks associated with our plant operations, expressing concerns about the impact on Gulf of Paria marine life from treated water from the Point Lisas Estate, where Methanex and 20 other plants are located. To address their concerns, we supplied information about our water and sediment-testing programs, as well as water-testing work conducted by the local environmental authority.

We conducted regular joint emergency response exercises with local emergency responders and agencies.

In Santiago, Chile, we held our 8th Annual Fire Safety training camp and methanol safety seminar at the Chilean Fire Acadamy. Attended by customer representatives from Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, and Chile, this continues to be one of our most successful Responsible Care programs in the region.

In Medicine Hat, Canada, we work closely with off-site partners to conduct emergency response education, training, and coordination programming. In October, this work culminated in a full-scale exercise involving ambulance, medical, fire, and police services, to test the emergency response plan and demonstrate how the system works.

Practicing high-angle rescue during an emergency drill in Medicine Hat

In Trinidad, Methanex team members participated in a full-scale emergency response exercise as part of our mutual-aid agreement. In the event of an emergency, we provide ambulance, fire truck, and medical-response services to support the Point Lisas Industrial Estate and the surrounding residential community.

Our Belgium office completed two emergency exercises in Teeside, UK, to test our response to a potential incident involving our methanol pipeline. The exercises focused on operational aspects and communication systems, in coordination with local service providers.

Community Investment and Volunteering

Community Investment and Volunteering

We invested over USD $1 million into our communities, reaching 235 organizations around the world.

Our employees delivered funds and assistance to community programs and organizations that focus on children and families, education, healthcare, environmental stewardship and awareness. In addition to the many volunteer hours devoted to these initiatives, more than USD $1 million was invested into our communities globally. Here are some highlights from 2016:

The Shanghai, China team delivered a presentation to Lianying Elementary School on environmental protection and campus safety, and also donated household items to families in need (photo above). Throughout the Asia-Pacific region, our teams volunteered in educational activities, provided student sponsorships, and collaborated with service agencies.

Methanex Chile provided scholarships at both Universidad Tecnológica de Chile (INACAP, a technological university) and the Universidad de Magallanes (photo above). We are also developing a Responsible Care chemical engineering course for Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, with plans to extend it to other universities.

In Damietta, Egypt, ten students received scholarships through the Methanex Scholarship Program. The program is in its second year and currently has 20 students participating (photo above).

Methanex Europe, as part of a long-term relationship with La Chataigneraie (a residence home for children temporarily placed by the justice of the peace) invested in a playground for their gardens and provided bicycles for the children. Together with employees of the home, Methanex volunteers helped to replenish their technology room by painting and providing furniture (photo above).

Methanex’s Geismar, USA team raised funds for the St. Amant Volunteer Fire Department, whose station suffered heavy damage from the August floods (photo above). Geismar teams also invested in their community through donations and volunteer labour, focusing on schools and community programs.

In Medicine Hat, Canada, Methanex employees contributed to many community causes. This included a fundraising campaign, spanning Methanex locations around the world, for families evacuated from Ft. McMurray, Alberta due to wildfires (photo above). The fires impacted 80,000 families.

Taranaki, New Zealand’s initiatives included donations to a women’s shelter, as well as to regional emergency and healthcare services. Through the Safe Days program, we donated to employee-nominated charities for each day worked without an injury or safety process incident resulting in lost-time. Pictured above, a site fire-fighting team climbed 51 flights of stairs during the Skytower Challenge to raise funds for Leukaemia and Blood Cancer, New Zealand.

In Trinidad, Methanex partnered with the CAP to create a kitchen garden at the Couva Home for the Aged, to help residents reduce food bills and be more active outdoors (photo above). Trinidad teams also donated money, project management, and household items to construct a three-bedroom house for a family in need.

In Vancouver, Canada, the annual United Way campaign conducted several fundraising activities, drawing support from 92% of the Vancouver staff. The team's work was recognized by the United Way with a Spirit Award for innovation, and Methanex also earned Top Contributor recognition from the United Way (photo above).

By committing their time to volunteering, our team members created positive impacts in local regions, and strengthened team spirit at the same time.

Last year, our team members identified areas of need in the communities where they live and work and made positive, long-lasting contributions. By spending time together volunteering and creating positive impacts in the community, many were inspired by the difference they could make for others and brought that renewed energy back to their work. Here are some highlights from 2016:

Our Asia-Pacific teams carried out over a dozen volunteer initiatives in 2016, with more than 90% of employees participating in at least one volunteer event. In Korea, Methanex employees taught traditional crafts to children at the Yeosu Multicultural Centre. The Shanghai team, in collaboration with our customer Samsung, held a career day for teenagers with mild intellectual disabilities. In Japan, we helped maintain a garden at the Infants’ Home associated with the Saiseikai Central Hospital, while in Hong Kong, teams volunteered with Food Angel and packed 1,300 hot meal boxes for those in need (photo above).

In Brussels, Europe, our Methanex team provided an afternoon of animation fun for clients of Ganspoel, a centre that offers assistance to people with visual and neuro-motor impairments. The team also supports the centre by providing such items as bikes, garden furniture, and braille typewriters. In another event, a fundraising barbecue was held for Snijboontje, a kitchen that offers free lunch for people with limited resources, where proceeds were used to replace kitchen tools and accessories (photo above).

In Dallas, USA, Methanex employees built bunk beds for Camp Summit, a camp for children and adults with disabilities (photo above). They also volunteered at Frisco Family Services—an organization that helps families facing hunger, homelessness, and urgent needs—helping to sort and stock inventory, and helping in the Resale Shop, to sort and prepare donated items for resale

Our Geismar, USA, teams focused on the needs of children, youth, and education. Employees did painting, refurbishment, and grounds work for multiple schools (photo above). They also volunteered with the Life as a Single Mom project, and prepared and served a hot lasagne meal to women and children at the St. Vincent de Paul Women’s and Children’s Shelter in Baton Rouge.

In Damietta, Egypt, Methanex teams organized a medical caravan that enabled 500 people from nearby villages to receive free medical check-ups and medicine from doctors (photo above). The Egypt team also sponsored an Excellence Day to recognize the academic achievements of students in local schools.

In Medicine Hat, Canada, the Responsible Care and Stakeholder Relations teams joined forces to help upgrade the outdoor play area at a local YMCA daycare centre. Another team built a fence around a new community garden for Food Bank clients learning about food sustainability. As the title sponsor of Kiddies Day, Methanex provided crews and staff for a half-day of free activities for children at the Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede (photo above).

Our Punta Arenas, Chile team has supported the Rehabilitation Center, Club de Leones Cruz del Sur, over the past 30 years through fundraising efforts and volunteering. The Center has helped more than 2,000 people of all ages with varying disabilities. Pictured above, team members volunteered at a kiosk to raise funds for the Center's Jornadas por la Rehabilitacion telethon.

In Taranaki, New Zealand, Methanex teams contributed more than 650 volunteer hours to community initiatives in education and environment. These activities included donating personal protective equipment to a metal-working class in Waitara High School, helping to lay a new track at the Rotokare Scenic Reserve Trust, sponsoring activities at Riding for the Disabled, and preparing weekly breakfasts for the local Breakfast in Schools program at Puketapu School (photo above).

“It’s rewarding to know that you’re giving the kids a great start to the school day… I also enjoy working alongside my teammates in a different, rewarding environment.”
— Liz Maddox-Strong, Financial Controller

Methanex Trinidad teams engaged in several community projects. They rallied to assist people affected by Hurricane Matthew in Haiti with a donation campaign. Teams also planted a fruit orchard for a primary school and hosted a games booth for the Trinidad and Tobago Cancer Society’s fundraiser. Pictured above, the Technical Team cleaned up a mud volcano tourist site in South Trinidad.

In Vancouver, Canada, a Methanex team hosted a fundraising pancake breakfast and garden clean-up for the Harvest Project, which assists individuals and families experiencing social and financial hardships (photo above). Another Vancouver team volunteered with the PALS Autism Society, which teaches core education and life skills to children and young adults with autism, assisting with relocating furniture and reorganizing their workspace.

“It’s inspiring to see your colleagues engaged and passionate about helping others.”
— Jessica Wood-Rupp, Global Supply Chain Planner

Product Stewardship

Product Stewardship

Our comprehensive approach to product stewardship safeguards the public, the environment, and the communities in every country where we do business. We promote the proper use and safe handling of methanol, while implementing environmental stewardship and social responsibility across our supply chain.

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Product Stewardship Highlights

Vessel Safety Program

Vessel Safety Program

We completed 100% of our marine vessel-inspection, crew-training, and safety-visit programs.

In 2016, vessel inspections and safety training for crews increased proportionately to the increase in our fleet size, exceeding our targets.

2016 Vessel Inspections, Visits, and Training Planned Achieved
Vessel safety visits 20 23
Annual Chemical Distribution Institute - CDI-Marine Inspections 20 28
Methanol and nitrogen safety training sessions 70 117

In 2016, we continued to see a positive trend in our fleet safety rating, which is based on vessel safety visits. We attribute this to our rigorous Responsible Care training and inspection/ship-visit programs. Based on the number of criteria satisfied in our Safety Visit questionnaire, our fleet safety rating averaged 88%. This is a good level, considering the significant number of vessel changes in the fleet.

We completed eight more Chemical Distribution Institute's Marine (CDI-Marine) inspections than planned and see continued improvement, with a decrease in the average number of findings and their severity.

In the methanol and nitrogen training sessions, approximately 1,475 crew members received training.

At the 2016 Lloyd's List Global Awards, Waterfront Shipping received Highly Commended recognition in the Company of the Year category, which acknowledges innovation and adaptation to the rapidly changing nature of shipping markets.

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Terminal safety inspections

Terminal safety inspections

We completed third-party CDI-Terminal audits of safety and environmental practices at 12 contracted terminals.

In addition to these 12 inspections, which are conducted on a three-year cycle, we conducted 14 follow-ups to previous inspections to ensure that any findings were appropriately addressed. The inspections identified fire-fighting equipment and explosion prevention as areas with deficiencies; we will be working to make improvements in these areas.

The inspections and follow-ups also revealed variations between national requirements and international standards and best practices. In the spirit of continuous improvement, our aim is to progress towards world-class standards that exhibit best practice and exceed regional requirements.

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Award-winning rail practices

Award-winning rail practices

We continue to receive recognition for our safe rail-transportation practices.

In 2016, we were proud to earn the American Railroad Association’s Grand Slam award, in recognition of exemplary shipping practices with at least four top railroads in North America. This is the second consecutive year we have won this award.

We achieved this honor by receiving Canadian National (CN) Railway’s Safe Handling Award, Canadian Pacific (CP) Railway’s Chemical Shipper Safety Award, the 2016 Union Pacific Chemical Transportation Safety Pinnacle Award, and BNSF’s 20th Annual Product Stewardship Award for the safe transport of hazardous materials by rail.

In 2016, Methanex completed over 8,000 shipments by rail without a single non-accidental release. We attribute that to our five-year preventative maintenance program, which exceeds the required 10-year regulatory inspection frequency.

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Methanol best practices

Methanol best practices

In 2016, we held Responsible Care seminars and webinars that reached 1,340 people from nearly 300 organizations.

We conducted 49 Responsible Care seminars for customers, supply-chain partners, and trade associations around the world, including information on best practices for the safe handling, distribution, and use of methanol.

Responsible Care seminar in Pingliang, Gansu, China to support the methanol vehicle fuel pilot program by the MIIT

In China, we conducted Responsible Care seminars on methanol safety with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), to support pilot projects with methanol fuels. (See Sustainable Energy chapter.)

We also conducted Responsible Care and methanol safe-handling meetings with ANP (National Petroleum Association) in Brazil. These meetings were crucial as ANP regulates all imports and permitting for the country. In the United Kingdom, we held an interactive seminar with a key customer, with various service providers participating as guest speakers.

In Geismar, we conducted a seminar with 11 external organizations in attendance, including barge operators, rail/road carriers, surveyors, terminals, and plant management. This was a good opportunity to collaborate and share best practices on safety and environmental protection.

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Partnerships with distributors

Partnerships with distributors

We partnered with 19 distributors globally to implement our Distributor Responsible Care Standard.

In 2016, we continued to share our Distributor Responsible Care Standard throughout the Asia Pacific, North America, and Latin America regions, advancing our work via a collaborative implementation phase.

These partnerships resulted in subsequent joint initiatives such as emergency drills in Korea, co-hosting of Responsible Care seminars, and site visits to support Responsible Care initiatives with our customers’ downstream partners in China and Australia.

In collaboration with some of our North American distributor-customers, we developed a Trans-loading Standard for methanol from railcars to road carriers. The standard was shared as a best practice with the Canadian Association of Chemical Distributors (CACD), a nonprofit chemical industry trade association that works to reduce incidents that threaten people or the environment.

Beyond their role in defining requirements, standards are a valuable tool enabling communication and collaboration with our partners. These two standards are improving our ability to ensure proper handling and storage of methanol along our distributor chain.

Industry collaborations

Industry collaborations

We collaborated with a key industry association to produce up-to-date information about methanol and communicate it to the public.

In 2016, we worked closely with the Methanol Institute to help update information on their website. We also helped revise safe-handling guidelines and updated material for a methanol safety video and methanol safety data sheets, all of which are on the Methanol Institute’s website. Our collaboration with industry associations is an important aspect of promoting the proper use and handling of methanol.

Thank You

Thank You

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Thank you for reading our 2016 Responsible Care and Sustainability Report. A printable summary version of this report is available here. Past reports are also available on our website.

Your questions, comments, and feedback are valuable to us, and can be sent via the feedback link on this page.

We hope you will return next year for more updates and highlights about our activities as we work to continually improve Responsible Care and sustainability at Methanex.

Please contact a Methanex location near you for questions about our company or one of our locations.

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