Increasing environmental regulations and consumer preference for more sustainable products are driving forces in nearly every market we serve. During 2008, we started to systematically measure the renewable raw material content of our products. We found that 50 percent of our sales are based on renewable feedstocks. We are developing greener products with greener profiles including biodegradation, VOC-free and biopolymers. In addition, we’ve reduced VOC emissions from our manufacturing operations beyond the regulatory requirements with enhanced vapor recovery systems and high efficiency thermal oxidizers. Waste generation at our plants has been reduced as we find uses for filter cake. Diligent implementation of behavior based safety processes resulted in a significant improvement in our safety performance, while our Responsible Care® management systems have now been certified by third parties at all of our surfactants facilities and will be certified at our polymer plants in 2009.
The decision to integrate the former ICI’s Alco and Personal Care businesses with Surfactants was based on the significant overlap of markets and customers. We are also able to share a common infrastructure and back office operations for fixed cost savings. We subsequently changed the name of the business unit from Surfactants to Surface Chemistry to reflect our expanded product offering. During 2008 we also strengthened our European surfactants business by acquiring part of Kao Chemicals’ European fatty amine business and the agro-chemical tank mix adjuvant business from IAAS B.V.