Social & Environmental Responsibility - Airgas.com

About Airgas
Social and Environmental Responsibility

Safety comes first.

Airgas maintains a deep commitment to safety, the environment, our communities and our military personnel and the families who support them.


Safety Responsibility
Fleet Safety
In recognition of the best safety record among large fleets in both the Bulk and Cylinder Vehicle categories, Airgas received the top fleet safety awards from the Compressed Gas Association (CGA), the CGA Fleet Safety Excellence Awards for Cylinder Vehicle (over three million miles) and Bulk Vehicle Fleet (over 20 million miles) for 2012. Airgas has one of the largest bulk gas fleets and the largest cylinder gas fleet among CGA members and is now a four-time winner of the CGA Bulk Gas Transportation award and a six-time winner of the CGA Cylinder Gas Transportation award. It was the fourth straight year Airgas was presented with the award for cylinder vehicles. With more than 5,000 vehicles in our distribution fleet travelling more than 128 million miles, Airgas continues to have one of the lowest fleet accident rates of any large fleet in the industry.



Calendar YearFleet Vehicle Accident Frequency Rate*Preventable Vehicle Accident Frequency Rate*
20083.01.6
20092.81.5
20103.21.4
20113.01.4
20122.91.4

* Accidents per million miles driven


Workplace Safety
Safety remains a priority in our operations. Airgas believes that safety is every associate’s responsibility, and we are very proud of our workplace safety track record.

Calendar YearTotal Recordable Injury Incident Rate*Lost Workday Incident Rate*
20082.70.4
20092.50.5
20102.50.5
20112.30.5
20122.00.4

* Per 200,000 hours worked


The Compressed Gas Association awarded Duane Young, Director of the Airgas SAFECOR organization, with the Charles H. Glasier Safety Award in recognition of his safety leadership in the industrial gas industry. At Airgas SAFECOR, Young helped develop and implement 28 regulatory compliance systems for Airgas that reduced workplace accident frequency and severity by more than 60 percent and also established Airgas as an industry leader in fleet safety.

Environmental Responsibility
Operation and Fleet:
  • We've improved our overall fleet fuel efficiency in the last four years by over 4.5%, saving almost 900,000 gallons of fuel this past year alone and reducing CO2 emissions by over 9,000 metric tons -- the equivalent emission reduction of taking about 1,900 passenger cars off the road.

  • We've added even more diesel-engine trucks with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology, bringing us up to 1,672 units in our fleet today, with another 166 ordered or being delivered, a 40% increase since last year. By using Airgas' own AiRxTM Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) in the SCR-equipped trucks we reduce diesel exhaust pollutants by breaking down harmful nitrogen oxides (NOx) into inert nitrogen and water, reducing each vehicle's NOx emissions as much as 90%.

  • We introduced Airgas RefrigatronTM, an automated refrigerant reclamation technology for large-scale reclamation of used refrigerant gases. The first system has been installed at our Airgas Refrigerants, Inc. Smyrna, GA plant. With the help of this system, which analyzes up to 32 impurities, provides safe material handling, and improves operating efficiency, we were able to reclaim refrigerant returned from our customers totaling over 1.6 million metric tons of CO2 (equivalent) this past year, potential emissions equivalent to the CO2 emissions from the electricity use of almost 250,000 homes for a year.


Products and Services:
  • Helium is used in critical applications in the U.S. and globally, but has been in short supply for the last couple of years. We've diligently worked with our customers on conservation of this scarce natural resource by offering a complete review of their gas delivery systems and processes, saving them up to 25% of their helium usage through elimination of leaks; improving standard operating procedures and non-process applications; and analyzing benefits from the possible use of alternative gases, like changing the carrier gas used for their gas chromatographs, or changing the shielding gas for certain welding applications.



  • Social Responsibility
    In addition to many local community service activities, Airgas pursues a number of enterprise-wide endeavors in our role as a good corporate citizen and neighbor — most notably in our ongoing support of Operation Homefront, a non-profit organization that supports America’s service members by providing emergency assistance and support to families of deployed service members and to those returning home wounded.
    • Extended our financial commitment to Operation Homefront to a fifth year, as associates continued to get involved through local chapter activities and fundraisers.

    • Offered the Airgas “Welding 101” course at no cost to any veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan service who is interested in exploring a career in welding.

    • After learning from Hurricane Irene in 2011, and updating our disaster plans accordingly, Airgas was ready for Hurrican Sandy, stockpiling gases and dry ice, with personnel ready in the hurricane zone to navigate our trucks through the severe weather, roadblocks and detours, answering calls for critical supplies, like medical oxygen cylinders for hospitals running low on this life-sustaining gas or dry ice to power companies and people caught in weeks-long power outages. We were able to deliver National Oxygen Kits to disaster response sites set up by FEMA and states. Each kit provided a ready-to-use, emergency-kit-on-wheels, containing 81 oxygen cylinders, 150 oxygen masks, and the necessary tubing and regulators. Over one million pounds of dry ice were delivered to Con Edison in New York for distribution to their customers without power.

    • Provided more than 420,000 hours of training and learning development to Airgas associates, including course sessions that help them keep their communities safe.

     

    With more than 1 million customers, we are making a positive impact through our products.

    • Teamed with customer to devolop environmentally responsible dry ice blast cleaning technology.
    • Introduced AiRx™ Diesel Exhaust Fluid for diesel engine trucks with SCR technology - including our own - to reduce harmful nitrogen oxide diesel exhaust pollutants by up to 90 percent.
    • Developed Safe-T-Cyl™, an environmentally responsible returnable package for small volumes of process chemicals.
    • Helped bring to market hydrogen generators and fuel cells to power fork lifts and reduce the greenhouse gas footprint for large fleet users.

     

    With more than 1,100 locations, we are making a positive impact through our processes.

    • We increased energy efficiency at our 16 air spearation units by 4.8 percent.
    • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions at our six distribution centers by the equivalent of almost 2 million pounds per year.
    • Our recylcing programs reduced our cardboard waste from our six distribution centers by 700,000 pounds per year.
    • Reduced water usage by 11 million gallons per year by replacing hydrostatic cylinder testing with ultrasonic cylinder testing
     




Additional Information

Contact us: product.stewardship@airgas.com

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