Moving Forward in Our Sustainability Journey
In today’s world, organizations must acknowledge their responsibility in contributing to a more sustainable planet. At SABIC, delivering a sustainable transformation is a core value and we have purposefully aligned our sustainability direction with 10 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
This is highlighted by our carbon neutrality strategy, which we launched in October 2021 at the inaugural Saudi Green Initiative. The strategy commits SABIC to the Paris Agreement goals, and to continually pursuing efforts and exploring solutions to meet carbon neutrality, from operations under our control, by 2050.
This carbon neutrality strategy is also important in bringing together the many different elements of sustainability at SABIC into one coherent ESG journey, aligning aspects such as circular economy, governance and integrity, commitment to EHSS, reducing GHG, and energy intensity.
In 2022, we will focus on continuing our sustainability journey, expanding on the work already achieved across the globe. This will be achieved in four key areas.
Pioneering in Circularity
SABIC’s extensive and world leading progress in circular solutions and Circular Carbon Economy (CCE) has supported our organisation address global sustainability challenges.
Through initiatives such as the TRUCIRCLE™ portfolio of products and services, we have made pioneering steps in plastic circularity. As a result, in January 2021, we began construction of the world’s first commercial advanced recycling plant, which is expected to become operational in the second half of 2022.
We have also collaborated with our wider value chain on closed loop initiatives and “designing in” recyclability. This year, we are building on our commitment to the Circular Carbon Economy, keeping the 4 R’s principle of reduce, reuse, recycle, remove, at the centre of our efforts to move toward carbon neutrality.
Underlining this commitment, in September 2021, we introduced the use of recycled ocean plastic in partnership with Microsoft creating Microsoft’s first consumer electronic product – the Microsoft ocean plastic mouse – with an exterior shell containing 20% recycled ocean plastic from our XENOY resin.
In moving forward with realizing the circular carbon economy, our implementation of the world’s first blue ammonia shipment, in collaboration with Aramco, was recently acknowledged by the institute of energy economics (IEEJ), one of the world’s leading energy think tanks, as a significant step forward.
Advancing sustainable solutions
Beyond circularity, we are also looking continuously to develop sustainable solutions across our business units. For example, in addressing fluctuations in rain fall and drought, we have developed pipe solutions to manage rain water and domestic waste water to ensure this precious resource is used efficiently.
From water to electricity, as the world looks to move away from fossil fuels to power vehicles, our products are being used in several ways to support the growth of plug-in electric vehicle infrastructure -from industry-first lightweight, plug-in hybrid (PHEV) battery tray covers, to optimized EV battery packs.
Moving forward, we will continue to challenge ourselves to develop better ideas in everything we do through solutions that enable our customers – and in turn their customers – to meet their sustainability goals.
Collaborating on global innovation
We have worked to embed sustainability in the way we do business, but the scale of the challenge means we can’t do it alone. Partnership and knowledge-sharing is essential, meaning collaboration across the value chain, wider industry and beyond.
In collaboration with BASF and Linde, we are due to realize the world’s first electrically heated steam cracker furnace, with expected start-up as early as 2023. When fully operational, this fundamentally new technology has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 90%.
We’ve also been working closely with the World Economic Forum and other global chemical sector companies to formalize the Low-Carbon Emitting Technologies (LCET) initiative into a stand-alone entity by 2023. In collaboration, LCET members will share early-stage risks and co-invest in developing and upscaling low-carbon-emitting technologies.
Investing for future sustainability
In addition to committing to continually pursuing efforts and exploring solutions to meet carbon neutrality, SABIC is also building on targets for direct and indirect emissions from our own production. Focusing on our direct and indirect emissions by our own production, we aim to reduce absolute greenhouse gas emission by 2030 worldwide by 20 per cent compared to 2018.
As part of our future sustainability strategy, we have invested in our Teesside site in the UK to restart our hydrocarbon cracker, with the opportunity to transition it from a fossil fuel fired cracker to a hydrogen fired cracker. This will reduce the facility’s carbon footprint by up to 60 per cent in the first phase, making it one of the world’s lowest carbon-emitting crackers.
We are also working with educational NGOs, to help the next generation explore the latest thinking in sustainable living. This work has so far reached over 100,000 students in 22 countries and continues to grow in 2022.
This progress has not gone unnoticed. SABIC was named the winner of the Best Recycling / Circularity Initiative at the Chemical Week Sustainability Awards, and also received the Ecovadis Platinum Award in recognition of our high standards in CSR and sustainability performance.
Toward a green future
Our ambition is to build on our strengths over the coming years, continuing to foster and invest in new and scalable solutions to meet the biggest global challenges, and continue to work with partners to achieve real change.
While we are moving in the right direction, there is still a long road ahead. Looking forward, aligning with the carbon neutrality strategy, we will continue to evolve our business model, driving more value creation, sustainability, and innovation.
By embedding sustainability in everything SABIC does, we will continue to develop capabilities that enable our organisation to pursue profitable growth while following through on ESG imperatives – including those aimed at achieving full carbon neutrality.