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Home > Reports > Sustainability Report 2020 > Innovation > Our Approach and Performance

OUR APPROACH AND PERFORMANCE

SABIC’s commitment to innovation drives our progress on the development of sustainable products, operations, and business models. This benefits our business and customers, opens new avenues for collaboration, and helps SABIC contribute to solving society’s most pressing challenges—from eliminating used plastic to slowing climate change. A key part of SABIC’s innovation is advancing the circular economy.

2020 Highlights

  • Expanded TRUCIRCLE™ to accelerate new solutions, business models, and partnerships. 
  • Pioneered the development of world’s first advanced recycling unit to manufacture certified circular polymers.
  • Created close-loop recycling system for food packaging via value chain collaboration.
  • Expanded use of new portfolio sustainability assessment.
  • Partnered with Saudi Aramco to create world’s first blue ammonia for zero-carbon power generation.
  • Received SCS Global Services Responsible Sourcing Certification’s for SABIC’s LNP™ ELCRIN™ iQ proprietary portfolio.
  • Developed new sustainable palm oil sourcing process and compliance system.
  • Three SABIC innovative solutions selected as finalists for 2021 Edison Best New Product Awards™.

PROVIDING ESSENTIAL COVID-19 PRODUCTS AND MATERIALS

SABIC acted quickly to provide critical materials and solutions to pandemic-related challenges. 

In record time and with staff levels that were 10-20% lower due to social-distancing requirements, SABIC helped create and deliver materials for ventilators and intensive care equipment, building materials for rapidly erected new hospitals, protective screens and barriers, personal protective equipment (PPE), and safe packaging for food and sanitizers.

EXPANDING SABIC’S PORTFOLIO SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT APPROACH

SABIC measures the sustainability benefits and impacts of our products to set smart targets. Recently, we shifted from a measurement approach that identifies unique sustainability products and applications, to using a portfolio-based sustainability assessment, which groups products and applications with similar sustainability features and identifies portfolio-level sustainability benefits. We plan to create comprehensive targets for revenue from the products and solutions that deliver the greatest sustainability benefits.

In 2020, we expanded our portfolio sustainability assessments to additional segments, and we have finished 56 product-application combinations, which covers about 84% of our entire polymers product portfolio, surpassing our set 80% target. Our analysis revealed that of these 56 applications, 16 have strong sustainability-related benefits, 18 have moderate benefits, 20 are neutral, and two have challenges.

Performance metrics

  • Total active patent portfolio

    9,946¹

  • New patent filings in 2020

    218

  • Total sustainability solutions

    93²

¹ In addition to the economic factors, COVID-19 affected our output of inventions and improvements to our technologies, and we ended 2020 with an active patent portfolio of about 10,000 cases, representing a decrease over last year. With the filing of 218 new original patent applications in 2020, SABIC continues to take a more critical view of the added-value contributions of the intellectual property (IP) estate and new filings. Our new focus on supporting commercial objectives allowed us to undertake strategic patent support to the business on a global basis. We continued with our strategic decision to file patents on projects of higher return value, especially those that are business critical and in advanced stages. We are using our IP estate to support a significant increase of our licensing of SABIC technologies. Each sustainability solution includes many products. For example, in 2020 we qualified our TRUCIRCLE™ portfolio of certified circular polymers and certified renewables, under which we offer all our fossil-based polyolefins products with renewable and circular feedstocks.

²  Each sustainability solution includes many products. For example, in 2020 we qualified TRUCIRCLE™ portfolio of certified circular polymers and certified renewables, under which we offer all of our fossil-based polyolefins products with renewable and circular feedstocks.. 

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