Vice chairman and CEO’s Statement
Environmental and human health, safety, and security (EHSS) have proved once again to be the bedrock of SABIC culture. They helped us maintain a steady course through the turbulence of COVID-19.
YOUSEF ABDULLAH AL-BENYAN
VICE-CHAIRMAN AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
We were also honored with the “Best ESG Award” by the Saudi Capital Market Forum in the very first year of it being instituted – a strong testament to our industry- leading ESG proposition.
Our resilience, agility, and commitment to deliver our transformation plan enabled SABIC to successfully navigate the heightened concerns caused by the pandemic affecting the chemical industry. Now, as the global economy recovers, we find ourselves well positioned for sustainable growth.
That said, we cannot afford to be complacent. Environment, health, safety, and security (EHSS) remain the bedrock of SABIC culture. They have helped us maintain a steady course through the turbulence of COVID-19. We went to great lengths to safeguard the physical and psychological health of our people and their families, as well as the wider communities in which we operate. We upheld our excellence in cybersecurity, ensuring that we could carry out our business during difficult times, even when working from home.
The chief indicator of our overall EHSS performance, the Safety, Health, and Environment Rate (SHER), stands at 0.35 – our lowest ever. There were zero Class A incidents and zero cybersecurity incidents of any consequence in 2021. We also improved our score on the overall EHSS Maturity Index, which incorporates a definition of cybersecurity maturity that we introduced two years ago.
In 2021, we concluded the first SEEC cycle requirement by optimizing our energy utilization by 7% since 2011. Moreover, we consolidated a project portfolio to comply with the second SEEC cycle in 2025. Our ESG performance, together with our impressive standalone corporate credit rating, helps us secure finance for growth. I would like to highlight, specifically in reference to our Social and Governance performance, that we continued to invest in the communities in which we operate, even during a time of recovery. SABIC invested US$ 33.56 million in 127 Global CSR programs in 26 countries, touching the lives of more than 345,000 people. We have also been recognized for our human resources management, reaffirming our commitment to provide excellent work conditions for our global employees. Moreover, we continued to raise the bar for compliance as we instill a strong ethical culture across SABIC. It is why we retained the “Compliance Leader Verification” recognition from Ethisphere, reaffirming our position as a champion of world-class corporate governance practices.
We were also honored with the “Best ESG Award” by the Saudi Capital Market Forum in the very first year of it being instituted – a strong testament to our industry-leading ESG proposition.
We recognize that we cannot lose sight of our ESG scores, however. We aim to better understand our ESG performance and establish policies for its continual improvement.
At the same time, we further evolved our operating model to better embrace sustainability, leverage technological innovation, and deliver increased value to our stakeholders in Saudi Arabia and wherever we operate. Our new operating model has enabled us to deepen our relationships with our customers in high-growth markets around the world. Having taken bold steps to reorganize and simplify our Agri- Nutrients and Specialties businesses, we have expanded into new and exciting areas this year. Meanwhile, we are rapidly embracing digitalization, leading to greater efficiencies that we will build on.
Our commitment to innovation defines our competitive advantage: we can develop not only digital but also non-digital solutions that give us a head start as the world recovers from the pandemic. We believe in our ability to capitalize on the many emerging opportunities, such as those related to electric vehicles and 5G telecommunication systems. In fact, two of the advanced materials from our Specialties portfolio, the ELCRES™ HTV150 Dielectric Film and the High-Purity SD1100P Specialty Dianhydride, were placed on the R&D 100 Awards’ list of the year’s top revolutionary technologies for precisely for this reason.
Our Carbon Neutrality Roadmap shows how seriously we are taking innovation as we meet our long-term responsibilities. It identifies five pathways to SABIC’s decarbonization: Reliability, Energy Efficiency, and Improvements; Renewable Energy; Electrification; Carbon Capture, Utilization and Sequestration; and Green/Blue Hydrogen. These pathways complement our ongoing focus on circular and renewable feedstock. Indeed, our efforts to advance the circular economy have seen SABIC recognized globally. Chemical Week recently named SABIC as the winner of the “Best Recycling and Circularity Initiative” at its prestigious 2021 Sustainability Awards.
Above all, we remain deeply committed to Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 and its recent outgrowth: the Saudi Green Initiative (SGI). The SGI lays out how carbon neutrality will support the Vision’s three themes: Vibrant Society, Thriving Economy, and Ambitious Nation. Growing the economy is also an objective we share with the Kingdom, and the “Shareek” initiative represents a major leap forward. By enabling the private sector to work with the relevant ministries or government agencies to obtain specialized support, we can spur growth opportunities for the chemical industries and manufacturing industries in the Kingdom and further support Saudi exports. At the same time, it will strengthen the locally sourced supply chain by improving the accessibility of competitive funding to support small- and medium-sized enterprises. In short: Shareek will enhance the competitiveness of the Kingdom and SABIC on local, regional, and global levels.
Meanwhile, our NUSANED™ initiative continues to make substantial contributions to the economy, boosting localization, and achieving greater economic diversification and job creation.
From where SABIC now stands, I see a bright future ahead of us. With our comprehensive transformation and Carbon Neutrality Roadmap in place, now is the time to deliver and cement our leadership in our new reality. Our continued growth requires us to be bold, further evolve our business model, and adopt technologies that enhance our operational, sustainability, and environmental excellence as we edge ever closer to becoming the preferred world leader in chemicals.