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Clariant accelerates sustainability transformation

Bernd Hoegemann

Swiss specialty chemical company Clariant announced that it is upgrading its ambitions for enabling a sustainable transformation. After  establishing a dedicated transformational unit in 2020 to accelerate its sustainability  transformation, the company now follows that up by committing to new 2030 targets to reduce CO2 emissions in line with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). 

The new targets, which have been officially validated by the SBTi, set out ambitious absolute  emission reductions in the company’s operations and supply chain. Between 2019 and 2030,  Clariant targets a 40% absolute reduction in scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions and a 14%  absolute reduction in scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions, thereby striving for the level of  decarbonization required to keep global temperature increase to well below 2°C. 

“Sustainability is one of Clariant’s five strategic pillars and guides the path of our transformation  into a leading specialty chemicals company. Our new targets reflect our commitment and  responsibility toward enabling a more sustainable future. Innovation and transformation are the two  vital elements that will lead us to success,” said Bernd Hoegemann, chief transformation officer at  Clariant.  

Climate change represents a necessity to act and an enormous opportunity for the chemical industry  to develop the innovative and sustainable solutions needed to reduce emissions and enable  significant reductions in other sectors so that the world gets on a trajectory in line with the Paris  Agreement on climate change.  

“We congratulate Clariant for setting emission reduction targets in line with climate science and the  goals of the Paris Agreement,” said Cynthia Cummis, director of Private Sector Climate Mitigation at  World Resources Institute, one of the Science Based Targets initiative partners. “By setting targets  that are grounded in climate science, Clariant is setting themselves up for success in the transition to  a net-zero economy.” 

Clariant’s science-based targets are accompanied by other environmental targets in the area of water  intake, wastewater, hazardous waste, land-filled non-hazardous waste, and nitrogen oxide emissions  (NOx). Clariant also commits to the implementation of sustainable water management systems at all  sites in areas of high water stress by 2030. Together, these targets ensure a continuous improvement  of Clariant’s environmental footprint and enable further contributions to the UN Sustainable  Development Goal SDG 13 “Climate Action” – one of Clariant’s focus SDGs. The company has also adapted important governance aspects to steer its transformation, such as linking greenhouse gas  emissions reduction to remuneration and implementing internal carbon pricing. 

Clariant is pursuing a mixed approach to reducing emissions across its value chain. The company  will focus on increasing energy efficiency through digitalization in operations, increasing the use of  green electricity and low carbon fuels, and accelerating innovation in its value chains with increased  use of low carbon raw materials such as waste streams and sustainable bio-based materials. 

The science-based targets commitment marks the next milestone in Clariant’s sustainability  transformation journey and emphasis on performance across all environmental, social and  governance (ESG) dimensions. It follows Clariant’s listing for the eighth consecutive time in the Dow  Jones Sustainability Index with a best-in-class innovation score, and recent listing in the newly  launched SPI ESG Indices of the Swiss Stock Exchange.