V.D. – Absolutely. The safety of people and procedures is a constant priority and we are permanently reducing our environmental impact. We aim for excellence in the way we conduct our operations, through our choice of manufacturing procedures and a process of constant improvement, and through our energy purchasing and resource management policies. We have made considerable progress in recent years on all these fronts through programs such as Arkenergy, to optimize our energy efficiency, and Optim’O, to ensure we manage our water resources responsibly. By 2018, we had already achieved three of our four strategic environmental targets for 2025. This year, we have therefore set ourselves even more ambitious goals for 2030 (see p. 20). Our commitment to respect the Paris Agreement (see p.52) positions Arkema among the most proactive and ambitious chemicals manufacturers for our efforts to limit global warming.
At the end of 2018, Arkema launched its Portfolio Sustainability Assessment, a systematic process to evaluate its solutions portfolio (taking into account a product’s different applications and regions) from the perspective of sustainability. “The method we have developed is based on the methodological guide issued by the WBCSD1 and looks at the whole of the value chain. It is deployed by each of Arkema’s activities as well as business expertise teams, R&D and regulations,” explains Noël Zilberfarb, Sustainable Products Manager. For each solution, it initially establishes the potential risks, whether these are related to regulatory trends or market demands. “If we identify a risk for a solution, we define the best actions such as alternative development or substitution.” If the solution presents no risk, we assess its contributions (positive or negative) to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. This analysis has a real impact on the policies of our Business lines, which are encouraged to focus on innovation and sales of virtuous solutions. At the end of 2019, 44% of sales had been assessed, and 46% of these featured one or more significant positive contributions to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, with no significant negative contribution. This approach is being pursued in 2020 to increase the proportion of sales that are assessed, and in the long term to increase our contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals.
1. World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). This global organization has more than 200 major corporate members which work together to accelerate transition to a more sustainable world.