Until recently. Now, it's unambiguous. Senior Director of Sustainability Diana Visser says, "The effects of climate change – and its acceleration – are evident all over the world. We need to act now."
In October 2019, Corbion publicly committed to climate change action, making science-based targets part of our standard business practice. This set an important precedent for our peers and partners to transition to a low-carbon economy.
Corbion has committed to reducing our CO2 emissions related to energy, key raw materials, and transport by 33% per ton of product by 2030 from a 2016 base year. This target has been approved by the Science Based Target initiative. To fulfill this pledge, we have developed a roadmap, including the following actions, which we are currently implementing:
Transition to 100% renewable electricity. As member of RE100, a global initiative with the mission to accelerate change towards zero carbon grids at scale, we are committed to achieve this by 2030. Currently, 8 of our 13 manufacturing sites, are fully powered by renewable electricity and globally 71% of our electricity use is renewable – implement energy-saving projects in our manufacturing sites and select the most energy-efficient technology available when equipment is replaced. Over the past years, we have implemented several projects, including the replacement of a boiler at our manufacturing site in Gorinchem, the Netherlands and several heat integration opportunities. Our capital expenditure plan for the next five years includes similar projects across the globe.
Implement our new circular lactic acid manufacturing process, eliminating both the need for lime as an input material as well as the generation of gypsum as a by-product. Our new factory in Rayong, Thailand, that is currently under construction and will become operational in 2023 will utilize this process. This new circular lactic acid technology reduces the GHG emissions per ton of lactic acid by 20%.
Partner with key raw material suppliers to jointly reduce CO2 emissions. Partnerships with our key raw material suppliers are essential to achieve the targeted Scope III reductions. Our procurement and sustainability teams work together to engage key suppliers of cane sugar, dextrose, lime, and soy-bean oil. The goal is to better understand the footprints of these raw materials and identify GHG reduction opportunities. These reduction opportunities could be found within our suppliers' own manufacturing operations or captured through the implementation of sustainable agriculture practices on the farms our suppliers source from. The projects developed in collaboration with Cargill and Truterra (see Sustainable agriculture) are a result of these engagement activities. In addition to supplier engagement, another approach is to implement third-party sourcing certifications, such as Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certification and Bonsucro, where GHG emissions are reduced by complying with the certification's stringent environmental standards.
Establish an R&D program to identify new technologies including electrification, use of low-carbon energy sources, and recycling. As part of this program Corbion participates in various external research programs focused on the development of low-carbon technologies. Examples include the Dutch hydrogen consortium's work on reducing CO2 emissions from manufacturing processes and VoltaChem's research on industrial electrification. The R&D program is managed by a newly formed Sustainability Council, which is led by the CSSO, and includes representatives from Operations, R&D, and Finance. The council is responsible for the management of the stage-gate process and priority setting.
Use of internal carbon pricing in capital expenditure and long-term R&D projects. We use a carbon price of € 50 per ton globally, as well as more detailed scenarios for e.g. the Netherlands where the carbon tax is projected to increase to € 125 per ton by 2030.
We're proud to lead the way by setting science-based targets. As CEO Olivier Rigaud says, the world's future depends on commitments made today and how we honor them. "We must all become leaders," he says, "and do all we can to inspire each other to make a sustainable difference."
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