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 and tying our incentives program to those goals. Our targets were approved after a thorough, independent validation process by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). We were the second Dutch chemical company with a SBTi-approved target, providing a benchmark and inspiration for our peers and partners to transition to a low-carbon economy. We committed to reducing our Scope I, II, and III greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions related to energy, key raw materials, and transport by 33% per metric ton of product by 2030 (with 2016 as the base year).
In 2022, we already achieved our 2030 target by realizing a 39% reduction compared to our 2016 baseline. Building on this progress, we raised our climate ambition in 2022 to align with 1.5°C, the most ambitious goal of the Paris Agreement. To reach this ambition we have committed to reduce our absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions 38% by 2030 from a 2021 base year*. Next to that, we commit to reducing our scope 3 GHG emissions from purchased goods and services, upstream transportation and distribution, waste generated in operations, and downstream transportation and distribution 24% per ton of sold product within the same timeframe. This target is what the latest climate science has told us is needed to prevent the most damaging effects of climate change. Our new targets have been validated by the Science Based Targets initiative.
*The target boundary includes land-related emissions and removals from bioenergy feedstocks.
To fulfill this pledge, we have developed a roadmap, including the following actions, which we are currently implementing:
Transition to renewable electricity. By now, 10 of our 12 manufacturing sites are fully powered by renewable electricity. Compared to 2021, we increased the use of renewable electricity at our site in Rayong, Thailand to 100%. As a member of RE100, a global initiative to accelerate change toward zero-carbon grids at scale, we are committed to achieving 100% renewable electricity by 2025.
Energy saving projects. In 2022, the implementation of a major energy savings project at our facility in Blair, US almost reached completion. Thanks to the investment in more efficient, sustainable technology, the 40% capacity expansion will come with no increase in the site’s total energy-related CO emissions. In fact, upon completion of the project, the cradle-to-gate carbon footprint per metric ton of lactic acid produced at the Blair plant will be reduced by 9%.
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 circular technology will reduce cradle-to-gate CO2 emissions per metric ton of lactic acid by 19% compared to conventional technology.
Established an R&D program to identify new technologies to implement in our manufacturing facilities, including electrification, low-carbon energy sources, and recycling. As member of the Institute for Sustainable Process Technology, the ELECTRIFIED consortium, and , Corbion participates in various external research programs focused on developing low-carbon and energy-saving technologies.
Partner with our key raw material suppliers to achieve the targeted Scope III reductions. In 2022, we continued our engagement with key suppliers of cane sugar, dextrose, soybean oil, and chemicals. 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’ manufacturing operations or captured by implementing sustainable agriculture practices on the farms our suppliers' source from. In addition to supplier engagement, another approach is to implement third-party sourcing certifications, such as RSPO certification and , where GHG emissions are reduced by complying with the certification’s stringent environmental standards.
Use internal carbon pricing to manage and understand the financial impact of GHG emissions on our business. Considering the EU ETS forecast scenarios of € 90, € 125, and € 150 per metric ton by 2030, Corbion has introduced a global internal carbon price of € 100 per metric ton for Scope I and II emissions to be included in all investment decisions.
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."
Join today's business climate leaders! Race us to the top by taking decisive action towards a zero-carbon transition.
See our Climate Action Plan for more details.