Specialty chemicals company, LANXESS, has recently set climate protection target that by 2040, the group intends to become climate neutral and eliminate its greenhouse gas emissions from around 3.2 million one of carbon dioxide.
By 2030, LANXESS is will also target to cut its emissions by 50 per cent compared to the current level to around 1.6 million tonne of carbon dioxide.
Matthias Zachert, Chairman, LANXESS AG, said, “Under the Paris agreement, the global community decided to limit global warming to less than two degrees. This requires massive efforts on the part of everyone involved. With our goal of achieving climate neutrality by 2040, we are fulfilling our responsibility as a global specialty chemicals company. At the same time, we will be an even more sustainable partner for our customers in the future,”
Zachert also highlighted the long-term cost savings associated with a more efficient use of resources, saying that climate protection is a business case.
LANXESS is taking a three-pronged approach to become carbon neutral by 2040. The Group is currently building a facility for the decomposition of nitrous oxide at its Antwerp site. The new facility will begin operations in 2020 and reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by around 150,000 tonne of carbon dioxide. After a second expansion in 2023, carbon dioxide emissions will fall by another 300,000 tonne.
In addition, LANXESS is switching the entire energy supply at its Indian sites to renewable energy sources. There, the Group is massively expanding its supply of biomass and solar power and will no longer use coal or gas in the future. This will cut carbon dioxide emissions by a further 150,000 tonne from 2024. Under these projects and other measures, the company will decrease its carbon dioxide emissions by a total of 800,000 tonne by 2025, investing up to EURO 100 million in the process.
Despite increasing production, emissions of greenhouse gases in the individual business units are set to shrink. In addition to technological efficiency, changes to governance instruments play a role, with the impact on the company’s carbon footprint becoming an investment criterion for organic growth and acquisitions. This gives business units that achieve better than average reductions in greenhouse gas emissions a direct financial advantage. Moreover, lowering carbon dioxide will be introduced as an assessment criterion in the bonus system for managers.
LANXESS is revising many of its existing production processes in order to become climate neutral by 2040. For example, the Group will continue to improve its Verbund structures, e.g. when it comes to heat exchange between plants and air purification. Other procedures must first be developed on an industrial scale. The Group is therefore focussing its research more closely towards climate neutral process and technological innovation.
Since it was founded, LANXESS has made substantial progress in its goal of becoming more environmentally friendly. Between 2004 and 2018, the Group halved its greenhouse gas emissions from around 6.5 million tons of carbon dioxide to about 3.2 million tonne.
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