Sustainability is at the core of how we work, think, operate and innovate.

We’ve made a public commitment to reach net zero by 2050, in line with the Paris Agreement. And our Vision 2030 targets have set us some ambitious objectives across multiple areas of sustainability. But we want to go even further – for our business, our customers and their consumers, and ultimately society itself.

In many regions, the call for sustainability is driven by regulation. Our customers also have their own sustainability objectives to meet. However, we see sustainability as one of the main drivers of innovation. Sustainable products and processes are a critical way we can add value for customers, because consumers are increasingly demanding higher and more meaningful sustainability standards.

Whatever the drivers, we can help. We’ve developed new capabilities to enable the design of biodegradable products, and we’re exploring how we can increase our use of bio-based raw materials. We already use them in several of our products and they could play a big part in our lower-carbon future. At the same time, by optimising or redesigning our manufacturing processes, we can help make our plants safer and more efficient while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Products with sustainability benefits

We’ve set ourselves a target that 60% of our new products will have defined sustainability benefits, including:

  • Eliminating ingredients of concern
  • Reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions
  • Reducing water consumption
  • Reducing waste generation
  • Reducing or eliminating hazards in our products
  • Improving product end-of-life management
  • Enabling sustainability benefits in downstream use.

Many of our products already have sustainability benefits built in. For example, more than 80% of our products consist of water-based dispersions which eliminate the VOCs associated with solvents. At the same time, our innovation teams are meeting needs for formaldehyde-free, biocide-free or lower-VOC applications, and developing biodegradable, bio-based or industry-compostable products to support circular economy approaches to sustainability.

Sustainable processes

The way we produce and manufacture our products is also a key area where we can drive greater sustainability, and we have teams dedicated to finding new opportunities in our processes.

For example, in Malaysia, our innovation teams have adapted our systems to harness the heat created by the chemical reactions that lead to polymerisation in our nitriles product, and use that heat in the production process. This has reduced the need for steam with no impact on the performance of the end product.

Sustainable operations

We have several sustainability targets that relate to our operations, including the use of renewable energy and reducing our water use. We have already reached and exceeded our target of using 80% renewable energy in our operations. One major step towards that was closing our only coal-fired power station at a plant in the Czech Republic, and our investment at this site will also reduce water requirements by 23%.

Human sustainability

People are at the centre of everything we do at Synthomer, so we work hard to pursue equality and safety in our business. Building a sustainable and diverse pipeline of talent for our business is a core component of our approach to human resources. And we have strict targets and expectations around workplace safety in our sites which have already proved successful.

We extend these standards to our suppliers’ businesses too. For example, we ensure our supply chains adhere to strong policies relating to modern slavery, human trafficking and conflict minerals, and we conduct due diligence on suppliers in parts of the world where human rights may be more at risk.

Independent certification

We have been positively rated and certified by several independent bodies, including the Carbon Disclosure Project, EcoVadis and FTSE4Good. In 2021, we received the London Stock Exchange’s Green Economy Mark, which acknowledges that more than 50% of our revenues come from environmental solutions.