Our approach to sustainability

Sustainability is an increasing priority for Synthomer, our stakeholders and the whole of society. We want to embed sustainability into every aspect of our business, to help us play a greater role in creating a fairer, more sustainable future and respond to the climate emergency.

Due to the importance of Sustainability in our company, our Sustainability report is now embedded in the Annual Report.


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Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)

Synthomer focuses its sustainability targets around 3 key areas: Products, Operations, and People. We made a public commitment in 2020 to reach net zero by 2050, in line with the Paris Agreement. To achieve this, we are:


  • Using our innovation skills to develop new products made with lower-carbon raw materials and more efficient manufacturing processes
  • Ending coal use at our operations
  • Starting work to define new science-based targets
  • Using new sustainability scorecards to assess our innovation programmes and capital expenditure
  • Establishing internal life cycle assessments to assess the viability and resource needs of our products
  • Establishing partnerships with suppliers to drive down emissions across our supply chain
  • Addressing end-of-life product management across our markets
  • Working to incorporate a carbon price into our capital planning.

Vision 2030: our roadmap to a more sustainable future

We have developed our Vision 2030 roadmap to help guide our decisions over the next decade and set us on the path to net zero. It contains a series of targets across our three key areas. Our targets are underpinned by a series of short-term objectives and are aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that are most material to our business.



We have reported our first year of progress against these targets. We will continuously review the targets to ensure that they remain appropriate.


We will continue to increase the number of products we make that have sustainability benefits, and source more raw materials with suppliers who have a sustainability rating and who share our ethical standards:

Target 1: At least 60% of new products with enhanced sustainability benefits.

Our short-term objective 2022:

  • Technology platform to develop products that contain a minimum of 20& raw materials that come from low-carbon sources.

Across our business, 57% of all the new products in our pipeline today will deliver a net positive sustainability benefit. Of those, 50% will improve carbon emissions or have a positive impact on the environment, 35% will reduce the use of hazardous ingredients, and 15% will help create a more circular economy. Many of these products will offer more than one sustainability benefit.

Target 2: 80% procurement spend with suppliers with a sustainability rating.

Our short-term objectives


  • Audit five key suppliers’ sites
  • Ensure that all our highest risk suppliers adhere to our Supplier Code of Conduct or equivalent standards.
  • 20% of procurement spend covered by a sustainability rating and improvement plan.


  • 50% of procurement spend covered by a sustainability spend covered by a sustainability rating and improvement plan.


We have invested in a sustainability rating platform to help us identify sustainability risk in our supply chain and we have started to tract an report how much of our procurement spend is covered by a sustainability rating. We have 26% of our spend covered by a rating, some way ahead our 2022 objective.




While aiming for zero harm, we will achieve top quartile performance for personal and process safety. We will also drive down emissions and minimise our broader environmental impact:



Target 3: Top quartile safety performance

Our short-term objectives 2022:

  • A recordable injury case rate of 0.30
  • A process safety event rate of 0.14


In 2021, our recordable injury case rate (RCR) fell to 0.31. This is largely due to improved performance at our former OMNOVA sites, which saw RCR fall from 0.64 in 2020 to 0.47. In all, we recorded 34 injuries in 2021, versus 37 in 2020. During the year, we reported no cases of disease caused by occupational factors and there were no accidents resulting in fatality or permanent disability.

Target 4: 40% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions intensity (vs 2019)

We completed the installation of new highly efficient gas boilers at our plant in Sokolov, Czech Republic. This eliminates coal as an energy source from all our global operations and will significantly reduce our Scope 1 emissions in 2022. Our second milestone saw a dramatic fall in our Scope 2 emissions. We now have 90% of renewable electricity usage in our sites. This is well ahead of our short-term 2022 target to reach 50%.



Target 5: 10% reduction in Scope 3 emissions intensity (vs 2019)

Overall, in 2021, our Scope 3 emissions were up to 10% lower versus our 2019 baseline which was largely due to reduced carbon intensity in the mix of monomers we used during the year

Target 6: 80% of our electricity from renewable sources, plus improving energy efficiency in all our operations

Our short-term objectives 2022:

  • Reduce Scope 1 and 2 intensity by 20%
  • At least 50% of total electricity consumption from renewable sources
  • Improve specific energy efficiency by 5%
  • Evaluate Scope 3 emissions from three suppliers of our four main raw materials
  • Define medium- and long-term plan to reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions


This year, we have achieved our commitment to buy renewable electricity through a combination of having renewable sources in new supply contracts, on-site or off-site power purchase agreements (PPAs), and through the purchase of certificates. As a result, 90% of all the electricity our manufacturing sites and offices use comes from renewable sources, marking a significant step forward in driving down our operational greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).

Target 7: Manage and minimise water consumption and introduce water management plans in water-stressed areas and at the sites where we use most water.

Our short-term objectives 2022:

  • Maintain water consumption at 2019 levels
  • Carry out gap analysis of water and effluent monitoring abilities at key sites.
  • 12% reduction of waste to landfill per produced tonne


We saw an 8.6% increase in total water withdrawal at our sites. Overall production rose 2.2%, which led to a 6.2% increase in specific water use in 2021 versus 2020, and 8.6% versus our 2019 baseline. Our water withdrawal statistics rose in 2021, with our most significant increases occurring because of specific events at some of our Synthomer sites.


We will become a more diverse and inclusive company, find new ways to listen to our employees, and increase our support for local communities:



Target 8: 50% gender diversity in leadership, management, and professional new hires

*females in senior leadership

Our short-term objectives:

  • 25% female senior leaders by 2022
  • 33% female senior leaders by 2025
  • 20% senior leaders from ethnically diverse backgrounds by 2025


We are pleased that we met our 2021 objective of 20% of women in senior leadership roles, finishing the year at 20.4%. In all, we saw a 5% rise in the number of women in senior leadership versus 2020.

Target 9: 70% participation in our employee engagement surveys at global and country levels

Our second Your Voice survey ran in December 2021. We were very pleased that we exceeded our 2030 target at a global level, with an overall response rate of 73% from our employees. This was achieved by an extensive multi-channel communication campaign delivered across the business. Not all countries achieved a 70% response rate and that will remain a focus for future surveys. The survey included some new questions on topics such as our core values, to help us learn how well employees understand them.



Target 10: Provide volunteer support and financial contributions in excess of £1 million a year for local education, public health, diversity, and environmental projects.

A significant proportion of this funding will be provided by the Synthomer Foundation for community projects in the USA. Based on the Foundation’s performance in recent years, we expect that contribution to be at least £850,000.

Rating agencies

We obtain independent assurance of our sustainability practices and performance and benchmark ourselves against our peers so we can better understand our progress and opportunities for improvement. We do this through voluntary participation in several external programmes (such as CDP) and by reviewing our ratings on several recognised indices such as ISS ESG.









58 (Silver medal)

57 (Silver medal)









Synthomer plc recognised by London Stock Exchange as contributing to the global green economy. To qualify for the Green Economy Mark, companies and funds must generate 50% or more of their total annual revenues from products and services that contribute to the global green economy. The underlying methodology incorporates the Green Revenues data model developed by FTSE Russell.



Contact Synthomer today for more information

Should you have any questions about Synthomer’s sustainability initiatives, please contact us.

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