More sustainable products are imperative for both our customers and the planet.
It’s always been our goal to make our products and manufacturing processes safe for people and the environment. But now, more than ever, we need to design products and processes that are less energy intensive, generate fewer carbon emissions, use fewer resources and support a more circular economy.
Increasingly, sustainability will be the benchmark for assessing every aspect of our product pipeline and supply chain. In 2021, we were awarded the London Stock Exchange Green Economy Mark, for companies who earn at least 50% of their revenue from products and services that contribute to environmental objectives. As a leading supplier of sustainable polymer solutions, we’ve always been able make products that have sustainability benefits built into them. For example, we’ve been using water rather than solvents for decades, which keeps harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) out of the atmosphere.
Now we’re putting even greater emphasis on sustainability throughout the entire lifecycle of our products.
Designing in sustainability
In 2021, we launched 19 new products, 43% of which included a defined sustainability benefit. And our innovation team is finding new ways to adapt our existing products and design new ones with even greater benefits. For example, our new SyNovus™ Plus product line is helping to recycle rubber gloves into new applications such as soles for safety shoes. And our innovation and procurement teams are working together to identify and source alternative raw materials that have a lower carbon footprint. Our Suncryl® HP 114 water-based polymer contains more than 56% bio-based raw materials, replacing chemicals made from fossil fuels.
To accelerate our development of products with sustainability benefits, we’ve introduced a sustainability scorecard to assess the life cycle of existing and new products. 57% of all new products in the pipeline will deliver a net positive sustainability benefit, such as improving carbon emissions, having a positive environmental impact, reducing the use of hazardous ingredients or helping create a more circular economy.
- Eliminating ‘ingredients of concern’ (high hazard or substances subject to regulations)
- Using raw materials from lower-carbon sources
- Reducing energy or water consumption
- Reducing waste from our manufacturing processes
Product safety and support for circular economy
- Lowering product hazard classification (whether a product contains regulated hazardous ingredients)
- Enabling responsible end-of-life management (e.g. longer product life cycle, better recycling or biodegradable properties)
Benefit to supply chain and customers
- Enabling our customers to eliminate ingredients of concern or lower their product hazard classification
- Helping customers use less energy or water, lower carbon emissions or waste, support the circular economy, or otherwise meet their sustainability goals.
Our 2030 target is for 80% of our procurement spend to be with suppliers who have a sustainability rating. To help us reach that, we’ve set a short-term target of 20% in 2022 – and we’re already ahead of that at 26%. We will also audit five of our key suppliers’ sites and ensure that all our highest risk suppliers adhere to our Supplier Code of Conduct or equivalent standards.
We also have a specific policy that commits us to completely avoiding the use of conflict minerals such as gold, tin, tantalum and tungsten, known as 3TG minerals, which can be mined in parts of the world where armed conflict and human rights abuses are known to take place.
Our conflict minerals policy also outlines what we expect from our suppliers, which includes conducting their own due diligence to verify the origin of their materials and provide recognised certification.