Chemicals giant to slash emissions following ISO 50001 certification

Chemical production and innovation giant Borealis has announced a new aim of reducing its carbon footprint by 360,000 tonnes of CO2e each year, after achieving the latest internationally recognised standard for energy management systems.

Borealis AG, which operates in 120 countries worldwide, has achieved ISO 50001 certification and is now targeting a new emissions reduction target that could remove 5,000 tonnes of carbon emissions every five days.

The firm – Europe’s second largest producer of polyethylene and polypropylene – reached the certification for energy management through a four-year partnership with risk management firm DNV GL that saw the two companies collaboratively develop and install a new energy management system at eight of Borealis’ key locations.

The installation of the new system will help reduce Borealis’ carbon footprint by as much as taking 80,000 petrol cars off the road (360,000 metric tons of CO2 annually) – and has also seen the chemical corporation set a new energy efficiency target of using 10% less energy in 2020 than it did in 2015.  

“Global warming is one of the most crucial challenges the world faces today, and Borealis has therefore identified improving its energy efficiency and reducing emissions as a material issue and made it one of the three focus areas of our sustainability strategy,” Borealis’ executive vice president of operations, Martijn van Koten, said.

van Koten added that the installation of the energy management system, which the firm is now considering rolling out across its operations, has put the company “well on track” to meet its 2020 energy goals.

The system works by maintaining, controlling and monitoring of the energy aspects of each of Borealis’ eight trial facilities 24/7.

It uses smart technologies to link building-wide energy and data usage into a control suite; which is then monitored with a software platform. Different elements are then automatically adjusted to match the facility’s operational requirements with the energy needed to deliver efficient performance.

Chemical commitments

The move from Borealis comes at a time when the chemical manufacturing and research industries are taking a host of measures to become more sustainable.

For example, The Dow Chemical Company recently announced that it had generated almost £90m ($120m) from putting an economic value on natural resources in 2017, after becoming the first corporation in the industry to sign up to the Natural Capital Coalition.

The firm’s “Valuing Nature” decision-making process, which incorporates the value of natural resources such as water and clean air into business decisions, generated three times as much money last year as it did in 2016 (£30m), according to Dow’s latest sustainability report.

Meanwhile, German chemical company Covestro Deutschland revealed in June that it had partnered with five other corporates to lead a new United Nations (UN) initiative to help the private sector tackle ocean issues including overfishing, marine litter and acidification.

Sarah George

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie