Arkema fully committed to the United Nations’ 2030 agenda
As a supporter of the United Nations Global Compact, Arkema has committed to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity.
The UN’s 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) support the choices we made in 2012 when we introduced our own corporate social responsibility policy. Here we take a closer look at nine strategic contributions.
Different kind of impacts
Our strategic contributions (see below) include:
- R&D efforts related to our six innovation platforms: here, the goal is to increase our positive impacts, for example by providing materials to develop new energies.
- Other strategic contributions include our safety, environmental footprint and diversity commitments: here, we strive to reduce our negative impacts, notably by decreasing our production facilities’ carbon emissions.
SDG 3: Good health and well-being
Arkema fully supports the chemical industry’s voluntary Responsible Care® initiative and considers safety and health to be core priorities. We have made them a cornerstone of our CSR policy. We take active measures to improve working conditions, including peer observation, ergonomic workstations, and safety briefings at the start of tasks and meetings.
Our initiatives have halved our accident rate per million hours worked* (TRIR) since 2012. Today, at 1.6, our TRIR is one of the lowest in the chemical industry.
*By Arkema and contractor employees working at our sites.
SDG 5: Gender equality
To achieve a more gender-diverse workforce in the male-dominated chemical industry, we have set a target to increase the percentage of women in senior management positions from the current 19% to 23%-25% by 2025.
A number of initiatives have been introduced to support this goal, including a mentoring program to promote the advancement of women to higher and senior management positions. Participants are assigned a male or female senior-manager mentor, with whom they may freely discuss their career path trajectory.
SDG 6: Clean water and sanitation
Water treatment is one of Arkema’s innovation priorities. Our R&D has developed a Kynar® PVDF fluoropolymer grade and partnered with Polymem on a new generation of more efficient and durable ultra-filtration membranes to produce drinking water. The filters treat 20% more water using the same amount of energy.
In 2016, committed to promoting universal access to drinking water, Arkema became the primary sponsor of Sail for Water, a non-profit that organized a round-the-world sailing trip to distribute water filters based on our new technology. During the circumnavigation, the crew distributed 1,000 filters, enough to produce drinking water for 30,000 people.
Closer to home, our Optim’O program aims to reduce chemical oxygen demand (COD) in our production sites’ wastewater by 40% by 2025.
SDG 7: Affordable and clean energy
Our materials support the transition to renewable energies. Kynar® fluoropolymers and carbon nanotubes lengthen the life of lithium-ion batteries and enhance their performance. We’re also developing Elium® thermoplastic resin to produce next-generation wind turbine blades made of fully recyclable thermoplastic composite. Lastly, several innovative technologies are being combined to make photovoltaic panels more efficient and durable. For example, our transparent, ultra-UV resistant Evatane® resins are used to assemble the panel’s different components, while Kynar® polymer films provide long-lasting panel-back protection.
Our global Arkenergy program aims to reduce the Group’s net energy purchases by 15% by 2025.
SDG 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure
Arkema solutions contribute to the development of digital technologies. Our nanostructured polymers support miniaturization, while our electroactive Piezotech® polymers, which change shape when stimulated by an electrical current, pave the way for functionalized, connected objects and numerous medical applications. These include blood pressure sensors and surgical guides precise to within one millimeter.
SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities
Sustainable building materials and solutions are another Arkema R&D focus. Our acquisitions of Bostik, and more recently Den Braven, have broadened our portfolio of sealants, coatings, adhesives, mortars and grouts, all of which help insulate buildings thermally and acoustically.
At the Smart House, a connected, automated test home at the Bostik Smart Technology Centre in Venette, France, we study the challenges of tomorrow’s housing, collecting and analyzing data on environmental footprint, energy autonomy and efficiency, comfort and health.
SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production
Arkema manufactures a wide range of high-performance bio-based polyamides (Rilsan®) from castor oil for 70 years. We also make it easier to recycle finished products. Our Kercoat® and Opticoat® protective coatings, for instance, strengthen returnable glass bottles and enhance their appearance, thereby doubling re-use from 25 to 50 cycles.
SDG 13: Climate action
Arkema has developed lightweight, high-performance thermoplastic materials that can replace glass or metal in the automobile and aerospace industries. These materials reduce vehicle and airplane weight thereby reducing fuel consumption and carbon emissions.
We’ve also committed to shrinking our corporate environmental footprint by reducing our direct greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2025 (we reached the 48% mark in 2017).
SDG 15: Life on land
To shrink our environmental footprint, we pledged to reduce volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions by 33% between 2012 and 2025. That target was achieved in 2017, with emissions down 34% in relation to 2012. This achievement demonstrates our commitment to limiting Arkema’s impact on wildlife and plants.