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Partnerships for the Goals - 11 Best Practice Examples from the Chemicals Industry


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The chemicals industry may be one of the most active sectors when it comes to collaborating and partnering, particularly in (open) innovation models. However, sector-wide industry data from eRevalue on what chemical companies report on in terms of SDGs showed that reporting on goals 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure) and 17 (partnerships for the goals) stays far behind.

Are chemical players being too modest, or take this for granted? We have selected a number of partnerships that illustrate how the industry collaborates in order to create impact across a range of the sector’s most material Sustainable Development Goals.

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Partnerships for the Goals - 11 Best Practice Examples from the Chemicals Industry

  2. 2. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide an excellent opportunity to identify key issues and align organizations that are working towards the same objectives. Chemical companies prove to set a successful example in how to develop impactful partnerships with value chain partners and other stakeholders. One of the main conclusions from our recent report on the state of circular economy innovation within the chemical industry was that the approach of successful frontrunner companies towards a circular model is characterized by close collaboration within the value chain. Entire value chains are competing more and more on their sustainability profile. For successful partnering, the willingness to collaborate, possessing the right skills, and the right level of senior management involvement are key factors. Is the chemical industry selling itself short? The UN Sustainable Development Goals provide a widely recognized framework to identify organizations that are working around similar sustainability issues and facilitate partnering. Sector-wide industry data from eRevalue on what chemical companies report on in terms of SDGs showed that topics such as climate action, clean water, and renewable energy are already widely discussed. Reporting on goals 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure) and 17 (partnerships for the goals), in contrast, stays far behind. However, the chemical industry may be one of the most active sectors when it comes to collaborating and partnering, particularly in (open) innovation models. Are chemical players being too modest, or take this for granted? We have selected a number of partnerships that illustrate how the industry collaborates in order to create impact across a range of the sector’s most material SDGs. PARTNERSHIPS FOR THE GOALS 2 Unleashing the power of partnerships Successful examples for accelerating performance on today’s biggest sustainability challenges
  3. 3. PARTNERSHIPS FOR THE GOALS 3 Featured chemical companies and partners
  4. 4. A classic example of a successful long-term strategic partnership is DSM’s collaboration with the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) to combat hidden hunger and malnutrition in the developing world, in place since 2007. The DSM/WFP partnership currently reaches more than 25 million beneficiaries per year with improved nutrition. Identified as a top materiality for the company, DSM has prioritized the issue of malnutrition for nearly a decade. DSM provides scientific expertise, products and technical and financial assistance, helping WFP to improve food supplies and food quality through the addition of solutions that provide essential micronutrients. As well as with fortified rice, DSM has also helped WFP to improve the formula of its fortified blended foods. Zero Hunger: DSM & the World Food Programme SDG #2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture 4PARTNERSHIPS FOR THE GOALS
  5. 5. Counterfeit medicines are drugs that may be contaminated or contain the wrong or no active ingredient. Apart from the direct impact on people who use them (which can be severe, as lifesaving drugs can also be counterfeited), they can cause resistance to medicines for tackling diseases that are leading causes of mortality – malaria being a prime example. According to the World Health Organization, developing countries are an obvious target for counterfeiters, because legitimate drugs are too expensive for the majority of the population, and legal controls are often weak. To fight the rise of counterfeit medicines and devices, Clariant has teamed up with security ink specialist SICPA. Together, they developed PLASTIWARD™, an in-plastic solution that effectively protects from counterfeiting and dilution. It enables pharma and medical devices companies to guarantee supply chain integrity with low impact on productivity and operations and answers to the sector’s needs in terms of security and compliance. Good Health and Well-Being: Clariant & SICPA SDG #3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages 5PARTNERSHIPS FOR THE GOALS
  6. 6. The fashion industry is one of the biggest global freshwater consumers and polluters. A sustainable innovation that addresses the issue of water consumption in the textile dyeing process is presented by the Dutch startup DyeCoo, whose technology enables dyeing fabric while reducing the use of water almost to zero. DyeCoo caught the attention of big brands as Nike and IKEA, who invested in the company, and Adidas, which used DyeCoo-technology to launch its proprietary DryDye concept. In 2013, DyeCoo made a collaborative agreement with Huntsman Textile Effects aimed at the development and growth of finishing products and fluorescent brighteners, to be produced by Huntsman and used in DyeCoo’s machines. To date, DyeCoo has a worldwide capacity of 32,000 liters and growing. Clean Water and Sanitation: Huntsman & DyeCoo SDG #6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all 6PARTNERSHIPS FOR THE GOALS
  7. 7. Late October 2016, DSM launched its first Bright Minds Challenge. Together with a wide range of partners (Accenture, Greentown Labs, the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, SolarAid, Solarcentury, and Sungevity), DSM is committed to achieving 100% renewable energy this century. Therefore, the inaugural Bright Minds Challenge is aimed at collecting renewable energy solutions that are ready to scale, with a focus on solar and energy storage solutions. Through the challenge, the consortium offers a tailored package of commercial, technical and mentoring support to the most promising emerging solutions in order to help scientists scale up their solution as quickly as possible. Affordable and Clean Energy: Bright Minds Challenge SDG #7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all 7PARTNERSHIPS FOR THE GOALS
  8. 8. Within the Together for Sustainability program, chemical companies work together to improve the sustainability performance of the supply chain. Founded in 2011 by the Chief Procurement Officers of BASF, Bayer, Evonik Industries, Henkel, LANXESS and Solvay, TfS currently counts 19 major chemical players as its members. It has developed and implemented a global program to assess, audit and improve sustainability practices within the supply chains of the chemical industry. TfS promotes decent work by assessing the commitment and performance of suppliers in areas such as labor rights, working hours, non-discrimination, and a safe & secure working environment, and stimulates economic growth by fostering value chain collaboration. Decent Work: Together for Sustainability SDG #8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all 8PARTNERSHIPS FOR THE GOALS
  9. 9. Encouraging innovation, upgrading the technological capabilities of industrial sectors, and integrating small-scale industrial enterprises into value chains and markets are among this goal’s targets. Communities such as the Life Sciences cluster in Basel, Switzerland, and Chemelot in the South of the Netherlands physically bring together different actors in the value chain, leading to improved coordination of innovation initiatives. This enhances knowledge sharing and easier access to skills and resources. Chemelot, for example, aims to bring together knowledge and skills and apply it in a community of small and large chemical companies, among which Sekisui S-Lec, SABIC, and ARLANXEO. Its vision is to become Western Europe’s most competitive and sustainable chemicals and materials site by the year 2025. Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure: Chain Clusters SDG #9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation 9PARTNERSHIPS FOR THE GOALS
  10. 10. In a contribution to sustainable building in a rapidly urbanizing world, BASF collaborates with Tata Steel, NSG-Pilkington Glass and the universities of Cardiff and Swansea in the Sustainable Product Engineering Centre for Innovative Functional Industrial Coatings (SPECIFIC): an industrial and academic consortium tasked with bridging the knowledge gap that exists between innovation and production. It plans to act as a link between UK universities to exploit cutting edge, global developments in building materials and design. The consortium’s goal is to address the challenge of low carbon electricity and heat by enabling buildings to generate, store and release their own energy, in one system, using only the energy from the sun. It works on developing a range of functional coatings for building materials, that can be applied to roofs and walls on new and existing buildings, using cost-effective, earth-abundant and safe materials. Sustainable Cities and Communities: SPECIFIC SDG #11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable 10PARTNERSHIPS FOR THE GOALS
  11. 11. AkzoNobel’s Waste2Chemicals program is aimed at realizing a circular cycle in which waste, residual bio-mass and other feedstock, is collected to produce methanol. This is then used as a raw material to produce high-value chemicals for numerous applications by the end consumer. For the realization of Waste2Chemicals, AkzoNobel gathered 14 companies as partners throughout the value chain in this initiative, including Veolia, Air Liquide and Enerkem for the gasification stage, and Van Gansewinkel and EEW for waste management. The Port of Rotterdam is one of the program's support partners. By focusing on the strength of every partner, all actors in the initiative can optimize the entire value chain by reducing the environmental footprint. Responsible Consumption & Production: Waste2Chemicals SDG #12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns 11PARTNERSHIPS FOR THE GOALS
  12. 12. The Danish company Novozymes produces industrial enzymes and microorganisms and has partnering for impact at its core. In fact, it is the name of their 2020 corporate strategy. One of Novozymes’ main collaborators is Procter & Gamble, which recently rewarded Novozymes as P&G’s External Business Partner of the Year. Novozymes’ solutions for detergents replace traditional chemical ingredients like surfactants and builders with enzymes. A consumer- friendly detergent that cleans well at cold wash temperatures significantly improves energy efficiency – with major impact at scale. For example: if all Belgian households would do their laundry at 30°C, the carbon dioxide reduction potential would be as big as the emissions of 100,000 cars. Climate Action: Nozoymes & Procter and Gamble SDG #13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 12PARTNERSHIPS FOR THE GOALS
  13. 13. Plastics are estimated to represent almost 80% of the total marine debris floating in the world’s oceans, and by 2050, the ocean is expected to contain more plastics than fish. In order to raise awareness about the issue and use its business to demonstrate smart ways of using and reusing the plastics that are already on the planet, cleaning product producer Method has created a soap bottle made with a blend of recovered ocean plastic and post- consumer recycled plastic. For this purpose, Method worked closely with Envision Plastics, a company specialized in recycled high-density polyethylene (HDPE). Other partners in the project are retailer Whole Foods for distribution and several NGOs to organize beach clean-ups and collect ocean plastic. Life below Water: Method ocean plastic bottles SDG #14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development 13PARTNERSHIPS FOR THE GOALS
  14. 14. The Dow Chemical Company has partnered with non-profit organization The Nature Conservancy since 2011 in order to demonstrate how the value of nature could improve business decisions and outcomes. The partnership is aligned with Dow’s 2025 sustainability goal of valuing nature in the business decision process. Early 2016, The Nature Conservancy and Dow released the ESII Tool, an iPad app and web interface designed to help corporate, government, and organization decision makers rapidly assess the value of nature to a business or community. The app can be used by people of any skill level, from experts to people with limited ecological background and training, to collect site-specific data. It allows users to map the various habitats and developed areas on their site and collect ecological data for these areas. A help icon with detailed explanations is available so that non-ecologists can also collect data easily. Life on Land: Dow Chemical & The Nature Conservancy SDG #15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss 14PARTNERSHIPS FOR THE GOALS
  15. 15. Finch & Beak is an agency that helps companies accelerate their performance on today’s biggest sustainability challenges. In 1997, we launched our business as Between-us: a boutique consultancy that worked on bringing sustainability into the mainstream. During this 20 year period, we have serviced over 100 corporate clients throughout Europe, trained more than 5000 executives and worked with top level business schools from around the globe. Over the years we have learned how to reduce the toll that companies’ business activities take on society while helping them to create top- and bottom-line value. We have become experts in finding ways to help organisations do well by doing good – or at least by doing better. And we have focused on making sure that our clients avoid getting stuck in the ‘reporting trap’. Today, our rapidly shifting society and its sustainability challenges mean that things have to change and that we have no time to waste. It is essential for businesses, to be adaptable if they are to survive and thrive in these turbulent times. Finch & Beak uniquely focuses on helping its clients to speed up the process of business evolution. We deliver clear and concise services aimed at building business cases and turning them more quickly and effectively into value for both the company and society. PARTNERSHIPS FOR THE GOALS 15 About Finch & Beak Nikkie Vinke Co-Founder & Senior Consultant The Author:
  16. 16. PARTNERSHIPS FOR THE GOALS 16 Copyright © 2016 by Finch & Beak All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher, at the address below. Finch & Beak Baronielaan 126a 4818 RD Breda – Netherlands This report is provided for information purposes only. Finch & Beak and its partners have used their best efforts in collecting the information published in this report. Finch & Beak does not assume, and hereby disclaims any liability for any loss or damage caused by errors or omissions in this report, whether such errors or omissions result from negligence, accident or other causes. Finch & Beak cannot be held liable for any direct, indirect or consequential loss arising from the use of (or the inability to use) this report or information contained in it or from any action or decision taken as a result thereof.