According to the calculation of CDP, a global environmental information research center, the carbon emission of supply chains is more than five times the direct emission of enterprises. Therefore, carbon reduction is more of a systematic project and it is difficult for a single enterprise to promote the overall process. Enterprises need to play their role in reducing carbon emissions and take more responsibility throughout the value chain. In order to achieve the goal of carbon reduction, specialty chemicals company LANXESS is starting from various sources including raw materials, energy, and products to drive carbon reduction in the entire value chain.
Go further on the road to carbon reduction
In 2019, LANXESS set a plan to become climate-neutral in production (Scope 1) and energy sources (Scope 2) by 2040.
Beyond that, LANXESS strives to "go further" on the road to carbon reduction by driving joint carbon reduction along the upstream and downstream value chains (Scope 3). In 2022, the company extended its target to include Scope 3 emissions, aiming to make its upstream and downstream supply chains climate-neutral by 2050. This includes not only indirect emissions, particularly from purchased raw materials, but also emissions from logistics and end products. By 2030, Scope 3 emissions are to be reduced by 40% compared with the base year 2015, from 27 000 to 16 500 kilotons of CO2 equivalents. To achieve the target, LANXESS has launched the Net Zero Value Chain Program. This strategy toward climate neutrality along the entire value chain plans to switch to sustainable raw materials, green logistics and a climate-neutral product portfolio.
Outsource sustainable raw materials and electricity
In February, 2023, LANXESS announced that it would source chlorine, caustic soda and hydrogen from the ISCC PLUS-certified sites of Strove in Severeness and Referred-Ingenue. With immediate effect, Strove would manufacture around one-third of the volume of products it supplies to LANXESS using energy from hydro power based on guarantees of origin.
Previously, LANXESS and French energy group Generalities have entered into a cooperation on the supply of binocular polystyrene. Unlike conventional polystyrene, the raw material used by Generalities is based on tall oil, which is derived from a tree resin and is a by-product of pulp production. LANXESS uses the polystyrene to produce sustainable ion exchange resins. These products are applied primarily in the treatment of chemical process, food purity as well as wastewater, etc.
In addition, the company also sourced many other sustainable raw materials. Binocular acrylamide is used for another type of ion exchange resins. The preservative Prevent is also available with various fatty acid mixtures based on sunflower oil. Polymers under the Grenadine Green brand contain starch-based polyether polyols. The intermediate trimethylpropane Scopeblue consists of about half sustainable N-butylaldehyde.
Additionally, the specialty chemicals company plans to completely switch its global electricity supply to renewable energy within the next decade. LANXESS and energy company ENGIE have concluded power full supply agreements for a total of 1 400 GWh for sites in Germany and Belgium. More than half will be covered by corporate power purchase agreements (cPPAs) with guarantees of origin for green power. The cPPAs run from January 2023 to the end of 2025.
The electricity for the cPPAs will be sourced from seventeen wind farms and four solar parks in Germany and then it will be supplied to some LANXESS sites in Germany: Bergkamen, Bitterfeld, Brunsbuettel and Mannheim.
LANXESS is also building a new power system based on green energy in China to accelerate the low-carbon transformation of the production process. In September 2022, it is announced that the company has completed a first project of sourcing green electricity at its site in Liyang, which brings the proportion of renewable energy used to about 50 percent of the site’s total annual electricity consumption and makes Liyang the first LANXESS site in China to use green energy. It is expected the move will reduce several thousand tons of carbon dioxide emissions for the Liyang production base.
Make product carbon reduction traceable
Since the beginning of this year, the business units of LANXESS have successively taken practical actions for the goal of climate neutrality. The Flavors & Fragrances business unit is leading the way: it will offer sustainable product variants for its entire portfolio of flavours and fragrances, preservatives and animal nutrition products by the end of 2023. The business unit’s most important products include the preservatives Kalaguard and Purox as well as flavours and fragrances under the Kalama and Purolan brands.
To supply sustainable raw materials, the Flavors & Fragrances business unit has entered into strategic collaborations with its key suppliers. The sustainable raw materials portfolio includes bio-based and circular raw materials as an alternative to crude oil derivatives, but also raw materials with a reduced carbon footprint thanks to the use of renewable energies, e.g. sustainable electrolysis products.
The Advanced Industrial Intermediates (AII) business unit now offers more sustainable solutions for around 80 percent of its polyols and oxidation products (POP) portfolio. Seven of the nine products, including the chemicals trimethylolpropane (TMP), adipic acid (ADA), 1,6-hexanediol (HDO) and phthalic anhydride (PSA), have already successfully completed LANXESS’s internal Scopeblue certification. The remaining ones are to follow soon. With the Scopeblue brand label, LANXESS marks products that either exhibit a sustainable raw material content of more than 50 percent or offer a carbon footprint of less than half of that of their conventional counterparts.
The sustainable light-color sulfur carriers within the Additin product family which are produced at the Mannheim site in Germany are marketed under the LANXESS Scopeblue brand. The sulfur-carriers also meet the requirements of the “Lubricant Substance Classification”-list (LuSC) – the prime reference for formulators of lubricants who intend to apply for the EU Ecolabel. EU Ecolabel lubricants are more eco-friendly alternatives to conventional lubricants, aiming to decrease the impact of these products on biodiversity, through respecting a wide scope of environmental criteria.
To better calculate the carbon footprint of the Group’s products, LANXESS has developed the Product Carbon Footprint Engine. It uses existing data from various business units and calculates the emissions generated using a cradle-to-gate approach covering greenhouse gas emissions during production, product-specific emissions related to raw materials, energy, operating materials and transport and emissions from waste disposal. The tool has been certified by TüV Rheinland according to ISO 14067 standard for quantifying the carbon footprint of products.
In combination with the Group's strategy, LANXESS is playing an important role in uniting upstream and downstream companies in the value chain to gradually achieve carbon reduction goals. Therefore, in the latest assessment by the renowned climate protection initiative CDP, the Group has once again made it to the climate A List as one of 283 companies worldwide. This puts LANXESS among the top 2 percent of the nearly 15 000 companies scored by CDP.