Consumer awareness driving demand sustainability
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Waste Management Expo 2020 MAR 12&13 BIEC, Bengaluru, India

Consumer awareness is driving demand for sustainability

3:51 PM, 10th December 2019
Nella Baerents, Sustainability Policy Director, Kraton Corporation
Nella Baerents, Sustainability Policy Director, Kraton Corporation.

Nella Baerents, Sustainability Policy Director, Kraton Corporation envisions that adopting sustainability will offer companies potential for growth, improved productivity and risk reduction. She also notes that people are increasingly becoming concerned about chemicals in end-use products.

By Shivani Mody

Global trends ensure higher adoption of sustainability.

The global population is expected to reach 9.5 billion by 2050 (United Nations). The use of resources to support a growing population drives environmental impacts, raising concerns about economic and human health. Governments and regulators are tackling these challenges through new policies, commitments and regulations in alignment with Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues. Consumer awareness is also driving demand as people become increasingly concerned about chemicals in end-use products. Kraton’s sustainable solutions can help support a growing population and the needs that come with it.

Global sustainability trends in the chemical industry.

The chemicals industry produces materials that make up countless end-use products, allowing us to enhance lives all over the world. As a result, we are seeing demand for cleaner, safer products that deliver equivalent or better performance than traditional solutions. Regulations are also driving the growth of high purity products, including those that can replace PVC materials and meet stringent requirements for medical and food packaging.

Growth potential of biobased chemicals.

Kraton focuses on innovations that deliver both product performance and sustainability. Approximately half of our product portfolio is made from biobased materials. As regulations and consumer demands continue to drive the need for more sustainable materials, there are opportunities for renewable products to substitute existing materials. For example, in the paving industry, our pine-based SYLVAROAD RP1000 performance additives enables asphalt recycling, while delivering equivalent performance to virgin asphalt.

Company’s sustainability strategy and future action plans.

Kraton strives to deliver innovative solutions that are useful, competitive and environmentally- and socially-sustainable regarding where they are sourced upstream, how they are produced in our plants and how they are used downstream by customers and society.

Our Value Creation Model captures the different capitals we depend on to develop, manufacture and market specialty chemicals – and how our business activities impact economic, social and environmental themes. We also have sustainability strategy map that incorporates our ambitions to conduct 12 life cycle analysis by 2020 and reduce 25 percent greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 – as well as value drivers and key performance indicators – ensuring sustainability is embedded across multiple functions and existing company processes.

Biobased certification scheme and benefits for companies.

The biobased certification helps differentiate our products between a broad range of products that include hydrocarbon and renewable materials. The certification specifies and validates the amount of biomass in our products, allowing us to provide customers with scientific evidence and transparency into their value chain.

To date, Kraton has certified 30 product family covering over 100 products. Making sustainability an integral part of innovation. Sustainability is an integral part of Kraton’s innovation strategy. Our criteria for new product development programs require addressing the efficient use of constrained resources while providing sustainable solutions to customers. We continuously look for ways to help them replace solvent based materials and help reduce emissions, consumption of water & energy, and waste generation.

Suppliers, supply chains following sustainability quotient.

We work with over 6,000 suppliers globally, so we strive to conduct business with reliable organizations in alignment with environmental, social and ethical standards. Our Supplier Code of Conduct, Conflict Minerals Policy and Slavery and Human Trafficking statement guides our suppliers in our expectations. We also use the EcoVadis platform to engage and educate them on sustainability. Our efforts have resulted in EcoVadis Silver-level sustainability ratings for seven consecutive years.

Challenges faced in adopting sustainability.

Given the wide scope of sustainability, it is important for companies to understand their value proposition and how it plays into economic, social and environmental impacts. You should identify specific goals as well as the business activities, value drivers and key performance indicators that can help them get there. Overall, we believe sustainability offers companies potential for growth, improved productivity and risk reduction.

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