Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) has released a sustainability report which features its sustainability achievements throughout the world and highlights how the company is setting the standards for innovation and sustainable development in the chemical industry.
The Sabic Sustainability Report 2015 is titled Enabling Tomorrow’s Solutions.
Yousef Al-Benyan, acting vice chairman and CEO of Sabic, said: “We as a company have always been about much more than bringing economic value to Saudi Arabia and the countries where we operate; we have brought a wide range of benefits to society and the environment throughout our global network.”
“Since sustainability became a foundation of our 2025 strategy – the roadmap to our emergence as the preferred world leader in chemicals – we have come a long way. The Sustainability Report is a snapshot of this invaluable contribution; we hope it inspires others strive for innovative solutions that benefit our communities,” he added.
The report covers high priority topics such as resource and energy efficiency; innovation and sustainability solutions; environment, health, safety and security (EHSS) and product safety; supply chain; human capital; and social impacts and community relationships, said a statement from the company.
The report features a CO2 purification plant that opened last year at United, a Sabic affiliate in Saudi Arabia, boosting the company’s overall operational efficiency. The new facility can capture and purify up to 500,000 metric tonnes of CO2 from the production of ethylene glycol every year.
Awadh Al-Maker, executive vice president for technology and innovation at Sabic, said: “This impressive project has become a standard bearer for sustainable, efficient and environmentally conscious development.”
“The project shows how technology can reduce emissions, convert waste CO2 into valuable products, and increase operational efficiency, providing Sabic with both short- and long-term gains,” he added.
The purified CO2 is channelled through a network to other Sabic affiliates, where it is used in the production of useful products, such as urea for agricultural nutrients, liquefied CO2 for the food and drink industry, and methanol, a building block for many other chemicals that we use daily. The network enables Sabic to maximise resource efficiency by enabling integration between multiple sites.
Sabic continued progress to meet ambitious goals in resource and energy efficiency throughout its global operations: reducing energy consumption, greenhouse gas (GHG), and water intensities by 25 per cent, and material loss intensity by 50 per cent from levels in 2010 by 2025.
Sabic’s global utilisation of CO2 as a feedstock increased to 3.3 million metric tonnes, helping to reduce material loss intensity by 29 per cent since 2010. Over the same period, GHG emissions intensity has decreased by 7.8 per cent, energy intensity by 8.1 per cent, water intensity by 11 per cent.
Additionally, Sabic created a demonstration house for its Home of Innovation initiative that is designed to achieve a net-zero energy balance in the demanding conditions of the Saudi Arabian desert. It also qualified 23 new sustainability products: solutions that enhance economic, social, and environmental benefits throughout the lifecycle. With innovation hubs in five key regions – the USA, Western Europe, Saudi Arabia, Southeast Asia, and Northeast Asia – the company’s total patent portfolio filings grew to a new high of 10,960 in 2015.
In EHSS, the company continued strong improvement globally. This progress is marked by a reduction in the EHSS incident rate by 30 per cent to reach 0.48, which is a strong step toward our 2025 goal of 0.25 incidents for every 200,000 hours worked. Hazardous substance chemical release incidents also fell by 36 per cent and the volume of accidental releases by more than 92 per cent.
Supply chain was another area of forward progress with the launch of a comprehensive supply chain and procurement framework that continues to push Sabic toward a leadership position in sustainability; the implementation of two new key performance indicators plus standardised, global EHSS incident reporting; and the completion of educational programs to optimise performance. Significant developments occurred in modernisation of the road and ocean fleet, and other enhancements to the company’s intermodal transportation network.
To continue the development of human capital, the company focused on talent acquisition, and growing and retaining a workforce with the skills and leadership qualities needed to meet the demands of the industry. Throughout the year, 30,835 employees – from entry- to executive-level – participated in training programmes. Other highlights included the successful completion of executive MBAs by 53 leaders.
In 2015, Sabic gave $53.9 million to community projects to increase education in science and technology, protect the environment, promote health and wellness, and support water and agriculture projects. In addition to direct contributions, Sabic’s employees dedicated themselves to community projects in many countries that feature in the report, it added.