Infineum Takes First Steps to Sustainability
© vinap; Yuttapong; Lianez

Infineum Takes First Steps to Sustainability

By Simon Johns - May 06, 2021

Infineum aims to slash carbon emissions per ton of product by a fifth by 2025, the company said in its first sustainability report published in April.

A major U.K.-based specialty chemicals company co-founded by Shell and ExxonMobil, Infineum joins hundreds of other organizations around the world that use the Global Reporting Initiative framework to report on the sustainability of their environmental and social impacts and corporate governance.

Over the past two years, Infineum’s gross direct greenhouse gas emissions from operations, known as Scope 1, fell by 28% to 57,400 metric tons in 2020 from 80,400 in 2018.

Its Scope 2 gross emissions also fell over the same period, helped along by the installation of solar panels at its Linden Technology Center in New Jersey, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 1,300 metric tons per year, as well as fully powering its Singapore premises with renewable energy.

At the same time, the company reduced water consumption by 25% to 12 million liters, down from 15 million in 2018, but increased waste output by 15%.

“2025 gave us a length of sight into the future that we could tangibly see ourselves, and what we needed to do, to deliver these transformational steps in our sustainability journey,” Maurizio Abbondanza, Infineum’s sustainability and technology director, told Sustainability InSite. 

Other achievements include acquiring ISO 14001 Environmental Management System certification for each owned manufacturing facility around the world and cradle-to-gate life cycle assessments for products, thereby “setting the baseline measurements critical for driving and measuring performance in the years to come,” Abbondanza said. 

The report includes Infineum’s sustainability targets, among them setting up a scheme this year to encourage 25% of its 2,000-strong workforce to take time off to volunteer in community support and science, technology, engineering and mathematics activities.

Infineum also wants to increase transparency in its supply chains by assessing its suppliers’ sustainability performance, which will contribute to reaching its targets, Abbondanza said.  

“A single business alone cannot deliver the impact required for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals,” he said. “We must do what is in our control to operate a sustainable business, but when it comes to maximizing the impact we can have for our stakeholders and for the planet, it requires collaboration within our supply chain.” 

To do this, the company is using the Ecovadis platform to understand the risks to business and to help identify how sustainability may be a future differentiator, Abbondanza said.

“It has been a very rewarding start for us on our sustainability journey,” he said.