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Pilot Chemical Releases First Sustainability Report
© Pilot Chemical

Pilot Chemical Releases First Sustainability Report

By Simon Johns - Jul 29, 2022

Pilot Chemical Co., a specialty chemicals company based in Cincinnati, Ohio, put out its first sustainability report. The publication signals a growing awareness among privately owned U.S. companies of the demand for sustainable products along the supply chain. 

Pilot, which makes additives for metalworking fluids and lubricants, said the report came after a two-year materiality assessment. Private companies don’t have to engage in or disclose their sustainability actions. However, customers are starting to include suppliers in their own sustainability efforts. This could make companies that do disclose more competitive.

“Sustainability is an important topic for Pilot’s shareholders, leadership, employees and external stakeholders,” Hans Hummel, Pilot’s sustainability manager, told Sustainability InSite. “The specialty chemical industry is making significant advances in this field, and customers are looking to partner with companies that are committed to providing sustainable products.”

Hummel recognizes that the U.S. lags behind the European Union on the path to decarbonizing the economy.

“The EU is ahead of the U.S. regarding sustainability implementation and environmental regulations. The U.S. approach to sustainability has varied by administration. For example, the EU ratified the Kyoto Protocol in 2002 and then ratified the Paris Agreement in 2016. By comparison, the U.S. first agreed to both climate treaties but later backed out after administrations had changed,” Hummel said.  

The company has yet to roll out its own carbon reduction targets. According to Hummel, Pilot is gathering and evaluating information to set an emissions baseline and identify gaps in the data.

“Once this phase is completed, we will develop a long-term goal and plan on how to best address our carbon footprint,” Hummel said. “In the meantime, we have established specific environmental goals related to energy consumption, water usage and waste management.”

The company set a number of other environmental and social sustainability goals. They include sourcing 70% of its electricity from renewable resources; fully implementing a supplier code of conduct; and rolling out career development, charitable giving and diversity, equity and inclusion programs by 2025.

By 2030, Pilot aims to use 25% of its annual research and development time for sustainability projects; cut hazardous waste by 50%; and increase the number of products listed on CleanGredients by 20%. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency created the CleanGredients database of pre-approved chemical ingredients.

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