Pathways to 2030

Inspiring the sector to action and engaging with partners to deliver impact

The impact opportunities identified in Part two will only be realized at the scale necessary to make a significant contribution to the SDGs through timely, continued and combined efforts by leading players within the chemical sector. With a view to advancing these impact opportunities and fulfilling the potential that they represent, this Roadmap also identifies a series of short-, medium- and long-term actions, making up so-called “impact pathways” to deliver each opportunity and to inspire the chemical sector and other sectors it works with to enable or deliver tangible SDG progress.

These impact pathways were developed through a series of deep-dive working sessions for each of the five themes with subject matter experts from participating chemical sector companies and associations. They take into account known barriers to implementation and/or deployment, potential solutions and ways to accelerate SDG impact. Draft plans for action went through rigorous screening to ensure they had the potential to have a step change impact – beyond business as usual – to one or more prioritized SDGs and that the action could either be led by the chemical sector or that it would not happen at the same pace or scale without the chemical sector as a key stakeholder.

The final pathways for each thematic area are highlighted in a series of tables across the following pages. Each action is linked to the SDGs and targets with which it most closely corresponds. Each table also contains a qualitative analysis of the potential level of impact that the action stands to have on the SDG agenda and the level of collective effort it will require from the sector in order to be realized.

Food impact pathways

Impact opportunity Category Key action points Key partners Low, medium, high levels of input from sector Short-, medium-, long-term timeframe Associated SDGs Associated SDG targets and levels of potential impact
1. Contribute to sustainable and healthy food supply Product innovation i – Scale existing programs aimed at driving step changes in the sustainable production of food and drink products, the reduction of waste, and helping people to eat healthily and sustainably Farmers, suppliers, downstream customers, food brands, NGOs, WBCSD FReSH program 2 2.1
2.4
12 12.2
12.3
ii – Increase adoption of circular, low carbon technologies that use unavoidable waste from agri, bio, food, and food packaging value chains to be used as chemical feedstocks Waste collectors, recycling companies, food companies 12 12.2
12.3
iii – Accelerate knowledge transfer and best practice regarding fertilizer and pesticide chemistry performance against socioeconomic, environmental and health criteria for different seeds and plants to meet regional needs Farmers, WBCSD Climate Smart and GAA Group 2 2.1
2.4
12 12.2
2. Transform food packaging to prevent food loss and waste Product & process innovation i – Increase implementation of high-performance packaging to improve food safety, shelf life and nutrition while also improving recyclability Government and value chain 2 2.1
12 12.3
12.5
14 14.1
ii – Collaborate with multistakeholder platforms to ensure the right infrastructure is in place to manage food package waste (incl. reverse logistics) Government and value chain 2 2.a
9 9.1
12 12.3
12.5
14 14.1
3. Transform food additives to combat malnutrition Product & partnership
innovation
i – Scale multi-stakeholder platforms to improve efforts to combat micronutrient deficiencies while meeting regional societal needs Financial services, governments, food brands 2 2.2

Water impact pathways

Impact opportunity Category Key action points Key partners Low, medium, high levels of input from sector Short-,medium-, long-term timeframe Associated SDGs Associated SDG targets and levels of potential impact
4.Increase
resilience for
water pipes
and systems
Product
innovation
i – Increase use of innovative piping solutions through collaboration with sustainable cities initiatives focusing on local needs related to access to drinking water and reduced water pollution Water utilities, local government, building code/standard organizations 6 6.1
6.2
9 9.1
9.4
5. Improve urban water treatment capabilities through focused research and innovation to accelerate breakthrough technology development Product innovation i – Engage with water companies and other stakeholders to co-develop treatment solutions that are more affordable and accessible Downstream customers, water utilities, local governments 6 6.3
6.a
9 9.1
9.5
11 11.1
11.5
13 13.1
6. Accelerate water stewardship Process innovation i – Apply best practices for circular water management and watershed-level risk assessment, including water valuation Water NGOs, government, peers 6 6.4
6.5
9 9.1
11 11.3
12 12.6
14  14.1
 14.2
7. Work with others in the value chain on aquatic waste issues (including ocean plastic)
Partnership
innovation
i – Collaborate to develop circular design solutions to address root causes of improper disposal and enhance understanding of waste infrastructure requirements to manage plastic Local governments, water agencies, downstream customers and stakeholders 6  6.3
 6.a
14  14.1
 14.2

People and health impact pathways

Impact opportunity Category Key action points Key partners Low, medium, high levels of input from sector Short-,medium-, long-term timeframe Associated SDGs Associated SDG targets and levels of potential impact
8. Transform portfolios to have more products with positive impacts on health and people Product innovation i – Identify regional societal health and safety needs and gaps to 1) scale deployment of current chemical sector products that enable positive impact and 2) scale R&D and innovation on issues where there are lack of affordable solutions Sector peers, local governments, NGOs, financial, value chain (consumer product manufacturers), start-ups 3 3.9
12 12.4
12.a
ii – Encourage use of sustainable portfolio management techniques (in line with those published by WBCSD) to assess impact and communicate best practise WBCSD members, industry associations, reporting frameworks, value chain, NGOs 3 3.9
12 12.4
12.a
9. Reduce impact of operations to people Process innovation i – Operationalize the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) throughout the chemical sector and its value chain. Establish a forum for engagement and collaboration around advancing human rights due diligence in the context of the sector Sector peers and value chain, human rights community, governments, WBCSD 3 3.9
8 8.7
8.8
10. International chemical industry scientific and technological capacity building Partnership innovation i – Leverage resources devoted to ICCA engagement to develop thought leadership and industry/regional mentors that will accelerate the international roll out of Responsible Care based on regional needs and where the most SDG impact can be achieved Sector peers, local governments, NGOs, financial, value chain (consumer product manufacturers), start-ups 3 3.9
8 8.4
12 12.4
12.a
ii – Enhance support of UN’s Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) plans for sound management of chemicals and waste beyond 2020 Industry associations 3 3.9
8 8.4
12 12.4
12.a

Energy impact pathways

Impact opportunity Category Key action points Key partners Low, medium, high levels of input from sector Short-,medium-, long-term timeframe Associated SDGs Associated SDG targets and levels of potential impact
11. Accelerate energy efficiency in downstream sectors Product innovation i – Collaborate with customers – with a particular focus on transport, construction and packaging sectors – to increase deployment of technologies and products with the most potential to scale downstream energy savings Customers, peers, local governments 7 7.3
12 12.2
13 13.1
12. Enable production and storage of renewable energy/renewable energy infrastructure Product innovation i – Accelerate the deployment of innovative materials to improve the efficiency of solar, wind and other sources of renewable power and energy storage Government, research institutes, green building associations and product manufacturers 7 7.2
7.3
13 13.1
13. Continue to improve energy efficiency in own processes Process innovation i – Scale efforts to improve energy efficiency of technologies, processes and products over their life cycles so as to avoid harm to people and the environment through more open reporting on performance, achievements and shortcomings; more engagement with peers, governments and organizations to tackle barriers; and by providing greater knowledge transfer of best practices along the value chain Peers 7 7.3
7.a
12 12.4
12.6
13 13.1
14. Breakthrough technologies for alternative production processes Process innovation i – Demonstrate nascent technologies by leveraging public-private partnerships and other models to tackle CAPEX barriers with a focus areas including: CCU & CCS, electrification of processes that can benefit from the power sector energy transition, low-carbon hydrogen production and geothermal power Chemical sector peers, start-ups, energy sector, government 7 7.3
7.a
13 13.1
15. Increase proportion of renewable energy or innovative energy technologies used in production Process innovation i – Increase proportion of renewable energy or innovative energy technologies used in chemical processes and supply chains by removal of barriers (price, physical stability, regulatory framework, availability, capacity, public acceptance, etc.). Government, peers, start-ups 7 7.3
13 13.1

Infrastructure and cities impact pathways

Impact opportunity Category Key action points Key partners Low, medium, high levels of input from sector Short-,medium-, long-term timeframe Associated SDGs Associated SDG targets and levels of potential impact
16. Scale and evolve involvement in multi-stakeholder collaboration to make cities more sustainable and inclusive, improving lives of the urban poor Partnership innovation i – Scale involvement in and development of public-private partnerships to pioneer viable chemical sector products and business models that are inclusive and serve the needs of the urban poor Various industry, local government, NGOs, finance organizations, local communities 3 3.9
11 11.6
11.c
17. Demonstrate benefits of industrial symbiosis Partnership & Process innovation i – Define conditions for favourable cross-sector industrial symbiosis to support the development of relevant legislation and institutional settings that will support proliferation of industrial hubs Government, industry associations 9 9.4
11 11.3
11.6
12 12.2
12.4
13 13.1
18. Strengthen production assets to promote resiliency Process innovation i – Assess production assets and value chain climate change-related resilience risk and share best practices Chemical sector, value chain partners, WBCSD working groups on water and climate & energy 9 9.4
11 11.6
13 13.1

The road to 2030

This Roadmap underlines the unique and important role of the chemical sector in the context of sustainable development. It confirms that the SDGs are a priority for the chemical sector and plots a series of tangible pathways towards maximizing the sector’s potential to contribute to them.

The articulation of the key impact opportunities and actions highlighted in this report is just the first step on the road to continued SDG engagement. Leading chemical sector representatives from within WBCSD’s membership will now look to evolve this work from ambition to implementation. This will include ongoing efforts to:

Develop targeted working groups to advance the different action points identified in the Roadmap, convening the most relevant expertise to deliver progress;

Leverage this Roadmap to reach out to potential collaborators both from within the chemical sector and beyond; and

Establish appropriate mechanisms and frameworks to regularly report on progress against the Roadmap and to keep stakeholders updated.

This Roadmap is intended to serve as an invitation to industry peers as well as other public and private sector stakeholders to collaborate around efforts for SDG action moving forward.

Contributors to the Roadmap strongly encourage interested parties to contact the group at sdgchemicals@wbcsd.org with ideas on how to align projects or strengthen partnerships to accelerate SDG impact.

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank the following people for their valuable contribution to the development of this Roadmap.

Contributors:
AkzoNobel: Mark Didden

The American Chemistry Council (ACC): Bryan Kuppe, Sean Stephan

The European Chemical Industry Council(Cefic): Ann Dierckx

Covestro: Lydia Simon

The Dow Chemical Company: Mark Weick, Jihane Ball

DSM: Jeff Turner, Simon Gobert

Evonik Industries AG: Stefan Haver, Volker Kerscher

Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings: Kiyoshi Matsuda, Takashi Morishima

SABIC: Daniel Gambus, Gretchen Govoni

Solvay S.A.: Dominique Debecker

Sumitomo Chemical Company, Limited: Yoshihisa Takasaki

Coordination:
WBCSD: James Gomme and Uta Jungermann

ERM: Bryan Hartlin, Linden Edgell, Jo Lloyd and Claire Stevens

For more information contact:
James Gomme, Director, Sustainable Development Goals at gomme@wbcsd.org.

Disclaimer:
This publication is released in the name of the WBCSD. Like other WBCSD publications, it is the result of a collaborative effort by members of the secretariat and senior executives from member companies. A wide range of members reviewed drafts, thereby ensuring that the document broadly represents the perspective of the WBCSD membership. It does not mean, however, that every member company agrees with every word.

About the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD):

WBCSD is a global, CEO-led organization of over 200 leading businesses working together to accelerate the transition to a sustainable world. We help make our member companies more successful and sustainable by focusing on the maximum positive impact on shareholders, the environment, and societies.

Our member companies come from all business sectors and all major economies, representing combined revenue of more than $8.5 trillion and 19 million employees. Our Global Network of almost 70 national business councils gives our members unparalleled reach across the globe. WBCSD is uniquely positioned to work with member companies along and across value chains to deliver impactful business solutions to the most challenging sustainability issues.

Together, we are the leading voice of business for sustainability: united by our vision of a world where more than nine billion people are all living well and within the boundaries of our planet, by 2050.

 

 

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