Air Liquide Announces Ambitious ESG Targets

30.03.2021 - French multinational gases group Air Liquide has announced what it termed “ambitious” environmental, social and governance (ESG) objectives to act for a sustainable future. The objectives include firm targets to reduce CO2 emissions and accelerate hydrogen development.

Air Liquide aims to start reducing its absolute CO2 emissions by 2025 and to reach a 33% decrease in its Scope 1 and 2 CO2 emissions by 2015 compared with 2020. Scope 1 covers direct emissions from owned or controlled sources while Scope 2 covers indirect emissions from the generation of purchased electricity, steam, heating and cooling.

To decarbonize its assets, the gases company will leverage on capturing CO2 and accelerating low-carbon hydrogen production through electrolysis or by using renewable feedstock, such as biomethane. With regard to indirect emissions, Air Liquide said it will focus on increasing energy efficiency and consuming low-carbon electricity.

The group added that it will also deploy a broad range of low-carbon solutions for its customers to help them reduce their CO2 footprint. These will include offering low-carbon gases and “recognized” carbon capture expertise, accompanying customers in transforming their industrial processes, as well as providing an asset-takeover strategy with the objective of decarbonization.

As part of its strategy, Air Liquide intends to at least triple turnover from its hydrogen activities to more than €6 billion by 2035. It intends to reach that target by investing about €8 billion in the low-carbon hydrogen supply chain and contributing to the development of a low-carbon hydrogen ecosystem for the industry and clean mobility. Air Liquide aims to expand its total electrolysis capacity to 3 GW by 2030.

The company said it also wants to reinforce its societal contribution in healthcare by improving the quality of life of chronic patients at home in mature economies, and by facilitating access to medical oxygen for rural communities in low- and middle-income countries. For its own employees, it plans to engage with them “to provide a common basis of care coverage, as well as promote inclusion and diversity, with a target to reach 35% of women among managers and professionals by 2025.”

“States, individuals, and companies: we all share a responsibility in building the future. Economic performance and sustainable development are therefore at the heart of Air Liquide’s growth strategy,” said chairman and CEO Benoît Potier. “In that context we are introducing new ambitious sustainability commitments, aiming at making a meaningful difference. Not only do we intend to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 and harness climate change and energy transition with hydrogen playing a key role in our roadmap, but we also include healthcare, human resources, and governance as part of our ESG objectives.”

Phase one of Taiwan hydrogen plant completed

In separate news, Air Liquide has completed the first phase of construction of a project to install electrolysis hydrogen plants with a total capacity of 25 MW in the Tainan Technology Industrial Park in Taiwan. It will build the second and final phases of the electrolyzer plants over the next 2 years.

The plants will provide high-purity hydrogen to the local semiconductor industry, as well as serve emerging hydrogen energy applications in the country.

Author: Elaine Burridge, Freelance Journalist