Expert Statement: Bernhard Hettich, CHT Group
10.03.2021 - The European Chemical Industry has set out on an ambitious path to become carbon neutral.
Germany, as one of the major chemical manufacturing nations, has committed to achieve this goal by 2050. But companies need to translate this industry vision into their specific context.
System changes of the scale of CO2 neutrality for a whole industry sector require a new mindset. Major transformations command long lead times and require consistent and persistent follow-through. It is all but clear whether enough value is created to justify the huge investments and how new value generated is distributed among critical players and investors.
CHEManager asked executives and industry experts to share their opinions on this industry transformation, which is a multi-stakeholder challenge and comprises economical, technical, societal and political aspects. We proposed to discuss the following aspects:
- What is your strategy / timeline to become carbon neutral and what are the key challenges on the path to achieve this goal?
- What political / regulatory measures are needed to encourage companies to invest in carbon neutral technologies?
- What economical / societal benefits do you expect or hope for by decarbonizing your business?
- How do you plan to involve external stakeholders critical for achieving CO2 neutrality?
Bernhard Hettich: CHT has integrated sustainability into its midterm strategy 2025.
Becoming a carbon-neutral company requires affordable energy with a sufficient share of renewably generated electrical energy, as pointed out in VCI’s statement.
For CHT as a specialty chemicals provider for multiple industries the transformation to climate neutrality means to analyze and evaluate the whole value chain upstream and downstream including the customers’ processes. This will be done in a systematic and comprehensive way by means of science-based targets, SBT, to make sure that each individual measure adequately contributes to the target achievement.
CHT drives its business in the focus of sustainability, well balanced on the three pillars ecology, economy, and social aspects.
However, the relentless regulatory effort from the European legislation bears the risk of vast deindustrialization in Europe, which happens in very small but manifold steps. 30 years from now, the results of the ideologically driven legislation activities of the last 10 years, today and the coming decades cannot be corrected anymore.
Therefore, we are urging now the European legislation to return to reasonable measures as their responsibility to enable the chemical industry to remain in Europe and to become climate neutral according to its self-commitment.