Company

Position statements

We are a global specialty chemicals leader and have earned a place among the best performing companies in our industry in terms of safety, sustainability, and reliability. Acting in accordance with our core principles - safety, sustainability, and integrity - and our company values - leading the way, growing together, and delivering on commitments - enables us to be not only an industry leader but also a trusted partner, respected employer, and a responsible member of the communities in which we operate. Below you will find a list of key topics for Nouryon.

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Climate change and carbon reduction

Nouryon recognizes that climate change has a fundamental impact on the global environment, society and business economics and we aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions along our value chain. We recognize the UN Paris Climate Agreement as the global framework for combatting climate change. We use carbon footprint as a measure of our resource efficiency. We focus on increasing the energy and raw material efficiency of our operations through continuous improvement of existing processes as well as the adoption of innovative processes and technologies and through the use of renewable energy.

Carbon reduction

Nouryon recognizes that climate change has a fundamental impact on the global environment, society and business economics and we aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions along our value chain. We use carbon footprint as a measure of our resource efficiency.

We also develop innovative products and services that enable our customers to reduce their own energy use and carbon impact, helping move the entire industry towards a more sustainable future.

We measure and report our carbon emissions in two ways:

  • Our cradle-to-gate company carbon footprint, which includes not only emissions of our own activities, but also those linked to the energy and raw materials we purchase. It is expressed in in kilotons of CO2-equivalent.

  • Our product carbon footprint, which is based on our operational emissions and is expressed in kg of CO2 per ton of production.

Circular economy

Nouryon embraces the circular economy in its sustainability agenda and endorses the concept as the necessary route towards a sustainable society.

We source more renewable raw materials and energy and initiate or contribute to programs with a range of partners to accelerate production and adoption of these supplies. Examples include our bio-based materials partnerships and programs for wind energy and renewable steam.

We also seek out opportunities for our “waste” to become a secondary raw material and use other people’s “waste” as our secondary raw material.

Diversity and inclusion

Nouryon aims to actively embrace diversity of thought and empower people to challenge each other to be more innovative and deliver better results. The skills, knowledge and engagement of our employees are vital to ensure that we develop innovative and sustainable solutions that help our customers and partners to grow and by that, drive our company’s growth and profitability. We believe it is important that our leadership reflects the diversity of our overall workforce, because inclusive and diverse teams are better able to understand customer needs and innovate to meet their requirements. Diversity is encouraged through a process of active workforce planning and local recruitment strategies.

Eco-Premium Solutions

Nouryon works with value chain partners and customers to grow our business based on innovative solutions that create more value from fewer resources.

A particular focus is to develop and market eco-premium solutions – products and services that deliver environmental or social benefits and specifically those delivering benefits for our customers when compared with competitive products (eco-premium solutions with customer benefits). We continue to proactively drive the development of innovative sustainable solutions ahead of the mainstream in the market.

Our product development processes are designed to drive continuous sustainability improvement in the overall portfolio as products are updated or replaced. Eco-premium solutions are a fundamental driver of our sustainability agenda for creating more value from fewer resources, of the products we sell, and of the processes we use to manufacture them.

Ethical animal testing

Nouryon does not carry out animal research on finished products such as chemical mixtures, except in those exceptional cases where required by government regulations.

When animal testing is required, Nouryon fully supports and applies the principles of the 3Rs: to Replace, Reduce, and Refine animal testing. Nouryon will continue with its strategy of minimizing animal testing by supporting the development of non-animal research or animal reduction research protocols. Moreover, we will also continue the dialog with institutes and regulatory bodies to minimize the need for animal testing.

Human rights

Nouryon, and any third party working with Nouryon, must comply with all labor laws in the jurisdictions where it operates. We will not engage in, or do business with any third party engaging in, the use of forced or involuntary labor, human trafficking or child labor. We recognize the human rights of all people as outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the International Labor Organization (ILO) Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.

Hydrogen

Nouryon recognizes the significant potential of green hydrogen, and is engaging in or exploring multiple initiatives to bring it to use in the future. Nouryon already has substantial experience in producing and using green hydrogen since 1987. It is most commonly used as a raw material to produce products such as ammonia and for refining. At Nouryon we see large potential for green hydrogen as an enabling feedstock in bio-based and circular chemistry routes.  

Based on our years of experience with electrochemical production of hydrogen, we have established several partnerships to create new value chains:

  • The ‘Waste-to-Chemistry’ project aims to use hydrogen along with other waste products as a feedstock to make synthesis gas – a feedstock for other chemicals – in collaboration with several organizations. For more information see here.
  • Together with Gasunie, we are investigating the production of green hydrogen directly from water at a scale of around 3,000 tons of hydrogen/year (20MW) – enough to fuel 300 hydrogen buses, or for a bus to drive around the world more than 1,100 times. For more information see here.
  • Together with Tata Steel and Port of Amsterdam, we are examining the viability of a 100MW water electrolyzer project, which Nouryon would operate. For more information see here.
  • Together with BP and Port of Rotterdam, we are examining the opportunity of making ‘green hydrogen’ via water electrolysis for BP’s refinery, which has the potential for a reduction of 350,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year based on current circumstances. The partners intend to take a final investment decision on the project in 2022. For more information see here.
  • Together with Swedish state-owned institute RISE, forestry group Södra, and packaging materials company BillerudKorsnäs, we are exploring opportunities for green hydrogen and ‘electrofuels.’ For more information see here.

Nanomaterials

Innovation is considered vital for organic growth and sustainability at Nouryon, and our strategic ambition is to deliver world-leading innovation and products. The development of new nanomaterials and nanotechnologies is expected to play a major role in product innovation across a variety of sectors and applications.

Nouryon fully recognizes the opportunities nanomaterials present and understands that, as is the case with all new technologies, health and safety issues must be fully considered as part of the innovation process when developing new products containing them. Safe use of all chemicals, including nanomaterials, is one of Nouryon’s top priorities.

Partnerships and stakeholders

Partnerships accelerate our evolution into an even more sustainable business. We engage with external stakeholders and partners, and are actively involved in the communities in which we operate to build long-lasting and productive relationships which help sustain our business. We believe that our partnerships enable us to have an impact on creating economic, environmental, and social value, thereby contributing to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Product stewardship

Nouryon’s ambition is to create business value from product stewardship by providing safer and more sustainable solutions for our customers.

Through our Product Stewardship programs designed to manage substances of concern, we take a proactive global approach to the review and management of hazardous substances in our products and processes. Taking this approach promotes the use of safer and more sustainable products. It also means we often take action to manage potentially harmful substances in advance of legislation, future-proofing our products against changes in regulations. Furthermore, this approach supports us in our ambition to develop and introduce eco-premium solutions into the market.

Renewable energy

As an energy-intensive company, using renewable energy enables us to reduce risks in our supply chains, improve our environmental footprint, and build new business opportunities in the transition to a sustainable chemical industry. By using renewable energy, we are also making our products more sustainable, thereby assisting our customers to deliver on their sustainability targets and ambitions.

Examples of Nouryon’s renewable energy initiatives include:

  • A public-private partnership to source renewable energy from wind parks at Krammer and Bouwdokken in the Netherlands, which have a total capacity of over 140 megawatts - enough energy to power approximately 140,000 households. For more information see here.
  • Developing green hydrogen from state-of-the-art electrolysis installations for use in transport and industrial processes. A plant is intended for Delfzijl in the Netherlands, which would use a 20-megawatt water electrolysis unit, the largest in Europe. The plant would convert sustainably produced electricity into 3000 tons of green hydrogen a year – enough to fuel 300 hydrogen buses. For more information see here.

Resource scarcity

Nouryon recognizes that the world’s resources are finite. At Nouryon, we are committed to continuously reducing our impact. The focus of our operational eco-efficiency program is to increase raw material efficiency, reduce energy consumption, and decrease both emissions to air and water and the production of waste.

Responsible salt mining

Nouryon is one of the largest salt manufacturers in the world, with an annual production of about 6 million tons of salt, of which our plants in the Netherlands account for more than 5 million tons. Most of the salt extracted by our company is processed into high-quality vacuum salt, which is used in the chlorine industry. Salt is a crucial ingredient in many products that benefit society, such as from foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals, and lightweight materials for vehicles and wind turbines.

At Nouryon we aim for the highest industry standards in our mining operations. In 2016, we became aware of some historic leakages of oil in wells installed in the late 1980s in Hengelo (the Netherlands). We also observed an increasing number of leakages of brackish water from our pipeline system in the area. We have since been in close consultation with the Dutch Mining Authority (SodM), as well as local communities and stakeholders.

Following these consultations and extensive assessments, we have taken action to ensure that our mining activities meet the highest standards in the industry today. For example, we renewed our pipeline network in the Hengelo area and reduced it from 175 km to 100 km in length. These pipelines meet the latest design and maintenance standards and are subject to an intensive inspection and preventive maintenance program. We have also installed several systems to closely monitor the integrity of caverns and wells during and after the production phase, including:

  • A seismic monitoring network near our operations in the Netherlands, implemented in close consultation with SodM and the Dutch Meteorological and Seismic Institute (KNMI), to monitor our caverns and learn more about sub-soil activity
  • Periodic sonar 3-dimensional scanning of our caverns to control the development and size of the cavern
  • Integrity tests of wells during the lifetime of the well

Taxation

A coherent and responsible position on tax is an essential element of our strategy. In that context, we have adopted the following tax principles:

  • Compliance: Taxes are paid in accordance with all relevant rules and regulations in the countries in which we operate. We aim to comply with both the spirit and the letter of the law.
  • Business rationale: Tax follows business. Profit is allocated to countries in which value is created, in accordance with domestic and international rules and standards (such as the OECD Guidelines) and by applying the arm's length principle. We do not seek to avoid taxes through “artificial” structures in tax haven jurisdictions.
  • Relationship with tax authorities: We seek an open and constructive dialog with tax authorities on the basis of disclosure of relevant facts and circumstances. We aim to enhance clarity and upfront certainty around tax.
  • Transparency: We are transparent about our approach to tax and our tax position. Disclosures are made in accordance with the relevant domestic regulations, as well as applicable reporting requirements and standards.

 

Zero tolerance approach to modern slavery

Slavery, servitude, forced labor, and human trafficking (modern slavery) are infringements of human rights which have a profound negative impact on people’s lives. Nouryon has a zero tolerance approach to modern slavery of any kind.

Nouryon, and any third party working with Nouryon, must comply with all labor laws in the jurisdictions where it operates. We will not engage in, or do business with any third party engaging in, the use of forced or involuntary labor, human trafficking or child labor. We recognize the human rights of all people as outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the International Labor Organization (ILO) Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.

More information

Want to know more about Nouryon positions? Please contact our Public Affairs team.