Company

Position statements

Your partner in essential chemistry for a sustainable future

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; click on each topic for more information on our position.

 

 

Circular economy
Eco-Premium Solutions
Ecosystems and biodiversity
Ethical animal testing
Fair competition
Human rights
Lifecycle assessment
Management of hazardous substances
Nanomaterials
Product stewardship
Resource efficiency
Taxation
UN Sustainable Development Goals
Zero tolerance approach to modern slavery
Contact regarding company positions

 

Circular economy

Nouryon has embraced the circular economy in its sustainability agenda, and strongly endorses the concept as the necessary route towards a sustainable society.

The circular economy philosophy, as described by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, identifies three key principles:

  1. Preserve natural capital by controlling finite stocks and balancing renewable resource flows; for example replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy.
  2. Optimize resource yields by circulating products, components and materials in use at the highest utility, at all times, in both technical and biological cycles; for example sharing or looping products and extending product lifetimes.
  3. Increase system effectiveness by revealing and designing out negative externalities, such as water, air, soil, and noise pollution; climate change; and congestion and negative health effects.


We use these principles to strive for our own radical resource efficiency. We aim to source more renewable raw materials and energy, and to 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.

We currently have three main focus areas: products that do more with less, use less material, and last longer; initiating partnerships, for example converting waste to chemicals; and turning our waste into byproducts. A core element of our work with suppliers, our own operations, and the products and services we sell is to design out negative externalities. Examples include operational eco-efficiency programs; investment assessments which incorporate carbon pricing; and products and services that reduce energy use for our customers or improve air or water quality compared with standard products.

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 downstream 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.

Ecosystems and biodiversity

Nouryon recognizes our dependence on ecosystems for resources, such as fresh water; for renewable materials; and for the part they play in maintaining the quality of our air, water, and soil. We also recognize the impact we have on these ecosystems.

According to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, the main drivers for biodiversity impact are habitat change (land use change), over-exploitation, invasive alien species, pollution, and climate change. An assessment carried out in 2013 indicated that the main impacts were up and downstream of our operations, with the main drivers being land use/transformation and climate impact.

The current focus areas of our resource efficiency programs are:

  • Reducing climate impact across the value chain
  • Water use and discharge in water scarce areas
  • Sourcing renewable raw materials
  • Product assessments for our eco-premium solutions (which already include land use)

Ethical animal testing

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

When animal testing is needed, 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.

Please see our full position paper here

Fair competition

Nouryon supports free and fair competition.

We aim to meet our customers’ needs faster, better, and more distinctively than our competitors. So we compete hard, but fairly, within the framework of competition laws.

Nouryon maintains a policy of strict compliance with competition laws and our own rules. We do not enter into agreements and practices that would have a detrimental effect on competition, such as price-fixing, market allocation, or abuse of dominant position.

We promote our products in a fair and balanced way, with information that has been approved through our internal marketing review procedures.

Human rights

As part of our core principles, we are committed to respecting internationally recognized human rights in all our operations and throughout our value chain. This commitment is in line with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP) and the International Labor Organization (ILO) Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work

Further support is provided by our human rights framework, which includes policies, a governance structure, a focus on salient issues, due diligence processes to identify and mitigate risks, a grievance mechanism, and reporting on risks and actions. 

We strive to prevent the infringement of human rights and to remediate the possible impact on human rights resulting from our activities or products. We expect our business partners to apply equivalent principles and seek to actively support them in their implementation where needed.

Lifecycle assessment

Lifecycle thinking is the basis for all Nouryon’s sustainability work. Assessment work is carried out by business- and company-level specialists and is based on ISO 14040-44 and a company lifecycle assessment database. Lifecycle assessment has been included in a range of processes for many years. Examples include:

  • Carbon footprint assessment: We measure the carbon footprint of all our key value chains (>200) using a full cradle-to-grave lifecycle assessment. This is the basis of our carbon footprint key performance indicator.
  • Eco-premium solutions: Nouryon’s eco-premium solutions concept requires the assessment of sustainability aspects along the value chain. It encourages the development of more innovative, sustainable products. We continuously aim to reduce the environmental footprint of our product value chains. We are also developing environmental product declarations (EPDs) for some products as part of our marketing activity.
  • Lifecycle assessments are integrated into the company’s Innovation Core process.
  • Lifecycle assessments are integrated into the evaluation of our major investments, which also includes a value on carbon.

Management of hazardous substances

Nouryon has a company-wide commitment to manage hazardous substances in its products to ensure safe use. This includes reduction, restriction, and phase-out when they can be substituted with safer and sustainable alternatives.

Our Priority Substance Management process takes a systematic approach to the identification, review, and management of hazardous substances used in our products. Our priority substance process is embedded into key business processes and in our raw material databases so that safer materials can be sourced.

We have introduced the program to customers and stakeholders such as senior government regulators from the European Commission and NGOs, and we have received positive feedback on this approach.

Please see our full position paper 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.

Please see our full position paper here 

Product stewardship

Nouryon’s ambition is to be a leading company in product stewardship and to create business value from it by providing safer and more sustainable solutions for our customers.

Through our award-winning Priority Substance Program, we take a proactive 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.

Nouryon has presented the Priority Substances Program to stakeholders, including customers, NGOs and industry associations, and received positive feedback. It enables us to take a leading position in sustainable product stewardship and supports us in our ambition to develop and introduce eco-premium solutions into the market.

Resource efficiency

At Nouryon we understand that because we live in a world of finite resources, we have to focus on resource efficiency and creating more value from fewer resources, and we do so through our sustainability agenda.

As such, we are committed to continually increasing our resource efficiency and reducing carbon emissions in our own operations and value chain. This will help de-risk our value chain, deliver environmental benefits, and generate cost improvements.

Cradle-to-grave carbon footprint is our prime measure of resource efficiency. Our goal is to accelerate material and energy efficiency across the value chain.

We do not limit our sustainability agenda to our own operations. We work with customers to drive a reduction in carbon emissions throughout the value chain and organize dedicated sustainability meetings with suppliers.

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.

UN Sustainable Development Goals

Devised by the United Nations, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set out a comprehensive list of sustainable development targets to be achieved by 2030. The SDGs are primarily aimed at governments, however they also call on businesses to apply their creativity and innovation to help solve sustainable development challenges. Nouryon takes this challenge to heart.

The SDGs emphasize the growing importance of radical resource efficiency, and ultimately mean that companies will increasingly pay for the cost of their negative impact on the environment and society. Nouryon recognizes this, as well as the fact that business opportunities will open up for companies that develop innovative solutions for tackling the challenges that the SDGs represent.

In 2014, we were one of over 60 signatories of the Post-2015 Charter that committed to the achievement of the SDGs. Through our sustainability agenda we aim to be part of the solution. We focus in particular on the following goals:

  • UN SDG 7 Affordable and Clean Energy
  • UN SDG 9 Industry, innovation & infrastructure
  • UN SDG 12 Responsible Consumption and Production
  • UN SDG 13 Climate
  • UN SDG 17 Partnerships


Nouryon actively participates in cross-industry partnerships to further this agenda, for example via the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

For more information on the SDGs please visit the WBCSD website and the UN SDG website

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.

At Nouryon, we recognize the human rights of all people as outlined in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and our responsibility to respect human rights as set out in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. We strive to prevent the infringement of human rights and to remediate the possible impact on human rights resulting from our activities or products. We impose the same standards and expectations on our business partners. In turn, we expect our business partners to apply equivalent principles and seek to actively support them in their implementation where needed.

More information

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