Sustainability LIVE: Net Zero- The Chemical Industry Keynote

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Ralf Düssel, SVP and Head of Sustainability for Evonik Industries AG, delivers a keynote on a holistic view of sustainability in the chemical industry

Speaking at Sustainability LIVE: Net Zero, Ralf Düssel, SVP and Head of Sustainability for Evonik, discusses a holistic view on sustainability in the chemical industry. He gives an overview of the chemical industry and the impact it has.

He says: “It's quite a complex industry roughly generating 1.4% of global GDP, but because of all the interconnections, it has roughly a 7% influence on the global GDP and more than 14,000 companies globally.

“The chemical industry is very complex and very connected... making this kind of industry net zero is a highly complex thing, and you really need to consider the entire value chain."

Ralf Düssel, SVP and Head of Sustainability for Evonik

Greenhouse gas emissions in the chemical industry

Ralf discusses the amount of emissions produced by the chemical industry and which chemicals are significantly involved.

He says: "If you look at greenhouse gas emission of the global chemical industry, it's roughly 6.6% of the global greenhouse gas emission... roughly one third is from heat electricity... The other two thirds come from energy usage upstream and construction, so our Scope 3.”

Because of the nature of the industry, its greenhouse gas emissions are different than those produced by other industries. Ralf says: “Ammonia is by far the largest greenhouse gas emission impact. 

“You often even see diagrams of the chemical industry’s emissions without ammonia because otherwise it’s distorting it a bit.”

Ralf Düssel speaking at Sustainability LIVE: Net Zero

Investment and costs of net zero

Finding new, more sustainable solutions requires investment and can impact the cost of products customers pay.

Ralf says: "If you want to get up to 2050 fully net zero, we need to invest roughly into the chemical industry over the timeframe 500 billion… 17 billion per year. 

Producing chemicals without the use of fossil fuels makes them more expensive.

He says: "If you consider roughly everything is double the price, then you see there’s a final consumer cost increase but it doesn’t seem to be a significant amount.”

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