You’d be hard-pressed to find a corporation that doesn’t set sustainability goals these days. Most, however, fail to deliver. That’s in large part because of their inability to see deeply into complex supply chains and glean the information they need to alter their practices. Sustainable supply chains need the data to help them adapt and green technologies that allow them to lower their emissions footprints and meet their ESG goals. The potential benefits in terms of cost savings, long-term growth, and attracting customers, employees, and investors are almost incalculable. What is knowable is that without them, corporations cannot thrive in the future.
A surefire way to make operations more sustainable is by replacing fossil fuel energy with renewable counterparts. Green technologies like Honeywell’s Ecofining can produce biofuels that are SAF-rated and biodiesel that cuts greenhouse gas emissions in trucking fleets by up to 80%. To get the most out of wind and solar energy, their flow battery technology can store and discharge electricity three times longer than lithium-ion batteries.
“As utilities and corporations seek cost-effective alternatives to coal-fired plants with long-duration energy storage solutions, they are switching to renewable energy targets that work around the clock to reduce carbon emissions,” Ben Owens, vice president and general manager for Honeywell Sustainable Technology Solutions, said.
BASF, Allianz, and Vattenfall are building the world’s largest subsidy-free offshore wind farm in the North Sea. It first delivered energy to the grid last year and should deliver 6 terawatt-hours of energy per year. It’s part of BASF’s net zero by 2050 plan, as is the sharkskin technology developed in partnership with Lufthansa Technik that uses biomimicry to reduce drag and make airplanes more fuel-efficient. It’s also working on industrial-scale heat pumps that will use heat reclaimed from chemical plants and systems to power manufacturing.
“The greatest challenge of the 21st century is here,” BASF declares. “So, to protect the climate, we’re changing – in ways that might surprise you.”
The world’s largest chemical producer is laying out a green technology blueprint for others to follow.
It’s hard to overhaul an organization’s emissions without first being able to track them. That requires access to a great deal of data, especially for multistate or multinational corporations. Green technology tools like Greenly’s carbon accounting and life cycle assessment platforms help companies track their emissions and formulate climate plans that will hold them to their sustainability goals.
Greenly helps clients develop sustainable procurement plans that take Scope 3 emissions into account. It’s one thing to be able to track the emissions your own facilities and fleets produce. It’s much more complicated to track Scope 3 emissions, those of your suppliers and their suppliers. Yet they can account for at least 70% and as much as 95% of a company’s carbon footprint. Greenly’s Open Carbon API has emissions data from more than 100,000 worldwide suppliers.
“If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. Therefore, despite the complexity of the task, companies need to measure the Scope 3 emissions that are integral to their carbon footprint,” Deloitte advises. “Only by doing this can companies set sustainability targets as part of their decarbonization journey to net zero.”
Closing the Circle
Expanding use of green technologies is a great way for corporations to meet sustainability goals. Taking it a step further, they can participate in circular economies that wring every last ounce of utility out of materials in their supply chains.
Startups like ABTC are finding innovative ways to recycle lithium-ion batteries that lower the cost of doing so and make it a cost-effective circularity method.
“By doing it strategically, we’ve been able to dramatically lower the amount of chemical agents we needed in the separation process,” CEO Ryan Melsert told Canary News, making battery recycling cheaper and better for the environment.
These startups are getting so good at it, they could soon make recycled battery materials cheaper than mined ones.
“That’s totally possible, and that absolutely will help in terms of all of these pains that have been incurred in the scale-up of batteries,” Li-Cycle CEO Ajay Kochhar said.
Ball Corporation has rolled out its infinitely recyclable Ball Aluminum Cup™ to more than 30,000 retailers in all 50 states. “As a company, we are relentlessly focused on enabling the circular economy and finding new ways to help solve the packaging waste crisis with aluminum beverage packaging,” Ball president and CEO Daniel W. Fisher said.
Coming up with sustainability goals is a great exercise for any company. Building a resilient and sustainable supply chain is a whole other animal. Green technologies like these can help make it happen.