100 percent sustainable. 100 percent our way!
We at Evonik Active Oxygens will not only be a climate-neutral business, but also be producing a 100 percent green chemical by 2040. That’s because our products are already green, and we know how to ensure that their production is sustainable, too.
Climate neutrality is an objective that all industrial companies strive to achieve. We at Evonik Active Oxygens are going one step further: we intend to produce a 100 percent green chemical. In doing so, we are focusing on our footprint and handprint. A few things still need to change before we achieve our goal. But we know which ones, and we have already started on our way.
We know the way
While manufacturers of many chemicals face the challenge of managing what happens to their products especially at the end of their life cycles, the hydrogen peroxide we produce is an entirely natural product. It not only occurs naturally in our bodies, for example, but also in honey or roasted coffee. Hydrogen peroxide degrades into water and oxygen. When our second product group, peracetic acid, is broken down, what also remains at the end is bio-based acetic acid.
We at Evonik Active Oxygens are also one step ahead of many other companies on the path to sustainability in the manufacturing process. We no longer have to search for unfamiliar solutions to climate-neutral production issues. We know how to get there. Extensive life cycle analyses have enabled us to document all sources of emissions, and we know what we need to change – and how we want to make that happen.
Three levers with huge impact
The three major production levers are electricity, hydrogen and steam. Most of the electricity we use is already generated from renewable sources. We want to increase the percentage of renewable electricity used at our sites worldwide to over 90 percent. In the long term, we will only use electricity from renewable sources.
We will also gradually replace hydrogen, an essential primary material used in the production of hydrogen peroxide and therefore indirectly of peracetic acid, with green hydrogen. The steam required for production will be generated in future using renewable energy. At the same time, we are reducing consumption by investing in further efficiency improvements, for example heat recovery.
Switching our production to green will be completed by 2040. Production of our hydrogen peroxide, peracetic acid and persulfates product groups will then be 100 percent sustainable. Only a tiny residual fraction (less than five percent) of our direct and indirect emissions will probably have to be offset through external projects.
We use bio-based acetic acid to manufacture peracetic acid, which is produced by combining hydrogen peroxide with acetic acid. Compared to acetic acid from fossil-based sources, this reduces the CO2 footprint of this raw material by 80 percent. In Europe, we already mainly use acetic acid from renewable raw materials. In future, we also intend to use acetic acid derived from renewable raw materials at our other production sites worldwide.
Sustainably manufactured and having no negative impact at the end of their life cycle – that is one side of the coin. The other side of the coin is the fact that both products not only have no negative impact on people and the environment. They also make a positive contribution to a wide range of applications. Given their efficacy, they enable, for example, clean water, safe food and high-quality recycled paper to be produced, and they have the potential to replace less sustainable chemicals in other applications.
Once the transformation of our production processes is complete, we will produce 100 percent green chemicals: entirely climate-neutral and having a positive impact on the environment when used in various applications.