Climate & Energy

Carving out a low-carbon future

Time for action

Climate change is happening. In fact the Global Carbon Project reported that CO2 emissions increased by an all-time high of nearly 3% in 2018. While it’s almost certainly humans that have caused it…we also have the power to stop it. Specifically, we need to get below the “1.5° to 2° ceiling” identified by the United Nations as the prelude to ecological disaster; and the best way to achieve that is to cut our emissions of carbon and other Greenhouse Gases (GHGs). 

Why action is needed now

Climate change doesn’t just affect the planet. It affects people. According to the late-2018 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), we are further away than ever from reaching the goal of achieving a global temperature rise this century of 1.5°c above pre-industrial levels. How significant is this one-half per cent?

Arctic summers could be ice-free once every ten years in a 2°c world, but just once a century in a 1.5°c one; sea levels could rise an extra 10cm in a 2°c world, causing catastrophe to millions of people; meanwhile, failure to achieve a 1.5°c target could see close to half a billion people being baked in record temperatures and virtually all our coral reefs lost by 2100.

But this is just one alternate future. There’s another, far brighter one that we believe is well within reach; a world where environmental and societal advances drive economy prosperity. In fact, the 2018 New Climate Economy report cited a $26 trillion opportunity. We just need to come together in order to grasp it.

Sustainable Development Goals

It's for these pressing reasons that our strategy at DSM is based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)  - and specifically SDGs 7 and 13 in this case. In practice we work to lower our own carbon footprint, deliver solutions that enable a low-carbon economy and advocate for climate action.

SDG 7: Ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable modern energy for all &...

SDG 13: Taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Improving our own carbon footprint

To be a leader in climate action it’s important to lead by example. That’s why at DSM we closely manage our absolute Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission reduction; GHG efficiency; and energy efficiency. Achieving our ambitious targets forms part of the Managing Board's variable income and in May 2018 we concluded a new €1 billion Revolving Credit Facility that links the interest rate of the facility to our Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission reductions. 

Enabling a low-carbon economy

Our company enables a low-carbon economy through everything from sustainable materials and resins, to new farming methods, to game-changing renewable energy innovations. In fact, nearly two-thirds of our entire portfolio comprises what we call Brighter Living Solutions - offerings that are measurably better than mainstream equivalents in terms of their environmental and/or social impact, while still delivering high performance.

Advocating

When it comes to climate, we’re an action taker and a movement maker – determined to play our part in shaping the low-carbon agenda. It starts with our commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals,  but it continues through everything from advocating carbon pricing policies to working alongside governments, NGOs, fellow private companies, and anyone else that can help us reach our goal of a low-carbon world for all.

We advocate consistent, long-term governmental policies that make a low-carbon economy a reality. We believe that government policies and initiatives should encourage low carbon innovations, improvement of energy efficiency and the scaling of renewable energy; innovate fiscal systems and policies, including  (but not limited to) carbon pricing and removal of fossil fuel subsidies; increase transparency and disclosure of financial investments and policies regarding the shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy; and educate the public on the impact of climate change.

We’re directly involved in several climate action initiatives and on the board of three prominent European public-private partnerships: the Bio-based Industries Consortium; the Sustainable Process Industry through Resource and Energy Efficiency (SPIRE); and the European Technology Platform for Sustainable Chemistry (SusChem). 

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  • Enabling a low-carbon economy

    DSM enables a low-carbon economy through everything from sustainable materials and resins, to new farming methods, to renewable energy innovations.

  • Improving our own carbon footprint

    We closely manage our absolute Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission reduction; GHG efficiency; and energy efficiency and have ambitious targets to continue improving.

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