Ashland is joining the global movement of leading companies and aligning operations with the aim of the Paris Climate Accord to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels. Ashland has also committed to making the UN Global Compact and its principles part of the company’s business strategy, culture, and day-to-day operations, and will engage in collaborative projects that advance the broader development goals of the United Nations, particularly the Sustainable Development Goals.
“Science-based targets provide a clearly-defined path to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Guillermo Novo, chairman and chief operating officer, Ashland. “We support public accountability and transparency, and we commit to reporting our progress. These initiatives reinforce Ashland’s core values and strengthen our environment, social and governance (ESG) agenda. They provide a platform for sustainable innovations that will foster top-line growth in the transition to the low-carbon economy.”
More than 1,000 businesses are working with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) to reduce their emissions in line with climate science. Ashland has committed to set science-based emissions reduction targets across all relevant scopes, in line with 1.5°C emissions scenarios to ensure the strongest ambition in the short-to-medium term. The campaign is led by the SBTi and backed by a global coalition of UN leaders, business organizations, and non-governmental organizations.
The UN Global Compact has been deemed the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative. It aims to accelerate business action to achieve sustainable development goals and more ambitious climate targets. By committing, Ashland joins more than 12,000 companies and 3,000 non-business signatories based in over 160 countries and 69 local networks.
Ashland’s ongoing sustainability efforts have been focused on three key domains: sustainable sourcing, operations, and solutions. Ashland is pursuing Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) Supply Chain certification, Forest Stewardship Council Chain of Custody Certification (FSC), and is establishing a program for responsible guar sourcing.
Regarding corporate social responsibility, Ashland has a partnership with EcoVadis for third-party supplier self-assessment verification. Ashland’s own 2020 company assessment was recognized as earning Ecovadis Silver Status.
Since 2014, Ashland has required suppliers to sign a Supplier Code of Conduct. The code holds suppliers to the same high standards as Ashland with respect to labor and employment rights, environmental health and safety, business ethics and social responsibility, and global trade practices as well as requiring compliance with all laws and regulations.
Ashland continues to partner with farmers in Mexico to ensure Ashland’s aloe is harvested in an ecologically sustainable way and to maintain Fair for Life certification. The Fair-Trade Funds are then used as directed by the local farmers to improve conditions within the communities where Ashland’s aloe is grown. These funds have historically been used to enrich education and support local schools.
In terms of operations, Ashland has committed to completing Life Cycle Assessments for major product lines, beginning with the personal care and household portfolio. Additionally, individual facilities have goals for the reduction of energy, hazardous waste, and water.
Ashland developed business-specific sustainability guides for customers to quickly identify sustainable products for their applications. Ashland’s personal care business focuses on natural, nature-derived, nature identical, and biodegradable products. Furthermore, the company is expanding its COSMOS validated product portfolio and innovating for vegan products. For life sciences, performance adhesives, and specialty additives, the sustainability focus is dependent on the industry, customers’ needs, and the end use of the product. Recyclability, biodegradability, and the circular economy are all driving factors.
Ashland will continue reporting in line with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and Sustainable Accounting Standards Board (SASB) standards for the chemical industry. Alignment allows Ashland to share the most important material issues with stakeholders and reduce environmental impact. They hold the company and its suppliers to higher social and ethical standards while innovating with a clear conscience for the environment and humanity.
For more information about Ashland, visit www.ashland.com. For additional information about the SBTi, visit https://sciencebasedtargets.org. To learn more about the UN Global Compact, visit www.unglobalcompact.org.