Elkem recently announced a new climate roadmap detailing how the company plans to develop its business in line with the aim of the Paris Agreement of limiting global warming to well below 2˚C. The company aims to reduce its total fossil CO2 emissions by 28% from 2020-2031 while growing its supplies to the green transition, thereby delivering a 39% improvement of its product carbon footprint in the same period. Elkem’s long-term goal is net-zero emissions by 2050.
Elkem was founded in 1904 to create value from renewable electricity, and the company currently uses 83% renewable electricity in its operations. The new climate roadmap details Elkem’s commitment to limiting the long-term global temperature increase to well below 2°C while also growing faster than the market and achieving revenue growth of 5-10% per year.
“Elkem aims to be part of the solution to combat climate change—and to be one of the winners in the green transition,” said Helge Aasen, interim CEO. “Our mission is to provide advanced material solutions shaping a better and more sustainable future. We have a clear corporate strategy to strengthen our competitive positions through specialisation and growth. With this climate roadmap, we detail our ambitions to reduce emissions towards net zero while growing our business.”
Elkem’s direct and indirect emissions (scope 1 and 2) currently amount to 3.3 million tonnes (mt) of fossil CO2 equivalents, which will be reduced by 28% to 2.4 mt by 2031. The majority of Elkem’s direct emissions come from its smelters in Europe, particularly in Norway and Iceland. The majority of the company’s indirect emissions come from China and the use of fossil fuels in the electricity mix.
To deliver on the roadmap, Elkem reports that it will focus on three key levers: reducing fossil CO2 emissions, supplying to the transition, and enabling more circular economies.
To reduce fossil CO2 emissions, Elkem aims to change the reduction material in its smelting process to biomass, shift to using more renewable power in China, pursue a more low-carbon supply chain, and explore the potential of more carbon capture at its smelters. Elkem has progressed the share of biomass in its process to more than 20%; it is now aiming for 50% by 2030. China is currently investing significantly in new renewable energy, which is expected to support further improvements in the energy mix going forward.
To supply to the transition, Elkem aims to: grow its supplies of advanced materials to green markets such as better buildings, electric vehicles (EVs), and renewable energy; and build new business in green markets such as battery materials, biomass, and energy recovery. Elkem currently supplies to more than 1 million EVs on the road today (about 15% of the world’s EVs). This market is expected to grow exponentially over the coming years. Elkem has set up Vianode as a new company dedicated to growth opportunities for advanced battery materials, enabling 90% reductions of emissions compared to conventional materials.
To enable more circular economies, Elkem is working closely with customers and researchers to increase recycling with customers and within its own operations, as well as developing the eco-design of innovative products. Elkem currently supplies products based on circular economy such as microsilica, a former byproduct now key to some of the world’s tallest buildings and longest bridges, to the global market. The company is also currently participating in a project with the potential of reducing the carbon footprint of silicones by more than 65% through chemical recycling.
“Our stakeholders expect Elkem to be a leader on climate, and this climate roadmap sets out bold ambitions and actions,” Aasen said. “At the same time, Elkem is dependent on our stakeholders to enable a successful green transition: We need customer demand for green solutions, we need attractive framework conditions and we need world-class competence and innovation. We hope this roadmap is seen as an invitation to work with Elkem in making a difference across our industry and beyond.”
Learn more about Elkem at www.elkem.com.