Our focus areas
Our focus areas
As a green challenger in a fossil line of business, Sekab takes a great responsibility for the broader issue of the industry’s transition. We contribute to this throughout the chain: from the societal debate to the individual business. More new solutions are needed.
A sustainability report ten years ago needed explanatory texts on the state of the world and the consequences if climate goals were not met. We have passed that point. The climate issue is real, and for a company that has been pushing for renewable alternatives to fossil ones since its founding over 100 years ago, it is a great opportunity. Given greater awareness, it is also a new playing field to relate to. The transition is not an opportunity, it is a reality, and the industry holds the key.
It shifts the focus of our way of working. From arguing for “what” needs to be done (replacing fossil products with green alternatives), “why” this is necessary (we need to save the planet), and “when” (2030 may have sounded far away, but now it’s on the doorstep), we now put a lot of energy into talking about “how.” It is in the execution that we will determine whether our ambitions and investments make a real difference. Change is hard. Transition costs money. There are different agendas and different desires for how fast this should go. Sekab actively participates in that discussion with two entry values: the regulations must drive the transition for real, and it must be easy to do the right thing.
In 2022, Sekab was appointed chairman of groups working to develop sustainability standards for the chemical industry as a whole. This work is extensive and difficult, where the chemical industry and other producers need to find a common way forward. Here, we interact with leading brands, competitors, and, not least, with SIS (Swedish Institute for Standards), which organizes the work. We lead Biochem Europe, the bio-based chemical part of the European chemical industry organization. We have representation on the boards of IKEM and Biofuel Region.
2022 was an election year in Sweden, but the climate issue did not dominate the election campaign. However, it became a major topic during and after the formation of the government. The COP27 climate summit in Egypt was a disappointment in terms of a lack of new major initiatives from politics, but the business sector stepped forward and showed that potential exists in collaborations. Sustainability continues to be one of the strongest macroeconomic trends.
We have a pedagogical mission that we take very seriously. Coal and oil are debated, especially in terms of energy shortages in 2022. This is important, but the fossil raw materials in production must also be addressed with a greater sense of urgency. A completely dominant share of the products we use contains fossil materials, not least through fossil-produced industrial chemicals. This cannot be electrified away. These molecules contain carbon atoms. The question is where they will come from. Sekab’s answer is bio-based. We have good access to biomass in Europe, and it may be needed for many more things than just biofuels. Together with other like-minded people and businesses, we are pushing for this perspective to be heard, both at home and in Brussels.
Our social responsibility also extends beyond our own industry. We participate in the public debate on more issues than those closest to us.
An important change at Sekab during 2022 was purely organizational. A new department was created that brings together sustainability issues with public affairs and communication. The sustainability manager now also participates in the company’s management group – an internal change with strong external signaling value. Another change implemented during 2022 was the transition to having a joint annual and sustainability report.
Sekab takes a significant responsibility as a societal actor. The greatest impact comes through our core business. By advocating for legislation that promotes true transition and by continuing to sell green alternatives to fossil products, we contribute in a very concrete way to developing a society that is sustainable for future generations.
Sekab participates in the chemical industry’s Responsible Care program. Participation means that we work with continuous improvements in safety, health, and the environment based on a number of guiding principles and that we openly report on the progress made. We annually report a number of key indicators in safety, health, and the environment to IKEM, which compiles a joint report for the chemical industry in Sweden.
Sekab supports Sweden’s major environmental and climate initiative “Sweden shall become a fossil-free welfare state by 2045”. We also participate in the challenge-driven platform Fossil-free Sweden, where we have taken on the challenge of fossil-free transportation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The challenge aims to transform internal and external transportation where renewable alternatives can be implemented.