Carbon neutral chemistry 2045 – The chemical industry in Finland set an ambitious goal

Press releases | 2019-03-11

The chemical industry strives for carbon neutrality in Finland by 2045. In accordance with the vision drawn up by the Board of Directors of the Chemical Industry Federation of Finland on 24 January 2019, we will take action to achieve this goal. The practical development work is tied to the voluntary Responsible Care programme of the chemical industry, which has already produced convincing results.

The chemical industry wants to be carbon neutral by the year 2045. We strive to achieve this by both reducing our carbon footprint and increasing our carbon handprint. In practice, this means reducing our own carbon footprint, that is, our greenhouse gas emissions. It also means increasing our carbon handprint through products and solutions that reduce our customers’ emissions. New raw materials, new technologies and circular economy will play an important role in this process.

Achieving carbon neutrality is a huge challenge, as it requires not only a significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, but also an introduction of alternative raw materials and the use of carbon dioxide as raw material for processes in the chemical industry. The demand for electricity with secure supply, low emissions and internationally competitive prices will increase significantly. All this will require sizable investments in research, development and innovation work, as well as in pilot testing and skills, and public funding will also have an important role.

By keeping the domestic operating environment for the Finnish export industry internationally competitive, we can protect the environment on a global scale. That is the only way we can develop productive business activities and new solutions for global challenges. Through voluntary corporate responsibility work, effective regulation and comprehensive cooperation, we can create even more well-being in Finland.

“The chemical industry is a globally growing industry that provides opportunities for combating climate change and facilitates a circular economy. In Finland, environmental matters are currently at a very high level from an international perspective. Still, we have big changes in front of us and we will need new solutions, innovations and seamless cooperation between businesses, authorities and decision-makers. We want to be pioneers in this field”, says Mika Aalto, the CEO of the Chemical Industry Federation of Finland.

“Carbon neutrality by 2045 requires major reforms throughout society. It is also necessary to alter the processes of the industry and the manufacturing of materials according to the principles of a circular economy. The strong commitment to the climate goals among businesses gives us hope that we will be able to keep the global temperature rise within the 1.5 degree limit. I also believe that taking the lead in this will strengthen the prospects of the chemical industry, which is one of our most important export industries”, says Kimmo Tiilikainen, Minister of the Environment, Energy and Housing.

The continuously developing Responsible Care programme has successfully guided the voluntary development work within companies in the chemical industry for 27 years. The programme covers 80% of the production within the Finnish chemical industry and approximately 100 companies have committed to it. The Responsible Care programme includes indicators for carbon neutrality at industry level.

For further information

The Chemical Industry Federation of Finland
Mika Aalto, CEO, mika.aalto@kemianteollisuus.fi, 050 438 9247

Indicators for the Responsible Care programme https://www.kemianteollisuus.fi/en/about-industry/facts-and-figures/responsible-care/

 

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The chemical industry is one of the most important industrial sectors in Finland. It accounts for approximately 20% of the industrial production and the export of goods. We employ almost 100,000 people directly, indirectly and through the income created by the industry.

The Finnish chemical industry covers the chemical process industry, oil products and other chemical products such as pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, detergents, paints, plastics and rubber products.

The Chemical Industry Federation of Finland is a trade association for the chemical industry and its affiliate industries. The goal of the association is to actively promote the competitiveness and operational preconditions of its members in Finland. The Chemical Industry Federation of Finland has almost 400 member companies and 13 member and cooperation associations.

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Susanna Aaltonen
Director, Communications

+358 40 593 4221

susanna.aaltonen­@kemianteollisuus.fi