Step 1. Green Solutions
The ESG agenda remains a priority for many companies. Various tools were developed for its effective implementation: development strategies, organizational resources, investment projects, R&D applications, public initiatives. Stage by stage they are changing the public perception of these topics and the ways of doing business.
SIBUR is one of the flagships in this sphere. The Company has seamlessly integrated the ESG goals into its business transforming them from abstract values into specific roadmaps, stage by stage achieving the targets set in the Sustainable Development Strategy 2025.
“Our company is present in 20 regions of Russia”, Mikhail Karisalov, SIBUR CEO, said in his speech at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2023. “I totally agree that when you are launching new production sites and holding an inauguration ceremony you need to think not only about the ways to process your feedstock, but also about the comprehensive environmental impact of your asset: today, in 10 years’ and in 20 years’ time. Many smart economic management technologies are available today, and the model for incentivizing such initiatives by the government emerged in the recent 3–4 years. We are consistently improving our production efficiency, and this is reflected in our decreasing environmental Impact.
There are several ESG vectors in our operations. First of all, SIBUR is consistent in lowering the Company’s environmental impact. For example, in 2018 the Company disposed of 29% of its own waste, and in 2022 this metric already stood at 54%. The Company’s expenses on improving its operational sustainability and environmental protection for the preceding year totaled RUB 9 bn. SIBUR is decreasing its carbon footprint by upgrading its equipment and improving its energy efficiency. The Company is rolling out closed-cycle resources utilization technologies and is actively using green energy.
Second, the Company has set the objective of offering green solutions for participating in the circular economy to our partners. Polymers are unique materials with truly infinite possibilities for designing their features and for recycling. By investing into R&D and implementing investment projects, SIBUR is setting up new production capacities for manufacturing plastics from recycled materials to satisfy various needs of our national economy.
At the end of 2021, the Company commercialized an innovative polymer brand, Vivilen, based on using recyclables. As of today, we already have more than 8 polyolefin grades used in manufacturing packaging for household chemicals, furniture, films of different profiles, plastic bags and many other things.
In September 2022, the Company launched the production of innovative Vivilen rPET pellets containing up to 30% of recycled PET for food packaging at POLIEF manufacturing site in Blagoveshchensk (Bashkortostan Republic). This allows for recycling up to 1.7 bn plastic bottles per year.
By 2025, SIBUR plans to have an annual yield of no less than 250 kt of green products, as well as to engage no less than 100 kt of polymer waste a year into recycling within its own investment projects and projects implemented together with partners.
Step 2. Partnership Solutions
Without engaging other market players it is impossible to achieve meaningful changes by using the resources of just one single company, that is why SIBUR is consistently engaging its partners in implementing green initiatives.
Examples of 2023. On March 1, we signed an agreement on cooperation in sustainable development with AB InBev Efes, the leader of beer industry in Russia, which will be manufacturing its products in environmentally friendly packaging produced partially from recycled materials (Vivilen rPET pellets). In May, a mineral water producer from Bashkiria (“Krasny Klyuch”) presented a new product line in Vivilen packaging, which is now available in in some grocery stores in Ufa. In June, another local mineral water brand (“Rodnik Prikamya”) started selling its products in bottles partially produced from recycled plastics (in Perm grocery stores).
SIBUR, Coffeemania and Eburet Studio present designer furniture made of recycled polystyrene
Coffeemania network launched a project for recycling polystyrene packaging for desserts and plastic cups lids for coffee-to-go. The materials are collected directly in restaurants, the Ubirator company consolidates the plastics, and SIBUR uses them to produce Vivilen rPS pellets. Then another partner of the project, Eburet Studio, uses the 3D printer to make environmentally clean easy-to-manufacture furniture items: pedestals for handbags and chairs for Coffeemania restaurants.
– The number of similar initiatives is growing year-on-year. SIBUR is active in developing the trend for using secondary pellets, including offering circular economy projects to manufacturers and retailers”, Mikhail Karisalov said.
Step 3. Public Initiatives
Formation of responsible consumption and green economy patterns is impossible without participation of the public and its pro-active position. An environmentally responsible mindset is gradually developing in Russia, especially, among its younger generation. SIBUR strives for supporting educational, volunteer and environmental projects supporting this trend. The Company is an environmental partner of many national landmark sports events, where together with their organizers it promotes the circular economy principles, draws the attention of fans and spectators to the issue of segregated waste collection. Plastic bottles are collected during all sports events in which SIBUR participates, and then these bottles are recycled.
In June 2023, the Company presented the new eco-basket ball created by SIBUR in partnership with Russian brand Jogel for the VTB United League. Three eco-houses were opened together with the regional operator, Tyumen Environmental Association. An eco-house is a recyclables drop-off station and an educational site for improving environmental awareness. It hosts free master-classes, lectures and seminars on plastics recycling and the circular economy.
Together with the Resource Saving Center, SIBUR has developed a curriculum in environmental management training “The Second Life of Plastics”, and over 10 thousand school teachers have already held a lesson within this curriculum.
The social investment program “Formula for Good Deeds” is also focused on environmental projects. For example, last year, SIBUR issued a grant to the project of manufacturing polymer-sand items (benches) from recycled packages. It resulted in installing over 300 benches in the regions of the Company’s presence.
According to Mikhail Karisalov, currently such projects and initiatives do not pay off. So far, the market is not paying a premium, and overall recycling remains at a low level. However, SIBUR is sure that as the circular economy develops and the public awareness grows, the situation will be changing. Even today, certain categories of consumers are ready to buy products from environmentally sustainable materials. The Company supports the installation of reverse vending machines, creation of eco-houses and eco-tech parks, it engages employees in environmental volunteering and believes that even minor deeds contribute to forming the culture of environment protection and recycling.