Not only was the SDGs adopted by all UN member nations, it also marks a milestone when it comes to sustainability and businesses. It was a universal call for action, acknowledging that we cannot reach the 17 SDGs without the private sector playing an active part.
Elkem has been a signatory to the UN Global Compact since 2016. UN Global Compact founded by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, as a business initiative to support universal sustainability principles. Today, it is the largest corporate sustainability initiative in the world. UN Global Compact strives to drive business awareness and action in support of achieving the SDGs by 2030, a strategy that Elkem supports.
You can read more about the UN Global Compact, the ten principles and our work here.
Elkem recognises the responsibility and impact we have in our business activities. We have a responsibility to minimise our negative impacts, and also provide the solutions to a sustainable, low-carbon world. We must develop products and processes that improve the quality of life and minimise the negative impact of our activities, both environmental and social. Private sector must actively engage with key stakeholders – local communities, government, customers and supply chain to promote a sustainable development for all.
Elkem has based our business strategy on six megatrends; Sustainability, energy demand, rapid urbanisation, increased standard of living, ageing and growing population and digitalisation. In the table below you see how the megatrends are related to our solutions and how again that relates to some of the SDGs.
Elkem promotes sustainable industrialisation and support sustainable development through developing innovative business models and solutions. Our products are indispensable elements in a wide variety of applications that contribute to better health services, renewable energy, electric mobility and digitalisation, to name just a few.
Elkem has a clear responsibility to take climate action by reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. Our long-term goal is to achieve carbon neutral metal production. Several R&D projects are in place to develop the necessary technology to reach this goal. Meanwhile, Elkem seeks to reduce fossil CO₂ emissions by replacing fossil coal with biocarbon as a reduction agent in our smelting furnaces. We know that further increases will require significant R&D breakthroughs and that the economic viability will also become more challenging. However, we are committed to continue our efforts to reach our goal of 40 per cent biocarbon in Norway by 2030.
In additional to minimizing our environmental impact, we have a responsibility to be a professional and safe workplace for our more than 6500 employees, our contractors and business partners. We strive to be an organisation that welcome diversity and equal opportunity for all. We do not tolerate any form of harassment. Our health and safety work are based on a zero-harm philosophy, where all our employees and contractors shall leave our plants and sites healthy and safe after each workday. As a local employer, we are responsible of giving our employees a decent and liveable wage.
We recognise that we can impact both our employees and our business partners in sustainable and ethical business, and do not accept any form of corruption or anti-competitive behaviour.
Read more about our sustainability targets and achievements here.
More information about the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, have a look at the UN website.