Sustainability in Elkem Silicon Products

Elkem is one of the world's leading suppliers of silicon-based advanced materials, with operations throughout the value chain from quartz to specialty silicones and attractive market positions in speciality ferrosilicon alloys and carbon materials. Today, Elkem Silicon Products is more than ever committed to sustainability. Our recently launched global climate roadmap shows our ambitions to reduce emissions towards net zero, while growing supplies to the green transition. Read on to learn more about Elkem Silicon Products' sustainability goals and the actions that we have undertaken so far.

Reducing CO₂ emissions during silicon production

Silicon production is inevitably linked to CO₂ emissions. The smelting process involves a reaction in which the oxygen in the quartz reacts with the carbon in the carbonaceous material, forming CO₂ gas. The CO₂ gas rises and the silicon can be tapped. CO₂ is therefore always formed when silicon and ferrosilicon are produced. However, Elkem is committed to reducing CO₂ emissions as much as feasible and to employ every resource within reach to achieve our sustainability goals. It must be noted that even though silicon production is inevitably linked to CO₂ emissions, the end-use of our products is often beneficial for the environment on the long term. For example, Elkem Silicon Products are used to manifacture wind turbines solar panels and to optimize battery life

Elkem’s ambition is to reduce the company’s fossil CO₂ footprint, by increasing the use of renewable carbon sources and development of innovative production processes. 

Some highlights from our sustainability journey

A few facts and figures to give you an idea of our ongoing progress:

  • At Elkem, we already use 83% renewable electricity across our operations
  • Ambitious biocarbon strategy – target of 20% biocarbon share for 2020 reached, current goal to increase biocarbon share to 50% by 2030 globally
  • Industrial pilot plant for biocarbon production in Chicoutimi, Quebec, Canada.
  • Increased focus on scope 3 emissions (emissions across the value chain for products produced), with ambition to report in 2021.
  • Substantial reduction in NOₓ, SO₂ and dust over the past years.
  • Elkem has been rated in the top 1% of global companies on sustainability by Ecovadis

Elkem Silicon Products working towards sustainable product development

In the last years, our customers have notably increased their demands for information on the actual environmental impact of our products and their sustainability performance. Elkem Silicon Products strongly supports this development towards sustainability and works closely with customers on new sustainable product development, as well as product life cycle analysis (LCA)

Elkem works across the value chain to improve the environmental performance: