In 2018 we opened our first foundry plant in Latin America, in Limpio, Paraguay. The production is based on charcoal and hydroelectric power.
A message from our CEO
The process industry has an important role to play if the world is to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement. Elkem´s mission is to contribute to a sustainable future by providing advanced silicon, silicones and carbon solutions, adding value to our stakeholders globally.
Our products provide solutions to meet the demand driven by megatrends including energy demand and storage, rapid urbanisation, increased standard of living, ageing and a growing population, and digitalisation. Therefore, sustainability is an integrated part of Elkem´s business model. It is part of our business, and essential for our license to operate.
We aim to be a leading and sustainable industrial company wherever we operate. As a global company with more than 6,200 employees and presence in 28 countries, we impact the environment and communities around the world. The products we make, for consumers and industry, create a footprint in our supply chain. Elkem intends to leverage new technology and innovation to become more energy efficient, and provide good, safe and attractive jobs. We are committed to developing products and processes that contribute positively to the UN Sustainable Development Goals while minimising the negative impact of our activities, both environmental and social.
A key priority moving forward is to ensure that Elkem´s corporate governance and sustainability standards are applied throughout the organisation. This means that new business divisions and employees, whether they are located in China, Paraguay, France or Norway – all meet the same high standards. We are committed to ensuring safe working conditions for our employees along with business integrity and strict compliance for all our operations. Elkem witnessed seven serious work-related accidents in 2018. We take this very seriously and continue to implement several preventive measures as we strive to reach our goal of zero injuries.
Elkem is among the world’s most environmentally friendly manufacturers of silicon based materials, but our production processes still emit significant amounts of CO₂, as this is an inherent part of the process that cannot be avoided with todays technology. Elkem is however working to change this and is playing a leading role in the Norwegian process industry´s commitment to become carbon neutral by 2050. Elkem's goal is to use 20% biocarbon in the mix of reduction materials in the production of silicon and ferrosilicon alloys in Norway within 2021 and 40% within 2030. As of 2018 we have already reached our 2021 target. Moving forward, our ambition is to only invest in new capacity where production is based on renewable energy.
I would like to highlight two events to underline how sustainability is part of our business model and strategy. In 2018 we opened our first foundry plant in Latin America, in Limpio, Paraguay. The production is based on charcoal and hydroelectric power. The plant has the lowest carbon footprint for smelters in Elkem, and serves as an inspiration to the rest of the organisation for what we can achieve when it comes to reducing fossil emissions.
In 2018 we also made a final decision to build our largest energy recovery plant so far, in Salten, Norway with an investment frame of up to NOK 1 billion. The new facility will be commissioned in 2020 and will substantially improve our ability to ensure environmentally friendly silicon production. It will secure lowest possible emissions and lowest possible use of energy resources.
Elkem´s successful re-listing on Oslo Børs in 2018 is a great opportunity for us to engage with stakeholders on sustainability issues. This year we asked employees, shareholders, industry peers, research institutions and other stakeholders to help us identify the most material sustainability issues for Elkem. Energy, water waste and safe working conditions are high on the agenda, both for us and our stakeholders. We are committed to set ambitious, but achievable, targets for these sustainability issues. This will allow stakeholders, from employees to investors, to monitor our progress in the years to come.
Our ambition is to not only meet regulatory requirements, but to be one step ahead. Being at the forefront on sustainability issues gives Elkem a comparative business advantage and secures our license to operate. I firmly believe that our products can contribute to a more sustainable world, be it batteries for energy storage, green mobility, renewable energy production and construction or maybe products based on our materials that we do not even know of today.
CEO, Elkem ASA