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Sustaining the grade – Trinseo's climate change strategy

Business Trinseo Climate

Improved rating encourages greater efforts

Trinseo's Global Industry Affairs & Sustainability Leader, Walter van het Hof, recently posted a LinkedIn article presenting his considerations when creating a climate change strategy: 

In 2018, Trinseo improved its CDP (formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project) rating to a “B minus” in both Climate Change Disclosure, which scores a company on its progress on how effectively it has disclosed and managed climate change risks and opportunities, and its Supplier Engagement Rating (SER), which measures a company’s effectiveness in engaging their suppliers on climate change.

We are pleased with this accomplishment but realize we must commit to continued progress towards environmental stewardship. Therefore, we are in the process of developing a climate change strategy, supported by Environmental Resource Management (ERM), which includes identifying and assessing recognized climate-related risks and opportunities. The development of this strategy has, and will continue to be, a valuable exercise for our company that provides insights in the following areas:  

Trinseo Climate Change Strategy

Market and technology shifts

As market demands shift, technological innovation and successful commercial introduction will be imperative for all companies in a given industry. Growth in any sector depends on the ability to identify, develop, and market innovative products on a timely basis—because if not, customers can turn to other products that meet their requirements. One way to manage this risk is to ensure that Research & Development teams work in tandem with sales and marketing as part of a customer-centric culture, providing a direct line to the product requirements of customers in light of trends in their industries.

Stakeholder expectations

The reputational risk regarding stakeholder expectations is a significant one. With changing consumer habits and an increase in climate consciousness, individuals recognize that they may have a role in improving climate change, and they want to buy products and work with or invest in companies who are making a positive impact. Companies must respond to that with innovative products and practices that ensure stakeholders feel important shared values, ranging from environmental to labor and supplier policies.

Policy and legal

There are more than 1,500 climate laws and policies worldwide, and over 100 of those were introduced since the Paris Agreement was reached in 2016. Many industries are subject to extensive, evolving, and increasingly stringent national and local environmental and safety laws and regulations which address, among other things, climate change impacts. Companies should voluntarily seek opportunities to incorporate sustainability measures into their business operations in this regulatory climate.

Physical Risks

There  are very real risks as a result of climate change, ranging from extreme weather events to droughts and water access issues. These physical risks can have a great impact on business operations, including production and supply chain losses. By companies taking steps to prepare for such risks, as well as to take actions such as better management of  emissions and resources, and by working collaboratively among industries toward more sustainable operations, we can help to manage that risk together.

This climate change strategy will help in our continued improvement, and is something that all companies should consider as part of their sustainability journey.