Forests, mountains, soil, rivers – they are the basis of our life and a scare resource. They provide us with food, clean water, clean air. We should manage these vital goods so that they are still there for future generations.
In 2020, 337 million tons of meat would be produced worldwide. The ECD and FAO forecast growth in global meat production of just under 13% for the ten-year period from 2019 to 2029. In the past decade, this figure was a good 12%. This means more farming of animals, more animal feed, more agricultural areas, water and energy consumption. Because of this, in the long term there will be no alternative but to improve agricultural productivity with less consumption of land and resources.
In the long term, nature can provide eco-system services – this includes all ecological systems that have beneficial effects for humans – only if the eco-systems continue to function. Their functioning is closely linked to biodiversity. As a result of deforestation, mining of resources, and climate change, large regions, such as the rainforest in the Amazon region, face serious risks with regard to biodiversity and even to their existence.
Examples of our contribution
We are aware that our business operations involve both opportunities and risks with regard to biodiversity. These include the loss or protection of biodiversity on land and in the oceans, including microbial organisms. It is important to avoid supply chain disruption and production stoppages caused by reduced biodiversity and damaged ecosystems. The starting points for our examination of biodiversity are conventional environmental topics such as emissions into water and the air and responsible water and waste management.
The following aspects of biodiversity are addressed in the sustainability analysis of our business: water, eutrophication, acidification, land use, use of renewable raw materials, emissions of critical and persistent chemicals, and microplastics.
Our contributions to maintaining diversity are bundled in our Sustainability Focus Area (SFA) safeguard ecosystems. Within this SFA, we examine both water intake for production and water consumption over the entire life cycle of our products, including raw materials and the usage phase. A life cycle assessment of our entire water consumption in the reporting period confirmed that the main leverage for our water consumption is in the upstream value chain: More than 70 percent of our water consumption is attributable to our procurement of both fossil-based and bio-based raw materials.
Evonik’s products and solutions
Declining biodiversity has a negative effect on Evonik’s business activities. At the same time, our business activities can have a negative effect on biodiversity. However, Evonik’s products and solutions also play a part in maintaining biodiversity and help protect habitats. For example, the use of amino acids in the nutrition of poultry and pigs greatly reduces the land required to produce feed.
In the selection of raw materials, we apply internationally recommended certification standards for palm oil and plan to use exclusively deforestation-free palm derivatives. For many years, Evonik has supported the use of sustainable palm oil in the supply chain. The focus here is on internationally recognized certification standards. Evonik has been a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) since 2010.
Sustainable palm oil production: collaboration with WWF and Beiersdorf extended
Progressive deforestation to establish new palm oil plantations is a major challenge. In view of this, Care Solutions has developed additional supply chain criteria with its customers. We expect further progress here to come from a joint project with the WWF and Beiersdorf. This partnership aims to strengthen sustainable development in the Malaysian region of Tabin in Sabah on the island of Borneo. This program takes a three-pronged approach—protect, produce, restore. The aim is to encourage the sustainable production of palm oil and other agricultural produce and stop deforestation. By 2025, a total of 20,000 hectares farmed by small- and mid-sized growers should be certified as conforming to the RSPO. In addition, a political framework is to be created for sustainable agriculture and forestry. The three partners have also pledged to protect the wildlife habitat in Tabin and to set up at least one ecological corridor allowing wild animals to migrate to other habitats. Moreover, the aim is to stabilize the population of threatened and endangered species, such as rare Borneo elephants and orangutans.
In the reporting period, Evonik extended its collaboration with WWF and Beiersdorf to a further project on Borneo, in the Indonesian Province of West Kalimantan. The aim is to certify 200 independent palm oil producers with a total of 300 hectares of land as RSPO-compliant. The goal is to give these smallholders
direct market access to a palm oil mill by 2026. This is an important building block for Beiersdorf and Evonik in their commitment to sustainability along the entire supply chain for palm (kernel) oil derivatives.
- Reduce specific freshwater intake by 3 percent relative to production volume between 2021 and 2030.