Mumbai, India and Marietta, USA – Birla Carbon, one of the leading manufacturers of carbon black globally, has announced plans to reduce its net carbon emissions to zero by 2050, marking a natural progression in its leadership in sustainability and circularity. The company recently launched its ContinuaTM brand, which makes Sustainable Carbonaceous Materials (SCM) available. The company’s net-zero announcement aligns with The Paris Agreement, which was signed as part of the United Nations Framework Convention on climate-change mitigation, adaptation, and finance.
It also aligns with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s Tire Industry Project SDG Roadmap, which aims to address health and environmental impacts associated with tire life cycle impacts to achieve a more sustainable future. Birla Carbon is collaborating with sister companies within the Aditya Birla Group to develop decarbonization initiatives through the Aditya Birla Science and Technology Center.
Over 160 years of extraordinary innovation in the carbon black industry, combined with decades of focus on sustainability, make this net-zero goal more than aspirational, but also achievable. The company is exploring new and advanced technologies that will be used to achieve its goal by forming a league of partnerships with leading sustainability solution providers. The company will also refer to the Science-Based Target Initiative (SBTi), and it will commit to evaluating and releasing interim targets that are in line with the SBTi over the next 12 months.
The company will focus on all three scopes of carbon emissions measurement, reduction, and offsetting. Based on its direct and indirect emission reduction initiatives, Scope 1 and 2 are expected to account for the majority of its carbon footprint reduction. A smaller portion of its reduction will come from scope 3, which is based on the operations of upstream and downstream industries in the value chain.
Birla Carbon will achieve its goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 by focusing on four overarching segments. These ‘4R’ segments are as follows:
- Research - to discover new ways for the capture and conversion of carbons: Future technologies that capture and convert carbon dioxide into valuable carbon products will contribute significantly to the company’s net-zero target. The company will concentrate on investing in and developing such technologies and assets.
- Reduce - the dependence on traditional processes in manufacturing: The emphasis is on process efficiencies that will convert carbon to carbon black. The company will also continue to prioritize energy efficiency throughout its operations. To date, co-generation facilities for converting waste gases into energy for export to the electrical grid are housed in 80 percent of its manufacturing facilities.
- Replace - with alternative energy and feedstock: Some of the company’s locations have introduced renewable energy sources to power parts of their facilities; the emphasis going forward will be on incorporating renewable energy solutions toward Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. The company is also pursuing the development of new process technologies that will shift a portion of its production to include alternate feedstocks derived from biomass as a key contributor to net zero.
- Repurpose - carbon solutions for sustainability through circularity: The company, through its ContinuaTM brand, will lead large-scale sustainability and circularity programs, allowing customers to develop the next generation of sustainable products.
Birla Carbon is currently mapping out its existing and future technologies. To achieve the goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, the next steps will be to form partnerships with customers & suppliers, engage experts, and establish long-term associations & programs, including collaboration within the Aditya Birla Group.
In response to the announcement and citing climate change as the biggest challenge for the human race, Dr Santrupt B Misra, Group Director, Carbon Black; Director, Chemicals and Director, Group HR, Aditya Birla Group, explained, “By setting its aspiration to be Net-Zero by 2050, Birla Carbon is making its choice with the rest of the industries that have chosen to step up to the challenge. Sustainability has always been a key driver and a symbol of our success. We will focus on Sustainable Operational Excellence (SOE), combined with sustainable materials for our customers, and many more solutions to make our aspiration a reality in the years to come. Birla Carbon is rooted in its Purpose to – ‘Share the Strength’, and we hope that our peers and the industry at large, recognize our efforts and partner with us. I wish the entire leadership team the very best as they begin this journey."
In a similar vein, John Loudermilk, Chief Executive Officer, Birla Carbon, said, “All businesses have a responsibility to drive improvements for the global environment; however, only by working hand-in-hand with our customers, suppliers, and partners through the supply chain can we truly build a greener and brighter future. By the nature of our business, we at Birla Carbon have our own carbon stewardship responsibility and we are choosing to lead through bold commitment and industry-first initiatives for a more sustainable tomorrow. Our aim is to constantly innovate and evolve our capabilities through our purpose, ‘Share the Strength’, to have a positive impact on the ecosystem and society at large.”
To this, Joe Gaynor, Chief Sustainability Officer, Birla Carbon, added, “As a responsible industry leader, Birla Carbon is fully committed to help mitigate the effects of climate change. For us, it was never a question of if, but when? We already laid the foundation for this commitment, some of which can be seen through our sustainability and circularity efforts over recent years. The launch of ContinuaTM 8000, a Sustainable Carbonaceous Material, opened our doors to the possibility of a net-zero world. We are confident we will achieve this goal along with our customers.”
Image Source: Birla Carbon