Imerys: Entire supply chain has a role to play in improving sustainability, say minerals experts and customers in online discussion


The sustainability challenge that awaits us is enormous – but no single organization can find a solution. This was the key message of a roundtable organized by Imerys, during which industry leaders shared their views and ideas on how companies should involve the entire supply chain to further improve sustainabilityof their operations, including minerals and raw materials used.

For the event, broadcast on LinkedIn, Guillaume Delacroix, Senior Vice-President of Imerys Performance Minerals EMEABusiness Area, was joined by leaders from the sectors with which Imerys works:

  • Johan Granås, Head of Sustainability at Cardboard Holmen Iggesund
  • Anne Teissié-Solier, GSM Director, EMEA & Asia Operations & Global Direct

Category management at Corning

  • Daniela Vlad, Managing Director of Powder Coatings at AkzoNobel
  • Martijn Eikelenboom, Managing Partner and Global Head of Sustainability at Arthur D Little

Take a science-based approach to mainstream sustainability

Over 700 people around the world registered for the live event, which attracted over 7,000 views within one month of the live recording. The event generated a lively discussion among the panelists – and in the comments section, with 250 ideas and questions shared by viewers.

Chaired by journalist Rochelle Ferguson, the debate examined how sustainable mineral solutions can help companies achieve their environmental goals; the importance of innovation; and the need to include and involve all actors in the value chain in order to achieve global sustainability goals.

Guillaume spoke about the need to be proactive rather than reactive and to have a transparent and factual approach. He explained that Imerys strives to systematically integrate sustainable development into all of its processes and routines.

“Society as a whole expects industrial companies to be more sustainable. This is also a key factor for recruitment,” he said. “The sustainable growth of our business and the ability to attract and retain talent are great incentives.”

Innovation throughout the value chain is essential to meet the environmental challenge

Environmental governance is a subject which, to be effective, must involve everyone.

Johan Granås from Holmen Iggesund Paperboard, said the challenges cannot be solved by organizations alone. “We need our business partners up and down our value chain to participate. Being open and sharing innovation with your suppliers is very important.”

Arthur D Little’s Martijn Eikelenboom added that the pressure to stand up is “huge” and that companies are changing their supplier base who don’t meet their green credentials or don’t prioritize customers if their end applications aren’t. not durable enough.

Daniela Vlad of AkzoNobel added that innovation will play a fundamental role: “In the past, sustainability was a nice offer to customers as an added feature. chain, and do it in a way that becomes a differentiator. “

Complete life cycle analysis of mineral production

Guillaume explained how Imerys seeks to unleash the sustainable potential of its products through a full life cycle analysis – ensuring that when its products leave the door and enter the downstream value chain, its environmental footprint is positive .

In 2020, Imerys launched its SustainAgility solutions assessment framework, a process to develop the Group’s product portfolio and ensure the sustainable future of Imerys. Over 70 product lifecycle assessments have been completed since 2019, and 20 more studies are underway in 2021.

“We can evaluate our different products and share hard evidence of their sustainability,” said Guillaume. “We are transparent, systematic and scientific in our approach with our clients and with our clients’ clients. Through this network, overall, we can really make a difference.”

The framework is the next step in Imerys’ SustainAgility program, a commitment to sustainable development that revolves around three key principles: we empower our employees, we take care of our planet and we build for the future.

As part of the SustainAgility goals, which are all aligned with many United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Imerys has set itself a target – validated by the Science-Based Targets Initiative– reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 36% compared to turnover (tCO2/ M €) by 2030 from a 2018 reference year in line with a 2 ° C trajectory.

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