October 5, 2023

#1 – Sustainable Strategies for the Future

The Green Journal: In her first blog post Maike shares how Evonik is shaping the future sustainably and gets an initial overview of the sustainability activities at Evonik.


Hi and welcome to my blog! I am excited to share with you my latest experiences and insights into sustainable projects at Evonik. Now that you are ready, let’s dive into >> strategies for the future << !

To get started in the sustainability world at Evonik, I met with the sustainability strategy department to learn more about sustainability at Evonik. The topic of sustainability is an integral part of Evonik's overall strategy and is therefore firmly integrated into the strategy. In other words, it's closely connected to research and development, portfolio management, and our company culture.  At Evonik we call this Next Generation Evonik. 

The Next Generation Evonik

For a deeper insight into Next Generation Evonik, I met with Mikko and Susann from the sustainability strategy department. The two told me that the Next Generation Evonik consists of three core elements: "We are talking about the Next Generation Solutions, which is aimed at handprint, the Next Generation Technologies, the footprint, and the Next Generation Culture, the heartprint," Mikko explains to me. But what is meant by the so-called “prints”? I did some research. So I think the footprint is best known: it is about the company’s emissions balance. For example the emissions of the productions plants and purchased energy. In my opinion, the handprint is something very special. One good definition is that with your activities you not only reduce your own environmental impact, i.e. that of the company, but also that of other people or, in our case, companies. And now the heartprint, I had never heard of this before and you can find very little information. But as I could find out, this is about the human factor as well as any personnel processes in the company. It is clear to me that I definitely want to learn more about this. 

But before I entered the world of Next Generation Evonik, my colleagues from strategy explained the sustainability goals to me. CO2 emission indicators are generally divided into scopes.

Scope 1 and 2 include direct and indirect emissions from own operations.

Scope 3 includes all indirect greenhouse gas emissions from the upstream and downstream supply chain.

Next Generation Evonik and its 3 elements
Next Generation Evonik and its 3 elements

A brief explanation of Evonik's sustainability goals

By 2030, Evonik has set itself the goal of reducing scope 1 and scope 2 emissions by 25 % compared to 2021. This target is in line with the SBTi's "Bell below 2°C" (Science Based Targets Initiative) target. Scope 3 emissions are to be reduced by 11 percent by 2030 from all upstream categories and from the downstream category "transport and distribution".

Implementation measures of the Sustainable Development Goals

In order to get a feeling for the implementation, Mikko gave me examples of how these goals can be achieved: "We realize targeted projects to reduce energy consumption, e.g., by using the energy we consume on our sites more efficiently ". In addition, Evonik is continuously working on reducing freshwater withdrawals, energy use, and production waste. From my point of view, these are measures that affect the footprint of the company. In any case, I would like to find out more about how the handprint is tracked at Evonik.

These are just a few examples of the integration of sustainability into Evonik's strategy. My first conclusion of the strategy is that the implementation of sustainability in the strategy is a very big topic and complex and really provides a lot of information. It takes a lot of queries and conversations to understand the whole construct. But I hope I could give you a short but clear insight. The next article will take a closer look at the respective parts of the Next Generation Evonik. Be curious.