San­jeev Taneja

Pres­i­dent and Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Evonik In­dia

Chemical Industry Digest - - Ceo’s Round Table -

Chem­i­cal In­dus­try Digest (CID): Sus­tain­abil­ity means many things to many peo­ple. It could be re­source ef­fi­ciency, avoid­ing or min­i­miz­ing bad ef­fects on the en­vi­ron­ment of any ma­te­rial or prod­uct or emis­sions from man­u­fac­tur­ing pro­cesses. Some link it with CSR ac­tiv­i­ties too. Can we get some clar­ity on this along with what the bench­marks are if any for sus­tain­able man­u­fac­tur­ing in the chem­i­cal in­dus­try?

San­jeev Taneja (ST): To­day in the chem­i­cal in­dus­try sus­tain­abil­ity is closely linked with cor­po­rate strat­egy and it is an im­por­tant el­e­ment of re­spon­si­ble busi­ness. At Evonik, sus­tain­abil­ity is a growth driver for many of our busi­nesses. We de­fined six ar­eas of ac­tion based on bal­anced man­age­ment of eco­nomic, eco­log­i­cal and so­cial fac­tors. These six ar­eas are: strat­egy & growth, gov­er­nance &com­pli­ance, em­ploy­ees, value chain & prod­ucts, en­vi­ron­ment & safety. Our re­spon­si­bil­ity ex- tends along the en­tire value chain from up­stream within the sup­ply chain and right through to down­stream by en­abling cus­tomers to re­duce their eco­log­i­cal foot­prints.

CID: Many ma­te­ri­als/prod­ucts that are be­ing used now are not sat­is­fy­ing the sus­tain­abil­ity cri­te­ria. What should com­pa­nies do to green ex­ist­ing prod­ucts or re­place them to­tally with more benign and en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly ma­te­ri­als/prod­ucts? Should com­pa­nies re­visit their ex­ist­ing prod­uct port­fo­lios and even their man­u­fac­tur­ing pro­cesses to re­ori­ent them to­wards sus­tain­abil­ity re­quire­ments? What do you prac­tice?

ST: It’s good that you have put this ques­tion. We con­stantly visit our prod­uct port­fo­lio and our man­u­fac­tur­ing pro­cesses. We are well-known for our cul­ture of in­no­va­tion which is geared more and more to­wards

Our in­no­va­tion unit, Creavis, man­ages its

port­fo­lio us­ing the Idea-to-Peo­ple-Planet-Profit (I2P3) process. Each strate­gic re­search project is as­sessed on the ba­sis of en­vi­ron­men­tal in­flu­ences (planet) and so­ci­etal as­pects (peo­ple) as well as eco­nomic cri­te­ria (profit). I2P3 was de­vel­oped jointly by our strate­gic re­search, the Life Cy­cle Man­age­ment group, and the In­no­va­tion Ex­cel­lence group, with ex­ter­nal sup­port from the renowned Wup­per­tal In­sti­tute for Cli­mate, En­vi­ron­ment and En­ergy.

sus­tain­abil­ity. Our sus­tain­able in­no­va­tion work cov­ers six growth fields: Sus­tain­able Nu­tri­tion, Health­care So­lu­tions, Ad­vanced Food In­gre­di­ents, Mem­branes, Cos­metic So­lu­tions and Ad­di­tive Man­u­fac­tur­ing. For ex­am­ple at Evonik we are es­tab­lish­ing ad­di­tional prod­ucts and ser­vices for sus­tain­able nu­tri­tion of live­stock and peo­ple.

CID: The World En­vi­ron­ment Day this year on 5th June had the theme ‘Beat Plas­tic Pol­lu­tion’. As you are aware a large part of the pri­mary ba­sic petro­chem­i­cals is con­verted into plas­tics or poly­mers which are non-biodegrad­able and cre­at­ing mam­moth pol­lu­tion of our seas, rivers and land. Would you agree that from the sus­tain­abil­ity per­spec­tive plas­tics was a ‘bad’ ma­te­rial ab ini­tio and would this also be the in­ad­e­quacy of chem­istry not to have fore­seen the con­se­quences?

ST: We take this is­sue se­ri­ously. How­ever, all plas­tics are not bad. Evonik has been ob­serv­ing the zero pel­let loss cam­paign of the Eu­ro­pean Plas­tics As­so­ci­a­tion whereby we en­sure that pel­let loss is min­i­mized in pro­duc­tion, pro­cess­ing and trans­porta­tion. Mi­cro-plas­tics as you know is a ma­jor haz­ard and we have been of­fer­ing sub­sti­tutes for this, mainly spe­cialty sil­i­cas for per­sonal care prod­ucts.

CID: When it comes to the de­vel­op­ment of en­tirely new prod­ucts/ma­te­ri­als do you em­ploy prin­ci­ples of sus- tain­abil­ity ab ini­tio? Are such prin­ci­ples & prac­tices em­ployed in your R&D? Do you feel the global pub­lic pres­sures to­wards cleaner en­vi­ron­ment & sus­tain­abil­ity would give an im­pe­tus to R&D?

ST: More value, less re­source is our credo.

Our mar­ket-ori­ented R&D plays a key role in im­prov­ing the eco­log­i­cal foot­print of our cus­tomers still fur­ther and dif­fer­en­ti­at­ing us from our global com­peti­tors. We are there­fore in­creas­ingly fo­cus­ing our in­no­va­tion pipe­line on prod­ucts for ap­pli­ca­tions that make ef­fi­cient and en­vi­ron­men­tally com­pat­i­ble use of re­sources.

Our in­no­va­tion unit, Creavis, man­ages its port­fo­lio us­ing the Idea-to-Peo­ple-Planet-Profit (I2P3) process. Each strate­gic re­search project is as­sessed on the ba­sis of en­vi­ron­men­tal in­flu­ences (planet) and so­ci­etal as­pects (peo­ple) as well as eco­nomic cri­te­ria (profit). I2P3 was de­vel­oped jointly by our strate­gic re­search, the Life Cy­cle Man­age­ment group, and the In­no­va­tion Ex­cel­lence group, with ex­ter­nal sup­port from the renowned Wup­per­tal In­sti­tute for Cli­mate, En­vi­ron­ment and En­ergy.

CID: End of the pipe treat­ment means not good chem­istry; min­i­miz­ing dele­te­ri­ous ef­fect of en­vi­ron­ment is an­other ap­proach; Re­cy­cling & reuse is be­ing adopted in some cases and cra­dle to cra­dle/cir­cu­lar econ­omy are be­ing touted. What would be the most prac­ti­cal ap­proach – in the short term and what is re­quired to be done in the long term?

ST: We be­lieve that what­ever we do in one area should not cre­ate prob­lems in other ar­eas. We have cre­ated prod­ucts with cra­dle to cra­dle cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. Evonik ob­serves the tenets of the ‘Cir­cu­lar Econ­omy’ with an in­ter­nal ex­pert group to drive this ap­proach for­ward.

CID: An­other ma­jor prob­lem is that of cli­mate change, global warm­ing due to emis­sions of green­house gases. This

can be mit­i­gated by man­u­fac­tur­ing pro­cesses shift­ing to low car­bon or no car­bon load on en­vi­ron­ment. Are R&D ef­forts mov­ing in this di­rec­tion? Can a shift to re­new­able feed­stocks from petro feed­stocks help? In your man­u­fac­tur­ing are you try­ing to re­duce the car­bon load of your pro­cesses?

ST: Our ac­tiv­i­ties are geared to keep our en­vi­ron­men­tal foot­print small by con­tin­u­ously im­prov­ing our own en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion per­for­mance and in­no­vat­ing cli­mate-friendly prod­ucts. One ex­am­ple is a new ef­fi­cient process for pro­duc­ing methyl methacry­late that re­duces car­bon emis­sions by upto 40 per­cent.

An­other ex­am­ple is the Rheti­cus project where Evonik along­with Siemens is plan­ning to use elec­tric­ity from re­new­able sources and bac­te­ria to con­vert CO

2 into spe­cialty chem­i­cals. In this joint re­search project we are work­ing on elec­trol­y­sis and for­mu­la­tion pro­cesses which have great po­ten­tial to pro­duce a broad va­ri­ety of spe­cialty chem­i­cals.

CID: Can you give some ex­am­ples/achieve­ments of your com­pany’s ef­forts on the sus­tain­abil­ity front?

ST: Some of our achieve­ments to pro­vide in­no­va­tive so­lu­tions based on sus­tain­abil­ity are out­lined be­low:

Evonik’s tech­nol­ogy con­verts or­ganic waste into green en­ergy. Us­ing its in­no­va­tive mem­brane tech­nol­ogy, bio­gas which is re­leased dur­ing the waste­water treat­ment process or the anaer­o­bic di­ges­tion process of house­hold waste for ex­am­ple can be up­graded sim­ply and ef­fi­ciently to pure bio meth­ane and fed di­rectly into the nat­u­ral gas grid or used as bio­fuel. Evonik has:

SEPURAN Green for up­grad­ing bio­gas to bio

® ❍ meth­ane SEPURAN Noble for en­ergy ef­fi­cient helium re

® ❍ cov­ery from source gas

SEPURAN N for en­ergy ef­fi­cient ni­tro­gen gen­era® ❍

2 tion from air

Mem­branes - Poly­imide mem­brane mod­ules for ef­fi­cient and en­ergy-sav­ing gas sep­a­ra­tion, tai­lor­ing se­lec­tiv­ity and per­me­abil­ity ex­actly to the spe­cific ap­pli­ca­tion.

To meet the in­creas­ing de­mand for healthy and nu­tri­tious fish, Evonik is sup­port­ing the aqua­cul­ture in­dus­try with a set of in­no­va­tive so­lu­tions. Evonik can build on the ex­pe­ri­ence in the pro­duc­tion of es­sen­tial amino acids from over 60 years.

Sil­ica & silanes for “green tire” - The Green Tire with lower rolling re­sis­tance re­duces fuel con­sump­tion and CO emis­sions by up to 8%, com­pared to con

2 ven­tional au­to­mo­bile tires. Safety is im­proved due to re­duced brak­ing dis­tance on wet roads.

Sil­ica and Func­tional silanes to pro­tect build­ings. High Per­for­mance Poly­mers for lightweight ap­pli­ca­tions or 3D-print­ing. Ad­di­tive Man­u­fac­tur­ing (3D print­ing) en­ables new de­sign free­dom, light weight com­po­nents, rapid pro­to­typ­ing and more ef­fi­cient spare parts lo­gis­tics.

Around 50 per­cent of the sales gen­er­ated by Evonik’s chem­i­cal seg­ments al­ready come from prod­ucts that make a mea­sur­able con­tri­bu­tion to im­prov­ing re­source ef­fi­ciency in the use phase.

Evonik has al­ready con­ducted life cy­cle analy­ses of around 70 per­cent of ex­ter­nal sales gen­er­ated by its three chem­i­cal seg­ments as part of the sus­tain­abil­ity anal­y­sis of its busi­nesses. The aim is to ex­tend this to 80 per­cent.

San­jeev Taneja (BSBSc In­dia, Process En­gi­neer­ing De­gree - Frank­furt, MBA - USA) is the Pres­i­dent and Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of Evonik In­dia.In­dia He has 30 years of ex­pe­ri­ence in var­i­ous func­tional ar­eas. San­jeev started off his pro­fes­sion­al­sional ca­reer...

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