In 2021, Avient was proud to join the United Nations Global Compact, a voluntary leadership platform for the development, implementation and disclosure of responsible business practices. It is the largest corporate sustainability initiative in the world. Companies that participate align their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption, and they take action in support of matters embodied in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The SDGs address global environmental, social and economic issues and blueprint the path to a more sustainable future. The SDGs include specific progress targets for 2030, and encourage strong commitment by all stakeholders to implement the global goals. Society will increasingly look to companies like Avient to develop solutions that address these sustainability challenges.
In 2020, even prior to joining the U.N. Global Compact, we began to identify and map the SDGs that are most material to Avient and align with our sustainability goals and business model. We have identified five SDGs (as shown on right) where we believe Avient’s innovation capabilities can make the greatest impact.
3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all, at all ages
Avient is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for employees. We also provide our customers with innovative healthcare technologies that prevent and reduce the spread of germs and illness, including COVID-19. In addition, we provide eco-conscious and lightweighting solutions that serve as alternatives to traditional materials and decrease carbon footprints, improve air and water quality and reduce exposure to potentially hazardous substances. Finally, Avient is a founding member of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste and will continue collaborating to develop and implement solutions to promote infrastructure, education, innovation, and clean-up efforts.
7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, modern energy for all
We initially set a goal to obtain directly or contract for 40% of our electricity demand from renewable sources by 2030. Last year, we made substantial progress by reaching 31% from renewable sources, and we have updated our goal this year to reach 60% of our electricity demand from renewable sources by 2030. Along with pursuing renewable energy use internally, we provide solutions that enable energy reduction and renewable energy use for customers. Avient will continue to pursue both internal projects and external partnerships (i.e. Virtual Power Purchase Agreements) to increase our renewable energy resources.
9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive & sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
As a company, we have identified eight ways in which we help our customers achieve their sustainability goals: lightweighting, reduced energy use, volatile organic compound reduction, enabling recycle solutions, bio-polymers, eco-conscious, sustainable infrastructure, and human health & safety. By focusing on these eight ways, we will continue providing sustainable innovations in each of our end markets.
12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
At Avient, we are focused on continuous process improvement and optimizing resource utilization. We are committed to the ACC Responsible Care Initiative and its guiding principles. We set a goal to reduce our waste
to landfill by 35% by 2030, and are dedicated to ensuring 100% of our products manufactured for packaging applications will be recyclable or reusable. We are committed to assessing our top suppliers to ensure alignment with our environmental, social, and governance requirements. For our customers, we provide solutions that enable renewable energy application use, reduce energy consumption, and provide lightweighting advantages.
13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
At Avient, we recognize the negative impacts of climate change, and we are working to reduce our company footprint. We have set a goal to reduce our Scope 1 & 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 60% with 2019 as a baseline and achieve operational carbon neutrality by 2050. In addition to this, many of our innovation focus areas support the fight against climate change: lightweighting, eco-conscious solutions, recycle solutions, volatile organic compound reduction, bio-polymer solutions, and reduced energy use.