At the end of the five-month engagement, the joint team approved more than 160 decarbonization initiatives for Braskem’s 2050 net-zero roadmap. Nearly half of those projects are being prioritized today to meet the company’s 2030 goals.
One example in Braskem’s roadmap is a thermoelectric project in the state of Alagoas. The project is designed to use renewable steam energy sourced from plant biomass to help power the complex—and will involve the management of more than 5,500 hectares of eucalyptus. Braskem expects to generate 900,000 tons of steam per year, reducing greenhouse gas emissions on site by about 50% (or 150,000 tons of CO2) annually. Another initiative is exploring ways to convert excess byproducts into “feedstock.” In other words, instead of flaring (a common practice designed to burn excess byproducts), supplemental gas could reenter the plastics production process as a hydrocarbon input, reducing local demand for new naphtha or ethane supply.
Braskem’s decarbonization roadmap includes investments in both energy efficiency and energy matrix substitutions, so new solar projects are currently being pursued at industrial complexes in Latin America, Europe and the United States. And to curb scope 2 emissions, Braskem is also sourcing supplemental energy needs from more renewable suppliers.
Based on current projections, Braskem estimates that priority decarbonization projects will together be able to reduce carbon emissions at the company’s six major complexes by nearly 30% (based on 2018-2020 averages). That’s a dramatic shift in just a few months—inspiring confidence not only for Braskem, but also for corporate decarbonization programs everywhere.
For Braskem, this is just the beginning. The company believes that at some point in the next few years, carbon will enter its profit and loss statements, either as a premium on price or a direct tax. And as the price of carbon goes up, every initiative that reduces emissions—and Braskem has hundreds in the queue—will become more attractive to the business.