Sustainability according to the industry players

Earlier this year, International Paint & Coating Magazine ran an article series; ‘Five on Five: Sustainability According to the Industry Players’. Cecilia Svensson, Executive Vice President Communications & Sustainability at Perstorp, joined the five on five interview to share our thoughts on Sustainability and our journey to become Finite Material Neutral.

International Paint & Coating Magazine (ipcm) is a technical magazine for the painting, coating, and surface finishing industry. Back in 2019, the magazine added a Sustainability section, inviting five key players in the surface treatment sector to answer 15 questions on the topic of Sustainability. Together with four other industry players; AkzoNobel, BASF, Evonik and PPG, Perstorp was invited to participate in the second edition of the five on five interview, to answer 15 questions regarding the role of sustainability, challenges and different approaches.

Below you can read an excerpt of the interview with Cecilia Svensson, Executive Vice President Communications & Sustainability at Perstorp.

How does your company define sustainability today?

"Sustainability is about pretty much everything we do, in our production, our products and our way of working. We also consider sustainability on several different levels. A lot of work is about the basics; developing the way we work with health & safety, leadership, supplier management, compliance etc. Another level is how we work with our products and how they are produced; LCAs, compliance and to build in sustainability as a default when we innovate. The ultimate level is our ambition to become Finite Material Neutral, a bold ambition that means switching to alternative resources that are abundant and/or renewable, or to close the loops in order to recycle those that are finite."

What business value have you seen? 

“I think you have to see business value both in the short and long term. One example of short term business value is the evolution of several of our customer relationships based on our portfolio of Pro-Environment (renewable) products. We now interact directly with more functions, such as sustainability and business development, which builds an increasing degree of partnership along the value chain. Long term is about the survival of our industry =100% business value.”

What do you see as the key drivers of sustainability in industry today?

“The indisputable no. 1 driver is to find ways to lower the carbon footprint. Other important drivers are ways to get resource efficiency across global value chains and the implementation of circularity principles.”

How are you measuring progress?

“We measure progress in several ways. Our work to become Finite Material Neutral is handled and followed up via roadmaps for each of the respective enablers that have been defined. We also have a set of targets on a broader scale with everything from safety to transport to carbon emissions, of which some are followed up monthly and others on a yearly basis.”

How do you see the future of sustainability? What are your next steps?

“There are real signs from nature that time is running out. To get global traction, I think the UN Sustainable Development Goals are a brilliant initiative. However, I don’t think they will be enough. As climate change and other sustainability issues have no borders, there is a need for global thinking and action. Our company will continue our journey towards becoming Finite Material Neutral by executing on our roadmaps. With regards to all the basics that define us as the responsible company we are, we will continuously improve and keep striving to make a bigger and bigger difference.”

For the complete Five on Five interview, go to:
Five on Five: Part 1
Five on Five: Part 2
Five on Five: Part 3 

Cecilia Svensson

EVP Communications & Sustainable Transformation

+46 40 635 88 30

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