A science-based target initiative net zero path is essential

The Grolman Group has committed to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. CEO Florian Grolman speaks about the reasons and how the company is approaching this vision.

Florian Grolman

How did the vision to achieve net zero emissions come about and what do you see as the biggest challenges?

Florian Grolman: As a family business founded in 1855, we want to pass on a healthy and successful business to the next generation of our family and employees. Given the adverse effects of climate change and global warming, we see an urgency to meet the 1.5° C ambition of the Paris Climate Agreement.

Our vision is to sell chemicals to save the planet. We want the chemical industry to be the cure and not the disease. The decision to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 with SBTi was a natural consequence of this vision.

Of course, there are still many hurdles on the way and we do not have all the answers yet. E.g. there are many technical innovations, including new circular raw materials, that we need to adjust to our customers’ applications. Perhaps the biggest hurdle of all is changing people’s mindset from linear to circular economy.

One of the main focuses lies on circular innovation, how do you plan to approach this?

Grolman: Our approach to circular innovation is circular design and for circularity, a science-based target initiative net zero path is essential. This is because it is the only scientifically sound, trustworthy and measurable way to achieve circularity. At the same time, net zero is only possible with a circular business model. Otherwise, you would have to stop producing to achieve zero CO2 emissions, which is not what we want.

The good thing is that a circular economy creates growth AND eliminates waste.

We are helping organisations we interact with explore the solutions needed to transition to a circular economy. By supporting our business partners innovate, see more perspectives, and discover new business opportunities, we change our mindsets and move together towards a circular economy.

What other steps are you planning to take?

Grolman: Of course, achieving a net zero CO2 emission is not the only target we have. There are other very important issues that need our attention like product safety, biodiversity, social justice, as well as rewilding nature in our surroundings. Given that all these problems are interconnected, we believe that our focus on circular economy can greatly benefit other issues as well and that we will be able to achieve more sustainable development goals.

We are convinced that all this will only be possible in close cooperation with our existing partners, suppliers, and customers, as well as with new partners who will join us on this journey. With our technical expertise and close personal relationships, we bring together partners and needs along the entire value chain to jointly develop opportunities for circular innovation.

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