The world needs more energy. By 2030, it is projected that global energy demand will grow by more than 50% whilst more than 1.4 billion people will have no access to electricity at all. Massive investments will have to be made to modernise existing power grids and secure energy supplies worldwide. Lack of access to energy has a big impact on society's productivity, health, and education as well as on climate change.
For Borealis, as an energy-intensive company with operations in several countries, secure and reliable access to energy at a competitive price is a vital element in ensuring sustainable business and operations. Driving toward greater energy efficiency therefore supports both the environment and improves the company's financial performance.
Borealis recognises the global challenge to become more energy efficient and addresses this challenge through its continuous efforts to reduce its energy footprint, as well as by developing innovative plastics solutions that save energy along the value chain.
Borealis' ambition is to improve energy efficiency by 10% by 2020, using 2015 as a baseline. To monitor its performance against its energy efficiency goals, Borealis has tracked a lagging energy KPI (Key Environmental Performance Indicator), primary energy in megawatt hours (MWh) per tonne of output, for more than ten years. In 2015, Borealis added a new leading indicator, to measure its progress on energy efficiency improvements towards the 10% ambition by 2020.
The company's main manufacturing units are certified according to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. All locations have dedicated environmental and energy experts as well as an energy management system that is integrated into the existing ISO 14001 environmental management system. Plants that focus on raw materials for the automotive industry are additionally certified and regularly audited according to ISO/TS 16949. In 2012, operations in Piesteritz, Germany and Stenungsund, Sweden were certified according to ISO 50001. Read more about Borealis' energy performance in the Annual Report.
Lightweight yet resistant, modern plastics save more energy during their life than used for their production. Without plastics in packaging or automobiles, 57% more energy and 61% more carbon emissions would be emitted for the products and goods manufactured and used daily. Borealis' latest Borstar® materials allow up to a 25% reduction in material use which consequently leads to significant energy saving during manufacturing and processing. (Source: PlasticsEurope)
The entire energy network relies on plastic materials from power cable insulation to pipeline coating and natural gas supply. Capturing the power of wind and sun would be impossible without plastics as they enable the rotors in wind turbines to be longer and more effective and components in solar panels to increase their efficiency and withstand permanent mechanical stress. Borealis' advanced Energy & Infrastructure solutions play a key role in securing access to energy by making power grids more robust, reliable, efficient and allowing the transportation of renewable energy over long distances, e.g. wind and solar power.
Borealis recognises the need and opportunity in addressing this global energy challenge and does so through continuous efforts in reducing its energy footprint as well as through the development of innovative plastics solutions that save energy along the value chain.
Borealis' aim to increase energy efficiency goes beyond the company's own operations. In Stenungsund, Sweden, excess heat from polyethylene production is supplied to the local district heating system, contributing to increased energy efficiency at Borealis but also benefitting the local community.
In 2013, Borealis signed a contract with W@S to participate in the Antwerp Left Bank Wind Energy Project. As part of a greater project that includes the construction of around 50 wind turbines on the left bank of the Scheldt river (port of Antwerp), W@S installed three wind turbines on the Borealis Kallo site to generate wind energy which is consumed on-site in the chemical processes.
Today's energy power market is at a crossroads - seeking sustainable and long-term solutions to meet the needs of the growing energy demand whilst also considering more reliable, environmental friendly approaches. Crosslinked polyethylene (XLPE) underground power cables provide enhanced sustainability to the power market by reducing the long term cost and maintenance of power networks whilst lessening the environmental and health risks associated with high voltage power transmission and distribution.