Locations / Sites

Sustainability Focus Areas


Borealis therefore aims to continuously reduce its energy footprint through greater energy efficiency and by developing innovative solutions that save energy along the value chain. These solutions range from lightweight plastics to chemicals used for renewable energy solutions and accurate fertilizer dosing in farming. Borealis also looks to increase its use of renewable energy.

Flaring is a necessary safety measure used in refineries and petrochemical operations, in which excess gases which cannot be recovered or recycled are safely burned. However, the noise and emissions caused by flaring affect surrounding communities and flaring also incurs high costs for the Group. Flaring is incident driven and Borealis strives to reduce the need for it by continuously improving its plants’ operational performance and reducing the number of plant interruptions and upsets. Flaring only occurs in hydrocarbon and polyolefin plants and not at the Group’s production sites that produce fertilizers or melamine.

Issues related to energy and climate change present both risks and opportunities for the Group. The risks include increased costs for energy and for CO2 emission rights, declining social acceptance for businesses emitting CO2 and possible reputational damage as a result.


Energy & Climate is one of the key sustainability focus areas for Borealis. To excel in these aspects, the Company established clear long-term goals and ambitions to drive sustainable performance. Borealis has two energy and flaring targets, which it aims to achieve in 2020. The Group aspires to achieve:

  • a 10% improvement in energy efficiency against
  • a 2015 baseline; and
  • a 50% reduction in flaring against a 2013 baseline, which equals zero non-emergency flaring.

During the year, the Group also established two further targets, which it aims to achieve by 2030. These are

  • an increase in the energy efficiency target from 10% to 20% against the 2015 baseline; and
  • an ambition to source 50% of the Group’s energy needs from renewable power for the Hydrocarbons & Energy and Polyolefins businesses.

Key Achievements and Results

By the end of 2019, Borealis had:

  • approved projects which will result in energy savings of 2,191 GWh of primary energy,
  • equivalent to 91% of the ambition level set out for 2020;
  • achieved a 32% reduction in flaring compared to the baseline;
  • generated 28 GWh power with windmills directly connected to the internal grid in Kallo.

Borealis Energy Roadmap 2020

In 2015, Borealis initiated a comprehensive energy roadmap to drive the implementation of projects that will result in a 10% improvement (or 2,400 GWh) in 2020 compared to 2015. In 2019, Borealis extended this ambition to 2030, by doubling the energy savings target to 20% (or 4,800 GWh) compared to 2015. The roadmap sets out a sequence of different activities, starting with establishing a baseline and followed by three levels of action known as levers, which will deliver increasing optimisation.

The baseline for any energy efficiency improvement is to implement and comply with ISO 50001, combined with continuous leadership engagement from key teams. Initiatives include energy teams at each production location that drive the location’s energy planning process, increase awareness, act as a forum for energy issues and ensure ISO 50001 compliance.

To progress beyond this baseline, all Borealis locations run energy screening programmes every four years, often with third-party support, to evaluate their energy performance and identify improvement opportunities. Actions are prioritised based on their benefit to people (for example through improved working conditions), profit (such as the ability to generate cost savings) and the planet, in the form of environmental benefits. The prioritisation is based on factors such as a risk and opportunity assessment, total cost of ownership, internal rate of return and organisational capacity.

The three levels of actions are as follows:

  • Lever 1: As a first step, Borealis is implementing tools to run its plants in the ideal way, such as introducing an Energy Trendboard which helps operators to continuously focus on energy consumption
  • Lever 2: Running plants most effectively requires continual optimisation of plant design and control, and the implementation of improvement projects to remove potential barriers to optimisation.
  • Lever 3: Another way to increase energy efficiency is to implement new technologies during periodic production line revamps, and to seek energy integration through industrial clusters.
"To ensure we achieve the highest possible usage of the Energy Trendboard, we worked very closely with the Digital Studio. By involving the operators throughout the design and development process of the trendboard we put the focus on their needs.“
Pierre Lancey

Project Manager and Product Owner Trendboard 2.0.


Borealis provides several products that help reduce CO2 emissions, such as lightweight plastics for cars, insulation for electricity cables, and photovoltaic components for solar panels. The group's sustainability strategy aims to significantly reduce fossil-fuel-based energy and emissions in plastics production and the supply chain. In the chemical sector, moving to carbon neutrality means investing in new industrial pathways and processes, circular use of alternative feedstock sources, using CO2 as a source, sectoral integration and transforming existing plants.

Introducing wind energy supply at Borealis' Kallo production site

Highlight Projects

Demonstrating Our Commitment to Renewable Energy

Borealis was one of the first companies to demonstrate that windmills can be safely located next to a chemical plant. We have used windmills to supply electricity to our plants in Kallo since 2015 and have produced 100 GWh of energy to date. This roughly equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of our polyethylene and compounding facility in Antwerp or around 25,000 family homes. Since the windmills started operating, we have saved about 20,000 tonnes of indirect CO2 emissions.

We are now building a new dehydrogenation plant in Kallo. To free up the plot to construct the plant, we decided to relocate one of the windmills rather than lose the production of renewable energy. Relocating a windmill is not common practice and this is one of the first times it has been done in Europe, showing our commitment to implementing renewable energy generation.

Combined Annual Report 2019 (PDF)

Download complete version

This online report contains only highlights and excerpts from Borealis’ Combined Annual Report 2019. Only the entire report is legally binding and it must be read in full to gain a comprehensive understanding of Borealis’ performance and activities in 2019. A copy of the Combined Annual Report 2019 can be downloaded here.