Locations / Sites

Group Management Report

We draw attention to the fact that comparatives have been restated, for details see the Restatement section in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements. All amounts in the management report are not considering the reclassification of the discontinued operation and related balances held for sale.

Safety Performance

In 2021, Borealis reported a Total Recordable Injury Rate (TRI1)) per million working hours of 2.3. This is an improvement compared to the 3.9 TRI rate in 2020. In line with its “Goal Zero” objective, Borealis continues to strive to eliminate all accidents and incidents in process and personal safety. The Borealis leadership team maintains its efforts to sharpen the focus on safety among its employees and contractors. Safety thus continues to be the Group’s number one priority. Borealis has remained vigilant in its efforts to prevent coronavirus infections, particularly in light of the rapid global spread of new variants. Throughout the year, measures first enacted in 2020 to protect employees, contractors and business partners were maintained and optimised where necessary. These included physical distancing, the use of personal protective equipment and protective barriers, increased cleaning frequency, stringent hygiene, and working remotely when feasible.

1) TRI definition was adjusted to be aligned with IOGP (International Association of Oil & Gas Producers).

Market Environment

Following its unprecedented 2020 slump as a consequence of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Brent Crude oil price rebounded in 2021. As countries around the world began lifting COVID-related restrictions, the subsequent economic recovery drove demand. The price of oil surged from 55 USD/bbl in January 2021 to a peak of 84 USD/bbl in October, its highest level since 2014. Overall, the average 2021 Brent Crude oil price of 71 USD/bbl exceeded both the 2020 average of 42 USD/bbl as well as the pre-COVID average of 64 USD/bbl in 2019, a clear indication of recovery.

Naphtha developed in a similar vein as the oil price, increasing steadily from 500 USD/t in January 2021 to a peak of 763 USD/t in October 2021, before tapering off slightly to end the year at 698 USD/t. Ethylene and propylene contract prices have also been positively affected by rebounding markets, with the ethylene price starting the year at 860 EUR/t and hitting a high in November at 1,283 EUR/t, before ending the year at 1,273 EUR/t. The price of propylene moved upwards from 800 EUR/t in January to reach 1,288 EUR/t in November, ending the year at the same level.

Borealis Polyolefins sales volumes increased in a market environment which continues to be impacted by the pandemic. In 2021, Borealis Polyolefins sales volumes reached 3.95 million tons, 2% higher than in 2020, and an increase of 4% over the pre-COVID sales volumes achieved in 2019. This exceptionally strong result is due to robust demand for Borealis Polyolefins which became apparent even prior to the initial signs of economic recovery at the beginning of 2021, which was particularly strong in the energy, pipe and advanced product sectors. At the same time, we saw ongoing supply constraints rooted in logistics problems and industry production outages. Integrated polyolefin industry margins climbed to record levels, thus leading to an outstanding profit contribution from the Borealis Polyolefins business.

The olefin industry margin also increased in 2021, albeit not as much as the polyolefin industry margin. This may be attributed to increased demand in a recovering economy in which supply, however, was still negatively impacted by industry production outages. As a result, the profit contribution delivered by the hydrocarbons business was higher than in 2020, but remained below 2019 levels as the advantage from cracking light feedstock became less favourable.

Within the Borealis nitrogen business unit, Fertilizers reported sales of 3.9 million tonnes from January to December versus the 4.3 million tonnes sold in 2020. This drop is due in part to extremely strong demand in the fourth quarter of 2020 which caused a temporary spike in sales volumes and inevitably lower demand at the start of 2021; and to some operational issues. In a recovering market environment, melamine sales remained on par with the previous year, with total 2021 sales volumes of 143 kilotonnes (kt) compared to 147 kt in 2020.


The Group Strategy 2035 has several central components. One is the geographical expansion undertaken to establish Borealis as the global partner of choice for high-value material solutions. Acquisitions and partnerships, particularly in North America and the Middle East and Africa (MEA), are key. Another is transformation, especially from a linear to a circular economy. Value Creation through Innovation is an essential part of this evolution to a fully customer-centric approach and more circular polyolefins solutions. Finally, leading from the core builds on the unique Borealis mindset and established values and culture. It puts people first and strives for excellence in all it does. Sustainability is deeply embedded in this component, because leading from the core means that all types of resources are used wisely in all areas of operation. Borealis is further increasing its efforts towards the ultimate goal of carbon neutrality as well as complying with legislation and increased legal requirements (for example, EU Taxonomy).

Global Growth and Acquisitions Continue

Despite the ongoing effects of the pandemic, Borealis has been able to make meaningful progress on its important global growth projects in 2021. In November, Borealis and ADNOC signed a USD 6.2 billion final investment agreement to build the fourth facility at the Borouge polyolefin manufacturing complex in Ruwais, UAE. Borouge expansion is vital in order to serve growing customer demand in Asia and MEA for differentiated polyolefins solutions in energy, infrastructure and advanced packaging. Borouge will become the world’s largest single-site polyolefin complex, with an annual polyethylene production capacity of 6.4 million tonnes. The project entails the construction of an ethane cracker, two state-of-the-art Borstar® polyethylene (PE) plants, a cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) plant and a 1-hexene unit. Cutting-edge technologies will be employed to improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions. Continuous flaring will be eliminated altogether. The new facility will draw on renewable energy sources to power some of its operations. An exploratory study currently underway will determine whether the installation of a carbon capture unit could lower Borouge 4 emissions by up to 80%.

The Baystar™ project in Texas, USA, is a 50/50 joint venture between Borealis and TOTAL Petrochemicals & Refining USA, Inc. Baystar is building a 625,000-tonne-per-year Borstar polyethylene unit at our production site in Pasadena, Texas, US. Baystar is also currently building a one-million-tonne per year steam cracker in Port Arthur, Texas, US. This undertaking will add more than one million tonnes of annual polyolefins production capacity and, most crucially, enable Borealis to supply locally manufactured Borstar products to its North American customers for the first time. The unusually hard winter freeze of 2021 had adverse effects on nearly all petrochemical operations on the Gulf Coast; the Baystar project was no exception.

The new world-scale propane dehydrogenation (PDH) plant under construction in Kallo, Belgium, adjacent to the existing PDH facility, is progressing despite negative pandemic-related effects. With an investment of around EUR 1 billion, this is among the largest projects in the petrochemical industry in Europe, and the largest ever for Borealis on the continent. A stellar safety record has been achieved despite the enormity of the project, which included the delivery of one of the largest single pieces of equipment ever shipped in one piece to the Port of Antwerp.

In July, Borealis announced it had acquired a 10% minority stake in Renasci N.V. (Renasci), a Belgium-based provider of innovative recycling solutions and creator of the novel Smart Chain Processing concept. This purchase was subsequent to an earlier offtake agreement with Renasci to source around 20 kilotonnes per year (kt/y) of circular pyrolysis oil, a product of chemical recycling which can be used as feedstock. Taken together, the agreements help accelerate the shift to plastics circularity in an eco-efficient way.

Borealis announced in December that it had purchased a minority stake in Bockatech Limited (Bockatech), a green tech business based in the UK. The agreement deepens and extends the existing partnership between Borealis and Bockatech in the area of sustainable packaging. Founded on the principles of design for recycling, reuse and eco-efficiency, the joint collaboration aims to expand the range of lighter weight, foam-based applications in packaging, and make these available to a larger number of global customers and value chain partners.

Circular Economy

The Borealis commitment to closing the loop on plastics circularity is cemented in the Group Strategy 2035. The Company has pledged that by 2025, 100% of its consumer products will be recyclable, reusable and/or made using materials from renewable sources. Borealis has also pledged to produce up to 350,000 tonnes of recycled plastics each year by 2025. Progress was made in 2021, as Borealis sold 77,000 tonnes of recyclates while at the same time building an annual production capacity of 100,000 tonnes. Taken together, these aims are accelerating the Group’s transition to the use of more renewably-sourced feedstocks instead of conventional fossil fuel-based feedstock

The Borealis dedication to leading the way to circularity is embedded in its EverMinds™ platform, which seeks to promote change and unite value chain partners and stakeholders. Borealis invests, innovates and engages in value chain collaboration to ensure that all products and applications are designed with eco-efficiency in mind. The activities described below are indicative of the broad gamut of those undertaken throughout 2021, yet this list is by no means exhaustive.

  • Borealis continues to expand its activities in the area of mechanical recycling. In January, operations commenced an ultramodern demo plant in Lahnstein, Germany. In this strategic partnership with TOMRA, rigid and flexible post-consumer plastic waste is sorted, then processed using the proprietary Borcycle™ M platform technology into fully formulated, ready-for-market polymer pellets. In this way, Borealis is helping ensure the ample availability of high-quality recyclate for sophisticated applications, thus further closing the loop on plastics circularity.
  • Chemical recycling is used to supplement mechanical recycling, and to valorise residual waste streams which would otherwise be incinerated or sent to landfill. An added benefit of chemical recycling is that products manufactured with chemically recycled feedstock offer the same high performance as those produced with fossil fuel-based feedstock. This enables the production of high-end polyolefin-based applications that fulfil stringent quality and safety regulations, such as in healthcare and food packaging. In June, Borealis secured the supply of the entire output of chemically recycled material produced by Renasci – around 20 kt/y – in the form of circular pyrolysis oil. This chemically recycled feedstock will be used to manufacture Borcycle™ C circular polyolefins and circular base chemicals at various Borealis production locations. These activities complement existing collaboration with OMV in which the patented OMV ReOil® technology is used to chemically recycle post-consumer plastics into raw materials which are processed by Borealis into polyolefins.
  • In September, the first test of feedstock derived entirely from vegetable-based waste streams commenced at a Borealis cracker in Stenungsund, Sweden. The aim is to evaluate whether, and to what extent, this renewably sourced feedstock could serve as a replacement for fossil fuel-based feedstocks. Because renewable feedstocks form the foundation of The Bornewables™, the Borealis portfolio of premium circular polyolefins launched in 2020, the ability to offer a viable alternative to conventional feedstocks would not only reduce the Stenungsund plant’s overall CO2 footprint, but also help Borealis customers maintain high product quality while meeting their own sustainability goals.
  • Borealis announced that it is scaling up Project STOP. This programme uses a “system-enabler” approach to support local authorities in Indonesia in establishing more sustainable and cost-efficient waste management and recycling systems. Its holistic approach involves the collection, recycling and proper disposal not only of plastic, but all kinds of waste, including organic, to ensure that no waste ends up in the environment. The programme expansion in East Java will extend waste management services to cover two million Indonesians by 2025.
  • Borealis formed a partnership with Lafarge, OMV and VERBUND called C2PAT for the joint planning and construction of a full-scale plant to capture CO2 and process it into synthetic fuels, plastics or other chemicals on an industrial scale.

Value Creation through Innovation in 2021

The relentless dedication to Value Creation through Innovation applies to the entire polyolefins value chain, and is circular at its core. It is applied to all life-cycle phases: idea generation, design, processing, deployment and ultimately recovery for reuse or recycling.

A step-change innovation for the power industry value chain was announced in September: Borealis and TOPAS Advanced Polymers are currently developing a new class of engineering material for film capacitor applications. The EPN (ethylene-propylene-norbornene) material being developed will bridge the performance gap between standard polymers and high-end plastics by substantially increasing the temperature resistance of film capacitors in a cost-efficient way. Drawing on their respective strengths in polymers excellence – Borealis in PP capacitor film, and TOPAS Advanced Polymers in cyclic olefin copolymers (COC) – the partners will accelerate the green-energy transition. Traction inverters for electric mobility will be made more energy efficient at higher temperatures, and inverters will be able to transform power from renewable sources like wind or solar more efficiently.

In April, Borealis and Sulzer, a global leader in fluid engineering, announced that they had successfully developed an innovative process for the cost-effective extrusion of expanded polypropylene (ePP) beads, thus enabling broader and more rapid uptake of this highly effective material, which boasts advanced properties and good suitability for reuse and recycling.

In November, Swiss running shoe brand On announced that, as part of their efforts to identify viable replacements for fossil fuel-based materials, they had created a new foam material called CleanCloud™ in which carbon waste (emissions) is repurposed to create EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) foam. As a cooperation partner, Borealis is contributing the circular and renewable-based materials required to produce the high-performance, easy-to-process EVA foam used in shoe bottoms and other parts.

In 2021, the combination of Value Creation through Innovation and value chain collaboration gave rise to numerous circular products and processes. Tens of thousands of environmentally friendly drinking cups produced through Bockatech and Borealis collaboration made an appearance at the COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland. These lightweight cups can be collected and washed for reuse before being recycled. Dutch PPE Solutions announced that it is reducing the climate impact of its meltblown fibre production by using Bornewables PP, polypropylene made from bio-based feedstock derived entirely from waste and residue streams. Borealis and pipe and fittings maker, Uponor Infra, announced that their collaboration had produced a new generation of PP sewer pipes made using a product from the Bornewables portfolio and boasting a significantly lower carbon footprint.

Borealis and a leading Austrian plastic packaging manufacturer, The Jokey Group, agreed to step up their joint efforts to accelerate circularity through more aggressive development and marketing of recyclable plastic packaging. Borealis, Swiss dairy giant Emmi and Greiner Packaging announced plans to incorporate chemically recycled PP in their ready-to-drink cups for the iced coffee brand Caffé Latte. Earlier in the year, Greiner Packaging produced its first food cup prototypes with in-mould labelling made using Bornewables PP.

Around 500 employees work in R&D at the Borealis Group. This figure includes scientists and researchers at the Innovation Headquarters in Linz, Austria, and the two innovation centres in Stenungsund, Sweden and Porvoo, Finland.

An upward trajectory in the number of priority patent filings is clear. Borealis filed 133 new priority patent applications at the European Patent Office, a record amount of applications filed in the history of Borealis, compared to 114 in the previous year. As of March 2021, the Borealis Group holds around 10,000 individual patents or patent applications which are subsumed in approximately 1,200 patent families. The growing number of patents underscores the Group’s position as a leading industry innovator.

Energy and Climate

Borealis is fully committed to reducing the carbon footprint of its operations and to achieving climate neutrality by 2050 or sooner. The Company is making significant changes in the way it operates its own production facilities by following three main approaches to reducing and/or avoiding emissions: drawing on renewable energy sources to power its operations; implementing further energy efficiency improvements and eliminating non-emergency flaring; driving innovation to develop solutions that mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, including bio-based and circular technologies and materials.

In Europe, Borealis aims to increase its energy efficiency by an additional 10% by 2030 (compared to 2020 levels); this gain is on top of the initial 10% efficiency improvements obtained in the years 2015 to 2020, and is due in large part to investments made in upgrading and modernising production facilities.

Sourcing a larger share of renewable energy to supply own operations is key to reaching the goal of climate neutrality by 2050 or sooner. To achieve its intermediate goal of drawing on 50% renewable electricity for its own operations by 2030, Borealis employs the combination of onsite investment in tandem with long-term contracts known as power purchase agreements (PPAs). In September, Borealis signed a nine-year PPA with Axpo, a renewables producer and trader, which enables Borealis to draw on green electricity generated by Axpo wind farms in Belgium to power its own plants there. A ten-year PPA was signed with the energy company Fortum to source electricity from an onshore windfarm to power Borealis operations in Porvoo. This PPA is the fourth and largest to date for Borealis. In total, the amount of energy supplied by PPAs to Borealis operations is equivalent to the annual energy consumption of 160,000 European households.

Pioneering efforts are underway with the creators of the revolutionary Qpinch technology for heat recovery. As of May, the first-ever application of this technology at commercial scale is being tested at the Borealis low-density polyethylene (LDPE) production site in Antwerp. This open-innovation collaboration enables Borealis to take major strides in its efforts to lower CO2 emissions, while at the same time increasing production efficiency and maintaining cost competitiveness. In June, a new photovoltaic array using the proprietary Quentys™ technology was installed at the Borealis production site in Monza, Italy. It is only the first of several that will be used in the future to power portions of Borealis production operations in locations around the world. In February, Borealis announced that it would invest EUR 17.6 million in a regenerative thermal oxidiser for its polyolefins plants in Porvoo.

Borealis commenced development of its updated climate goals as part of the strategy in the second half of 2021. The new strategy will take upcoming legislative changes (such as the EU’s Fit for 55 package) into account. It will also reflect the need to support the Group’s customers in their own efforts to achieve climate neutrality by offering innovative and more circular technologies and material solutions. Once the Climate Strategy has been finalised and approved by the Borealis Executive and Supervisory Boards, the updated goals will be communicated, most likely in the first quarter of 2022.

Review of Results


Borealis sold 3.95 million tonnes of polyolefins in 2021, 2% more than the sales volume in 2020. Borealis Fertilizers sales reached 3.91 million tonnes in 2021, a decrease compared to the sales volume of 4.25 million tonnes in 2020. Melamine sales volumes were 143 thousand tonnes in 2021, which is a similar level compared to 2020.

Cost Development

The higher feedstock price environment saw an increase in 2021 production costs compared to 2020. Furthermore, higher inflation caused by the global economic recovery has driven the increase in sales and distribution costs from EUR 681 million in 2020 to EUR 721 million in 2021; administration costs increased accordingly from EUR 223 million in 2020 to EUR 251 million in 2021. Driven by the unchanged commitment to Value Creation through Innovation, spending on research and development (consisting of costs for Borealis Innotech organisation and deprecation from R&D assets) rose to EUR 123 million in 2021, an increase of EUR 2 million compared to 2020. At the end of 2021, the number of full-time equivalent employees (FTE) was 6,934, an increase of 14 on the previous year.

Operating Profit

Operating profit amounted to EUR 1,517 million compared to EUR 351 million in 2020, achieved in an industry environment still impacted by the pandemic. Borealis was well positioned to benefit from the stronger polyolefins demand, in conjunction with record integrated polyolefin industry margins. Operating profit was also supported by a recovery of the contribution from the nitrogen business, particularly from the melamine business, despite the spike in the price of natural gas. Following the announcement of the start of a divestment process of its nitrogen business unit, including fertilizers, technical nitrogen and melamine products in February 2021, the nitrogen business unit assets within the scope of the divestment project have been classified as assets held for sale and have benefitted from the stopped depreciation. The strong business result was, however, negatively impacted by an impairment charge of EUR 39 million in relation to Rosier, which is not within the scope of the divestment project.

Financial Income and Expenses

The decline in net financial expenses from EUR 19 million in 2020 to EUR 9 million in 2021 was mainly due to higher interest income from the member loan granted to the Baystar joint venture with Total and a lower net debt level.


Income taxes amounted to EUR 263 million, an increase of EUR 144 million from tax charges of EUR 119 million in 2020. The higher overall tax charge in 2021 was mainly driven by the improved business performance.

Net Profit and Distribution of Dividend

The record net profit for the year amounted to EUR 1,396 million, compared to a net profit of EUR 589 million in 2020. In addition to the strong operating profit, the profit contribution from Borouge and Baystar increased significantly in 2021 compared to 2020, both having benefitted from the improved market environment. The strong business result was negatively impacted by an impairment charge of EUR 444 million in relation to the assets within the scope of the divestment of the nitrogen business unit.

In 2021, Borealis distributed a dividend of EUR 150 million to its shareholders from the 2020 result.

Financial Position

At year end, total assets and capital employed stood at EUR 12,985 million and EUR 9,936 million, respectively, compared to EUR 10,600 million and EUR 8,343 million at the end of 2020.

In 2021, Borealis net debt decreased by EUR 1,611 million to EUR 223 million, driven by an extraordinary dividend payment of EUR 1,305 million from Borouge, strong operating cash flow and regular dividend payments from Borouge. This resulted in a gearing ratio of 3% at the end of 2021, compared to 29% at the end of 2020. This gearing reflects a very strong balance sheet. Borealis benefits from a well-diversified financing portfolio and a balanced maturity profile. The solvency ratio was 62% at year-end 2021, compared to 59% at year-end 2020.

Return on capital employed (ROCE) after tax of 19% in 2021 was eleven percentage points higher than in the previous year. This strong result was mainly driven by the high profitability despite the continued investment in growth projects. The five-year average ROCE of 13% also remains well above the Company’s target of 11% through the cycle.

Cash Flows and Liquidity Reserves

At year end, total assets and capital employed stood at EUR 12,985 million and EUR 9,936 million, respectively, compared to EUR 10,600 million and EUR 8,343 million at the end of 2020.

In 2021, Borealis net debt decreased by EUR 1,611 million to EUR 223 million, driven by an extraordinary dividend payment of EUR 1,305 million from Borouge, strong operating cash flow and regular dividend payments from Borouge. This resulted in a gearing ratio of 3% at the end of 2021, compared to 29% at the end of 2020. This gearing reflects a very strong balance sheet. Borealis benefits from a well-diversified financing portfolio and a balanced maturity profile. The solvency ratio was 62% at year-end 2021, compared to 59% at year-end 2020.

Return on capital employed (ROCE) after tax of 19% in 2021 was eleven percentage points higher than in the previous year. This strong result was mainly driven by the high profitability despite the continued investment in growth projects. The five-year average ROCE of 13% also remains well above the Company’s target of 11% through the cycle.

Capital Expenditure

Investments in property, plant and equipment amounted to EUR 660 million in 2021, compared to EUR 614 million in 2020. A large portion of the total investment relates to the new, world-scale PDH plant in Kallo and the upgrade and revamp of four cracker furnaces in Stenungsund. Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) capital expenditure amounted to EUR 88 million, compared to EUR 49 million in 2020. Depreciation, amortisation and impairment amounted to EUR 427 million, including an impairment charge of EUR 39 million in relation to assets in Rosier, compared to EUR 464 million in 2020. Additionally, assets within the scope of the nitrogen business unit divestment project have been impaired by EUR 444 million.

Shareholders’ Equity

Shareholders’ equity at year end 2021 was EUR 8,176 million.

Risk Management

Borealis has a documented risk management process ensuring that all parts of the Group routinely identify and assess their risks and develop and implement appropriate mitigation actions. Risk management contributes to achieving the Group’s long-term strategies and short-term goals. Borealis believes that an effective risk culture makes it harder for an outlier, be it an event or an offender, to put the Company at risk.

The Group’s overall risk landscape is periodically consolidated, reported, and reviewed. Borealis distinguishes between different risk categories as outlined below. While this list is not exhaustive, it does illustrate the most relevant risk types.

Strategic and reputational risks are those that may severely impact the Borealis Group’s strategy or reputation. Often, strategic risks are related to unfavourable long-term developments, such as market or industry developments, technology, innovation, a change in the competitive environment or a threat to the reputation of the Group.

Operational and tactical risks usually refer to unfavourable and unexpected short-term or mid-term developments, and include all risks that may have a direct impact on the Group’s daily business operations. All operational risks are assessed according to documented guidelines and procedures that are administered by the respective business functions. A proactive approach to risk prevention management has been implemented in the Operations function, covering risks in the areas of Production; Health, Safety and Environment (HSE); Product Stewardship; Plant Availability and Quality. The risk management approach also safeguards the Responsible Care® approach towards risks in operations. The standard risk management process includes a common risk matrix and risk registers, built bottom-up from plant to portfolio level, enabling a common risk rating system for the whole of operations.

HSE risks are assessed according to the procedures and framework described in the Borealis Risk-based Inspection Manual. The HSE Director is responsible for managing all HSE-related risks and periodically reports the Borealis HSE risk landscape to the Executive Board.

Borealis assesses and discloses the potential negative impact of its activities on the environment and society, and related mitigation measures in its Non-financial Report in accordance with legal obligations (NaDiVeG). The main risks analysed are:

  • Unplanned emissions from operations that might cause additional emissions to air or soil and water pollution, waste, noise and other disturbances to the local community,
  • Process safety incidents causing the sudden and uncontrolled release of explosive materials and release of potentially harmful toxins,
  • Chemical substances that, if not handled properly and according to their intended use, could lead to negative impacts on human health,
  • Environmental pollution caused by pellet loss or plastic littering, and finally,
  • COVID-19 pandemic-related risks to business as well as Borealis employees.

Climate-related risks and mitigation actions are also specifically analysed according to TCFD (Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures) guidelines and disclosed in the Borealis Non-financial Report. Related transition risks are, for example, higher GHG emission prices, increasing operating costs, increasing pressure on usage of fossil fuel-based feedstock and a negative industry image. Physical risks are mainly related to potential supply-chain disruptions, due, for example, to extreme weather events or political unrest. However, the risks associated with climate change also represent opportunities for innovation, such as product portfolio extensions that include low-emission, circular and/or bio-based products as well as partnerships that help transform the industry towards climate neutrality.

Project-related risks are assessed in the Borealis project approval process. The applicable key risks related to an individual project are assessed. These risks include financial, market, technical, legal, patent infringement, strategic, operational, country-related and political factors. The risk assessment also reflects the probability of project completion within the estimated time frame and forecasted resource requirements, and the likelihood that key project objectives will be achieved. Project-related risks are managed by the project manager and reported to the Project Steering Committee.

Financial and market risks may refer to risks arising for instance from unexpected changes in market supply, demand, commodity prices, services or financing costs.Risks may also arise from liquidity, interest rates, foreign exchange rates, credit and insurance, the inability of a counterparty to meet a payment or delivery commitment, and may, for example, extend to incorrect assumptions or the inappropriate application of a model. The assessment of financial risk management is described in detail in note 17 of the consolidated financial statements. The Treasury & Funding Director and the General Counsel are responsible for reporting and coordinating the management of all financial risks.

Compliance risks focus on legal and regulatory risks, code of conduct (ethics policy), standards as well as contracting compliance. Doing business in an ethical manner is vital to the Group’s good reputation and continued success. Tactical or generic risks are risks identified as part of standards or compliance. These risks mainly relate to processes or control weaknesses.

Information security risks relate to the confidentiality, integrity and availability of critical company information. The IT Director and the General Counsel support line managers with the assessment of information security risk and the development and implementation of risk mitigation actions.The Executive Board periodically reviews the Group’s key risks, defines the Group’s risk tolerance levels, monitors the implementation of mitigation actions and reports the key risks and mitigation steps to the Supervisory Board. The Executive Board safeguards the integration of risk assessment in its strategic planning.The Supervisory Board is responsible for reviewing the effectiveness of Borealis risk management practices and processes, risk appetite and tolerance levels, the Group’s risk exposure and the effectiveness of mitigation actions. The Supervisory Board delegates some of these responsibilities to the Audit Committee, which is a sub-committee of the Supervisory Board.All Borealis employees are responsible for managing risk, within their authority and in their field of work, in order to ensure that risk management is properly embedded in the organisation and reflected in the daily decision-making processes.

Changes to the Executive Board and Supervisory Board

Significant changes to the Borealis Executive Board occurred in 2021. As of 1 April 2021, Thomas Gangl succeeded Alfred Stern as Borealis CEO. Alfred Stern was appointed OMV Executive Board Member for Chemicals & Materials effective April 2021 and has also been appointed to the Borealis Supervisory Board effective April 2021. The position of Borealis Executive Vice President Base Chemicals and Operations was filled in July by Wolfram Krenn; his predecessor, Martijn van Koten, joined the OMV Executive Board as of July 2021. As of September 2021, Alfred Stern was appointed as Chairman of the Borealis Supervisory Board, succeeding Rainer Seele. As of the same date, Martijn van Koten was also appointed to the Borealis Supervisory Board. As of 10 February 2022, Alvin The was appointed as Supervisory Board member, succeeding Musabbeh Al Kaabi. In addition, Saeed Al Mazrouei was appointed as Vice Chairman of the Supervisory Board.

Economic Development and Outlook

Because its Goal Zero remained out of reach in 2021, Borealis management will step up its efforts in 2022 to achieve the desired result of zero accidents and incidents. As always, safety remains the top priority for the Group in all areas of operation and in all geographic locations.

Borealis is transforming itself from a leading producer of virgin polyolefins solutions to a leading producer of more renewable and sustainable polyolefins solutions. By doing so, it is also transforming the industry. Its leading-edge technologies and portfolio of advanced and circular polyolefins applications can help make life safer and more sustainable. Borealis management is confident that it can capitalise on the opportunities for growth in a global economy in which COVID-19 is ultimately endemic rather than pandemic. It will maintain its commitment to re-inventing for more sustainable living and by offering chemical and plastic solutions that create value for society.

The Borealis Executive Board and its senior management are very proud of the outstanding financial result posted in 2021. Borealis is well positioned to deal with market-related and other challenges and is sure to maintain its status as a reliable and trusted partner for its customers and the entire value chain.

1) NITRO: Borealis Fertilizers, Melamine and Technical Nitrogen Business excl. Rosier. For further details, please refer to note 8. Discontinued Operation and Other Changes in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
2) 2020 amounts have been restated. For further details, please refer to the Restatement section in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
3) Environmental data might be subject to minor adjustments due to ongoing audits and missing third-party data at the time of closing of this report.
4) Definitions have been adjusted in 2021 to be aligned with OMV definitions. A comparison to previous years is only possible with 2020.
5) Severe upsets led to significant emergency flaring during shutdowns; further there was a lack of recycling capacity.
6) Value has been recalculated in retrospect due to ongoing audits and missing third-party data at the time the last report was finalised.
7) The main reason for the increase is the integration of the plastics recycling company mtm plastics GmbH into the monthly group reporting.
8) Full-time equivalents considers part-time employed staff only as 0.5.

For Information: Borealis is in the process of its divesting Fertilizers, Melamine and Technical Nitrogen Products business unit (Borealis NITRO). This has resulted in the “discontinued operation” classification in the Consolidated Financial Statements. Accordingly, turnover, capital expenditure and operating expenditure, as presented in the chapter EU Taxonomy, do not include the nitrogen business unit (except Rosier as this is not part of the NITRO divestment process). All non-financial information for the reporting period 2021 includes Borealis NITRO.


Capital employed: Total assets less non-interest-bearing debt
Return on capital employed: Operating profit, profit and loss from sale of operations, net result of associated companies and joint ventures plus interest income, after imputed tax, divided by average capital employed
Solvency ratio: Total equity, less goodwill, divided by total assets
Gearing ratio: Interest-bearing debt, less cash and cash equivalents, divided by total equity
HSE: Health, Safety and Environment

Other Information

In accordance with Section 267a (6) of the Austrian Commercial Code (UGB), Borealis prepares a separate consolidated non-financial report.

As a company subject to non-financial reporting obligations according to Article 19a of Directive 2013/34/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council, Borealis falls within the scope of the EU Taxonomy. Applying the EU Taxonomy enables Borealis to be transparent about its sustainable economic activities and to demonstrate the development of the sustainability performance of all business areas within the Group. For 2021, Borealis discloses within the separate consolidated non-financial report the share of taxonomy-eligible and non-taxonomy-eligible economic activities in its total turnover, CAPEX and OPEX, whereas in the 2022Annual Report the alignment level will be reported.

Combined Annual Report 2021 (PDF)

English and German Version available

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This online report contains only highlights and excerpts from Borealis’ Combined Annual Report 2021. 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 2021. A copy of the Combined Annual Report 2021 can be downloaded here.