The Road to Long-Term Sustainability Goal Setting

- Wednesday, July 22, 2020

The following was published on July 22, 2020 as a LinkedIn blog post by Walter van het Hof, Global Industry Affairs and Sustainability Leader, Trinseo.

The Road to Long-Term Sustainability Goal Setting

Walter van het HofWalter van het Hof, Global Industry Affairs and Sustainability Leader

Sustainability has been embedded into Trinseo’s core values since our inception, and over the past 10 years, we’ve made remarkable progress furthering our commitments to protecting society, the environment, our employees, and our communities. And while I’m pleased to share with you the launch of our 2020 Sustainability & Corporate Social Responsibility Report, which follows the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines for public sustainability reporting, I’m even more excited to talk about our 2030 Sustainability Goals, announced earlier this month as a true testament to our commitment to a more sustainable future.

Setting Meaningful Goals
The process of Sustainability Goal setting was an enlightening one for me and Trinseo as a whole. It was important that our goal-setting process wasn’t simply an exercise to “check the box,” but rather a unified effort to drive true progress and commit as an organization to work together toward a better tomorrow. 

We wanted goals that motivated our company to continuously do better and that challenged our people to stretch toward a more sustainable future. So, we asked the hard questions of ourselves. If we can’t achieve zero injuries, or significantly lowered emissions, or a sustainable product portfolio, then what are we striving for? And we wanted to help everyone across our company understand how their individual actions contributed to success – from large-scale strategies to more tangible everyday actions, like being cognizant of electricity use or using reusable water bottles. 

With this foundation, we set out with the intent to provide long-term direction for our sustainability efforts across the company with ambitious, measurable, and impactful goals. The 15 long-term goals we ultimately adopted address everything from climate change and building a sustainable product portfolio to supplier responsibility, responsible operations, and a sustainable workforce. By achieving these goals, we will have made a meaningful impact upon the environment and our industry and society as a whole.  

Looking Ahead and Making Progress Together
With these goals in place, the real work now begins, and I’m already seeing inspiring progress across the company. In particular, our businesses have rallied together to design roadmaps that will take us from today to successfully achieving our 2030 Sustainability Goals. 

It will certainly be challenging. However, I am confident in our ability to succeed, because I have witnessed Trinseo’s transformative capacity and engagement. Over the past few years, we have accelerated our sustainability efforts and doubled down on our commitments as a company. And those efforts have been recognized. Just at the end of last year, Newsweek ranked Trinseo 80th among more than 2,000 companies on its list of America’s Most Responsible Companies 2020

The past shows me just how much progress is possible when we come together. When I look ahead to the next 10 years of Trinseo, I’m excited for all the change that is to come and to share our progress with you.

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