We develop polymers that are used in anode coating formulations critical to the production of high-efficiency lithium-ion batteries, including recharging characteristics that have a significant impact on the battery’s life cycle and performance. This coating formulation not only enhances the battery life cycle but also is sustainably advantageous because of its safe, nontoxic, aqueous-based coating process.
These efforts are supportive of Targets 7.2 — to increase the share of renewable energy in the global mix and 7.3 — to double the rate of improvement in energy efficiency.
We continue to focus on the circularity of materials through partnerships that facilitate the integration of recycled materials into our feedstock. In 2021, we signed an offtake agreement with Indaver, a leader in sustainable waste management in Europe, to buy a minimum of 50% of its recycled styrene for a 10-year period, following startup of the plant planned in 2023. Additionally, we have invested in the recyclability of polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) through our recent acquisitions. As a material that is technically capable of being 100% recyclable, PMMA has the potential to drive circular innovation.
In addition to PMMA recycling, we are exploring opportunities to recycle end-of-life materials through chemical and mechanical recycling. We are actively investing in partnerships that take steps to advance recycling for polystyrene (PS) and PMMA.
Our efforts directly ladder up to Target 12.4 — achieving environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle and Target 12.5 — reducing waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling, and reuse.
We develop products that help reduce GHG emissions through production and application improvements. For example, our Norrkoping, Sweden, plant has converted from powering its steam boiler with crude oil to liquified petroleum gas, which enabled the facility to lower CO2 emissions by 20% and NOX emissions by 30%. This conversion optimizes the facility’s operations while reducing its carbon footprint.
Additionally, our latex binder formulations for lithium-ion batteries help enable electric vehicles, which have a reduced impact on climate change compared to traditional combustion-powered vehicles.
These efforts are supportive of Target 13.2 — integrating climate change measures into national policies, strategies, and planning.
Through our drive to realize the promise of a circular economy, we are reducing waste that would otherwise end up in our environment. Through products like PMMA and polystyrene that are capable of being 100% recycled, we can reduce the monumental waste that enters waterways.
Additionally, Trinseo is an active member of Operation Clean Sweep® to help limit pellet, flake, and powder loss in the environment. Through this program, Trinseo has instituted better housekeeping for warehouses and new equipment to prevent pellets and flakes from entering the ecosystem.
As part of our ongoing efforts to formulate high-quality, sustainable products, we are also taking steps to redirect plastic waste back into our products, thus reducing the quantity of plastics available to pollute marine environments. We are helping to advance recycling technologies and also increasingly integrating recycled content into our materials from post-consumer and post-industrial sources.
These efforts help support Target 14.1 — prevent and reduce marine pollution of all kinds.
We are involved in several partnerships and industry initiatives to progress sustainable change. In 2021, we began a collaboration with BASF to expand our offering of styrene through circular feedstock. The partnership aims to increase efforts in the development and management of styrene for an improved environmental profile.
Our facilities are part of the communities where they are located, and with this mindset, we value our local partnerships. An example of this is the “Let’s Do Recycling!” program in Indonesia, which strives to advocate for and expand PS recycling through an alliance of manufacturers, restaurants, consumers, recycling associations, and other stakeholders throughout the country. This program has seen such success that the City Government of Tegal joined the movement as an organizer, adding further momentum to the concerted efforts in unlocking circularity.
Through our partnerships, we are supporting Target 17.17 — encourage and promote effective public, public-private, and civil society partnerships.