Creating a sustainable future by fundamentally re-imagining the chemical business model

The Chemical Innovation Exchange – CIEX Europe 2021 conference is back face-to-face on 6-7 October in Frankfurt. As all our speakers are preparing their upcoming presentations, we are talking to them to find out their core message. This week, we spoke with Ari Kar, Chief Technology Officer, at SACHEM on his exciting presentation on crafting a strategy for sustainability journey.

CIEX: Without giving too much away –what is the core message of your talk and what would you like delegates to remember?

Ari: There is a growing realization that business operations and sustainable growth are increasingly impacted by the Earths environmental and resource limits, by broader socioeconomic issues, and by rising stakeholder expectations. The growing challenge is for business leaders to navigate through wide-ranging, rapidly changing environmental and social forces. While still delivering the financial results on which their stakeholders depend. To endure and thrive, organizatmodeions need to incorporate consideration of these dynamics into their strategies, business models, operational planning, and daily activities. Additionally, the global demand for sustainable solutions is both a significant business challenge and an exciting opportunity for innovation, value creation, and growth. This if we integrate business and financial objectives with the generation of broader environmental and societal benefits.

Chemistry is essential to life

Chemistry is essential to life and to meeting our basic needs in chemical innovation. It touches almost every aspect of our lives. Also, it will play an integral role in creating a sustainable future. We aim to seek out innovative ways to address environmental and societal needs through our core business model. Therefore, it will elevate the quality of life and make a positive difference in the world.

We have recently started our sustainability journey, with a major initiative that began during the pandemic. Our vision is to help create a sustainable future by fundamentally re-imagining our business model in a manner that turns sustainability into a core company value, and source of business advantage. Our approach is to use a holistic systems framework to consider the entire business ecosystem. At the same time, weave sustainability into the overall purpose, strategy, structure, work practices, and culture of the company. Everyone has a role to play! In sustainable innovation and growth, and in understanding and shaping the impact of the daily choices and decisions we make. Thus, we are starting our journey with an enhanced focus on waste reduction, improved customer experience, development of a sustainable product portfolio, and making a positive community impact.


CIEX: Why did you choose the topic of your talk?

Ari: This topic sits squarely at the intersection between critical business needs, macro-level socio-economic trends, the health and future of our planet, and my personal and professional values.  I am passionate and purposeful about building and continuously improving products, systems and organizations. My goal is to create long-lasting impact and value and to contribute to the common good.


CIEX: What motivates you to join CIEX 2020 and what are your expectations?

Ari: I was a participant in the 2019 CIEX conference and found it very interesting, informative, and thought-provoking. In addition, I enjoy engaging with colleagues around the world. To understand regional perspectives and approaches on the global megatrends that drive innovation, progress and continuous improvement. At CIEX 2019 I was able to hear and learn from industry leaders, international experts and innovative thinkers from around the globe. Some of the things I took away from the 2019 conference became seeds for the initiation of our sustainability program. In CIEX 2021, I will be taking a more active role. I am looking forward to learning from and collaborating with others. Additionally, I will share some thoughts and insights that I hope may be of value to others.


CIEX: The need for innovation has been a continued topic for the chemical industry. How would you sum up the current state of the industry, specifically with a focus on its innovation efforts?

Ari: Looking back at the past few years, there is no doubt that we live in a VUCA world (characterized as Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous). The pace of change and the need for innovation to address global challenges has never been greater. We expect these trends to only increase and accelerate over the foreseeable future. Rather than seeing this as a threat to protect against, we need to see it as an opportunity to innovate and create a better future. For example, we can do this by directly linking the drivers of business value and competitive advantage to sustainability principles. Finally, working collaboratively with others to address global challenges.


CIEX: What must (chemical) industry leaders do to remain competitive and prepare for the future?

Ari: Firstly, transformations in sustainability and digitalization will be critical to survival and growth. In our industry, this means taking an interdisciplinary approach. To create and build a circular economy with advanced chemicals, materials and business models. Therefore, will improve and sustain the quality of life for future generations. Secondly, we will need to get better at communicating the integral role chemistry plays in addressing environmental and societal needs. Lastly, find out how this positively impacts people in their daily lives. To do this effectively, products, services and communications will need to be designed and tailored for both Global needs, as well as Regional/National/Local needs and interests.


CIEX: Thank you, Ari. We look forward to your presentation at CIEX 2021!


Want to hear about the latest innovations, trends, and techniques in chemical innovation? Join Ari Kar and speakers from Dow, Braskem, CrodaClariantLonzaJohnson & JohnsonEvonikBASF, and many more top-of-the-line companies at CIEX Europe 2021.

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