SITTARD, The Netherlands, December 4, 2012 – Recognizing that sustainability megatrends will drive the need for change in business and national vision, the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) is integrating changes into its business strategy and priorities to position the company and the nation for the challenges faced now and in the future.
Speaking at a panel discussion on “Innovative Business Models in the Middle East” at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Doha on December 3, Mohamed Al-Mady, SABIC Vice Chairman and CEO, said that to accomplish its sustainability mission, the petrochemical industry, including SABIC, will need to make significant contributions and innovations. “It will require collaboration with government and all contributors across the value chain. We need many solutions; but solutions to tough challenges have always been what businesses must provide if it expects to sustain itself.”
SABIC’s sustainability strategy will require the company to use finite natural resources more wisely and invest in renewal resources, especially energy; reduce the impact of the company’s manufacturing and distribution processes through energy and material efficiency and process innovation; enable customers, consumers and society at large to be more sustainable through the solutions that the company can provide by way of its products and technology, such as light weighting automobiles; and develop methods to close the lifecycle such that materials from the industry are reused over and over again.
Al-Mady cited the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) as “one of the best examples” of national vision and sustainability. He praised the university’s vision to focus on major sustainability issues by bringing the best minds in the world together to develop solutions to major sustainability problems in solar energy, water purification, plant science and Red Sea biodiversity. “We are proud of our alignment with KAUST and have built a research center there to collaborate with the scientific network and talent that they have assembled. We have also developed research agreements with other Saudi and foreign universities to accelerate our innovation,” he said.
A second key example of national vision, he said, is the emphasis which the Saudi government is placing on a national energy efficiency plan. The government is addressing energy usage in the transportation, home air conditioning and industry sectors as targets for energy efficiency improvement. SABIC is utilizing its sustainability program to address the challenges of this mandate, he said.