Sustainability - embedded in Victrex's culture
Victrex is committed to creating and delivering sustainable benefits and solutions to our customers and our markets, alongside maximising our resource efficiency across our global footprint and being a socially responsible business.
We offer sustainable products which are aligned to global megatrends: CO2 reduction through lighter and durable polymers replacing metal in Aerospace, Automotive and Energy, with a typical weight saving of 60%; Medical through enhanced clinical and patient outcomes, and in Electronics where our solutions support efficient processing and manufacture. With faster processing times compared to metal and recyclability potential, our polymers are tailored to support a greener planet, as well as enabling manufacturing cost savings.
Our strategy has Sustainability at its core and seeks to build on the competitive advantage we already offer to our customers and our markets. Our focus is on three key areas:
- Sustainable solutions – our sustainable products support CO2 reduction, as well as offering recyclability
- Resource efficiency – we focus on minimising resources (carbon, waste and water)
- Social responsibility – further inspire our employees and communities to positively impact sustainability development
Victrex has clear long term targets and interim deliverables for each of these goals which are regularly reported on in our annual report.
Already sustainability is at the core of our business model, with our polymers helping to bring environmental and societal benefit, whether that be in supporting CO2 reduction in Aerospace and Automotive applications, or in supporting clinical benefit in the Medical industry.
At Victrex, we seek to bring transformational solutions that address the world’s material challenges every day. We seek to deliver sustainable benefits principally in three areas: for our customers and markets through our sustainable products, with efficient use of resources and being socially responsible in the communities where we operate. We have unveiled a new bold vision and the next leg of our sustainability journey, building on the progress we have made in recent years.
Our new 2030 goals, linked to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), build on our previous targets, several of which we have now completed. Areas of focus in our new goals include increasing re-use and recycling rates of our PEEK polymers in applications and the future possibilities from a circular economy and re-use of materials, as well as our desire to exceed 50% of Group revenue from products with positive environmental and social benefits by the middle of this decade. This includes Medical, where, with COVID-19, many of our applications were designated as ‘life sustaining’ such as equipment for ventilators and related areas, as well as our implantable material for devices such as Spine, Arthroscopy and Trauma, with over 13 million patients now implanted using PEEK-OPTIMA™ as a replacement for metal.
Our vision is clear: through increasing the use of our sustainable and recyclable products which support CO2 removal, offsetting and minimising resources – carbon, waste and water – used in our operations, by 2030 Victrex seeks to become carbon net zero.
I believe we can make further strides over the coming years. Sustainability is part of our business model, and our investment case, as well as demonstrating our approach as a responsible business. With our Polymer & Parts strategy focused on moving further downstream to supply semi-finished products and components – beyond manufacturing polymers – we have an opportunity to deliver further benefits to our customers, our markets and ultimately society.
Our sustainability goals
Victrex is committed to creating and delivering sustainable benefits and solutions to our customers and our markets, alongside maximising our resource efficiency across our global footprint.
Develop and deliver sustainable polymer solutions that provide clear social and environmental benefits to society
- Save more CO2 than we produce (carbon neutral)
- 5 million-tonne reduction of CO2 in Aerospace and Automotive
- Independently review method of measuring CO2 savings in Transport
- Extend PEEK-OPTIMA™ further into new and existing spinal therapeutic areas – exceeded 12 million implant enhanced target (13 million to date)
- Extend PEEK-OPTIMA™ into new therapeutic areas
Maximise resource efficiency across the value chain
- Sustained reduction in water usage and waste per tonne (water and waste per tonne reduced by c30% since 2015)
- Engage with key suppliers to identify their climate change impact and improvement plans
- Establish an R&D programme to identify process yield improvements and waste reduction opportunities
- Engage with key suppliers to identify their waste impact and improvement plans
Inspire the next generation by supporting science, technology, engineering and maths education (‘STEM’)
- 10,000 employee hours (cumulative) supporting community activity by 2023 (over 7,000 hours to dat)
- 1,000 young people reached through education activities
- Employee network in place to support community STEM education activities in the UK
- Victrex/Catalyst Science Education Centre project fully up and running
- Employee engagement in sustainability assessed in employee survey, with results benchmarked against peer companies (>50% of employees engaged on sustainability in 2020 Engagement Survey)