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Our Future: Plastic Sustainability

CEO Message

Our 2022 financial year was another unprecedented year for our business and the world. Just when we thought the global economy was recovering from the impacts of Covid-19 with recovery seen in some of our critical supply chains, we have been confronted by a new black swan event of 2022, i.e the Russia-Ukraine war, which is now having significant financial and economic ramifications for the world. While at the same time, we are living through record high temperatures not seen before, not forgetting the recent flooding in KwaZulu South Africa that devastated homes, lives and livelihoods.

These and other similar events highlight that business must adapt to the changing times we live in, and sustainability must be the driver for that change. At Safripol, as a major polymer resin producer in sub-Saharan Africa, we are committed to embedding sustainability in all that we do, so that we can enable the plastics value to transition towards a sustainable future. Our 2022 financial year has seen us incorporate sustainability as one of our core strategic objectives for the business for 2030.

CEO Message

 

Our 2022 financial year was another unprecedented year for our business and the world. Just when we thought the global economy was recovering from the impacts of Covid-19 with recovery seen in some of our critical supply chains, we have been confronted by a new black swan event of 2022, i.e the Russia-Ukraine war, which is now having significant financial and economic ramifications for the world. While at the same time, we are living through record high temperatures not seen before, not forgetting the recent flooding in KwaZulu South Africa that devastated homes, lives and livelihoods.

 

These and other similar events highlight that business must adapt to the changing times we live in, and sustainability must be the driver for that change. At Safripol, as a major polymer resin producer in sub-Saharan Africa, we are committed to embedding sustainability in all that we do, so that we can enable the plastics value to transition towards a sustainable future. Our 2022 financial year has seen us incorporate sustainability as one of our core strategic objectives for the business for 2030.

 

We have also aligned our capital investment with our 2030 sustainability goals to ensure that sustainability is at the core of our decision making. Furthermore, we have stepped up our sustainability efforts by accelerating our Let’s Plastic Responsibly initiative. This initiative positions Safripol as a leading voice of business for plastic sustainability by promoting the responsible production, consumption, and end of life management of plastics. We have made some wins and overall great progress over this period in our three focus areas: enhancing the circular economy, reducing our environmental impact, and creating positive social impact.

 

The plastics circular economy

While the circular economy for plastics presents many opportunities for industry, we know that it is not without its challenges, and more so for a developing country like ours. We also know that while plastic waste is a global problem, we need local fit for purpose solutions. To support a local plastic circular economy, we have launched our recycled polymer portfolio, and are excited to bring to market our 1st rPET product with post-consumer resin in FY 2023.

 

Low carbon future

In FY 2022, we committed to net-zero for our Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 2050, in support of the Paris Agreement. Our focus towards a low carbon future is our renewable energy pathway. We have implemented a 10MW Photovoltaic renewable electricity generation for our Sasolburg operations, with beneficial use expected in 2023. We have also made incremental improvements in our efficiencies across our operations. We are in process of setting our science-based targets to ensure that we measure progress towards our goals.

 

Creating positive social impact

We are focussed on developing a sustainable business that is good for both people and the environment. At Safripol our people are our greatest assets, and in this year, we implemented many initiatives to ensure that we retain, inspire, and grow our workforce. We also opened our doors to many young, aspiring and vibrant youngsters to equip them with industry ready skills. Our teams also engaged communities to close the gap on plastic waste and we rolled out many community-based recycling projects. In FY 2022, we have scaled up our waste collection efforts through various initiatives such as investing in critical equipment to enable buy-back centres and waste reclaimers to increase their outputs, installation of more litter booms along some of our critical rivers to divert ocean bound waste and advancing our schools education and community recycling efforts.

 

Concluding remarks

The plastics industry has been criticised for far too long, for not doing enough to change the plastics narrative. We need a new consensus which embraces our shared responsibility to one another and acknowledges that we are all in this together. We know that no one entity can meet the ambitious sustainable development goals on their own. This is our time, as experts in this industry to come together as multi-stakeholder partners, to work together to rewrite our future. It’s up to all of us to make the change happen. I am optimistic that if we work together as a collective, we can overcome the challenges facing this industry and we can achieve a future that is bright, prosperous and one that we all can be proud of.

 

Sincerely,

Nico Van Niekerk, CEO