Policymakers, he insisted, "must ensure the necessary infrastructure is in place. Wacker and the chemical industry as a whole are ready to play their part in making the energy transition and the reversal of climate change a success."
The CEO's comments came as Wacker issued a new set of sustainability targets, including a 50-percent reduction in its absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions relative to 2020
The Germany polymer and chemical maker had previously committed to reducing specific GHG emissions per metric ton of product by 33 percent relative to 2012.
Moreover, the Munich-based group aims to ensure that its entire product portfolio meets defined sustainability criteria by 2030—compared to a previous 90-percent target.
Likewise, Wacker now expects all key suppliers to meet defined sustainability standards by 2030, up from 90 percent previously, according to a Dec. 16 Capital Market Day presentation.
During the same timeframe, Wacker is to cut emissions relating to the upstream products it uses by 25 percent and, as a new goal, to reduce "specific water withdrawal" by 15 percent.
The new targets, it explained, are consistent with the goal of keeping the global rise in temperature below 1.5 degrees Celsius and therefore comply with the Paris Agreement.
Wacker is also undertaking to issue transparent progress reports on its course towards climate neutrality, which it strives to achieve by 2045.
The group went on to highlight the role of its chemical products in enabling many end-user industries to bring climate and resource-friendly solutions onto the market—citing, for example, its thermally conductive silicones for electric vehicles.
"Over the next few years, we want to considerably expand our portfolio of particularly sustainable products," said Hartel.
"We have spent the last few months scrutinizing our product portfolio and production processes. Our goals take us to the limit of what we consider to be technically feasible and achievable," he stated.
According to Hartel, Wacker products that enable customers to launch climate-friendly and resource-efficient solutions make up about two-thirds of its overall portfolio.
"As demand for such products continues to grow, we expect that they will develop to be among the most important drivers of our sales and earnings in the coming years," said the CEO.