The Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) was established to improve transparency on the risks and opportunities related to climate change. TCFD distinguishes two categories of climate-related risks: (1) risks related to the transition to a lower-carbon economy and (2) risks related to the physical impacts of climate change. Corbion supports the TCFD recommendations and is committed to identifying and addressing both its own impact on the climate and the potential impact of climate-related developments on the company. Climate-related risks are disclosed at three levels of detail. Top risks are addressed in the general risk assessment; more detail on these risks and the scenario analysis process is provided here, in line with the TCFD recommendations, while full detail and initial quantification of climate-related risks and opportunities are disclosed through the CDP questionnaire.
The governance of climate-related risks and opportunities is described in the section Sustainability governance in this chapter.
Our Advance 2025 strategy builds on Corbion’s fundamentals and strengths by bringing further focus to the business portfolio well aligned with global megatrends, including climate change. Corbion is very well positioned to support and capitalize on the transition to a low-carbon economy. Examples of some of these opportunities are PLA bioplastics (through our joint venture with TotalEnergies) and our Algae Ingredients platform. We are reducing our exposure to transition risks such as carbon pricing through several GHG reduction initiatives, which is described in more detail in the section Greenhouse gas emissions and renewable electricity in the Sustainability performance chapter. Corbion set a Science Based Target in 2019 and committed to reaching net-zero emissions by no later than 2050. One of our strategies to mitigate the impact of physical risks is the diversification of our primary feedstocks and sourcing locations.
In 2019, Corbion collaborated with Utrecht University to initiate a pilot study on the application of scenario analysis for small to medium-sized enterprises. This pilot has now been completed and is briefly summarized below. A full outline of the methodology used can be found in the joint publication in Wiley Business Strategy & the Environment.
In line with the TCFD recommendations we have assessed both transition and physical risks through the evaluation of a transition scenario and physical risk scenario. Over the course of two workshops senior managers were challenged to guide Corbion through a series of relevant events. In the first workshop the focus was on potential transitional events that could have an impact on Corbion’s business, whilst the second workshop focused mostly on physical risks. We performed the scenario analyses for each of our three business units separately, using the same format but tailoring the scenarios to cover topics, events, and geographical regions relevant specifically to that business unit.
Key assumptions for the transition scenario included a carbon price ranging from €50 - €150/t CO2 equiv, either globally or locally, stricter governmental regulations on different fronts, increasing competition between natural and agricultural lands with, as a consequence, competition between food and non-food crops, and changing consumer preferences.
Key assumptions for the physical risk scenario included an increase in the number and/or intensity of extreme weather events, increased water stress in certain regions with corresponding yield reductions in agricultural areas, supply-chain disruptions, and a reduced demand for biobased solutions.
Corbion acknowledges climate change as a key strategic risk and, therefore, it is included in the overall risk management process. On top of this, specific risks are addressed on a case-by-case basis and climate change is considered a driver in several “regular” business risks. For more detail on individual risks please refer to our top risks and CDP response.
In assessing climate-related risks Corbion distinguishes between short-term (<1y), medium-term (1-5y), and long-term (5-15y) risks. The overall trend is that transition risks are more likely to manifest in the short and medium term, while physical risks become more relevant in the long run. The only short-term risk with a potentially significant impact that has been identified is carbon pricing in the EU. In the medium term no direct risks have been identified, but we are monitoring several emerging risks closely. These include changing consumer behavior, carbon pricing initiatives outside of the EU, the EU carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM), other regulatory developments (e.g. EU Taxonomy, the IFRS/ISSB prototype regulations), energy prices, and raw material pricing. Long-term trends we are monitoring include extreme weather events with the potential to severely disrupt direct operations, supply lines, and raw material availability, as well as chronic shifts in climate patterns that could cause a shift in local raw material availability and pricing.
Metrics and targets
Corbion discloses its Scope I, II, and III GHG emissions (see Sustainability statements/Natural capital/ Greenhouse gas emissions and CDP). In 2019, Corbion committed to reducing its CO2 emissions related to energy, key raw materials, and transport by 33% per metric ton of product by 2030 (base year: 2016). This target has been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative. Corbion also aspires to use 100% renewable electricity by 2025, a commitment made through the RE100 initiative. Current use of renewable electricity is 79%. We use internal carbon pricing to manage and understand the financial impact of GHG emissions on our business. Corbion uses three scenarios with carbon prices of € 80, € 100, and € 150 per metric ton, respectively, by 2030.