Interview with Jennifer Jewson, VP Strategic Materials & Sustainable Solutions, LyondellBasell
TfS had the pleasure to interview Jennifer Jewson of LyondellBasell, a new TfS member. LyondellBasell joined TfS last October.
Jennifer is looking very much forward to working with TfS, notably participating in the exchange of best practice with peers on a variety of sustainability topics, to working together with other TfS members to accelerate change with suppliers and to joining the collaborative approach with other members that allows all to achieve the shared ambitions to help the planet.
As Jennifer points out, some suppliers are slow to transition to a more sustainable future. TfS gives LyondellBasell the ability to speak with a collective voice, providing the opportunity to drive change in a more convincing and credible way.
The tone for driving the TfS initiative comes from the top and Jennifer believes that CPOs coming together and driving this multifaceted program is truly the best model to make an impact. If the leaders in an organisation are all demonstrating the importance of circularity, climate goals and supporting our societies, the TfS member teams will also align and drive change.
Q: Can you briefly describe your company and position?
LyondellBasell (NYSE: LYB) is one of the largest plastics, chemicals, and refining companies in the world. Driven by its employees around the globe, LyondellBasell produces materials and products that are key to advancing solutions to modern challenges like enhancing food safety through lightweight and flexible packaging, protecting the purity of water supplies through stronger and more versatile pipes, improving the safety, comfort, and fuel efficiency of many of the cars and trucks on the road, and ensuring the safe and effective functionality in electronics and appliances. LyondellBasell sells products into more than 100 countries and is the world’s largest producer of polypropylene compounds and the largest licensor of polyolefin technologies. In 2021, LyondellBasell was named to FORTUNE Magazine’s list of the “World’s Most Admired Companies” for the fourth consecutive year.
LyondellBasell has 5 pillars for revenue generation: Olefins & Polymers, Intermediates & Derivatives, Advanced Polymer Solutions, Technology and Refining. The team that I lead procures raw materials for our downstream businesses and utilities for the plants globally. We are a business-to-business company, and we are an important ingredient in many consumer goods. We have published sustainability reports for the last three years and have programs in place for both Sustainable Procurement and Renewable Energy that align with our corporate climate ambitions.
We have set goals to achieve net zero emissions from global operations by 2050. As an interim step toward 2050, we have also announced a strategy to achieve an absolute reduction of 30 percent in scope 1 and scope 2 emissions by 2030.
Q: What does it mean to become a TfS member?
LyondellBasell has the ability to learn best practices from our peers in all facets of our program: circularity, climate and society. We believe that as a member of TfS, we can work together to impact change faster as we work with our suppliers. We want to be a part of creating policy so that we can implement practices that drive our ambition to net zero by 2050.
Q: Can you describe your view on sustainability in supply chains globally?
We want to focus on the environmental and human impact of our value chain from raw material sourcing to production, through storage and delivery to the customer. We aim to utilize green energy, minimize waste, and maximize production efficiencies while creating products that have a positive impact on society.
Q: What is your approach to sustainable supply chains, sustainable procurement?
LyondellBasell is focusing on our top strategic suppliers which account for over 80% of our procured raw materials. We want to share our ambitions and understand their programs to reduce their Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions. Understanding their value chain and looking for efficiencies in production and logistics will allow us both to improve our CO2 footprint. LyondellBasell began our program in the EU in 2021 and will roll it out globally to the Americas and Asia in subsequent phases.
Q: What drove you to take the decision to join TfS and why TfS in particular?
We at LyondellBasell appreciated the approach taken by TfS to not only have audit programs but to also have processes that help companies improve their performance. TfS offers solutions rather than just pointing out issues. I also greatly appreciate the collaborative approach with member companies that allows us to achieve our ambitions to help the planet.
Q: Taken the TfS approach into account, what do you hope to achieve in your network of partners?
I would like to use this forum to share knowledge and best practices in order to move the needle for sustainability. I think those involved in TfS share a common a goal of creating goods and services for our customers that have a positive impact on our communities and the planet.
Q: Which challenges, opportunities do you anticipate when rolling-out TfS in your organization?
Our company has embraced sustainability, and we see that the latest generation of employees are proactively asking about our policies. I believe that LyondellBasell’s current challenges are mostly external as we may have some suppliers that are slow to transition to a more sustainable future. TfS gives LyondellBasell the ability to speak with a collective voice and thus provides the opportunity to drive change in a more convincing and credible way.
Q: TfS is a member-driven initiative: CPO and other professionals of the TfS member companies exchange best practice, drive the initiative forward and shape the future of the chemical industry. What are your thoughts on this?
You need the tone for driving this initiative to come from the top, so to have CPOs coming together and driving this multifaceted program is truly the best model to make an impact. If the leaders in an organization are all demonstrating the importance of circularity, climate goals and supporting our societies, our teams will also align and drive change. We talk about the “Power of Many” at LyondellBasell, and this organization resembles the essence of the meaning of that phrase.
Q: Where do you see yourself contributing to the TfS initiative, also take your sustainability expertise into account?
We are all still learning in this journey, and I want to be a visible member within TfS with LyondellBasell demonstrating that we can always improve and to be open to change. I am a chemist by training and have led the Feedstocks team within our organization as well as Global Procurement, so I have a great appreciation for how our feedstocks and other raw materials impact our company.
Q: Any closing remarks?
We are very appreciative to TfS for allowing us to participate within their organization. We look forward to being an active member within the team as we all reach our climate ambition.