Message from our CEO
An update on our sustainability efforts from Sean Keohane, president and CEO
2022 was a challenging year in the global economy. We were faced with high levels of inflation and slowing global growth, a war in Ukraine, and the emergence of China from its Covid lockdown policies. Not only did the Cabot team successfully navigate this turbulent environment, but we did so while maintaining our strategic focus on sustainability as a driving force behind our "Creating for Tomorrow" strategy.
During the year, we continued to strengthen our business portfolio and focused our innovation in areas that support our customers’ sustainability priorities. Based on our efforts, I believe that Cabot is positioned well to capitalize on a number of transformational growth opportunities that will enable a more sustainable future.
Positioned to Win in the Transition to Electric Vehicles
The automotive industry is undergoing a transformational shift from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles (EVs). This transition is being driven by the imperative to decarbonize the mobility sector and Cabot is playing a vital role in this market through our innovative conductive additive materials. Conductive additives are an essential part of the battery chemistry, as they create the conductive pathway for electrons to flow in the charging and discharging of the battery. Batteries simply will not work without tailored conductive additives. Specifically, our conductive additives portfolio breadth and ability to formulate optimal blends of conductive additives allow us to tailor solutions for our customers’ unique battery chemistries.
2022 was marked by the continued strategic build-out of capacity in our conductive additives portfolio. We currently have projects underway that will increase our conductive carbon and carbon nanotube (CNT) capacity and these efforts allow us to optimize our production and further meet our battery customers’ growth expectations.
As demand for EVs continues to grow in the United States and Europe, regionalization of the battery supply chain has become a strategic priority for the automotive industry. Cabot brings a unique value proposition to our customers through our global footprint of manufacturing assets, regional technology centers, and commercial and technical resources to support our customers’ new battery plants with a secure supply of critical materials. In an effort to deepen our regional footprint and support our customers’ growth plans, we announced plans to invest approximately $200 million to expand conductive additive capacity in the United States. Furthermore, we also opened a new battery application technology center in Germany focused on supporting customers and accelerating battery application innovation within Europe. As we look to the future, we are excited about this transformational shift in mobility to EVs and our role in this transition.
Our Evolving Path to Sustainable Reinforcing Materials
Our commitment to sustainable development is a driving force behind our efforts to create new products and processes that reduce our environmental footprint and support the transition to a low-carbon future. In addition to growth opportunities such as battery materials, we remain committed to driving sustainability throughout our portfolio by innovating in ways that meet our customers’ expectations. We recently launched EVOLVE® Sustainable Solutions, our technology platform for advancing sustainable reinforcing carbons.
The EVOLVE Sustainable Solutions platform provides a path to developing reinforcing carbons recovered from circular value chains, made from renewable materials and bio-based feedstocks, and/or made with a reduced greenhouse gas footprint through the implementation of industrial decarbonization technologies. With a number of projects already in the pipeline and more on the horizon, we are excited to work with our customers and suppliers to further our efforts in developing sustainable reinforcing carbons at industrial scale to meet our customers’ sustainability objectives.
Transitioning to a Net Zero Future
We began our sustainability journey nearly two decades ago, and along the way our goals and aspirations have evolved. While we remain focused on achieving our 2025 sustainability goals, we also strive to do more to contribute to the sustainability transition. To this end, we announced our ambition to achieve net zero emissions globally by 2050. This aspiration is an important part of our commitment to sustainability, but we recognize that realizing a net zero carbon future will require more than just our own efforts and investment, and will require collaboration, innovation and supportive public policy. In this pursuit, we are committed to taking a broad view of our value chains and are partnering with other organizations to drive positive change throughout our industry. We believe that by collaborating with others, we can achieve more significant results and create a more sustainable future together.
Delivering Performance in Challenging Times
Our 2022 sustainability performance could not have been achieved without the dedication and commitment of the Cabot team worldwide, all of whom are motivated by our shared purpose. Throughout this report, we demonstrate how we are working to fulfill our purpose, as well as the many ways our people, products and technology innovations are helping to improve daily life and enable a more sustainable future.
We are proud to have received external recognition for our sustainability efforts and progress — including being named to the "America’s Most Responsible Companies 2022" list by Newsweek for the third consecutive year, and to Investor’s Business Daily’s (IBD) "100 Best ESG Companies" for the second consecutive year. Additionally, for the second consecutive year, we earned a platinum rating from EcoVadis, the highest recognition available. Such accolades are an honor and recognize the great work of our team, but they also drive us to continually progress in our journey.
In order to protect our planet, it is clear that businesses must play an active role in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. That is why we remain a proud signatory to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and are committed to reporting on the progress of our sustainability program.
Our efforts to enable a more sustainable future are central to our strategy and our long-term success. We know that our stakeholders, including our customers, investors, employees, and communities, expect us to act responsibly and be good stewards of the environment. We remain dedicated to delivering innovative solutions by investing in best-in-class technologies, attracting top talent, and following responsible business practices. Additionally, sharing our results and aspirations is an important part of our commitment to all our stakeholders, and we are grateful for the many people who have inspired our work and pushed us to continually do more.
I thank you for your interest in Cabot Corporation and the sustainability efforts that are at the heart of what we do every day. I hope that you find our sustainability report to be a valuable resource in understanding our approach to sustainability and the progress we are making toward our sustainability goals and ambitions for the future.