TAITO KUROSE, Nikkei staff writer
TOKYO — Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings aims to realize net-zero greenhouse gas emissions groupwide by 2050, partly through renewable energy and eco-friendly production processes, under plans announced Wednesday.
The path to carbon neutrality contains growth opportunities, President Jean-Marc Gilson said in an online forum held by the Japanese company.
The centerpiece of the plans is 100 billion yen ($875 million) in capital investment through 2030. The funds will go toward installing on-site solar panels and constructing a plastics plant that makes use of spent vegetable oils.
Chemical makers consume large amounts of energy in the production process. Mitsubishi Chemical will lower its dependence on coal-fired power plants at production sites and expand use of renewable energy.
Clients are increasingly interested in the environmental friendliness of the materials they buy. Mitsubishi Chemical is pouring resources into developing technology that makes polymers from waste vegetable oil, and into technology to produce chemical raw materials derived from carbon dioxide using artificial photosynthesis.
Mitsubishi Chemical will demonstrate to clients that these steps will lead to the decarbonization of the group’s supply chain.
Like steel, the chemical business is a major emitter of CO2. Mitsui Chemicals was the first among Japanese peers to declare a carbon-neutral goal for 2050. Asahi Kasei and Sumitomo Chemical soon followed.