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☁️ "Using Data & Analytics To Reduce Emissions In The Chemicals Industry"

Climate 21

Photo by Alex Kondratiev / Unsplash

Table of Contents

Host: Tom Raftery
Guest: Arne Kätelhön | Co-Founder & Managing Director | Carbon Minds
Category: ☁️ Carbon Reduction

Podcast’s Essential Bites:

[1:24] “We are a data analytics company based in Cologne, and we provide environmental data for chemicals and plastics.”

[2:51] “The first step in this process is always understanding the status quo. Where are we now? Where [do] the emissions of my company or a certain product come from? And this is exactly where data is needed, because these environmental assessments […] can be quite complex. Intuitively, when thinking about the climate impact of a specific company, people tend to look at the last production set. […] And these so-called direct emissions from a company […] are often only a tiny part of the climate impact, while a much bigger part comes from the supply chain, both up and downstream. […] When understanding the climate impact or environmental impact of some channel, it's important to look at the entire lifecycle. And only through this holistic view, can you really understand […] the entry points of renewable materials, renewable energy.”

[4:38] “Our focus is on the chemical industry and our customers […] are basically along the entire chemical value chain. That starts from oil and gas, because those are the main resources on which plastics and chemicals are built on. […] Many of our clients, [are] also those companies who use chemicals in the product. So for example, one of our clients is one of the biggest high tech compan[ies], because you need a lot of polymaths for computers, for phones and so on.”

[6:18] “I was leading a team for life cycle assessments, assess[ing] environmental assessment methodology at Aachen University. And we just often had the problem of data availability. So we wanted to find a nice solution on how to improve the climate performance of specific chemicals. But often, we just couldn't find [any] supply chain data. […] [So] we started building our own model. […] And first, we just did it for a scientific paper to solve the problems that we had at hand. But then we realized, it's basically a bottleneck for a lot of climate action [in the] industry. So we started building these models bigger and bigger, and also combined different data sources, from technical data to trade data, market intelligence data. […] We grew it over time […] and this was one point when Carbon Minds was born.”

[8:30] “There is one thing that the industry did for decades, and this is trying to understand the costs of their suppliers and of their competitors. And in order to understand the costs of these actors, you need information on the technologies, production capacities […]. So this is information that is available and that can also be purchased from different sources. But it's costly information. So I think the magic that we did is that we use this data combined with our technical modeling and enter trade data in order to calculate emissions from us. This is something that data was never intended for. But some pieces of this puzzle are already out there. But we had to put it together and this one model that is focused on emissions and not on costs anymore.”

[15:30] “I think what is tricky with emission reductions is, again, the complexity of the supply chain. So if you want to use recycled material, it doesn't mean that the best entry point of recycled material is your process, it could be your tier one supplier. […] I think by having this full model of the supply chain, we can look into more integrated options, also how companies could work together, in order to improve the carbon footprint together.

Rating: ⚡

🎙️ Full Episode: Apple | Spotify
🕰️ 28 min | 🗓️ 07/28/2021
✅ Time saved: 26 min