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Sustainable Trees in a forest

Approaching Sustainable Development

Our focus on sustainability evolves as the world changes; it has always been and will remain a central element of how we do business. Our first product was lanolin, a natural sustainable ingredient created from processing sheep’s wool for textiles. Today, our approach to sustainability comes in many shapes and forms. 

Committed to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

The UN SDGs help to shape our strategy. Identifying our contribution to achieving these goals means we can visualise how we can direct our strategy to increase that contribution, and unlock new business potential and customer value in the process.

Described as the closest thing to a strategy for planet Earth that humanity has ever generated, and agreed by 195 governments, the SDGs avoid the need for a subjective view on what is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ for society. More details can be found on the UN website here.

Sustainability leadership

In 2018, Croda’s Executive Committee worked with the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership to develop our strategy to 2030 and align our business with the SDGs, which we split into two categories.

Drivers – these are the SDGs we directly contribute to through our strategy and product sales across all markets. For example, through the sustainability benefits our products offer in use, or towards our own emission reduction targets. 

Fundamental – these are the SDGs we contribute to through our day-to-day business and indirectly through philanthropic activities. While important, they do not drive our strategy. 

Goal 17 of the SDGs – global partnerships – straddles these two categories. Virtually all our contributions depend on collaborations between Croda and other stakeholders.

Awards and certifications

Many aspects of our sustainability commitment have been recognised externally, and we actively seek certification in key areas of our operations.

2021 Sustainability report

sustainability report for croda
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Julia Creasey, Group Sustainability Director discusses the importance of our verified SBT.

Science Based Targets

Companies, individuals and governments must act urgently to reduce emissions and tackle climate change. With processes that require high temperatures, the chemicals sector is recognised as hard to decarbonise. 

In July 2019, we became a signatory for ‘Business Ambition for 1.5°C’ - the UN Global Compact call to action. We committed to becoming a net zero organisation by 2050 and reducing scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions in line with the most ambitious Science Based Targets (SBT) pathway, limiting global temperature rises to no more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and avoiding the most catastrophic effects of climate change.

In 2021 we became the third major chemical company in the world to have our 1.5°C Science Based Target verified. We have committed to reduce our scope 1 and 2 emissions by 46.2% from a 2018 baseline, and reduce upstream scope 3 emissions by 13.5% through collaboration within our supply chain. Developing decarbonisation roadmaps for our manufacturing sites revealed ways to achieve these ambitions. 


In 2021, a Group materiality assessment allowed us to fine-tune our understanding of the sustainability issues and opportunities most material to our key stakeholder groups, and therefore most strategic for our business. Recurring themes from this included: transparency and traceability across the entire value chain; increasing regulations and reporting obligations; biodegradability and waste management; more proactive engagement; and wider collaboration to understand and address the interconnected nature of issues. 

This exercise confirmed that our 2030 strategy and objectives resonate strongly with our stakeholders’ vision. The overwhelming message was a clear recognition of the progress we have made on sustainability, our solid disclosures, and commitment to transparency.