Chemical sustainability initiatives are progressing, albeit at different paces for plastics circularity, greenhouse gas reduction, and the energy transition away from fossil fuels for mobility and power generation. The initiatives have differing effects on petrochemical markets. Circularity will impact prime resin demand growth. The energy transition will impact feedstock availability, feedstock pricing and the price for process energy. Greenhouse gas reduction will impact investment and operating cost structures. Please join the Chemical Market Analytics team of experts and moderators along with our guest panelists as we explore the implications of these challenges.
Session 1: Circular Plastics
Chemical industry net zero emission goals have increased the competitive landscape complexity as plastics transition to a circular model. COVID challenges confirmed the importance of plastics while simultaneously highlighting challenges of “single use” mismanagement. The plastics ecosystem is undergoing unprecedented transformation and catalyzing industry restructuring with new business models emerging. This panel will explore structural evolution, including alliances, forward integration and governing relationships, from varied perspectives as innovation transforms the conventional plastics world into a more sustainable industry.
In its 2022 Sustainability Report, WM announced new sustainability goals for 2023 and beyond, including new recycling goals – increase our recovery of recyclable materials to 25M tons by 2030 (60% increase from 2021). WM is making investments and developing strategic alliances to capture more recyclables, particularly plastic and grow domestic markets for these materials. WM has been the leader in recycling, and we hear from the market loud and clear that our customers are not only looking for recycling solutions, but circularity solutions – they want the materials back!
Session 2: CO2 & Greenhouse Gases
Policy, emissions, and carbon cost will drive corporate net zero strategies. Translating strategy to actions necessitates a wholistic understanding of the GHG challenge and options to address it. A panelist of varied perspectives will explore each factor. Policy aspects include harmonization challenges of disparate country-level policies and timelines, and alignment with WTO directives. Emissions discussion will compare the magnitude of challenge for petrochemical producers versus suppliers and customers. Lastly, panelists will explore the cost of carbon, including mechanisms to capture and store CO2, carbon offsets, and other trading mechanisms, and how relative solutions will influence the strategic paths petrochemical producers choose.
Session 3: Energy Transition
The “Energy transition” refers to a shift in the portfolio of energy source technologies with the objective of decreasing fossil fuel use. Currently, the power generation, mobility, and industry sectors together generate about 80% of GHG emissions. Scientists, politicians, and citizens are debating the pace of transition, which is expected to be challenged by population growth and continuous development in emerging countries. Expert speakers in this section will outline various perspectives and initiatives expected to influence the direction and pace of transition.
Process electrification and digital transformation are key enablers for chemical sustainability. Their synergy brings new systems and paradigms for the chemical sector which, in turn, can provide new economic, social, and environmental benefits. Understanding and leveraging these opportunities should be examined and elucidated using 21st century know-how and technologies to maximize benefits and minimize risk. This talk will discuss these enablers in the context of the energy transition and the need for action.
Session 4: Financial Considerations
The financial community plays an important role in advancing chemical industry sustainability. Investors are critical partners in the development of new technologies and the installation of new facilities essential to carbon footprint reduction and improved circularity. Can investors, technology developers, brand owners and consumers all be beneficiaries of the drive to sustainability? Understanding what and how financial entities think regarding their interest and role in developing a more sustainable chemical industry is critical to the success of sustainability initiatives. This session will provide insights from the financial market and related community regarding the evaluation of sustainability opportunities, risks and pathways.
Topics to be discussed:
- How the Capital markets can enable a faster transition to sustainability
- Maximizing investment returns during a sustainability transition
- Funding pathways for sustainability-increased 3rd party collaboration could be the key
- How to make sustainability profitable
- Sustainability-an investors perspective on how to measure and value
- The role of alternative finance in innovating towards net zero
Manuel Carmona Yebra
Counsellor for Environment and Oceans EU Delegation to the USARead Bio
Vice President, External Affairs and Investor Relations Circulate CapitalRead Bio
Celeste Jones Baumgardt
Vice President, Corporate Development Nova Chemicals CorporationRead Bio
Director Sustainability Research Schneider ElectricRead Bio
Vice President, Global Olefins & Derivatives Team Lead Chemical Market Analytics by OPISRead Bio
Head of North America Aker Carbon CaptureRead Bio
Senior Director, Plastics Waste ManagementRead Bio
Senior Principal, Climate-Aligned Industries Program Mission Possible Partnership - RMIRead Bio
Senior Manager, Chemical Markets Air LiquideRead Bio
Senior Industry Advisor IFC World BankRead Bio
Director of Powertrain Forecast AutoForecast Solutions LLC (AFS)Read Bio
Executive Director, Head of Carbon & Climate Markets OPIS, A Dow Jones CompanyRead Bio
Vice President Sustainability American Chemistry Council (ACC)Read Bio
Principal Research Analyst McCloskey by OPISRead Bio
Executive Director, Global Circular Plastics Sustainability Chemical Market Analytics by OPISRead Bio
Vice President, Global Financial & Capital Markets Team Lead Chemical Market Analytics by OPISRead Bio
Principal US Chemicals Marketplace Leader DeloitteRead Bio
Manuel Carmona Yebra Counsellor for Environment and Oceans EU Delegation to the USAManuel Carmona Yebra, as Counsellor for Environment and Oceans at the Delegation of the EU in Washington DC, manages relations between the European Union and the US in a wide range of policies ranging from nature conservation to pollution, circular economy, plastics, oceans and fisheries and the Arctic region. Manuel has two degrees in Law and Communication and a Master’s Degree in EU Law from the University of Leicester (UK). He has previously worked at the European Commission in a number of policy fields such as UNFCCC negotiations on adaptation to climate change, climate diplomacy with Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and other vulnerable countries, and the links between ocean and environmental issues. Previously, also at the European Commission, he was an international negotiator for the conservation and management of fishery resources in the North West Atlantic and the Indian Ocean, and also EU Head of Delegation for fisheries conservation at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
April Crow Vice President, External Affairs and Investor Relations Circulate CapitalAs a globally recognized Sustainability leader, April has more than two decades of experience working throughout the value chain in a diverse set of roles in Sustainability, Scientific & Regulatory Affairs and Quality. In 2018 she helped launch Circulate Capital, an investment management firm dedicated to incubating and financing companies that prevent the flow of ocean plastic waste to the world’s ocean and advancing the circular economy where she currently leads Investor Relations and External Affairs. Previously, she worked as Senior Director, Environment & Sustainability for The Coca-Cola Company providing leadership for the company’s environmental, sustainability and governance platform. April has been one of the leading industry voices -- pushing forward research, coalitions and programs to help understand and tackle the marine debris issue and advancing the Circular Economy. She has developed and managed programs and collaborative efforts in partnership with government, industry and non-government organizations. She was instrumental in the founding of the Trash Free Seas Alliance and was a founding member American Institute for Packaging and the Environment. She served on the Executive Committee for the Michigan State University Center for Packaging Innovation, the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, the Ocean Exchange, NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuaries Business Advisory Council and as an advisor for the New Materials Institute. An active volunteer and mother of two, she was named to the University of Georgia’s 40 under 40 for her impact in business, leadership, community, and philanthropic endeavors. She has served as a trustee for the 4-H Foundation, the University of Georgia Alumni Association, the Captain Planet Foundation and Leadership Georgia.
Celeste Jones Baumgardt Vice President, Corporate Development Nova Chemicals CorporationCeleste Jones Baumgardt leads and provides direction over NOVA Chemicals’ business development and M&A/investments to drive revenue, profitability, and asset value growth for the company. Ms. Jones Baumgardt joined the company from Goldman Sachs, where she was a Vice President in their investment banking group. In that role, she focused on providing strategic and financial advice to companies in the energy and transportation sectors across North America and globally. Ms. Jones Baumgardt has spent more than ten years in investment banking and has completed more than $50 billion in M&A transactions.
Thomas Kwan Director Sustainability Research Schneider Electric
Thomas Alan Kwan is Director of Sustainability Research for Schneider Electric’s Sustainability Research Institute. At the Institute he heads industry decarbonization and circularity where he collaborates with prominent universities, national laboratories, coalitions, and NGOs. Prior to his role at Schneider Electric, he led research and development for planet positive materials and products at Unilever and previously served at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He holds a PhD from the Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering at Yale University and was an AGLP Fellow where he advanced thought leadership at the nexus of micro-manufacturing, eco-design, and entrepreneurship. With a background in industry, regulatory, and academia, he is known for synergizing a systems approach with his collaborative character and has been recognized across topic areas, from Intel to the National Science Foundation, for his innovation and leadership. He is passionate about environmental justice and accelerating climate action to ensure the health and prosperity of future generations.
Steve Lewandowski Vice President, Global Olefins & Derivatives Team Lead Chemical Market Analytics by OPISMr. Lewandowski serves as the Vice President of Global Olefins at Chemical Market Analytics. Steve is based in Houston. During a career spanning 30 + years in the refining and chemical industry, Steve has experience across the spectrum of refining and petrochemical hydrocarbon value chains covering a wide array of financial, strategic, technical, and commercial roles. Before his move to CMA, Steve was Senior Manager of Base Chemicals at TOTAL Petrochemicals & Refining, Inc. In that capacity, he managed the P&L of the base chemicals business including joint venture relationships, strategic guidance to the partnerships, plant operational interfaces, project development, and the commercial responsibility for olefin and aromatic monomers including styrene. Prior to the Base Chemical Senior manager role, Steve had increasing responsibilities within the Petrochemical business at TOTAL. The Latest assignment was overseas, in Brussels Belgium, responsible for global aromatics long-term commercial business activity. The assignment included P&L responsibility and strategic project development for TOTAL around the world. Prior to the Belgian assignment, he worked as manager of the US aromatics business. Before 2000 Steve was involved in the refining and fuels side of the Hydrocarbon chain both for what was then FINA Oil and Chemical and for Star Enterprise (a joint venture between Texaco and Saudi Aramco) working as a process engineer, optimization engineer, fuels blending optimizer, branded/unbranded fuels marketing and supply lead, and in a business development role. Steve earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Michigan State University in 1987 and an MBA with of focus on finance and economics from the University of Texas at Dallas in 2000.
Jonah Margulis Head of North America Aker Carbon CaptureJonah Margulis is in charge of the North American market entry of Aker Carbon Capture. Mr. Margulis joined Aker Carbon Capture in February 2023 and has significant leadership experience from his roles spanning nearly a decade within the Aker group. Most recently, he was responsible for launching and leading the U.S. organization for Aker Offshore Wind and Mainstream Renewable Power in addition to previous roles as U.S. Country Manager, Head of Front-End North America, and General Manager of the Subsea Production Alliance at Aker Solutions. Mr. Margulis’s primary responsibilities include developing the strategy and operations plan for scaling the business in the region along with building and managing the local team and legal entity. He currently sits on the Board of Directors of the National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) and Advisory Board of Texas A&M University’s Subsea Engineering Program while previously serving as Vice Chair of Offshore Wind California (OWC) and multiple API/ISO working groups. Mr. Margulis obtained his engineering degree from Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania and MBA with an Energy Management certificate from the University of Houston.
Ganesh Nagarajan Senior Director, Plastics Waste ManagementDr. Ganesh Nagarajan is the Senior Director of Plastics at WM. He leads WM initiatives towards increasing recycling, unlocking supply and recovery of plastic from waste streams. He is additionally responsible for value creation and stake holder engagement. Prior to WM, Dr. Nagarajan worked at LyondellBasell for over two decades in multiple roles including Application Development, Sales, Marketing & Business Management. He also supported the development of numerous recycling projects as a thematic expert for the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, as well as an Executive Advisory Board Member of Cyclyx. His international assignments include roles as Marketing and Sales Manager for Northeast Asia and Australia at Basell Asia Pacific Limited and as Managing Director for Basell Polyolefins India Limited.
Brian Payer Senior Principal, Climate-Aligned Industries Program Mission Possible Partnership - RMIBrian Payer is a Senior Principal on RMI’s Climate-Aligned Industries Program, where he leads the chemical, refining and low-carbon fuel initiatives to drive low and zero-emission solutions. He leads the low carbon fuels and feedstocks workstream for the Clean Industrial Hubs program of the Mission Possible Partnership. Brian was previously the Vice President of Product Management at Sphera, a global software and data company, leading the Environmental, Health and Safety as well as Sustainability business lines, including carbon management and accounting for heavy industrial customers. He holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University and UC Berkely, respectively.
Priya Ravindranath Senior Manager, Chemical Markets Air LiquidePriya holds a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering and has more than 15 years of experience as a petrochemical products market expert. Prior to the 5 years at Air Liquide, she spent ~11 years at IHS Markit providing market and strategy consulting for petrochemical companies. At Air Liquide, Priya leads marketing within the chemicals/ energy transition sector and is responsible for providing expert advice and analysis on the evolution of key industrial gas markets and customers, the relevant customer production technologies, and their industrial gas requirements within the chemical market environment. She is responsible for developing the breadth and depth of knowledge of regional energy transition market trends (chemical industry decarbonization, low carbon ammonia, chemical recycling) by taking into account global complexities of supply demand, trade and market trends. Priya’s extensive experience and deep understanding of the chemicals market, its customers and applications drives the delivery of sustainable value propositions with Air Liquide chemical customers.
Samu Salo Senior Industry Advisor IFC World BankMr. Samu Salo works as a global advisor for IFC’s projects in chemicals industry and is based in Washington DC. Having worked for 20 years in various sectors of chemicals industry before joining IFC, Mr. Salo now leverages his industry insights in due diligence work for the IFC’s investment projects. The past few years Mr. Salo has promoted circular economy principles in his line of work and is excited to see a surge of activities in this space, especially around circular economy for plastics. He firmly believes that while circular economy for plastics is not a silver bullet to solve all the global challenges from GHG emissions to marine litter, it is an important piece of that puzzle.
Casey Selecman Director of Powertrain Forecast AutoForecast Solutions LLC (AFS)Casey has been helping the automotive industry understand the complex world of powertrain forecasting for over 20 years. As the Director of Powertrain Forecasts at AFS, his primary focus is on the North American market, but he keeps a constant eye on external market influences as the world becomes less regional and more global. Over his career, Casey has worked directly with vehicle manufacturers, suppliers, automotive associations, and regulators to support their unique business challenges. Today, he helps companies navigate industry risk and opportunities by using critical market intelligence to give them an edge in their strategy and business planning efforts. He has also supported both California and US Federal fuel economy and GHG regulations in the early 2000’s and continues to follow all regulations impacting future powertrain requirements. He has a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Michigan and lives with his wife and three kids in suburban Detroit.
Lisa Street Executive Director, Head of Carbon & Climate Markets OPIS, A Dow Jones Company
Ms. Street, Executive Director, Head of Carbon and Climate Markets at OPIS, is an expert in developing pricing solutions for environmental commodities markets. Her current work focuses on bringing transparency to the voluntary and compliance carbon markets as well as decarbonization strategies so that energy transition and climate action leaders can make informed business decisions. Ms. Street launched the OPIS Carbon Markets Report for daily compliance carbon market pricing in 2014. More recently, in December 2020, she launched the OPIS Global Carbon Offset Report, debuting world’s first daily pricing suite for voluntary carbon credits. Ms. Street has more than 15 years’ experience with Price Reporting Agencies. She holds a BS in Journalism from the University of Houston and a certificate in Yale’s Financing and Deploying Clean Energy Program.