One of the main conclusions from our recent report on the state of circular economy innovation within the chemical industry was that the approach of successful frontrunner companies towards a circular model is characterized by close collaboration within the value chain. Entire value chains are competing more and more on their sustainability profile. For successful partnering, the willingness to collaborate, possessing the right skills, and commitment of senior management are key factors.
The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide a widely recognized framework to identify organizations that are working around similar sustainability issues and facilitate partnering. Sector-wide industry data from eRevalue on what chemical companies report on in terms of SDGs showed that topics such as climate action, clean water, and renewable energy are already widely discussed. Reporting on goals 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure) and 17 (partnerships for the goals), in contrast, stays far behind.
However, the chemical industry may be one of the most active sectors when it comes to collaborating and partnering, particularly in (open) innovation models. Are chemical players being too modest, or taking this for granted? We have selected a number of partnerships that illustrate how the industry collaborates in order to create impact across a range of the sector’s most material Sustainable Development Goals.
As the examples show, the SDGs provide a solid and universal framework for multi-stakeholder collaboration between businesses, NGOs, governments, and communities. In order to establish a successful partnership, mutual understanding of vital elements such as partnering competencies and leadership is required – not only to make the collaboration profitable for the individual company – but to achieve both business, societal and environmental prosperity. From our experience, we have boiled down a top 3 key success factors for partnering:
Is your company working on forging alliances with value chain partners and other stakeholders? Contact Josée van der Hoek, director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or +31 6 28 02 18 80 to increase your impact from strategic partnerships.