Maria van der Hoeven: “This innovative model will help us create a greener chemical industry”

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The chemical industry is facing major changes, and we will need a radical new way of thinking if we are to achieve our long-term climate goals. This will involve changes throughout the chain, from source material to finished product and everything in between. We will be called on to make difficult decisions and combine various innovations and value chains. In this newsletter, Brightsite introduces the SCIAR model, which brings entire value chains into focus, from source materials to recycling. It allows the user to overlook the full complexity of the transition.

I think Brightsite’s SCIAR model is a great innovation, because it integrates and highlights all of the different possibilities and routes for this transition. The basic principle of this model is to think from source materials to recycling, and vice versa. What makes this model special is that all of the parameters and dependencies are included from a circular point of view. This integral insight is truly unique and innovative. The model also has practical applications, because it provides us with insight into the process of the value chain and the implications. It allows us to think in terms of both the source and the customer. Customer requirements in terms of products, processes and source materials can also be integrated, so the model has commercial value.

From a corporate responsibility (CSR) perspective, boards and shareholders in the chemical industry have come to the realization that investing in sustainability is crucial to the survival of their companies. This realization has been driven by public debate, recent court cases, and the fact that financial institutions are becoming more selective about where to focus their investments. We’re not there yet, but the paradigm is shifting. And that should be encouraged. Education and methodologies will play an important role here. The SCIAR model offers opportunities and will help by teaching us how to use systems thinking to cope with any uncertainty in well-considered scenarios. The chemical industry can use this model to make choices that will contribute to ‘greening’. This is why it is so good that Brightsite values systems thinking and offers tools such as the SCIAR model.