ArticlesFeaturedSilicone & Medical

Silicones’ role in decarbonization studied

A study to identify and quantify silicones’ contributions to the EU Green Deal’s ambitions to become climate neutral by 2050 reveals an annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emission saving potential of 96.4 metric tons (MT) in 2030. This is equivalent to the carbon footprint of 36 million people’s electricity consumption (for reference, Poland has 37 million inhabitants). These savings are projected to be 42.6 MT by 2050 for silicone-using technologies compared to non-silicones alternatives.

“There is no question that stopping global warming is a top priority for policymakers in the EU and beyond. It is now time to accelerate the pursuit of carbon-free ambitions, and silicones will be essential facilitators of that change, as our latest study shows,” said Karolina Warowny-Decoene, sector group manager for Silicones Europe. Silicones Europe, a sector group of Cefic, published, “Silicones’ role in supporting the EU Green Deal’s decarbonization goal,” commissioned by expert sustainability consultancy Denkstatt GmbH. “With substantial emissions savings thanks to silicones, we look forward to propelling EU decarbonization ambitions forward,” Warowny-Decoene added. Following the methodology of a 2012 study on the GHG emissions impact of silicones, silanes and siloxanes, the paper focused on 11 relevant applications of silicones in transportation, construction, electricity, electronics and manufacturing. Those sectors were chosen based on their key role in achieving the EU Green Deal decarbonization objectives via the delivery of CO2 savings.

For the calculation of the GHG balances and benefits, data were collected through a comprehensive survey among downstream users and literature research, as well as collaboration with industry experts and Silicones Europe member companies. Overall, each application of silicones analyzed in the study shows a larger emission-saving potential compared to alternative applications which do not use silicones. This points to the importance of the silicone industry in supporting the Green Deal’s decarbonization goals.

Featured in the March 2024 issue of Rubber World