Ashland Inc. has released its 2021 environment, social, and governance (ESG) report, which the company said demonstrates a clear link between its long-range strategic plans and detailed ESG progress. The 2021 ESG report, available digitally, frames the company’s progress across a detailed materiality matrix that shows the interrelationships between ESG issues.

The report expands on Ashland’s February 2021 commitment to develop science-based targets that are aligned with the ambitious aim of the Paris Climate Accord to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 °C above preindustrial levels. Ashland has made the United Nations (UN) Global Compact and its principles part of the company’s business strategy, culture, and day-to-day operations, focusing on three key domains: sustainable sourcing, operations, and solutions.


Ashland has recently received Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) Supply Chain certification, Forest Stewardship Council Chain of Custody Certification (FSC), Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), and has established a program for responsible guar sourcing. Regarding corporate social responsibility, Ashland has a partnership with EcoVadis for third party supplier self-assessment verification. In 2021, Ashland earned EcoVadis Silver Status. Ashland is continuing to partner with farmers in Mexico to ensure Ashland’s aloe is harvested in an ecologically sustainable way, and in 2021 Ashland maintained a Fair for Life certification. The Fair-Trade Funds are then used as directed by the local farmers to improve conditions within the communities where Ashland’s aloe is grown.


Ashland has committed to completing Life Cycle Assessments for major product lines beginning with the personal care portfolio. Additionally, individual facilities have goals for the reduction of energy, hazardous waste, and water. Ashland is in the process of setting science-based targets to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Currently, the company is preparing the submittal and will announce targets following approval. In the interim, Ashland has emissions and energy reduction goals (intensity based), as well as hazardous waste goals to drive continued improvement.


Ashland has developed business-specific sustainability guides for customers to quickly identify sustainable products for their applications. Ashland’s personal care business focuses on natural, nature-derived, and biodegradable products. Furthermore, the company is expanding its COSMOS validated product portfolio and innovating for vegan products. Recyclability, biodegradability, and the circular economy are all driving factors.


Ashland will continue reporting in line with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and Sustainable Accounting Standards Board (SASB) standards for the chemical industry, guidelines that hold the company and its suppliers to higher social and ethical standards. Alignment allows Ashland to share the most important material issues with stakeholders and reduce environmental impact. Ashland is continuing to work to increase transparency in ESG, by participating in Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit (SMETA) audits, disclosing on EcoVadis, and achieving several key certifications mentioned above to support increased transparency and disclosures.

Innovation Strategy

As part of the company’s transformation, Ashland has integrated ESG into its business strategy, which includes critical checkpoints within the innovation process to drive sustainable solutions. Ashland has been recognized by the American Chemistry Council, the Society of Chemical Manufacturing Association, the European Sustainable Cosmetics Summit, and others, for safe and sustainable initiatives. In 2020, the American Chemistry Council recognized Ashland with a sustainability leadership award for environmental protection and circularity.

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