Sustainability in Action
We have a dream for the future and through our actions, we are making our dream a reality. I can assure you of our continuing commitment and dedication to stand together and work together to make a difference for our world.Seifi Ghasemi, Air Products Chairman, President and CEO
Keyper the robot supports safety and maintenance teams
At our El Morrell plant in Tarragona, Spain, a Labrador-sized four-legged robot patrols a 12,000-square meter industrial plant.
The robot, called Keyper, is an innovative safety device used at the Carburos Metálicos industrial gas facility to detect and warn about issues at the facility that separates industrial gases such as oxygen, nitrogen and argon from the air.
Using advanced artificial intelligence, Keyper supports the safety and maintenance teams with its information processing capacity that allows it to detect and anticipate anomalies. Predictive actions that facilitate the normal operation of the plant are enabled through data analysis and tools such as cameras, microphones and sensors.
Keyper carries out maintenance rounds at the El Morell facility to collect, record and interpret data that could be significant for improving safety, such as thermal imaging, detection and reading of pressure gauges and meters, sound analysis of engines and equipment, and 3D mapping of the entire environment. Thanks to its advanced autonomous navigation technology, Keyper is able to warn in real time of any potential issues it detects during maintenance rounds.
The layout of the El Morell plant is another challenge that Keyper overcomes, given that facility has areas of grass, stones, asphalt, slopes and stairs. The plant also houses Carburos Metálicos' fleet of tankers in Tarragona, so Keyper coexists and interacts with lorries circulating inside the plant.
Miquel Lope, general manager of Carburos Metálicos, said "with this pioneering initiative in the industry, we are anticipating the future. Keyper, the most advanced robot of its kind in the world, will allow us to enhance the control capacity of the plant's operating parameters and its direct application in safety and predictive maintenance. This is not only important for Carburos Metálicos, but also represents a very important advance for the entire chemical sector."
Sustainability and Diversity Efforts Recognized
Air Products has been recognized by Time magazine on its inaugural list of the World’s Best Companies 2023. Time and Statista ranked companies based on a formula of revenue growth, employee-satisfaction surveys, and rigorous environmental, social and corporate governance data.
The Time magazine recognition is the latest for Air Products’ sustainability and diversity efforts. Earlier this year, we also earned a spot on Barron’s 100 Most Sustainable Companies list for the 5th consecutive year, ranking 46th on this year’s list.
For its annual ranking of the most sustainable companies, Barron’s worked with Calvert Research and Management, which analyzed the 1,000 largest publicly traded companies by market value. Calvert then ranked each one by how it performed for five key constituencies: shareholders, employees, customers, community, and the planet. Specifically, Calvert looked at more than 230 ESG (environmental, social and governance) performance indicators from seven ratings companies including ISS, MSCI, and Sustainalytics, along with using other data and Calvert’s internal research.
Air Products also has been recognized by Forbes magazine as a Net Zero Leader and one of America’s Best Employers for Women 2023. In addition to Air Products’ inclusion on the overall Best Employers for Women list, we were ranked second in the construction, oil and gas operations, mining and chemicals industry group.
To create the Net Zero Leaders list, Forbes used data from research providers Sustainalytics and MorningStar to rank the U.S. Companies best positioned to be net zero by 2050.
To learn more about the organizations that have recognized Air Products’ sustainability and diversity efforts, visit our Sustainability Recognition page.
Landscaping Design Rooted in Sustainability
Early corporate campuses in the U.S. were originally designed for research scientists and engineers who would be familiar with landscaped gardens or tree-lined lanes from their university-like campuses. It was seen as a serene workplace, but that serenity came at a price―using water and fossil fuels, and constant landscaping management.
Today’s diverse landscaping at Air Products' global headquarters is quite different. The native plantings in the meadows mirror our workforce―diverse, hardy and symbiotic, always with an eye towards sustainability. This move towards more environmentally friendly landscaping was the focus of a recent New York Times article that featured Air Products.
One thing that has not changed is the manicured corporate campuses of yesteryear and today’s global headquarters still have something in common―a sense of community. With a Fitness Center and outdoor social spaces, the Air Products landscaping is designed symbolically and practically to promote interaction and collaboration with colleagues and nature.
For some employees and neighbors, it has taken some time to readjust the way we see our surroundings, but the headquarters’ multi-year meadow project is already winning hearts and minds.
Nitrogen, a Solution for Safer, More Sustainable Tires
Carburos Metálicos, a leading company in the industrial and medical gases sector in Spain that is part of the Air Products Group, has installed its first nitrogen dispenser to inflate vehicle tires at the El Cubillo service station in Telde, Gran Canaria, Spain.
Compared to commonly used compressed air, nitrogen is an inert gas devoid of dust, oil and moisture, which are the main factors in premature tire ageing. Nitrogen is also more stable and delays pressure loss, which means tires last longer under optimal conditions, extending their resistance and service life.
With the addition of the nitrogen dispenser, Carburos Metálicos is offering drivers a product that until now was primarily used by professionals in sectors such as aviation and racing competitions.
Previously, European regulations limiting pollutant emissions from motor vehicles did not consider the environmental and human health impact of vehicle tires. However, the future Euro 7 standard, which is expected to come into effect in 2025, will limit not only the emission of polluting gases but also particles that are generated by friction between the tire and the road. The new regulation will apply to all vehicles, including electric vehicles.
Tires inflated with nitrogen reduce fuel consumption because they retain the optimum pressure level longer, thus reducing the vehicle's rolling resistance. This ultimately results in lower greenhouse gas emissions.
The nitrogen supplied by Carburos Metálicos for this service station is produced and packaged in the Canary Islands, specifically at the plant that the company operates in Telde.
"Sustainability is at the heart of Carburos Metálicos' activity and the promotion of nitrogen use in tire inflation is aligned with our desire to offer products that allow drivers to increasingly reduce polluting emissions. Therefore, through this type of initiative we collaborate to generate a cleaner future," said Miquel Lope, General Manager of Carburos Metálicos.
Employees Celebrate Third Annual Week of Inclusion
Air Products recently celebrated its third annual Week of Inclusion across the globe. This year’s celebration focused on the theme of “Ownership” and the role every employee plays in creating an inclusive workplace that celebrates our differences.
To kick off the week, Air Products’ executives welcomed employees by sharing their thoughts and personal insights on how everyone can take steps to build an inclusive workplace culture. Air Products’ executives who participated in the discussion included: Dr. Samir J. Serhan, Chief Operating Officer; Victoria Brifo, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resource Officer; Francesco Maione, President, Americas; and Sean Major, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary.
Employees were challenged to take an active role in creating a culture of inclusion and belonging. Throughout the week, employees engaged and collaborated with coworkers at remote sites, plants and terminals in addition to traditional office locations.
Each region across the globe hosted several sessions, in-person and virtually, focused on a variety of topics related to inclusion in the workplace. Highlights included:
- Asia: Leaders shared perspectives in a panel discussion on taking ownership and action to drive our diversity goals, specifically attracting and retaining female talent, psychological barriers faced by women in the workplace, and why diversity, inclusion and belonging (DIB) is important to Air Products’ business.
- Europe & Africa: A panel discussion with employees and leaders referencing ownership of DIB and strategies to activate a DIB manifesto.
- India: Published a podcast on “Owning Inclusion and Belongingness in the Workplace,” which featured several regional leaders.
- Middle East: Facilitated a variety of sessions in multiple countries on self-awareness and speaking up, micro-aggressions, co-creating an inclusive culture, and a leader’s role in creating a psychologically-safe environment.
- North America: Hosted the global keynote event featuring Minda Harts, an author, speaker, and CEO of the Memo, a career development company. Harts highlighted steps employees can take to create a more inclusive workplace.
- South America: Hosted a session on actions employees can take to be more inclusive with deaf colleagues. Participants learned from two deaf employees and their leaders about their experience working at Air Products, their day-to-day interaction with other employees and their life experience. The session was guided by two sign language interpreters for employees from Ecuador and Chile.
To learn more about Air Products’ diversity efforts, please see Air Products’ 2023 Sustainability Report.
Air Products Foundation Donates $25,000 to WaterAid
Water is essential to life and good health. As part of Air Products’ Breathe Freely Global Wellbeing Program*, employees received a refillable water bottle and have been encouraged to use it daily for personal health and hydration and to replace single-use plastic water bottles.
Each time an employee uses the refillable bottle, scanning a QR code helps unlock a donation through the Fill it Forward program, an app that supports WaterAid. WaterAid is an international nonprofit dedicated to transforming lives by improving access to clean water, decent toilets and hygiene in vulnerable communities across more than 25 countries.
As of March 22, World Water Day, Air Products employees have registered more than 23,000 bottle scans in just a few months, and to mark this success, the Air Products Foundation is making a $25,000 donation to WaterAid.
Recognizing that everyone needs access to clean and plentiful water, the Breathe Freely partnership with Fill it Forward is one example of how Air Products is making a difference. Air Products also has a multi-year Safe and Healthy Drinking Water initiative in rural China. Through this program, the Air Products Foundation partnered with non-profit Shenzhen One Foundation, and has donated water purification and dispensing devices along with reusable water containers to provide purified drinking water to more than 115 schools, benefiting more than 80,000 children.
Companywide, Air Products is also taking meaningful actions to reduce water consumption at its facilities by improving plant efficiencies, increasing water recycling and managing water use.
Photo provided courtesy of WaterAid/Ernest Randriarimalala (photographer)
*Breathe Freely is Air Products’ holistic wellbeing program that focuses on four key pillars: work-life harmony, community, security and health. The program takes into account all aspects of wellbeing, from physical and mental health, to social and financial aspects.
Hydrogen Fuel Cell Train Demo in Poland Follows Successful Hydrogen Bus Demo
Air Products is providing hydrogen and mobile fueling infrastructure for Poland’s first ever hydrogen-fueled train demonstration. For the demonstration, scheduled to begin in December, a hydrogen-powered shunting locomotive, provided by Pesa Bydgoszcz, operated on the test track of the Railway Institute in Żmigród, Poland.
The train demonstration follows a successful pilot of a hydrogen-powered city bus carried out in March 2022 by bus manufacturer Solaris, Air Products, PKM Jaworzno and city authorities. Jacek Cichosz, president of Air Products for Poland, said he hoped the bus demonstration would inspire other entities throughout Poland to consider hydrogen as part of their shift to low or zero emission vehicles for public transportation.
“The planned hydrogen locomotive demonstration is an exciting undertaking for both Pesa and Air Products. The recent hydrogen fuel cell bus demonstration in Jaworzno was a concrete example of how clean hydrogen can be an effective and efficient alternative to traditional fuels for heavy duty transport,” said Cichosz.
The Solaris Urbino 12 hydrogen bus tested by PKM Jaworzno is a completely emission-free vehicle. Electricity is generated from hydrogen stored in tanks on the roof of the bus using a hydrogen fuel cell. The only by-product of this reaction is water vapor. In Jaworzno, over 80 percent of residents use buses, according to Pawel Silbert, Mayor of Jaworzno.
Increasing Our Commitment to Sustainability
The industrial gas industry is energy intensive, and as a result, generates carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. For decades Air Products has improved the energy efficiency of its facilities and thereby reduced the CO2 emissions intensity of its operations. These efforts, as well as several already announced major hydrogen energy projects, support Air Products’ “Third by ‘30” CO2 emissions intensity goal that was made public in 2020. In July 2022, Air Products announced additional new goals in furtherance of its commitment to improving sustainability, including:
- Expanding our “Third by ‘30” goal to include Scope 3 emissions
- Setting a new goal of reaching net zero emissions from operations by 2050
- Committing at least $15 billion through 2027 to invest in clean energy projects to spur the energy transition
- Engaging with the Science Based Targets Initiative on the development of the chemical sector framework
- Providing future climate benefits from hydrogen projects that will avoid more than 500 million tonnes of CO2e over their lifetimes*
Many organizations have committed to reach net zero emissions or climate neutrality by 2050. Air Products’ commitment was established after careful consideration of many factors. For example, Air Products has already taken key steps towards net zero with major energy transition projects that will produce zero or low carbon hydrogen. In fact, by 2050 Air Products expects that most, if not all, of its hydrogen will be produced at zero or very low carbon plants. The Company also plans to continually increase the use of renewable electricity and is converting its fleet of 2,000 trucks to hydrogen fuel cell zero-emissions vehicles.
*Assumes all hydrogen is used for the heavy-duty truck market
A First of Firsts for Hydrogen in China
In mid-April, Air Products’ China team completed the first hydrogen fueling at its first hydrogen fueling station in China. The new hydrogen fueling station (HRS) is strategically located in the Changshu High and New Technology Industry Development Zone, and is located in the Shanghai led "Fuel Cell Vehicle Demonstration City Cluster," which was approved by the central government. The HRS supports the transition to zero-emission logistics and public transportation in the region and enables Air Products to contribute its expertise and technologies to drive development of hydrogen energy in the city and surrounding areas. The station will serve three public bus routes and logistics trucks in the development zone.
Jerry Hu, China Hydrogen for Mobility general manager, noted that, "Sustainability is at the heart of Air Products' business. The commissioning of the Changshu HRS is another milestone to accelerate the development of our hydrogen for mobility business and support the China government's ‘dual carbon’ goals.” Hu also thanked the team for making the first fueling at the station a success, indicating the HRS enables Air Products to “continue to support the city's clean hydrogen development to reduce vehicle emissions in a sustainable way."
Net-Zero Hydrogen Energy Complex in Canada
Eric Guter, Air Products’ Global Vice President – Hydrogen for Mobility, recently was interviewed by Edmonton Global at the Canadian Hydrogen Convention about the company’s planned Net-Zero Hydrogen Energy Complex that will be built in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Air Products and its subsidiary, Air Products Canada, Ltd., in conjunction with the Government of Canada and the Province of Alberta, last year announced a multi-billion dollar plan to build a landmark new net-zero hydrogen energy complex that will make Edmonton the center of western Canada’s hydrogen economy and set the stage for Air Products to operate the most competitive and lowest-carbon-intensity hydrogen network in the world.
The project, announced last year, will begin with a transformative $1.3 billion net-zero hydrogen production and liquefaction facility and is expected to be onstream in 2024.
Guter’s complete interview with Edmonton Global is available for viewing on Air Products’ YouTube page.
To view Edmonton Global’s complete coverage of the Canadian Hydrogen Convention, visit Edmonton Global’s YouTube page.
Please contact us if you have any questions about our Sustainability commitments or activities.