Celanese Corporation: Upgrading Enterprise-wide Environmental and Sustainability Data Reporting Systems

Overview

Celanese Corporation sought to improve and expand its ability to report Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) data to stakeholders—including investors, customers, and regulatory agencies—by housing all sustainability data in a single IT platform. Given that Celanese operates 35 diverse and complex manufacturing plants in 19 countries, implementing an enhanced reporting system was a complex task. 

A key project deliverable was to enable Celanese to report Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions reductions, as well as energy, waste, and water usage to meet all aspects of the Sustainability Accounting Board Standards (SASB) reporting standard. Since implementation, 50% more data has been collected in the new system to comply with the SASB reporting standard.

Policies

Celanese is a participating partner of the DOE Better Plants Program, the EPA ENERGY STAR program at the Partner level, and the American Chemistry Council (ACC) Energy Committee. Through these partnerships, Celanese participates in the industrial members’ group, sharing knowledge and best practices by participating in events sponsored by the ACC, DOE, and the EPA.  

Process

A cross-functional team of environmental sustainability subject matter experts, procurement, and site ESG data users were assembled to implement the project. The fast-paced project was implemented over 14 months from project initiation to full implementation and data update completion. The project was implemented in a series of nine phases:

  1. Vendor Selection – The project started by defining a standard set of requirements. Vendor selection included the evaluation of approximately 15 ESG application suppliers. Detailed reviews of 5 finalists vendors included verifying data security, testing product demos, conducting supplier reference interviews, and evaluating information about the scope of work and cost. 
  2. System Scope and Configuration – Celanese worked with the selected vendor to configure the new application to Celanese’s requirements and structure as well as the SASB standard. This phase included initial dashboard development, reporting configurations, and updates of all fuel types, energy heating values, and emission factors.
  3. Historical Data Migration – Historical data from the legacy systems were migrated and transformed to the new system.
  4. User Training – Users were trained on both the new SASB standards, data and verification requirements, and how to access and use the new software system.
  5. Testing and Go-live – Rigorous testing of data entry and reporting was completed using a test environment to allow users to thoroughly pressure test the new system. 
  6. Data Update to SASB Standard - All sustainability data was updated using the new data standard. Approximately 50% more data is now being collected in the new system.
  7. Auditing – The Celanese internal audit team performed a complete audit of data accuracy and data input and validation workflows. 
  8. Reporting – Reporting for SASB, ACC, DOE, Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), and ENERGY STAR was completed using the new data asset and format.
  9. Enhancements – Scoping for a series of enhancements to improve data entry and reporting has been identified as part of Phase 1 enhancements. 
     

Outreach

To ensure buy in as part of the final selection process, an interactive presentation was provided to key stakeholders who also participated in the final scoring.  Upon selection of the vendor and tool, the organization was made aware through written communication and formalized training as to the requirements and functionality of the platform.

Tools & Resources

Click here to learn more about Sustainability at Celanese. 

Measuring Success

The project has improved the accuracy and completeness of ESG data. Approximately 50% more data is now being collected in the new system to comply with the SASB reporting standard and enable improved data analysis. The new IT platform has enhanced reporting capability with configurable dashboards and data export tools. The software system has simplified data entry with the ability to further enhance both reporting and data acquisition using automated interfaces to other IT applications. The system also allows the configuration of reports to match standard energy and ESG-related reports submitted to ACC, DOE, CDP, and ENERGY STAR, as well as custom reports for specific customer requirements if needed.

Outcomes

In a fast-paced project condensed to a 14-month timeframe, Celanese completed the selection, configuration, and full implementation of the replacement and upgrade of their environmental sustainability data collection and reporting system. Accurate and consistent environmental sustainability reporting is an essential part of current expectations for companies by investors, customers, and regulators. The use of a global IT platform and a consistent and recognized reporting standard such as SASB ensures data is captured and reported correctly across Celanese’s diverse facilities.

The platform improves metric tracking, provides more granular data for analysis, and facilitates automation and digitalization tools for data entry and reporting. Celanese is also exploring how the IT platform could be used to track additional ESG data fields, track Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions, and replace Excel downloads and PowerPoint presentations with live dashboards.