Response to Kiwis in Climate

New Zealand Rugby (NZR) received a letter from Kiwis in Climate regarding our partnership with INEOS, we appreciate hearing the thoughts and opinions of Kiwis who care for the game. NZR and INEOS’ response to Kiwis in Climate can be read below.

Kia ora,

Firstly, thank you again for taking the time to write to us.  We are always happy and proud to hear from Kiwis who love Rugby and who have passionate views on the very privileged position NZ Rugby holds as being the guardian of the game in Aotearoa.  

Like you, we only want what is best for the game – and all our decision making, whether that be in this particular area of sponsorship through to things like how we evolve the game itself at a community level is something we do with utmost care and responsibility in addition to ensuring the game can thrive and grow.  

In order for me to best respond to your letter, I sought the guidance of INEOS who have provided the detail below as they are best placed to address your specific concerns regarding the work they do.  What I would say however, is that our own due diligence into INEOS and the work they are doing in areas of the environment, sustainability and indeed other high-performance sport gave us and our NZ Rugby Board full comfort that they are a great partner for our Teams in Black.  

I hope this goes some way in addressing the concerns you have raised. I am now travelling with our Teams in Black until mid-December however would very much welcome the opportunity to meet with you when I return – or if it can be arranged while I’m travelling.  And, I also know that INEOS Director of Corporate Affairs and Communications, Tom Crotty would be happy to talk to you via Zoom at any time.  

Ngā mihi nui, 
Mark Robinson
Chief Executive Officer, New Zealand Rugby



Firstly, INEOS are in total agreement with the signatories in terms of your concern regarding climate change.   Indeed, our Chairman Jim Ratcliffe referred to his own deeply held belief in the impact of CO2 emissions on the climate and the dangers of rising temperatures in the opening to the editorial piece that he wrote for the Sunday Telegraph in the UK recently: UK must act now to kick start the hydrogen economy (  He also believes, as do all of us at INEOS, that we are the providers of many of the key solutions to that very problem.    Our products not only enhance the health and living standards of people throughout the world, but they also make massive contributions to reductions in CO2 emissions in a wide range of uses.

It is INEOS’ belief that it is critical to define the problem here. The problem is not the fact that we, as a petrochemical producer, use carbon as our building block for so many products, the problem occurs when that carbon finds its way into the natural environment – whether that is through CO2 emissions to atmosphere or plastic waste into the oceans. Our task is to ensure that doesn’t happen, whilst retaining the efficacy of the vital products that we produce. Every one of our 26,000 employees believes whole heartedly in the good that they do and that many of our young employees have joined us specifically because they see that they are a company who can do much more than posture - but will actually deliver real improvement to our global environment.

Chemicals are the essential building blocks needed to make everyday products that maintain and enhance living standards globally. Without chemicals we would not have the homes, transportation, communications, medicine or energy that we use today.

For example, chlorine we produce is used to purify drinking water to make it safe to drink. PVC we produce is used for blood bags to preserve blood for longer. Solvents we produce are needed for insulin, antibiotics and vaccines. Plastics we produce are used for food packaging to prolong the life of food and massively reduce food waste.   Materials we produce are used to insulate houses and transmit water and gases to homes. Our advanced polymers are used throughout the automotive and aerospace industry and have dramatically reduced the weight of vehicles, thereby reducing their fuel consumption and reducing their emissions. 

INEOS has publicly committed to net-zero by 2050 and will meet or beat the targets set by the countries where they are active by 2030. We make detailed road maps on a site-by-site basis that will deliver real and measurable improvement.  Any reticence to declare targets is driven by an abiding belief that any targets that they publish need to have clear and measurable actions that will guarantee they will be achieved. Greenwashing is only a valid accusation to level at an organisation that publishes targets without plans to achieve them simply because it is what people want to hear.   

INEOS believe we are part of the solution. Through science, innovation and partnerships we are developing new, sustainable products and technologies that will allow individuals, businesses and nations to achieve net-zero and we want to do this by collaborating with all stakeholders.

The materials that we manufacture are essential in the construction of renewable power sources such as wind turbines and solar panels. Our advanced materials are used to make the turbine blades that generate renewable energy and their sophisticated lubricants ensure those turbines keep turning. Our acetic acid is an essential component in the production of solar panels to harness the energy of the sun.

Technology we are developing is essential for closing the loop to create a circular economy. This means that new products can be made out of existing materials regardless of their previous use or design. We support mechanical recycling of polymers across our range of products and now include significant quantities of recyclate in our products but mechanical recycling can only ever be a partial solution. Plastics degrade each time they go through a mechanical recycling process. There are severe limitations on food contact use with mechanically recycled products.  The answer is advanced recycling where we take used plastic back to its constituent molecules so that we can rebuild them into perfect new polymer each time thereby creating a total closed recycling loop and a true circular economy. 

We are investing heavily in these technologies across all of their polymers. We have already proven it with polystyrene – producing perfect polymer from used yoghurt pots. We have a new technology called Infinia, that will do the same with PET and have similar projects with all of their other polymers. We are also looking to achieve circularity through the minimisation of waste in all of our manufacturing operations to ensure that they reuse, recycle or recover waste energy, hydrogen and other by products from our processes.

We are also developing technologies that avoid the use of fossil based carbon as the start point for making our products, instead using renewable biological raw materials. We already sell commercial quantities of PVC from this process under the brand name, Biovyn, which uses waste wood pulp from the paper industry as its start point and we have a range of other bio sourced products being developed.

Investments we are making are driving forward the energy transition and creating roadmaps to net-zero. We have just committed €2billion to developing green hydrogen production which can be used for power generation, transportation and industrial use. This process uses renewable power to split water and release hydrogen that they can use to replace natural gas in their industrial processes and sell to consumers as a fuel for transportation and heating.

We have committed €3billion into Project One in Antwerp building Europe’s first hydrogen powered cracker which will allow them to create the chemicals needed to enhance living standards worldwide with zero carbon emissions.

You mentioned emissions from our largest industrial site at Grangemouth as being 3 million tonnes of CO2 per annum. However, when we acquired that site from BP in 2005, the emissions were almost 5 million tonnes, a reduction of almost 40% under our management. We have also committed an additional £1billion to deliver total emissions savings of almost 60% at Grangemouth by 2030 on the path to net-zero emissions by 2045 in Scotland.

Our investments are also helping to capture and store carbon. We started capturing carbon as long ago as 2003 in France and since then have developed further carbon capture projects in Belgium and Germany, removing over 1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide over the last 10 years - equivalent to the emissions from 80,000 cars. We have signed the biggest renewable power deals in Belgium to dramatically reduce their indirect CO2 emissions from their plants.  We are investing in major carbon capture and storage projects in the UK, Europe and the US preventing millions of tons of CO2 being emitted.

INEOS does disclose its CO2 emissions. Our Sustainability Report clearly publishes our total emissions of CO2 alongside all of their other emissions data and we do have external monitoring on our sustainability. Ecovadis puts our European business in the top 4% of industry and our global Styrenics business in the top 1%. In addition, a recent detailed ESG review of our global business by Sustainalytics put INEOS in the top 4% of companies in the chemical industry.

We’re also leading the charge on tackling some of the other major challenges that we will all have to face together, such as Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). AMR, which is caused by overuse and misuse of antibiotics, currently causes an estimated 1.5 million excess deaths each year and could cause over 10 million deaths per year by 2050. We have invested £100million in the INEOS Oxford Institute, a new research facility which will focus on designing novel antimicrobials just for animals, as well as exploring new human drugs to ensure we don’t return to a world where taken-for-granted treatments such as chemotherapy and hip replacements could become too risky, childbirth becomes extremely dangerous, and even a basic scratch could kill.

INEOS believe it is essential to continue to sustainably manufacture chemicals and produce energy that maintain and enhance the living standard of people worldwide.

For more details on the range of work we are involved in, please see a series of links below.