Our Sustainability Strategy

NOVA Chemicals Announces Sustainability Strategy and Future Commitments

  • Calls for dialogue to develop solutions to create a world free of plastic waste
  • Publishes 2018 Sustainability Report

Calgary, Alberta, Canada (July 10, 2019) – NOVA Chemicals Corporation (“NOVA Chemicals”) today announced its enhanced long-term sustainability commitments, furthering the company’s mission to be the leader in innovation that enables its customers to deliver plastic products that make everyday life healthier, easier and safer.

“We know that plastics add great value to society and have many environmental benefits, and we believe businesses like ours can be a positive catalyst for change to address post-use challenges and concerns,” said Todd Karran, president and CEO, NOVA Chemicals. “Sustainability has been a part of our heritage for many decades, and I’m proud and excited that we’re pushing ourselves even further to do our part in shaping a world that is even better tomorrow than it is today.”

NOVA Chemicals’ long-term vision for sustainability has six strategic commitments:

  • A Plastics Circular Economy: working with our industry and associations to ensure 100 percent of plastics packaging is recyclable or recoverable by 2030; and 100 percent of plastics packaging is re-used, recycled or recovered by 2040.
  • Climate Care: responsibly managing our environmental emissions, with a particular focus on greenhouse gases (GHG) through a portfolio of emissions reduction initiatives.
  • Sustainability Citizenship: collaborating and providing leadership to select challenges and opportunities that promote natural resource conservation and in particular ocean health. As a responsible global citizen, we commit to invest up to $15 million (USD) over the next five years through engagements with organizations focused on ocean health, while also continuing to make a difference in the quality of life in the communities where we have a presence.
  • Sustainability in Operations: enhancing sustainability in all facets of our operations, with a particular focus on water, land, air, and waste elimination.
  • Sustainability Collaborator: actively pursuing collaboration with partners to develop new and emerging sustainability technologies and innovations.
  • Sustainability Design and Integration: embedding sustainability throughout our entire company, including leadership, organizational design, decision making, actions, strategy, systems and processes.

NOVA Chemicals’ 2018 Sustainability Report offers expanded information on the company’s sustainability commitments, programs and activities.

“We are eager to work with industry, governments, communities and consumers to bring about meaningful, systemic and permanent solutions to promote a plastics circular economy while keeping plastics out of our oceans and the natural environment,” said John Thayer, senior vice president, Polyethylene, NOVA Chemicals. “We know this is a solvable problem and welcome the opportunity to be part of the science-based dialogue.”

A founding member of Responsible Care® in 1985, NOVA Chemicals has a long-standing commitment to sustainability. Over the past five years, the company has been the recipient of numerous industry awards for innovation with its customers to advance recyclability of all-polyethylene plastic packaging, as well as its expandable polystyrene recycling program. In addition, the company has received awards in Canada for its programs to reduce emissions. The company is a member of Operation Clean Sweep®, a voluntary stewardship program that helps facilities implement procedures to keep plastic materials out of our waterways and eliminate plastic pellet, flake and powder loss.

Most recently, NOVA Chemicals joined the Alliance to End Plastic Waste as one of its founding members. The growing group of more than 30 global companies is one of the most comprehensive business consortiums across the entire plastics and consumer goods value chains. The Alliance has pledged more than $1 billion (USD) with a goal of investing $1.5 billion (USD) over five years to help eliminate plastic waste in the environment and especially the oceans.

NOVA Chemicals has been a strategic partner to Project STOP since 2018, pledging nearly $2 million (USD) over three years to prevent plastic debris from reaching the ocean. Project STOP is a global initiative to design and implement solutions to reduce marine plastic pollution especially in Indonesia where economic development and plastics consumption have outpaced waste management systems.


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NOVA Chemicals is committed to enhancing sustainability in all facets of our operations, with a particular focus on water, land, air, and waste elimination.

NOVA Chemicals is applying a multifaceted approach to make a meaningful impact in the development of a plastics circular economy. In our areas of expertise, we are leveraging our collective research skills and technical know-how to address some of the barriers to recycling. In some of the large-scale structural areas such as waste sortation, collection and management, we are collaborating with industry associations, funding affiliates and forming partnerships to scale solutions

NOVA Chemicals’ long-term vision for sustainability contains six focus areas to proactively advance sustainability across our company and industry.

NOVA Chemicals is working with its customers to expand the use of our recyclable film structure design for higher volume pouches (2-14 Kilogram) that is made of polyethylene and can withstand the demands of large, heavy packages such as pet food, flour, and rice.

NOVA Chemicals completed proof of concept for a film structure with 20 percent post-consumer recycled (PCR) content that can be used in the stand-up pouch. By incorporating recycled polyethylene in a product, the company is helping to create a market for post-consumer content.

NOVA Chemicals is working with its customers to improve and diversify the use of fully recyclable PE structures. SEMCO, a packaging company located in Monaco, has designed a flexible alternative to the small rigid bottles that are commonly used for condiments. NOVA Chemicals scientists helped them transition from a mixed-material structure to a fully recyclable version, made of polyethylene. In 2018, this product received an Innovation Award at SIAL Paris (Salon International de l’alimentation), the world's largest food innovation exhibition.

A founding member of Responsible Care® in 1985, NOVA Chemicals has a long-standing commitment to sustainability.

Project STOP logo.

Alliance to End Plastic Waste logo.

Fact Sheets


Jennifer Nanz



About NOVA Chemicals

NOVA Chemicals develops and manufactures chemicals and plastic resins that make everyday life safer, healthier and easier. Our employees work to ensure health, safety, security and environmental stewardship through our commitment to sustainability and Responsible Care®. NOVA Chemicals, headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, is wholly-owned ultimately by Mubadala Investment Company of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Forward Looking Statements: 
This news release contains forward-looking statements, including the expected capital investment in, and timing of start-up of, the two growth projects in Ontario and expected timing of start-up of the proposed joint venture with Borealis and Total. By their nature, forward-looking statements require NOVA Chemicals to make assumptions and are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties. NOVA Chemicals’ forward-looking statements are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. In addition, the forward-looking statements are made only as of the date of this news release, and except as required by applicable law, NOVA Chemicals undertakes no obligation to update the forward-looking statements to reflect new information, subsequent events or otherwise.