Mar. 13, 2020 - “In 2019 we embarked on our new strategic agenda: ‘Lifting profitability, driving sustainability.’ My aim is to position Hydro as a robust and profitable industry leader, based on innovation and sustainability,” President and CEO Hilde Merete Aasheim writes in her letter to shareholders.
“Trade wars, Brexit uncertainty, weak markets and the embargo in Alunorte have weighed on our financial result in 2019. In addition, a malicious and sophisticated cyber-attack hit us hard last spring. I am immensely proud of how our people and organization handled the situation, working day and night to recover,” Aasheim says.
“On our 2019 Investor Day, we announced ambitious targets to lift profitability and drive long-term shareholder value. We launched a NOK 7.3 billion improvement program to be delivered by 2023, including a strategic review of the Rolled Products business area, and a capital returns target of 10 percent over the cycle (RoaCE). I am pleased to see that all business areas are making progress towards their 2023 targets, under challenging market conditions,” Aasheim continues.
“Our new strategic agenda is based on cost-competitive assets, operational excellence, strong market positions, innovation and differentiation on sustainable processes and products,” Aasheim says.
“In my view we cannot achieve profitability in the long run without operating and producing in a sustainable way. I see it as an ethical responsibility, but also as a business opportunity, to make the carbon footprint of our products a competitive edge,” Aasheim says.
“In August 2019, we launched two new greener brands: Hydro REDUXA, with one of the world’s lowest carbon footprint, and Hydro CIRCAL, produced with minimum 75 percent post-consumer scrap. I am happy to see that Hydro CIRCAL already is sold to more than 60 building projects in 16 countries in Europe, the Middle East, and the U.S. This is a small, but promising illustration that there is a willingness to make greener choices in the marketplace when alternatives are offered. And this is only the beginning,” Aasheim says.
“Hydro’s sustainability agenda rests on three pillars: Climate, environment and social responsibility. We have a good starting point: A century-long history of sustainable industrial development, using hydropower to produce products that the world needs in a responsible manner. About 70 percent of the electricity used in our primary aluminium production is from renewable sources. Our new climate strategy – “30 by 2030” – calls for reducing our gross CO2 emissions by 30 percent throughout the value chain. We will do this through greener sourcing and greener production. We are also helping our customers reduce their footprint through our greener products,” Aasheim says.
“I am confident that we have set the right agenda for the company, and I am confident that our people have what it takes to embark on the opportunities ahead. We have the competence, engagement and dedication to deliver and transform Hydro into a profitable and sustainable company with a promising future,” Aasheim ends.