Towards a comprehensive performance
ADVANCE, Air Liquide’s new strategic plan for 2025, is a milestone in the company’s history. It places sustainable development at the heart of the Group’s strategy, firmly setting Air Liquide on course for a comprehensive performance by combining financial performance and extra-financial performance.
1. Delivering strong financial performance
2. Decarbonizing the planet
3. Unlocking progress via technology
4. Acting for all
After two years of the health crisis and in a world marked by political tensions, we must act in the present while continuing to prepare the future. We are confronted by major societal, economic and environmental challenges, from the urgency of climate change and the energy transition to the continued need for security, healthcare and access to progress.
With its proven resilient business model, its innovation capacity and its technological expertise, the Group is ideally positioned at the heart of the markets of the future to continue its growth dynamic by working to meet some of the major challenges facing our world, driven by the desire to make a real difference.
Building the future means delivering strong financial performance which prepares the future, acting as a leader in industry decarbonization, promoting progress through technological innovation and acting for all.
ADVANCE is built around these 4 priorities and includes the Group’s Sustainable Development objectives.
Delivering strong financial performance
Decarbonizing the planet
Unlocking progress via technology
Acting for all
Air Liquide intends to continue its growth trajectory while preparing to reduce its CO2 emissions starting around 2025.
- An acceleration in sales growth reaching a pace of +5 to +6% on average per year1
- A return on capital employed (ROCE) of more than 10% from 2023
- At the same time, beginning the reduction of its CO2 emissions around 2025
To achieve these objectives, the Group will rely on optimizing its capital resources and increasing its operating margin by >+160bps between 2022 and 20252, by acting on several levers: a dynamic pricing policy, regular efficiency gains and active management of its business portfolio.
To prepare for the future and harness its full potential, the Group is investing at a record level.
- An average increase in industrial investment decisions of +45% per year over the 2022-20253 period to reach total investments of 16 billion euros
- A particularly strong dynamic in the fields of energy transition, including hydrogen technologies, and electronics. These promising markets require a high degree of investment selectivity. The need to reduce CO2 emissions is now an integral part of any investment decision
2. Sum of annual operating margin improvements in basis points, excluding energy passthrough impact.
3. Annual average of industrial investments over the 2022-2025 period compared to the annual average over 2016-2019.
Reducing CO2 emissions has become a major challenge for key players in industry and heavy mobility, representing a wealth of opportunities for Air Liquide. For this market, estimated at several tens of billions of euros, the Group has a comprehensive portfolio of technology and service solutions to support its customers’ decarbonization efforts around the world, from the supply of low-carbon industrial gases to CO2 capture and management and industrial process transformation.
Hydrogen plays a key role in the race to decarbonize the planet. The Group’s expertise in this field dates back more than 50 years. Its technologies are used throughout the low-carbon hydrogen supply chain, from production to storage and distribution. This technological expertise has already made it possible for Air Liquide to sign numerous strategic partnerships with major players around the world to develop the use of hydrogen.
To accelerate the sector’s development, Air Liquide implements a strategy centered on industrial basins; in this way, it develops operational synergies that benefit the companies within each area. Examples of this include Normandy in France, where the Group will develop the world’s first low-carbon hydrogen network for local industries, and South Korea, where it is working with its partners to develop scenarios for the roll-out of hydrogen ecosystems for airports.
The Group is also committed to decarbonizing its own operations; the objective being to start reducing its CO2 emissions in absolute terms around 2025. As part of its Sustainable Development objectives, Air Liquide aims to reduce its emissions by one-third by 20351 and to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.
- Initiating the CO2 emissions reduction around 2025
- -33% CO2 emissions by 2035
- Carbon neutrality by 2050
Hydrogen mobility: in this high-potential market, the Group intends to maintain its leading position by targeting the heavy mobility sector, including road, air, sea and rail. Air Liquide has played a leading role in this sector for more than 20 years, developing hydrogen technologies and adopting an ecosystem approach by establishing numerous strategic partnerships.
Electronics: in response to significant growth in demand, the ongoing race to improve semiconductor performance and the relocation of production units, Air Liquide plans to strengthen its positions in Asia, the United States and Europe by means of new industrial capabilities, technological innovation and the development of sustainable solutions. Its ambition: maintaining its position as the leading supplier of gases and services to the electronics industry.
Healthcare: with a presence throughout the entire patient care pathway and having developed in-depth knowledge of chronic diseases, Air Liquide plans to develop personalized solutions, combining digital monitoring and home care. This Value-Based Healthcare approach focuses on the patients' quality of life while ensuring cost efficiency for healthcare systems.
Industrial Merchant: many sectors including agri-food, electric vehicles, additive manufacturing, water treatment and energy management are driven by new uses and a focus on environmental issues; these sectors represent a potential market for industrial gases that is estimated to be worth €10 billion. Air Liquide aims to consolidate its leading position in the world’s largest markets within this activity, which is key to the Group’s performance.
High technologies: the space exploration race and the rise of quantum computing promise major developments. With its technological expertise in deep cryogenics, the Group is ideally positioned to capture the growth of these sectors. In addition, the Group is relying on the potential of digital technology to enrich its offers and improve its operational efficiency.
Air Liquide spends more than €300 million on innovation every year, with more than 50% dedicated to the energy transition and digital technology.
- ~€8 billion will be invested in the low-carbon hydrogen value chain by 2035
- Sales in hydrogen x3 increasing from €2 to €6 billion by 2035
For our employees: while the pandemic has profoundly transformed the way in which our employees work, the Group remains dedicated to improving the employee experience, with three key areas of focus:
- Continuing to foster a culture based on empowerment, autonomy and dialog
- Developing the required skills for optimal implementation of ADVANCE’s objectives, within a learning organization (agile learning methods, recognition of technical expertise, etc.)
- Developing new ways of working in a safe, inclusive and collaborative working environment
For our customers and patients: Air Liquide has embarked on a major transformation to better serve our customers and our patients. This transformation continues with ADVANCE, focusing on three different elements:
- Better understanding their expectations by identifying weak signals throughout the customer journey
- Making interactions simpler and more effective with an omnichannel approach
- Becoming more agile by giving our teams the means to work as closely as possible with our customers and patients
For our shareholders: The Group has a proactive shareholder policy that gives individual shareholders an important role. The Group intends to offer its shareholders attractive and regular remuneration to reward their loyalty through specific initiatives while maintaining a close relationship through quality dialog.
For society as a whole: mindful of the changing world, Air Liquide understands how to act in the public interest, where its contribution can make a difference. The Group is involved in long-term community projects in the countries in which it operates. Through the Air Liquide Foundation, it supports scientific projects and employment programs. In partnership with NGOs, the Group is developing initiatives to increase access to medical oxygen.
- 35% of engineers and professionals will be women
- 100% of our 66,400 employees will benefit from a common basis of care coverage
- 100% of our employees will have the opportunity to engage in local initiatives to support communities
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