Sasol

InfluenceMap Score
C-
Performance Band
60%
Organisation Score
59%
Relationship Score
Sector:
Chemicals
Head​quarters:
Johannesburg, South Africa
Brands and Associated Companies:
Southern Africa Energy, Sasol EcoFT
Official Web Site:
Wikipedia:

Climate Lobbying Overview: Sasol appears to have mixed engagement with climate policy. The company’s top-line communications on climate change appear broadly positive, and the company has supported ambitious greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions policy in South Africa. However, Sasol has also opposed South Africa’s carbon tax, and continues to support a sustained role for fossil gas in the energy mix.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: Sasol appears broadly supportive of action on climate change in its top-line communications. In its 2022 Climate Change report, published in September 2022, Sasol supported reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and supported reducing GHG emissions in line with limiting warming to 1.5°C. In the same report, Sasol supported the need for a “holistic legal framework” under the Climate Change Bill in South Africa, including carbon pricing measures. Sasol supported the Paris Agreement in its 2022 Climate Change report, and supported an increase in South Africa’s NDC ambition in its 2022 CDP response. Furthermore, in a November 2021 consultation response on the EU Renewable Energy Directive, Sasol also supported the EU's "ambitious climate targets" under the Fit for 55 package.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: Sasol shows mixed support for specific climate-related regulations. Notably, the company appears to have consistently opposed South Africa’s carbon tax. In an August 2022 Bloomberg article, Sasol COO Hanre Rossouw stated that while Sasol does not oppose the carbon tax, the risks of a poorly implemented carbon tax are high, and that implementing alternative regulatory options should be considered rather than rapid escalation of the tax. Sasol also stated opposition to the policy in each of its CDP Climate Change Disclosures from 2018 to 2021. In its 2022 CDP response, Sasol appeared to express a mixed position on the tax, supporting an increased tax rate as stipulated in South Africa’s updated NDC, while also supporting a slower, more gradual implementation of the tax. However, in its September 2022 Climate Change report, Sasol expressed concern about the negative impacts a carbon tax has on Sasol’s business, stating that an increased carbon tax without allowances or incentives would hinder South Africa's low-carbon transition. Outside of South Africa, in a November 2021 consultation response on the EU Renewable Energy Directive (EU RED) Sasol also appeared to advocate for additional support for fossil fuels and liquid fuels under the EU RED, as well as the exclusion of the company's Secunda facility from the regulations.

However, Sasol appears to support GHG emissions legislation in South Africa. In its 2022 Climate Change report, the company appeared to support mandatory GHG emissions reporting in South Africa. In its 2021 Climate Change Report, Sasol called for a more ambitious 2030 GHG target in South Africa in line with recommendations by the newly established Presidential Climate Commission. In the same 2021 report, Sasol also supported legislation for carbon budgeting and the mandatory reporting of GHG emissions. Additionally, in its 2020 CDP disclosure, the company appeared to support the use of mandatory carbon budgets under South Africa’s Climate Change Bill as an alternative to the carbon tax. Sasol has also expressed support for the South African 12L energy efficiency tax incentive in its 2022 Climate Change report, published September 2022.

Positioning on Energy Transition: Sasol does not appear to fully support the energy transition, advocating for a sustained role for fossil gas in the energy mix alongside renewables and green hydrogen. While Sasol’s messaging on coal has improved, the company continues to support fossil gas. In its 2022 Climate Change report, published in September 2022, the company supported fossil gas as a transition fuel from coal to renewables and supported the South African Oil and Gas Draft Discussion Document and its provisions for gas as a low-carbon fuel. While the report did state that Sasol would prefer South Africa to pursue a fossil-free energy route post-2030, there were no clear timelines for an overall reduction of gas in the energy mix. Sasol also supported the role of fossil gas in the energy mix in 2021-2022, most recently in an August 2022 Engineering News article. Furthermore, during African Energy Week in November 2021, Sasol's Senior Vice President for Gas Sourcing and Operations, Akash Latchman, stated "gas should play quite a significant role in a just energy transition in South Africa", citing the need to alleviate energy poverty.

Sasol has consistently supported the development of green hydrogen in South Africa in 2022. The company supported green hydrogen production in a May 2022 Mining Weekly article, and supported its use in the transport industry in an August 2022 Engineering News article. Sasol also supported the development of green hydrogen and sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) in South Africa in its 2022 Climate Change report, published in September 2022. In its 2021 Climate Change Report, Sasol advocated for enabling policies and incentives for renewable energy and green hydrogen in South Africa, including a green hydrogen strategy and the lifting of limits on renewable energy. However, in a November 2021 consultation response on the EU Renewable Energy Directive (RED), Sasol called for a "phased" and "incremental" transition from fossil fuels to green energy in South Africa, citing economic viability and socio-economic issues such as poverty, inequality and unemployment. Sasol also supported the use of fossil fuel and sustainable feedstock in SAF production under the EU RED II in its 2022 Climate Change report.

Industry Association Governance: In its 2022 Climate Change Report, Sasol completed a full audit of its alignment with industry associations on climate policy. The audit disclosed some of its own climate policy positions and those of its industry associations, as well as governance processes around its management of misaligned groups. However, Sasol has failed to identify and take action on key industry associations engaged in lobbying activities misaligned with the Paris Agreement, such as the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC) and the Japan Chemical Industry Association. In addition, Sasol sits on the board of the Minerals Council South Africa and the regional board of Verband der Chemischen Industrie (VCI), both of which appear to be engaged negatively on climate policy. Sasol is also a member of Business Unity South Africa and Industry Task Team on Climate Change, which have mixed engagement but have lobbied against key climate policy in South Africa.

InfluenceMap collects and assesses evidence of corporate climate policy engagement on a weekly basis, depending on the availability of information from each specific data source (for more information see our methodology). While this analysis flows through to the company’s scores each week, the summary above is updated periodically. This summary was last updated in Q3 2022.

A detailed assessment of the company's corporate review on climate policy engagement can be found on InfluenceMap's CA100+ Investor Hub here.

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Strength of Relationship
STRONG
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WEAK
 
52%
 
52%
 
66%
 
66%
 
78%
 
78%
 
63%
 
63%
 
60%
 
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53%
 
53%
 
46%
 
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45%
 
68%
 
68%
 
57%
 
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58%
 
58%
 
53%
 
53%
 
67%
 
67%

How to Read our Relationship Score Map

In this section, we depict graphically the relationships the corporation has with trade associations, federations, advocacy groups and other third parties who may be acting on their behalf to influence climate change policy. Each of the columns above represents one relationship the corporation appears to have with such a third party. In these columns, the top, dark section represents the strength of the relationship the corporation has with the influencer. For example if a corporation's senior executive also held a key role in the trade association, we would deem this to be a strong relationship and it would be on the far left of the chart above, with the weaker ones to the right. Click on these grey shaded upper sections for details of these relationships. The middle section contains a link to the organization score details of the influencer concerned, so you can see the details of its climate change policy influence. Click on the middle sections for for details of the trade associations. The lower section contains the organization score of that influencer, the lower the more negatively it is influencing climate policy.