Air Liquide has today (22nd March) outlined ambitions to increase investment decisions to a record high, cut a third of its emissions and accelerate its sales growth by 5-6% in its new strategic plan for 2025.

Titled ADVANCE, the plan focuses on four key priorities of financial performance, decarbonisation, technological innovation and actively engaging with stakeholders, customers and shareholders.

Decarbonisation is a prominent focus for the industrial gas giant throughout its ADVANCE plan. Within its commitment, Air Liquide states that half of its industrial investments will be dedicated to the energy transition, confirms that hydrogen will play a decisive part in its business, and re-emphasises ambitions to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.

Efforts pivoted towards decarbonisation are projected to future proof the company as they both showcase how clean energies can be utilised in the industrial gas sector and align with wider targets set by various governments and industry personnel.

Benoît Potier, Chairman and CEO of Air Liquide, said, “In a world transformed by the Covid epidemic, and marked by a geopolitical crisis whose dimension of humanitarian disaster is overwhelming, we have to act today but also keep preparing for the future.”

“With ADVANCE, financial performance as well as environmental and societal performance are combined in our objectives. For Air Liquide, building the future means delivering strong financial results, as it is a condition to our durability and our ability to invest for the future; but it also means to act as a leader in decarbonisation of the industry, to promote progress through technological innovation and act for all.”

Potier continued, “With ADVANCE, Air Liquide is opening a new chapter of its history by linking inseparably growth and a sustainable future.”

Decarbonisation, and specifically hydrogen mobility, is also one of the five markets Air Liquide is looking to spearhead by 2025. As outlined in the technological innovation aspect of the ADVANCE plan, the company is looking to place a heavy focus on the “high potential” market.

Alongside this, electronics, healthcare, industrial merchant and high technologies are also on the firm’s hit list for the next few years. A real talking point right now, due to various shortages and strains in the market, electronics represents what Air Liquide says in a “real development opportunity”.

Already this year, Air Liquide has made some big moves in the electronics sector, having most recently announced a more than €300m investment in four state-of-the-art gases plants in key electronic basins to supply two major semiconductor manufacturers in Japan.

Read more: Air Liquide strengthens presence in the Japanese electronics market

Healthcare, of course, will remain a critical focus for the company as it continues to improve the quality of life for patients at the best possible cost for the health sector. In addition to this, the firm will undoubtably continue to ship its medical gases, such as oxygen, overseas to those in desperate need.

Air Liquide’s high technologies focus will cover industries such as space, deep cryogenics and the quantum industry, all of which the company sees as high growth sectors. Industrials merchant activities are also expected to be driven.

Focusing on the financial side of thing, as well as accelerating sales growth, Air Liquide has said it also hopes to achieve a return on capital employed of more than >10% starting from 2023.

Publication of Air Liquide’s ADVANCE plan comes just under a month on from the publication of its environmental, social and governance (ESG) objectives, in which is committed to accelerating its hydrogen developments to at least triple its turnover to more the €6bn by 2035.

Further to that, the plan at the time outlined a goal to bring its total electrolysis capacity to 3GW by 2030 and leverage on capturing CO2, accelerating low-carbon hydrogen production through electrolysis or by using renewable feedstock such as biomethane.

 Read more: Air Liquide to invest €8bn in the low-carbon hydrogen supply chain