We evaluate and optimize our portfolio with an eye to products that promote sustainability.
Current global accords, such as the Paris Agreement and United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, underscore how important it is to improve sustainability performance. We take that mandate seriously.
“By 2030, all our products will meet defined sustainability criteria (in line with WACKER Sustainable Solutions).”
Auguste Willems, member of the Wacker Chemie AG Executive Board
Our Answer: WACKER Sustainable Solutions
We have a number of tools at our disposal for evaluating and rating the sustainability of our products throughout their life cycles, and each of these tools has a different focus. One of the most fundamental is WACKER Sustainable Solutions, a program we developed based on the industrial standard of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).
WACKER Sustainable Solutions Helps Us Achieve Three Goals:
Promote and expand our existing sustainable business fields
Establish new sustainable business areas
Identify and assess sustainability-related risks to our business portfolio at an early stage
The Tool Involved
Our WACKER Sustainable Solutions tool assesses portfolios by evaluating a product’s full life cycle, its specific application and regional requirements. The core element of this assessment is known as a PARC (Product/Product group in one Application in one Region in Combination), in which a product, application and region are all evaluated together. After a review of basic criteria (toxicological classification, regulatory and social criteria, controversial industries, raw materials, etc.), a multi-step questionnaire examining aspects of sustainability is created. An assessment is then based on the answers to a total of 17 questions.
The Accompanying Process
A team of WACKER employees carries out the product-assessment process. Typically, the team consists of technical service managers and employees from sales and marketing who are familiar with the precise details of the product. It also includes at least one corporate sustainability officer. Each business division has a lead manager for supporting assessments.
The Results Obtained
Products evaluated on the basis of sales
Products meeting sustainability criteria
Products for which actions have been defined
We also use additional tools for analyzing various aspects of sustainability throughout the supply chain. Examples here include our WACKER ECOWHEEL® and life cycle assessment.
The WACKER ECOWHEEL®
The WACKER ECOWHEEL® was developed to keep us from losing sight of the product life cycle. The aim of this qualitative tool is to provide a highly transparent mechanism for working out and representing the positive and negative aspects of a product or product group. Its focus is on energy, materials, water and ecotoxicity – all major concerns for WACKER. A roughly one-hour analysis is sufficient for establishing important information on a product or branch of industry and for identifying potential hot spots.
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
Life cycle assessments allow us to perform quantitative evaluations of the environmental impact that important products have throughout their life cycles. WACKER has been generating life cycle assessments, or LCAs, for important intermediates and downstream products since 2010. The scope of the resulting studies ranges from the time the raw materials are extracted to the point when the product leaves the WACKER plant – this is known as the “cradle-to-gate” approach.
The Use of Renewable Resources
WACKER is committed to continuously reducing its use of fossil raw materials. One approach here is to replace fossil raw materials with identical materials from renewable resources. For important product groups, we have already used the mass balance method to introduce alternatives that, mathematically, contain no fossil raw materials whatsoever.VINNAPAS® eco BELSIL® eco ELASTOSIL® eco