WACKER Publishes its Sustainability Report for 2019/2020
Munich, Jul 22, 2021
Wacker Chemie AG today published its Sustainability Report for 2019 and 2020. By acting responsibly, the Munich-based chemical group is working toward achieving at least seven of the sustainable development goals defined by the United Nations. Sustainability is a core component of WACKER’s business model and is one of its five strategic corporate goals.
A key focus of sustainability work by WACKER is on reducing the size of its carbon footprint. In one example from our Nünchritz site, we connected more plants to its new steam network, which will allow us to increase our heat recovery ratio from over 70 percent during the reporting period to up to 83 percent over the next few years. At our Burghausen site, we have modernized our plant for electricity and steam generation by installing a gas turbine that is more efficient and generates fewer emissions.
WACKER is particularly focused on integrated environmental protection, which is factored into product development and plant planning. As we move toward a circular economy, WACKER is continually striving to improve its production processes and to conserve resources.
With SustainaBalance®, WACKER is pursuing a sustainability strategy that is designed to meet key goals by 2030. The Group strategy comprises three principles designed to promote the balance between ecological, social and economic factors: Value Up, Footprint Down, Collaboration Beyond. By 2030, we want to reduce specific CO2 emissions by a third, relative to 2012, and specific energy consumption by half, relative to 2007.
WACKER is continually optimizing water management at its production sites. It registered a reduction in wastewater volume in 2020. Residual organics (recorded in terms of chemical oxygen demand, or COD) have fallen significantly over the long term. A major factor in this trend has been the excellent performance of the wastewater treatment plant at the Burghausen site.
Sustainable Product Assessment
By 2030, one goal is for 90 percent of WACKER products to be making a neutral or positive contribution to sustainability on the road to carbon neutrality.
WACKER assesses and optimizes its product portfolio according to sustainability criteria. In so doing, the business divisions consider the entire life cycle of a product or product group in an application, and take regional concerns into account.
The company uses its WACKER ECOWHEEL® to represent positive and negative aspects within the value-creation chain. The business divisions, together with their customers, use this tool to gather sustainability information about a product or an industry, and demonstrate possible optimization potential.
The use of biobased raw materials rose during the reporting period. One approach here is to replace fossil raw materials with identical materials obtained from renewable sources. Employing what is known as the biomass balance method, WACKER has launched alternative lines in key product groups, in which fossil raw materials are replaced with certified sustainable biomass.
Sustainability Performance of Suppliers
WACKER prioritizes operating a sustainable supply chain. In the new report, the company presents the results achieved by both WACKER and its suppliers in TfS (Together for Sustainability) audits and in EcoVadis assessments.
People from 70 nations work for WACKER. During the coronavirus pandemic, employees have worked tirelessly at WACKER sites around the world to keep business running smoothly. The company has adopted numerous precautions and measures to safeguard employees’ health, limit the risk of infection, and flatten infection curves. The Sustainability Report provides insights into WACKER’s management of the pandemic.
Report Complies with Core Options Defined in GRI Standards
Once again WACKER is publishing its report exclusively online, one of the reasons being to minimize resource consumption and thus to serve the interests of environmental protection. The Sustainability Report complies with the Core option defined in the GRI standards that were developed for the compilation of sustainability reports by companies, governments and non-governmental organizations. It takes other aspects that are relevant to WACKER’s sustainability concerns into account as well.
In 2020, WACKER conducted a survey to identify which sustainability topics its main target groups consider to be material. The top five issues were product safety, production plant safety, compliance, transport and storage safety, and occupational safety and employee health. These are addressed in the Sustainability Report, which is available in English and German at: www.wacker.com/sustainabilityreport. The online report offers easy navigation and interactive functions, such as key-figure comparisons and download options. It can also be downloaded as a PDF file.
(PDF | 272 KB)