As a good corporate citizen, ALTANA supports and sponsors social projects focusing on education, science, and research. To strengthen our local environments and to be a good neighbor, we especially promote initiatives near our sites in Germany and abroad.
The natural sciences, mathematics, informatics, and technology are among the drivers of economic development and social progress around the world. In this context, ALTANA sees itself as having a responsibility to introduce young people to these disciplines at an early stage and to kindle their enthusiasm for them. In cooperation with experienced partners from the education sector, the ALTANA Group supports concrete projects, often in the immediate proximity of ALTANA sites. To maximize lasting impact, the company usually promotes these projects over a period of several years.
Educational Coaching of Elementary School Children
In 2017, ALTANA sponsored the so-called educational coaching of schoolchildren at the Elementary School GGS Innenstadt in Wesel for the fourth year in a row. Initiated by the City of Wesel and implemented by the nonprofit Klausenhof Academy, the coaching helps elementary school children from educationally deprived classes to sustainably improve their development opportunities and school careers. In their free time, volunteer mentors give the children individual supervision. In January 2017, the partnership agreement was extended for another three years.
As in the previous years, ALTANA financed a socio-educational expert at the Klausenhof Academy. The expert assigns a “personal mentor” to each child, trains the mentors, and coordinates their work. Educational coaching has become a fixed compound of the elementary school’s everyday activities. More and more children want to take part in it. The support focuses on extracurricular activities such as library visits, sports, and music. In 2017, 21 volunteer mentors each took one child under their wings.
Junior Researchers Visit ALTANA
Furthering children and adolescents’ scientific knowledge has a tradition at ALTANA. For example, employees of BYKChemie at our Wesel site have worked as school ambassadors for many years.
As a network partner of the House of Junior Researchers foundation, ALTANA has for many years accompanied two elementary schools and one daycare center in Wesel. The aim of the initiative, which is sponsored by the German Federal Government, is to get children interested in science. The concept includes special research days that take place in cooperation with school ambassadors at the respective school or daycare center. In 2017, air, water, and movement were the main topics. The 250 junior researchers presented their results at the traditional closing event held in the ALTANA conference center. Parents and employees were also invited.
At its Grevenbroich site, ACTEGA Rhenania again offered young people special courses on “coloristics of packaging – preferred colors at supermarkets.” On four afternoons, 10th to 13th grade students had the opportunity to make colored packaging coatings based on their own ideas. The aim was to teach the participants different methods of manufacturing and processing coatings and to give them insight into the working world.
Youth Startups Competition
For several years now, ALTANA has participated in the multistage competition “Jugend gründet” (Youth Startups), sponsored by the German Federal Government. In 2017, the specialty chemicals company offered a special prize in chemistry for the second time. Lilith Diringer, a high-school student in Karlsbad, Baden-Württemberg, received the award for her sustainable energy concept “Sweet Power.” She shows how spherical carbon particles can be manufactured from sugar-beet waste and serve as energy sources for lithium-ion batteries. The award included a several-day trip to Japan, where the prizewinner visited BYK’s Amagasaki site, at which ALTANA is doing research on additives for lithium-ion batteries, among other things.
German Courses for Refugees
The German courses for refugees supported by the ALTANA Group are a tremendous success. The scientists accompanying the project, the results of which were was presented in April 2017, came to the conclusion that the language courses improved the refugees’ ability to communicate and become integrated into German society. It became apparent that they had begun to develop an understanding for the foreign society. A survey of selected participants revealed that the refugees saw the course as a first step into a new future. The scientific evaluation of the project, financed by ALTANA, was carried out by the Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts.
In the fall of 2015, ALTANA allocated 250,000 euros via the relief coalition “Aktion Deutschland Hilft” to the charity organization Malteser Werke to support refuges. The financial support enables faculty members’ salaries to be paid, rooms to be equipped, and teaching materials to be developed. The charity organization offered German courses at six sites in North Rhine-Westphalia. The courses are geared to refugees who live in central accommodation facilities. Although the refugees are registered there, they have not received a decision on their asylum application yet and thus are not yet entitled to attend a governmentfinanced integrated course.
Since the fall of 2015, a total of 100,000 adults have voluntarily participated in the German courses, for which the Malteser Werke had developed a concept geared to the refugees’ everyday living situation.
Social Engagement and Donation
In India, companies of a certain size are required each year to invest two percent of their average net profit over the last three years in social projects. ELANTAS Beck India established a number of partnerships for this purpose, which serve to promote projects in the fields of education, health, and hygiene over a longer period of time. In the Indian district of Pune, ELANTAS Beck India has for several years supported four schools for hearing-impaired children run by the charity organization Surhud Mandal (see also page 40 ff). In 2017, the nongovernmental organization (NGO) financed the printing of teaching materials that prepare the children for everyday life after school hours.
Also in the Pune district, ALTANA helped equip houses in two slum areas and in two villages with toilets. In addition, the elementary school in one of the villages was refurbished thanks to funding from ELANTAS Beck India.
In the U.S., ELANTAS PDG aids social projects in St. Louis, where it is based, and also promotes employees’ personal commitment. For example, the company tops up monthly donations made by its employees to the aid organization United Way Worldwide. Furthermore, ELANTAS PDG participates every fall in the traditional World Food Day, on which employees pack food packages for people in need. At Christmastime, the company participates in a Christmas campaign for needy families in St. Louis. The employees personally bring gifts financed by the company to the families’ homes.
For many years now, employees at ECKART’s Wackersdorf site have collected income from Christmas parties, health days, and private donations. After two years, a large sum is amassed and used as a donation. In 2017, ECKART topped up the donation to a total of 15,000 Euros to promote the Regensburg-based VKKK (association for helping children in Eastern Bavaria suffering from cancer or physical handicaps).