ALTANA’s Understanding of Sustainability
ALTANA consistently gears its activities to sustained profitable growth. But we can only achieve economic success in the long run if we also bear in mind ecological and social aspects and anchor them firmly in our company.
Our understanding of sustainability as a triad of economy, ecology, and corporate social responsibility is also reflected in ALTANA’s mission:
We provide innovative solutions based on integrated chemical, formulation, and application expertise that make products of daily life better and more sustainable.
Our solutions open up growth or savings potential for our customers and can change entire markets.
As a result, we create value for our customers, employees, shareholder, and society as a whole.
The View of Our Stakeholders
As a globally manufacturing specialty chemicals company, ALTANA has diverse stakeholders with whom the Group and its different companies maintain regular contact and exchange. The content and results of these dialogs are among the factors that inform ALTANA’s understanding of sustainability.
Among ALTANA’s most important stakeholders are its customers, employees, owner, suppliers, other business partners, authorities, associations, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and our neighbors at the different sites. In the year under review, we updated the stakeholder analysis we performed in the previous year in order to define the important sustainability issues for the Corporate Report 2017. ALTANA’s Environment, Health & Safety (EH&S) department and Corporate Communications drafted a materiality matrix with 13 criteria. In doing so, all topics relating to the GRI Standards, existing stakeholder analyses, ALTANA’s Keep Changing Agenda for the future, as well as selected best-practice examples in the form of reports and studies were considered.
Within the framework of interviews with 15 national and international external and internal experts, the participants subsequently discussed the draft matrix. They also talked about areas of the value chain where the topics are especially important. In addition, expectations of sustainability management and ALTANA’s stakeholder engagement were addressed.
Over the entire process of the materiality matrix, topics were prioritized based on their relevance to stakeholder decisions and the consequences for the ALTANA Group.
Within the framework of a prioritization workshop, the topics and positions were consolidated into a final materiality matrix and the matrix was checked for completeness with regard to the reporting period (see graphic on the following page). The most important arguments, positions, and sources were documented in a materiality analysis.
The stakeholders incorporated in the materiality matrix, which were identified based on high relevance, came from the areas of customers, suppliers, NGOs, foundations, and institutions. Internally, EH&S, Corporate Communications, Strategy, Procurement, Research and Development, Finances and Controlling, Engineering, and Sales were incorporated.
The materiality matrix in 2017 essentially confirms the 2016 materiality matrix.
Changes and additions are mainly due to a more profound understanding of sustainability. ALTANA will continue to update the materiality matrix on a regular basis.
Objective Evaluation of Sustainability
To be able to measure not only the company’s business performance but also its involvement in all areas of sustainability, alongside key performance indicators and certified management systems, ALTANA is using objective external evaluations increasingly. The audits of the chemical industry rating company EcoVadis and the Together for Sustainability (TfS) initiative play a special role.
In 2017, two ALTANA companies, ECKART at the Güntersthal and Wackersdorf sites, and ACTEGA DS were evaluated by EcoVadis and received the Gold Status. As a result, ALTANA continued its successful series of assessments. EcoVadis, which analyzes environmental aspects, procurement policy, compliance, and working conditions of companies based on the international sustainability guideline
ISO 26000, has become one of the world’s leading rating platforms for the chemical industry. 20,000 companies are now registered with it.
The TfS audit is based on a globally uniform sustainability standard and thus is also one of the most important rankings in this area. Another company in the ALTANA Group, BYK-Chemie, underwent the TfS audit. The company had an excellent score, receiving 196 of 200 possible points. The company swiftly implemented the few improvements suggested in the report in the course of the year.