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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 wants to help introduce young people to these disciplines at an early stage and to kindle their enthusiasm for them. In addition, ALTANA is involved in a number of selected social projects. In cooperation with experienced partners from the education sector, we support concrete projects, often in the immediate proximity of our sites. To maximize lasting impact, the company usually promotes these projects over a period of several years.
ALTANA supported the educational coaching project at GGS Innenstadt, the largest public elementary school in Wesel, for the fifth time in a row. The project was initiated by the City of Wesel and implemented by the Klausenhof Academy in close cooperation with GGS Innenstadt. The main aim of the coaching is to promote elementary school children and to achieve equal opportunity for children with a migration background and from socially deprived backgrounds. The project also supports the development of children with special talents.
As in the previous years, ALTANA financed the personnel and material costs for a socio-educational expert at the Klausenhof Academy. The expert assigns a “personal mentor” to each child, trains the mentors, and coordinates their work. A total of 35 children have been supported since the project began in 2014. Currently, 18 children are assisted and challenged on an individual basis by volunteer mentors, who promote their personality development in keeping with their interests and abilities. The support focuses on extracurricular activities such as library visits, music, and sports.
Furthering children’s and adolescents’ scientific knowledge has a tradition at ALTANA. Employees of BYK-Chemie at our Wesel site have worked as school ambassadors for many years. ALTANA is a network partner of the Germany-wide foundation House of Junior Researchers. For a number of years now, it has 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 2018, water and communication were the main topics of the research days. In March, the junior researchers presented their results to parents, teachers, and employees at the traditional closing event held at the ALTANA conference center.
In the context of various events, employees at other sites also give young people insight into the world of science, conduct experiments together with them, and introduce them to scientific training and career possibilities. In Wallingford, BYK USA took part in May in the Parker Farms School Career Fair for third, fourth, and fifth graders. In Italy, ELANTAS Europe employees thrilled the public with experiments in September during the Night of Researchers, an event series staged by the University of Parma.
ALTANA supports the online competition “Jugend gründet” (Youth Startups), sponsored by the German Federal Government, and in 2018 offered a special prize in chemistry for the third time. In the national finals in 2018, a team of students from Nagold, Germany, won the prize for an innovative business idea called GAIA, whereby a digitally controlled system enables plants to be fertilized individually. The idea is innovative because modern measuring devices are combined with a watering system to optimally supply nutrients to different plants. The award included a four-day trip to the East Coast of the U.S., where the students visited one of the ALTANA Group’s largest research and manufacturing sites at BYK USA in Wallingford in August 2018.
At various sites, ALTANA participated in the Germany-wide Open House Day of the Chemical Industry, hosted by almost 200 chemical companies and seven universities, on September 22, 2018. Around 7,500 interested people, neighbors, and customers came to ALTANA’s and BYK’s headquarters in Wesel, a record number of visitors. There was a wide-ranging offer for both adults and children. Laboratory experiments and informative tours of production gave visitors diverse, interesting, and not-everyday insights into the world of chemistry. A colorful stage program, participatory events for children, and a performance demonstration by the Wesel fire department were among the highlights. BYK rounded off the proceeds from token sales to 10,000 euros and donated the sum to the Löwenzahn & Pusteblume booster club for pediatric palliative medicine.
In Grevenbroich, more than 400 visitors used the Open House Day to tour the manufacturing and laboratory facilities, finding out how ACTEGA Rhenania products are developed and produced. The products are used worldwide in packaging for many foods. In a coatings training session, visitors gained deeper insights into the world of coatings, and in a special “children’s laboratory” kids could witness exciting experiments. A diverse framework program rounded off the Open House Day. ACTEGA Rhenania topped up the income from the sale of food and drinks and donated the money to the Grevenbroich-based Tafel Existenzhilfe, which distributes food to people in need, and to Haus St. Stephanus, which assists youth and the handicapped.
The doors were also open to the public at BYK’s sites in Wesel-Emmelsum, Kempen, and Schkopau, at ACTEGA’s site in Lehrte, and at ELANTAS’ Hamburg site.
ELANTAS Beck India has sponsored a number of projects over a longer period of time. The projects focus on the fields of education, health, and hygiene. For example, support from ELANTAS Beck India enabled a school in the village of Pungam and a school in Ankleshwar to be refurbished and new toilet facilities to be built. In other villages and schools, new sanitary facilities for students, a water treatment plant, and computer-learning technologies in the form of so-called e-learning kits were financed. In the slums of the city of Pune, the company supports an initiative that kindles children’s interest in curricular and extracurricular learning offers and shows them the importance of education.
In addition, ELANTAS Beck India works with the charity organization Suhrud Mandal. ELANTAS Beck India provided the organization with funding for printing schoolbooks for hearing-impaired children throughout the state of Maharashtra. Among the seven partnerships that ELANTAS Beck India supports within the framework of its commitment to sustainability is the educational initiative Swadhar IDWC, which with its program enables girls from socially weak classes to receive an education, strengthens their confidence, and thus enables them to be role models for other people in society. In 2018, the company supported nine participants in the educational program.
In social projects at its U.S. site in St. Louis, ELANTAS PDG provides assistance and at the same time strengthens employees’ personal commitment. An example is the monthly donations by employees to the aid organization United Way Worldwide, which the company tops up. Each year, ELANTAS PDG participates in the fall in the traditional World Food Day, on which employees pack food packages for needy people. At Christmastime, the company takes part in a Christmas campaign for poor families in St. Louis. The employees bring gifts that have been collected to the families’ homes.
In the context of the annual ECKART Christmas donation campaign “Donations Instead of Gifts,” a total of 20,000 euros were provided to four organizations. Three children’s aid organizations and an inclusion project of a gymnastics and sports club near the site each received 5,000 euros.