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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.
Educational Coaching of Elementary Schoolchildren
ALTANA has supported the educational coaching project at GGS Innenstadt, the largest public elementary school in Wesel, for six years now. 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 schoolchildren 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 “personal mentors” to each child, trains the mentors, and coordinates their work. A total of 46 children have been supported since the project began in 2014. Currently, 18 volunteer mentors are taking part. They support and challenge the children in their personal development according to their interests and abilities. Some of the mentors now even look after two children. The support focuses on extracurricular activities such as library visits, music, and sports.
Junior Researchers Visit ALTANA
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 2019, air and water were the main topics of the research days. In April, 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.
Youth Startups Competition
ALTANA supports the online competition “Jugend gründet” (Youth Startups), sponsored by the German Federal Government, and in 2019 offered a special prize in chemistry for the fifth time in a row. In the national finals in 2019, a team of students from Lingen, Germany, won the prize for a sustainable business idea – a perfected mini biogas system for the restaurant trade which produces electricity and heat and with which at the same time organic waste can be disposed of. With the idea, they want to promote ecological thinking in society and ensure that everyone can contribute to a better future. The award was connected with a fourday trip to the East Coast of the U.S., where the students were able to visit one of the ALTANA Group’s largest research and production sites at BYK USA in Wallingford in the fall of 2019 and also take a trip to New York City.
Open House Day
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.
Social Commitment and Donations
BYK USA is committed to sustainability. Its various sites support several social projects in their respective communities. They focus on social, cultural, and ecological areas. An example is the Chester site, which regularly supports the local fire department. Among the projects that BYK USA supports as part of its commitment to sustainability is the Toyland project, in which toys are collected for children from needy families. In Earth City, the company also collects toys in support of the Toys for Tots organization.
BYK USA in Wallingford participates in an annual fundraising race for breast cancer research and has also sponsored several projects for the benefit of cancer patients and a local rehab clinic. In an initiative launched by the company each year, all proceeds go to a foundation for children with cancer. During the Christmas season, the Adopt-A-Family program enables employees to grant a wish on a wish list to needy families. At the annual Christmas party, donation boxes are set up and employees collect clothes for the food pantry and funding needed by the local animal shelter.
In May 2019, ELANTAS PDG took part in a blood donation campaign launched by the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center, which helped provide care to 70 patients at local hospitals. For many years, ELANTAS PDG has been supporting local social projects and at the same time strengthening its employees’ personal commitment to sustainability (see also page 42 ff.). One example is our renewed participation in the traditional World Food Day, where employees pack around 300 meals for the needy each year. As part of a fund-raising campaign by the St. Louis Area Foodbank in the spring of 2019, ELANTAS PDG was able to fill four containers with non-perishable food, thus providing several hundred meals for needy people.
ELANTAS Beck India is supporting several projects over a longer period of time that focus on education, health, and hygiene. Thanks to the financial support, schoolrooms in two villages in the Indian state of Gujarat have been renovated, a water treatment plant has been installed, and new toilet facilities built. In the outskirts of Pune, where ELANTAS Beck India has its largest site, three rural boarding schools that obtain their drinking water from borewells were equipped with water treatment plants. Many children who grow up in slum areas lack suitable premises for learning. In the aid organization Surajya Prakalpa, ELANTAS Beck India has found a partner that has set up schoolrooms in four poor areas of Pune where children can learn in peace.
In the context of the annual ECKART Christmas donation campaign “Donations Instead of Gifts,” a total of around 20,000 euros were made available. Two children’s aid organizations and the Christmas campaign “Joy for All” of the Nürnberger Nachrichten newspaper each received 6,666 euros.