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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 worldwide. ALTANA also helps when there are disasters. In the year under review, ALTANA primarily supported people affected by the war against Ukraine.
The natural sciences, mathematics, informatics, and technology are among the drivers of economic development and social progress around the world. Important solutions are also being developed in these disciplines with a view to the environment and climate change. In this context, ALTANA wants to help introduce young people to these disciplines at an early stage and kindle their enthusiasm for them. In addition, the ALTANA Group 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 nine 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 is to promote elementary schoolchildren and to achieve better opportunities for children with a migration background and from socially deprived families. 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 61 children have been supported since the project began in 2014. Currently, 15 volunteer mentors are taking part. They support and challenge the girls and boys in their personal development according to their abilities.
For those involved in educational coaching, contact with the children and their parents from socially strained backgrounds is of great importance. The social pedagogue regularly exchanges ideas with the volunteers, parents, the school and, in some cases, with the family support service and the youth welfare office, and works with them to find pragmatic solutions that help the children master their everyday lives and provide them with the best possible support. Although many of the mentors also help the children with their homework, the focal point of the support is extracurricular activities. In the year under review, the children were able to participate in a circus project in cooperation with the KREAKTIV Foundation. Various circus and acrobatic acts were rehearsed and presented to the families at the end of the project week. During the project, the children not only learned to work in a team and to take on tasks, but also gained more self-confidence and became aware of their strengths.
At the end of the year, ALTANA and BYK implemented a wish tree campaign for the second time at the Wesel site. The children made Christmas tree ornaments and wrote their wish on them. Together with their respective mentor, the children hung their ornaments on the large Christmas tree in the entrance hall. In the days that followed, ALTANA and BYK employees were informed about the Christmas tree campaign and called upon to participate by selecting a wish worth around 25 euros and by providing and wrapping the gift for the respective child. In a short time, all the ornaments were “sold out” and the Christmas joy of the children, whose parents are often unable to fulfill even small wishes for them, was assured.
Youth Startups Competition
In 2022, ALTANA again supported the competition “Jugend gründet” (Youth Startups), sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, offering a special prize in chemistry for the eighth time in a row. In the national finals in 2022, four students from Oppenheim won the contest with an innovative, well thought-out business idea called the JARVIS ecosystem. The team finished second in the overall standings. The company they founded, called QiTech Industries GmbH, develops and builds machines that can be used to produce high-quality 3D printing filament from plastic waste. The machine ecosystem covers all recycling steps and is characterized by its cloud-based machine control. The “Jugend gründet” jury, in which ALTANA is also represented, was impressed by the great innovative strength, professionalism, and entrepreneurial flair the student team showed in tackling this important future topic.
The award was coupled with a trip to Wallingford on the East Coast of the U.S., where the students could visit one of the ALTANA Group’s largest research and production sites at BYK USA in the fall of 2022 and take part in an interesting social program.
Further Education for Teachers
Enthusiasm for STEM subjects starts with enthusiastic teachers. That’s why ALTANA has been supporting a nationwide training course organized by the MIT Club of Germany since 2016, which is specifically aimed at science teachers. Under the motto “Schule MIT Wissenschaft,” the three-day conference, which took place as a hybrid event in Munich in 2022, serves to promote an exchange of experiences among teachers as well as the communication of new scientific findings. Without the support of sponsors such as ALTANA, the high-profile event with Nobel Prize winners and other scientists would not be possible.
Support for Ukraine
2022 was another eventful year that made us extremely aware of the great challenges of our time. Russia’s attack on Ukraine, giving rise to a war in the middle of Europe, triggered a humanitarian catastrophe that is still ongoing. ALTANA made it clear from the outset that its top priority was to help people and it supported the UN Refugee Aid fundraising campaign by contributing 250,000 euros. The campaign primarily helps families on the run, in Ukraine and its neighboring states. In addition, ALTANA and the divisions decided at the beginning of March 2022 to discontinue all business relations with Russia and Belarus until further notice. Since then, ALTANA has neither supplied products to Russian or Belarusian customers nor purchased raw materials from suppliers in those countries.
Social Commitment and Other Donations
The effects of the war against Ukraine can be felt in many parts of the world. The food situation is extremely tense for a growing part of the world’s population. Making food last longer, as the ALTANA Group has been doing for many years, is part of the solution. In the year under review, ALTANA supported the UN World Food Programme with a donation of 25,000 euros.
The ECKART division also showed social commitment once again in the year under review. As part of the annual Christmas campaign “Donations instead of Gifts,” the company provided a total of 10,000 euros. The donation went to the Amberg-Sulzbach e.V. self-help group for children with cancer, which supports children suffering from cancer and their relatives. The spectrum ranges from financial support for the affected families, to the fulfillment of children’s wishes, to covering the costs for therapeutic riding lessons or music therapy.
The ACTEGA division was involved in various initiatives and projects near its sites in the reporting year. As in previous years, ACTEGA North America again supported the “Angel Tree” campaign of the Lincoln County Department of Social Services for needy children from the region. In Spain, ACTEGA Artística not only donated to the major nationwide aid organizations Caritas and Aldeas Infantiles, but also supported the local food bank in Vigo as well as a local organization that looks after families with children suffering from cancer and actively works to improve the overall care of children with oncological disorders.
Social commitment is a top priority at ELANTAS Beck India. The company supports projects that focus on education, health, and hygiene, and not only since 2014, when companies in India were legally obliged to show corporate social responsibility. The coronavirus pandemic in India continued in the year under review, impacting ELANTAS Beck India’s social commitment. Of the CSR funds earmarked for 2022, a large part was used for two broad-based emergency relief and disaster funds. The funds are deployed to support affected people in emergency situations and natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes.
As part of its commitment to sustainability, ELANTAS Beck India again supported an educational project of the Surajya Sarvangin Vikas Prakalp organization. In the project, a total of 486 students from slums near Pune are provided with teaching. Girls and boys from grades one to ten receive after-school care at the organization’s facilities. Through its school and after-school programs, the initiative encourages the children to learn, provides orientation, and shows them the importance of education.
ELANTAS PDG in St. Louis, U.S., has also supported local social projects for many years and at the same time reinforced its employees’ personal commitment to sustainability. The staff actively supports people who live in the neighborhood of the site and has been doing so for more than 15 years in some projects. Among the most important aid projects are the social initiatives Back to School Supplies and Annual Holiday Drive, which are coordinated by dedicated employees at ELANTAS PDG. For the Back to School Supplies initiative, the project coordinator collected funds from employees again in 2022, which were used to buy school supplies such as notebooks and pencils for needy children attending the nearby Nance Elementary School. Similarly, the organizers of the Annual Holiday Drive initiative once again used the money donated by colleagues to assist six needy families and help them have a nice Christmas by giving them gifts such as shoes, toys, and clothing, as well as a basket of food.
BYK USA also sponsors several social projects in communities near sites. For example, BYK USA in Earth City collects toys for children from needy families to support the Toys for Tots organization. In Wallingford, the company participates each year in a fundraising race for breast cancer research and also sponsors projects to benefit cancer patients. And at Christmastime, the “Adopt-A-Family” program enables employees to grant a wish from a wish list to families in need.