Sustainability Management

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 maintains regular contact and exchange with various stakeholders. These include its customers, employees, owner, suppliers, other business partners, authorities, associations, scientific organizations, as well as our neighbors at the different sites. The content and results of these dialogs are among the factors that shape ALTANA’s understanding of sustainability and lead to the prioritization of certain topics.

In the 2023 fiscal year, ALTANA evaluated the results of the materiality analysis with the stakeholder survey conducted from autumm 2022 onwards. The aim of the project was to identify and confirm, respectively, the sustainability topics that are material to the business operations with the involvement of the relevant stakeholders. In doing so, ALTANA was guided by both the current GRI standard (2021) and the European reporting framework ESRS (European Sustainability Reporting Standards), which was finalized in the course of the 2023 fiscal year based on the European Commission’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and went into effect on January 1, 2024. The sustainability reporting requirements set out therein are not binding for ALTANA until 2025.

Nevertheless, in its materiality analysis, ALTANA adhered to the principle of double materiality enshrined therein. According to this principle, a sustainability aspect is considered material if it does not only pose financial or other significant risks or opportunities for the company (from an outside-in perspective), but also if the company’s activities themselves have an impact on the environment or society (inside-out perspective). In the strict definition of material topics, it is initially irrelevant whether the respective impacts are positive or negative. What matters is that the assessment of whether a sustainability aspect is material or not is as objective as possible. To achieve this objectivity, from November 2022 to March 2023, ALTANA, with the support of a specialized sustainability service provider, conducted a total of around 30 expert interviews with selected stakeholders who are familiar with both the company and sustainability issues, including direct customers, brand owners, suppliers, employees, local politicians, and representatives from the fields of education, science, and research. An online survey was also conducted among these and other stakeholders. The survey centered around 34 potentially material sustainability topics that ALTANA had derived in a first step from the available ESRS framework and supplemented with company-specific topics. ALTANA made these available to all stakeholders with corresponding definitions and potential positive and negative impacts ahead of the survey in order to ensure a consistent and shared understanding.

The results of the stakeholder survey became available in the first half of 2023 and were integrated into an initial analysis of opportunities and risks pertaining to the environment, climate protection, climate adaptation, employee rights, human rights, social standards, and compliance throughout the entire value chain. ALTANA identified six material topics, elaborated upon below: Sustainable Products and Innovation; Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Products and Services; Plant and Transportation Safety; Health and Occupational Safety; Energy Consumption and Efficiency; and Dealing with Critical Substances. These topics will not only be the focal points for the company’s forthcoming sustainability reporting but will also be integral to further strategy development. While numerous other topics are deemed important and will be actively pursued by ALTANA, they are not considered material based on the expected impacts, as outlined in the methodology above. ALTANA will regularly review the findings of the materiality analysis and update them as needed, with ongoing stakeholder discussions integrated into the business processes forming a crucial basis for these assessments.

Sustainable Products and Innovation

  • Product portfolio that conserves resources and has a positive impact on the environment and society,
  • consideration of sustainability criteria as part of product development,
  • research and innovation to improve production and products with the aim of creating economic, ecological, and social value.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Products and Services

  • Reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions along the entire value chain,
  • monitoring and management of GHG emissions,
  • analysis and consideration of climate-related transition risks and opportunities along the entire value chain.

Plant and Transportation Safety

  • Uniform standards for the safety of people and the environment in production,
  • compliance with legal and voluntary regulations on plant and transportation safety,
  • safe transportation of dangerous goods.

Health and Occupational Safety

  • Management systems to ensure the health and safety of employees,
  • reduction of the number of accidents at work,
  • compliance with working time standards in accordance with EU and ILO (International Labor Organization) guidelines.

Energy Consumption and Efficiency

  • Energy optimization of processes (energy efficiency),
  • energy consumption and (possible) generation,
  • use of renewable energy sources.

Dealing with Critical Substances

  • Safety in the production, handling, use, distribution, and marketing of critical substances (“Substances of Concern”) by ALTANA.
  • “Substances of Concern” are chemicals that can have a harmful effect on human health or the environment due to their intrinsic properties. In certain cases, such substances can prevent the recovery of safe, highquality secondary raw materials through recycling. Used as a raw material in chemical processes, however, they are also employed to manufacture products that make an important contribution to sustainability.

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 assessments of the rating company EcoVadis play a special role. EcoVadis analyzes four topics based on leading standards (GRI, UN Global Compact, and ISO 26000): environment, labor and human rights, ethics, and sustainable procurement. EcoVadis has become the leading assessment platform for the chemical industry. Tens of thousands of companies now work with EcoVadis.

ALTANA uses the objective EcoVadis rating of its production sites and ALTANA AG as a whole to make the respective status quo transparent both internally and externally, but also to systematically drive sustainability forward within the company.

In the year under review, ALTANA again participated in the CDP “Climate Change” program. CDP (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project) is an international non-profit organization that encourages companies and governments to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, conserve water resources, and protect forests.

Organization of Sustainability

At ALTANA, the Group’s operating companies are responsible for implementing and anchoring sustainability. The individual companies are committed to continually reducing the environmental effects of the Group and to improving safety at the respective sites. Furthermore, the individual sites are required to introduce suitable management systems and have them certified. Moreover, special, cross-divisional expert platforms exchange information on relevant EH&S topics (for example energy, sustainability performance, environmental key performance indicators), and present best-practice models.

Sustainable Development Goals

ALTANA has been a member of the UN Global Compact since 2010 and commits to integrating the ten principles into the company and to observing the general goals of the United Nations (see the Communication on Progress of Global Compact here).

At the summit meeting on September 25, 2015, the 193 member states resolved the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. ALTANA supports this United Nations initiative and developed the goals listed on the following secction "SDGs with special relevance for ALTANA" located just below.