ALTANA’s Understanding of Sustainability

ALTANA is consistently focused on sustainable, profitable growth. We can only be economically successful in the long run if we also keep ecological and social aspects in mind. They are therefore firmly anchored in our understanding of sustainability and our corporate culture.

Economy, ecology, and social responsibility: ALTANA’s understanding of sustainability is based on this triad. This 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, owner, and society as a whole.

However, we have not only been making our customers’ products more sustainable for decades, but have also reduced our own greenhouse gas emissions. By 2025, the entire ALTANA Group will be climate neutral.

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. Our current Communication on Progress of Global Compact Principles can be found in the Corporate Report 2021.

In addition, ALTANA supports the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was adopted by the 193 member states of the United Nations at the summit meeting on September 25, 2015. ALTANA has developed the following goals on this basis:

Occupational Health and Safety

For ALTANA, the health and safety of its employees is a top priority. All of its worldwide sites have established their own safety organization, which includes adherence to all local occupational safety regulations, training measures, as well as recording and evaluating accidents and near accidents. ALTANA uses the Work Accident Indicator (WAI) as the most important key performance indicator in order to observe the development of occupational safety at all sites and to continually improve it.

Training and Education

Our employees are our most important resource. ALTANA therefore promotes their professional development, prepares them for leadership positions, and enables them to participate in the company’s economic success in order to retain them in the long term. A special focus is on recruiting young, specialized, and managerial staff.

Gender Equality

Promoting women in leadership positions remains a focus at ALTANA. By founding a number of initiatives, including LEADING WOMEN@ALTANA and Mentoring for Women, ALTANA seeks in the medium to long term to reach the goal of increasing the share of women in leadership positions in the entire ALTANA Group to the percentage of women among the company’s employees worldwide.

Sustainable Economic Growth and Decent Work

Our customers’ success is at the center of ALTANA’s business activities. We can only be successful in the competitive environment in the long run if we offer our customers added value. We not only aim to secure long-term economic success, but to act sustainably in every respect. As a member of the UN Global Compact, ALTANA therefore actively supports the targets of responsible corporate management.

Innovation: New Products and Technologies

ALTANA's products and services are geared to offering its customers special sustainable solutions and to enable them to gain a competitive advantage. To keep or to extend its position as a leading specialty chemicals company, the ALTANA Group intends to continually expand its competencies. To achieve this goal, ALTANA steadily grows its product portfolio through its own developments, as well as through acquisitions and cooperation with other companies, universities, and research institutes.

Climate Protection Measures

Ecologically sound economic activity is a key component of ALTANA ’s corporate strategy. Our goal is to reduce our carbon-dioxide impact in Scope 1 (direct emissions), Scope 2 (indirect emissions), and parts of Scope 3 to zero by 2025. In addition, ALTANA ’s products contribute to improving climate protection in the value chain. ALTANA controls the Group’s efficiency regarding energy consumption and the resulting greenhouse gas emissions with the help of defined performance indicators and defined targets. 

ALTANA’s understanding of sustainability has shaped the company for decades

For us as a company, one thing is clear: We can only achieve our sustainability goals together. And everyone has to make a contribution. What else is needed? Ambitious yet realistic targets. A good example are the climate protection targets drawn up by 195 countries at the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP21). After days of talks, the nations agreed on an action plan on December 12. The goal: to limit global warming to well below 2 °C. A lot has happened since then, but more still needs to be done to counteract dangerous climate change. 

In January 2020, in the wake of the 2019 UN Climate Change Conference in Madrid, ALTANA announced its own new sustainability target, which is specific, ambitious, and achievable. Formulated in concrete terms: We will reduce our greenhouse gas emissions in production and energy procurement to zero by 2025, but we are not starting from zero. This is because the company can build on the CO2 savings already achieved worldwide in recent decades.

In 2017, ALTANA already achieved the goal it set itself in 2007 of reducing carbon-dioxide emissions in relation to gross value added by 30 percent by 2020. “With our program to achieve climate neutrality by 2025, we are fulfilling our responsibility to protect the climate and consistently continuing our sustainability course,” says ALTANA CEO Martin Babilas. 

ALTANA’s corporate goals for environmental and climate protection have been included in the calculation of the variable income of top management since 2007. The goal of climate neutrality is also integrated into the individual target agreements. Since we can only achieve our objectives together, we work closely with our stakeholders, which also shapes our understanding of sustainability.

The view of our stakeholders

As a globally manufacturing specialty chemicals company, ALTANA has various stakeholders with whom the Group and the individual divisions are in regular contact and exchange. The content and results of these dialogs are among the factors that shape ALTANA’s understanding of sustainability. ALTANA’s most important stakeholders are its customers, employees, and owner, as well as suppliers and other business partners, authorities, associations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and our neighbors at the various sites.

ALTANA published its current materiality matrix in the Corporate Report.

Objective evaluation of sustainability

In order to make not only its economic performance but also the company's commitment in all areas of sustainability measurable, ALTANA is increasingly using external assessments in addition to key figures and certified management systems. The EcoVadis evaluation system plays a special role in this regard.

EcoVadis has become the leading assessment platform for the chemical industry. Tens of thousands of companies now work with EcoVadis. For the assessment, the rating company analyzes four topics – environment, labor and human rights, ethics, and sustainable procurement. The investigations are based on leading standards (GRI, UN Global Compact, and ISO 26000). 

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, as well as to systematically drive sustainability forward within the company.

Organization of sustainability

The ALTANA 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. In addition, the individual sites are required to introduce suitable management systems and have them certified. Furthermore, special cross-divisional expert platforms are used to exchange information on relevant EH&S topics (for example energy, sustainability performance, and environmental indicators) and to highlight best-practice models.