The Goals and LANXESS' contributions
An appropriate salary not only increases the motivation of each individual employee, but is also the basis for a secure life. LANXESS therefore ensures fair pay at our sites worldwide in the form of minimum wages and regular working hours.
We also assume responsibility where people are in need: For example, after the severe earthquake in Nepal in 2015, LANXESS India employees donated a daily wage to the Prime Minister's relief fund. Thanks to this extraordinary commitment, LANXESS has doubled the sum of more than 1.2 million Indian rupees for the victims of the natural disaster and reconstruction.
Over 7.6 billion people currently live on Earth. And the number is rising: according to the United Nations, even more than initially assumed. In 2050, approximately 9.8 billion people will be living on the planet. They all need to be healthy, balanced and, above all, adequately fed - a challenging task for the agricultural sector. In addition, the demand for alternative energy sources is increasing and the world's eating habits are changing. On the other hand, however, climate change and industrialization threaten to reduce the amount of usable land.
With many years of experience and expertise, we contribute to making modern agriculture more productive and sustainable. For example, tailor-made crop protection agents and fertilizers protect crops from crop failure and improve efficiency in agriculture. And even more: Virkon® S, one of the world's leading veterinary disinfectants, is regarded as the disinfectant of choice for combating bird.
But we also promote a healthy and active lifestyle within the company: Occupational health management is based on raising the awareness of all employees for their own well-being and motivating them to act responsibly and adopt healthy behaviors. This includes health programs in the workplace, general health awareness, environmental protection, handling chemicals, plant safety, safety precautions at the workplace and for our products.
LANXESS products also play an important role in disease prevention:
Rely+On Virkon inactivates coronavirus quickly
Independent tests have proven that Rely+On Virkon inactivates a closely related surrogate of the currently spreading coronavirus strain. From these tests it can be concluded that Rely+On Virkon is also effective against SARS-CoV-2.
Rely+On Virkon is diluted for application and sprayed on hard surfaces and equipment. It can therefore help to reduce the risk of contamination via surfaces, door handles, tables or chairs during disinfection measures in hospitals, but also at public transport terminals, airports, shopping malls, etc.
For further information on Rely+On Virkon visit coronavirus.lanxess.com.
Another example is the active ingredient Icaridin in insect sprays protects against malaria, dengue fever and the Zika virus. The insect repellent is applied to the skin and covers up human own odor to safely keep insects, such as mosquitoes or ticks, away. The product is even recommended by the World Health Organization of the United Nations.
Vocational training is the basis of our strategy to generate skilled workers from our own ranks. Ongoing qualification and further training benefits both our employees and our company – as well as society as a whole.
As part of the LANXESS education initiative, we support children, young people and young adults at our production sites around the world. In Germany, for example, around 270 primary schools use specially-developed scientific materials to arouse the curiosity of young researchers. Workshops and laboratory days offer the opportunity to familiarize students with chemistry, while scholarships support STEM students worldwide. LANXESS is also committed to the non-profit organization "Teach For India" as one of the main sponsors. The program promotes talented students with poor starting conditions to open them up to potential career opportunities. A LANXESS-sponsored initiative near the El Dorado site in the United States offers students the opportunity to discover the exciting world of science. LANXESS has also been active in South Africa for many years and recently, in Newcastle, renovated the classrooms of a school for children with physical and mental disabilities.
To promote equal opportunities as, we have launched the "Diversity & Inclusion" initiative to further develop diversity at LANXESS and to highlight its positive effects on the company. The international commitment of all employees plays a central role in this. With flexible working hours, part-time or home office models and our own childcare facilities, we also support the compatibility of family and career. LANXESS is also committed to maternity leave, which is by no means a global standard, at its sites outside Europe and to introducing or expanding country-specific concepts.By the end of the 2019 financial year, the proportion of women at the first level below the Management Board was 20.9 percent, and 25.1 percent at the second management level.
We also have an exciting Girls' Day program to show our youngest employees that chemistry is no longer a man's business.
Wherever we operate, we are continuously working on energy efficiency solutions - and building energy efficiency networks is a very effective way to accomplish that. An Energy Efficiency Network consists of eight to fifteen companies and jointly identifies opportunities to increase energy efficiency. Based on this analysis, each company and the network as a whole sets itself efficiency goals for the duration of its work. In Germany alone, these networks should help save 75 petajoules of primary energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 5 million tons.
Solar thermal power plants operators rely on the parabolic trough system and appreciate LANXESS’ thermostable and durable heat transfer medium Diphyl®. At the Arenales power plant in Andalusia, Spain, for example, parabolic mirrors bundle the sun's rays onto an absorber tube in which about 2,200 metric tons of Diphyl® circulate. The heated medium creates steam through a heat exchanger, which then generates environmentally-friendly electricity for around 50,000 households via a steam turbine.
Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all.
We also think it is more important than ever in the chemical industry to assume responsibility for decent working conditions – both in our own operations and in throughout our supply chain.
We express this commitment through various partnerships and memberships: LANXESS is a signatory to the UN Global Compact, the world's largest initiative for responsible corporate governance, and is committed to the labor standards of the International Labor Organization. In addition, we are committed to ensuring that human rights are respected in all our markets at all times. The health and safety of our employees is a top priority for LANXESS, as evidenced by the steadily declining million-hour working rate*.
*Number of accidents per million working hours from the first day of absence in relation to all employees at all sites.
For example, the construction industry utilizes flame-retardant additives to prevent fires spreading throughout buildings - and thus protect our infrastructure.
Following the acquisition of the U.S. chemical company Chemtura, LANXESS is one of the leading suppliers of additives. For example, our flame retardants Firemaster® and Emerald Innovation® support the trend toward energy-efficient construction. As additives in insulating materials, they are highly-effective and provide lasting protection against fire damage.
Hundreds of thousands of people have fled to Germany in recent years, fleeing war and political persecution. LANXESS and its employees have been active in this area, thereby helping to reduce inequality.
At the time, the Group provided a total of EUR 400,000 for selected projects at the sites to open up opportunities for a better future for those seeking protection: In Krefeld, a used mobile home was converted into a mobile advice centre for single refugee women. And in Leverkusen, LANXESS financed the so-called "Com-Box", in which people of all ages and educational backgrounds can learn the German language independently. In addition to the financial support, LANXESS employees who were involved in established aid organizations were able to take up to eight days off to work for refugees on site.
One trend in urban development that LANXESS products are helping to shape is the coloring of concrete. Whether buildings, bridges, squares or entire streets - iron oxide pigments from LANXESS not only give them color, but also provide long-term protection from abrasion and weather.
LANXESS products also help to make monuments and landmarks more resistant: for example, France's most famous landmark - the Eiffel Tower in Paris. To protect the steel structure, it is regularly repainted with several coats of paint. The special coating with Bayferrox® pigments gives the prestige building in Paris its characteristic color - the so-called "Eiffel Tower Brown.”
Since decades, the chemical industry is engaged in the optimization of complex production systems including raw material and energy use. However, the industry will have to rethink well established processes to move from a linear take-make-use-dispose approach to a circular economy. As a leading chemical company, we believe that the Circular Economy is about more than simply recycling - it is about transforming the entire value system to achieve a sustainable and carbon-neutral society. And it is one main LANXESS is working with partners on exploring innovation and circular solutions.
>>Circular Economy at LANXESS
We are a member of the ISCC initiative (International Sustainability and Carbon Certification). This initiative has set itself the goal of establishing the global introduction and further development of a sustainability standard that covers the entire value chain from raw material to OEM or brand owner. In addition, our involvement in the "Factor 10" initiative within the WBCSD (World Business Council for Sustainable Development) serves the goal of achieving a circular economy. To achieve this, the eco-efficiency of materials must improve by more than a factor of 10. This insight gave rise to the "Factor10" initiative of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) - and LANXESS is part of it together with more than 30 companies from more than 15 industries and countries. Factor10 produces metrics, tools and novel insights that enable circular transitions.
LANXESS is working with partners to research innovative methods for chemical recycling. This includes, for example, the "Polystyrene Loop" project. This novel process enables polystyrene insulation foams containing flame retardants to be completely recycled from demolition waste. In this process, not only the styrene from the polymer is recycled, but also the bromine contained in the flame retardant. The quality of the recycled polymer is the same as the original material. The recovered bromine can also be reused for the production of sustainable flame retardants.
LANXESS subsidiary Bond-Laminates is currently developing a new product range for its thermoplastics with embedded continuous reinforcing fibers (Tepex®). Half of the matrix of the new semi-finished products consists of recyclates obtained from the reprocessing of reusable polycarbonate water bottles. The values for flexural strength and stiffness correspond to or even exceed those of new products already on the market.
LANXESS HAS AN AMBITIOUS CLIMATE TARGET
By 2040 we want to become climate neutral. We have developed a clear strategy for this and have already launched the first major projects. With this new goal, we are building on our previous successful commitment to climate protection.
The Paris climate agreement provides for limiting the rise in the average global temperature to a maximum of two degrees Celsius in order to reduce the damage to people and the environment. The sooner we act, the more room for manoeuvre there is. That is why LANXESS is committed to this climate goal and accepts its responsibility. Since our establishment in 2004, we have halved our emissions - from 6.5 million tons of CO2 equivalents to 3.2 million tons. Now we are taking the second step: By 2040, the Group wants to become climate-neutral and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions from the current level of around 3.2 million metric tons of CO2. By 2030, LANXESS aims to reduce its emissions by 50 percent compared with today to around 1.6 million metric tons of CO2.
Climate neutrality means
- drastically reducing emissions from the company's own sources,
- purchase very low emission or climate neutral energy,
- thus reducing emissions from 3.2 million tonnes to less than 300,000 tonnes by 2040, and
- to neutralise these residual emissions by means of compensation measures.
Plankton in the oceans produces between 50-80% of the oxygen in our atmosphere through photosynthesis. Oceans compensate for extreme temperature fluctuations on Earth through their ability to absorb large amounts of heat. And their currents influence the climate on all continents. LANXESS is also working to protect the oceans and coasts implementing measures like the "No Pellets Loss" project as part of the "Operation Clean Sweep." This program of the Plastics Europe umbrella organization is intended to promote responsible handling of plastic granules, which can enter the marine environment at various points along the production chain if they’re not handled properly. To prevent this, we have launched the internal "No Pellet Emission" project. The aim of the project is to permanently prevent the escape of plastic pellets - even in very small quantities - and protect the oceans from pollution.
At the same time, wood is also a natural raw material that must be protected from weatherization - like sun and rain, heat and cold, as well as fungi and insects. That is why we offer active ingredients for all wood protection applications that are known for their strength and quality. In the industrial pressure vessel process, for example, these active ingredients are injected deep into the wood against wood-damaging organisms. This leads to a high durability. LANXESS Preventol® brand preservatives also protect wood coatings, emulsion paints, varnishes and plasters from harmful and discoloring organisms. And the longer a carport, terrace or garden fence is used, the less raw material wood is consumed.
At LANXESS, this is a basic requirement and expectation for all of our global business activities - defined in our own “Code for integrity and compliance at LANXESS.” The Code covers topics such as anti-corruption, social responsibility, safety and environmental protection, as well as other required guidelines – all of which are monitored regularly for compliance internally and externally. Exhibitions, workshops, exchange events, awards ceremonies and industrial theaters are designed to anchor our corporate values among our employees: for sustainable development at all levels.
Taxes are a key element that enables governments and maintains social structures. While tax legislation and enforcement are state tasks, companies and their employees also play an important role as taxpayers. We believe that responsible tax management is an integral part of sustainable business in a robust and well-functioning society. We see the fulfilment of tax obligations as our commitment to a well-functioning society.
LANXESS conducts intensive dialogues with various stakeholders to discuss relevant issues openly and constructively and to reconcile ecology and economy.
The most important partners are customers, employees, capital market representatives, suppliers, neighbors at the Group's sites, politicians and non-governmental organizations. We are involved in powerful global networks, such as the UN Global Compact, and pool our expertise in sustainable development. We also regularly invite relevant stakeholders to participate in impactful roundtable discussions.
In January 2020, LANXESS joined the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).
The WBCSD is a global organization, led by company boards, that is committed to accelerating change towards a more sustainable world. At the core of the network are six work programmes, e.g. on climate and energy or environmental services, which aim to achieve the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The approximately 200 member companies of the WBCSD represent 19 million employees and sales of 8.5 trillion US dollars.