Muttenz, Switzerland – Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals, chose its inaugural Sustainability Dialog on September 2, 2015 to announced new company-wide commitments and latest milestones in its proactive sustainability strategy.These included a commitment to zero-deforestation, an increasing focus on value chain collaboration, and continuous improvement of product portfolio on all sustainability levels.
Hosted together with guest sustainability experts at the Clariant Innovation Center in Frankfurt, Germany, Clariant welcomed important stakeholders from customer industries, politics, NGOs and the media to its new event aimed at fostering open dialog and future cooperation.
“Only with specialty chemistry will we find new ways into a sustainable future,” commented CEO Hariolf Kottmann. He highlighted the strategic importance of sustainability within Clariant in realizing its aim to become one of the globally leading companies for specialty chemicals and to stand out through above-average value creation for all stakeholders. “We must create long-term value. And we can only achieve this through innovative strength and strict sustainable practices. It is the only way to establish a leading position in our businesses. We have therefore set up a clear sustainability strategy for the future.” Clariant’s major announcements at the event emphasized its commitment to the on-going process of anchoring sustainability in its strategy. These included:
- Commitment to sustainable sourcing of palm oil. Setting up of a zero-deforestation policy with focus on traceability across the value chain and obtaining Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) supply chain certification.
- Value chain collaboration: proactive encouragement of value chain collaboration with customers, suppliers and other third parties to improve Clariant’s sustainability and that of its customers.
- Replacement of heavy-metal based pigments in masterbatches and Chromium (VI) catalysts in the near future. Clariant underlined its commitment to phase out such products from its portfolio identified as non-sustainable.
The latest results of the company’s Portfolio Value Program were presented by Joachim Krüger, Senior Vice-President Corporate Sustainability and Regulatory Affairs department. The Portfolio Value Program is a systematic, in-depth screening process using 36 sustainability criteria in all three sustainability dimensions – social, environmental and economic – and on all aspects of a product life-cycle. The on-going screening process being implemented across the company identifies product groups for improvement through innovation, replacement or removal from the portfolio. All future innovations from Clariant will be screened against the criteria from the outset.
To date, Clariant has screened 84% of turnover of its portfolio against the criteria in order to steer future portfolio improvements. From this, 76 % of the product portfolio already fulfills Clariant’s sustainability definition. More than 60 products originating from all business areas have already been awarded Clariant’s EcoTain label. EcoTain® is assigned to those products which significantly exceed market sustainability standards, have best-in-class performance and contribute overall to the sustainability efforts of the company and of customers.
To demonstrate EcoTain® criteria in action, Christian Vang, Head of BU Industrial & Consumer Specialties (ICS), focused on the Personal Care sector and new EcoTain® recipient GlucoTain, its range of sugar-based co-surfactants for applications such as shampoos, shower gels and shaving foams. So far, 22 ICS products for Personal and Home Care have been awarded the EcoTain label. In the pipeline are 40 more nominations for crop solutions, industrial lubricants and personal care, with the screening process on-going until end of 2015.
The keynote presentation of Klaus Töpfer, Executive Director of the Institute of Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) and former director of the United Nations Environment Program, provided a key highlight in emphasizing the link between the specialty chemicals industry, stakeholders and wider society. He elaborated on sustainable development trends in the specialty chemicals industry and set a framework to larger societal context.
Christian Kohlpaintner, Member of the Executive Committee, Clariant, concluded: “Today we have explored sustainability from several different perspectives and provided stakeholders with greater insight on how Clariant is adapting its company culture and portfolio to support this vision for a more sustainable future. Our aim is to continue the dialog initiated today and foster collaboration among our stakeholders and across the value chain to ensure we continue to add value with sustainability.”