Sustainable management in dialogue with all stakeholders, joint solutions for sustainable development – these goals are an official part of AlzChem’s company strategy. The regular objective evaluation by an international auditing company and the company’s participation in the industry initiative “Together for Sustainability” shows just how seriously the company takes its responsibility towards the environment and society.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) describes the willingness of companies to integrate environmental and social concerns into their business activities beyond the legal framework and to assume responsibility for their influence on society. Sustainable action pursues the same goals with a special focus on conserving resources. Dr. Georg Weichselbaumer, member of the Management Board of AlzChem, also sees this as an economic consequence: “In the long term, a company’s success is only possible through corporate social responsibility and acting sustainably.”
As a founding member of the first Umweltpaktes (environmental agreement) of Bavaria in 1995, AlzChem has been keeping an eye on this issue for many years: “We are a traditional company with over one hundred years of history, rooted in our region and connected to the people here. It goes without saying that we want to assume responsibility,” emphasizes Weichselbaumer. For this reason, the company regularly undergoes CSR performance monitoring once a year by the experts from Ecovadis. In accordance with international CSR standards such as ISO 26000 and the United Nations Global Compact, performance in the areas of the environment, labor and human rights, ethics and sustainable procurement is checked and evaluated using a specially developed methodology.
The Ecovadis audits confirm AlzChem’s responsible approach to people and the environment: As in the previous year, the company was awarded a gold medal at the end of 2018, placing it in the top group of companies in the production of chemical basic substances assessed by Ecovadis – more precisely in the top three percent. “We are very proud of this achievement,” says Weichselbaumer. “But we cannot and do not want to rest on our laurels: there is always room for improvement, and circumstances and requirements are constantly changing. We will definitely stay on the ball.”
In addition, AlzChem has been participating in the industry initiative “Together for Sustainability” (TfS) for several years. Founded in 2011 by six global chemical companies, the initiative focuses on promoting sustainability in their supply chains. The initiative ensures transparency, reduces effort and saves time: The evaluation of trading partners, which are usually audited at the request of an individual member, is also available as a scorecard to all other members of the initiative. “This offers an additional advantage of being visible to several companies at the same time as a proven trustworthy, sustainable supplier,” Weichselbaumer explains. “Of course, you can also reject a TfS request,” he adds. “But we consider the joint efforts of the industry with regard to sustainability to be trend-setting and advocate transparency on this issue. We don’t have to hide either – on the contrary, AlzChem is very well positioned here.” This is confirmed once again by the audit conducted in May 2019: With 193 out of a possible 200 points, AlzChem ranks high – an outstanding result, according to the feedback from the initiative.
Weichselbaumer also takes a pragmatic view of these topics: “In the medium and long term, sustainable action will definitely help us make progress. If we aren’t prepared to do so, it will cost us much more in the future than we have to invest today.” In addition, environmental protection often pays for itself very quickly, he adds: “If we use less energy, for example, this not only conserves resources and reduces emissions, but also clearly saves costs. That’s why the company is constantly reviewing its options here and consistently implementing feasible improvements – whether in recycling of packaging, retrofitting plants with finer adjustable controllers or selecting suppliers for whom environmental, social and ethical aspects have long played a role. “It’s a bit like the topic of safety: You have to deal with it, otherwise you might be responsible for irreparable damage. But if you take a close look at things with the help of experts and use common sense, you will have gained a lot.”