The topic of sustainability is becoming increasingly important worldwide and is also a very high priority for AlzChem. In harmony with people and the environment, we want to be a regional company that takes people’s interests and concerns seriously, especially when it comes to climate protection. As part of our corporate strategy, sustainability serves as our guide to a successful future. Environmental protection and especially our CO2 footprint are an ongoing issue for AlzChem – and not only since only recently, as we have been active in this area very emphatically for many years. Our medium-term goal is to make our company CO2-neutral.
The three developments of climate change, population growth and increasing life expectancy are giving rise to new global challenges. AlzChem products offer attractive solutions for achieving the resulting social goals with a wide range of different applications. For example, efficient food production must be achieved in the context of population growth. Pharmaceutical raw materials and our creatine products can contribute to healthy aging as life expectancy increases.
AlzChem is facing up to the goal of sustainability arising from climate change in the field of renewable energies. The company has been EMAS-registered since 1997 and produces an annual environmental statement, which can be downloaded from the following link.
Quotes from Management Board Members
“We are increasingly focusing on sustainability. Our actions and products make an important contribution to society and the environment, for example in test kits for the detection of COVID-19 and antibodies, in feeding an ever-growing global population, and in reducing the amount of land needed for agriculture.”
Andreas Niedermaier, CEO of AlzChem Group AG
“On the product side, we are making targeted developments in sustainable topics. As a result, for example, we have new applications for our calcium cyanamide in agriculture that succeed in significantly reducing CO2 and methane emissions. Our new product Eminex® will be launched in September 2021.”
Dr. Georg Weichselbaumer, CSO of AlzChem Group AG
“We are constantly working on innovations to operate even more sustainably. The new nitrile production plant is one example. Here, AlzChem is once again relying on gas phase technology that has been permanently optimized by our own engineers and chemists and which sets the state of the art and benchmarks in terms of raw material yield and from an environmental perspective.”
Klaus Englmaier, COO of AlzChem Group AG
Sustainable Development Goals
The UN has set 17 goals for sustainable development to be achieved by 2030 in a cooperative partnership between the worlds of politics, business and society. AlzChem is making an important contribution to achieving these goals through its actions and products. You can find more information by clicking on the blue buttons below.
Environmental protection and sustainability are currently the dominant topics in economic, health and environmental policy. The AlzChem Group is committed to constantly improving environmental protection. Environmental protection expenditures amounted to nearly EUR 19.2 million (previous year: EUR 18.2 million) in 2020.
The current environmental program with the defined goals and associated measures for each site can be found in the environmental statement (AlzChem Group AG homepage) that is published annually. The main objectives of environmental protection are the reduction of energy consumption, the use and development of green forms of energy, the reduction and prevention of waste, the protection of water, as well as emission and noise control. The reduction of energy consumption and the medium-term greenhouse gas neutrality are in line with the climate protection goals of the European Union, the ruling of the Federal Constitutional Court at the end of April and the rulings of the European Court of Justice on climate protection. The 2030 climate target and the European Parliament’s climate law of June 24, 2021, which has been tightened once again, also provide an important guideline.
In order to achieve these goals, the German production companies of the AlzChem Group have introduced various management systems in the areas of environmental, quality and energy management. These are part of the Integrated Management System (IMS), the advantage of which is that, compared with several isolated management systems, it allows leaner and more efficient management by exploiting synergies. The Integrated Management System of the AlzChem Group is described in the so-called IMS Manual, among other things. It contains relevant processes and regulations as well as responsibilities and tasks.
We therefore regularly monitor, document and evaluate the effects of our activities on the environment by determining environment-related indicators. The presentation of environmental performance in the context of sustainability indicators is intended to provide a quantitative overview of the most important trends for AlzChem. The use of flue gas (CO2) in the production process enables us to reduce the amount of CO2 emitted annually by 50,000 metric tons. Furthermore, over the past three years, we have been able to increase the amount of energy from heat recovery. In addition to the amount of CO2 used, this makes a positive contribution to climate protection. Furthermore, dust emissions into the air have been kept at a very low level overall. NOX emissions have also been significantly reduced in recent years through various improvements in the area of fuel quality. Wherever possible, production-specific waste is recycled back into the production process or utilized internally for another purpose.
Essentially, we base our assessment of environmental performance on the requirements of EMAS and ISO 14001. In addition to numerous internal audits, external monitoring audits also play an important role as part of the recertification or revalidation process by an external monitoring company. AlzChem Group companies also conduct supplier and customer audits. In addition to quality issues, environmental aspects are also considered here.
The authorities also regularly check compliance with the requirements from approval notices and environmental law in the operation of our facilities. In order to be able to carry out these reviews as efficiently as possible for both the monitoring authority and the AlzChem Group, a project was developed in cooperation with the authorities and with other companies in the Upper Bavarian chemical triangle, the model of “cooperative plant monitoring.”
Our subsidiary Nordic Carbide AB, based in Sundsvall, Sweden, is subject to Swedish environmental legislation. The company publishes an annual environmental statement, which is submitted to the local authorities.
Water is a resource that is essential to human life. We are committed to the responsible use of water, want to use water as sparingly as possible and thus further reduce our water consumption in the future. A good water supply is one of the most important prerequisites for smooth production processes, as water is one of the most important auxiliary materials for the chemical industry.
The soil conditions at our Trostberg, Hart, Schalchen and Waldkraiburg sites are characterized by thick, very porous gravel layers which contain significant groundwater reserves. This geological feature allows us to extract all the cooling, process and drinking water we need from our own groundwater wells.
The water management of the German AlzChem sites implemented enables monitoring of the wastewater, which mainly consists of cooling water and rainwater. Only a small fraction of the wastewater (approx. 0.5%) has to be cleaned in a wastewater treatment plant.
The cooling water supply of Nordic Carbide AB is ensured by the local site operator at the mouth of the Ljungan River with an average water flow of 200 m3/s. A maximum of 0.5 m3/s is required for carbide production, so that the environmental impact can be described as very low.
Avoiding and reducing waste is important to us: The total volume of waste from our sites varied compared with previous years. In 2020, this mainly resulted from waste generated during construction and demolition work and from the product range of the multi-purpose plants. Production-specific waste represents the largest share, while non-production-specific waste relates to all other waste. As far as possible, production-specific waste is recycled in internal production processes. Environmental targets in the area of waste help to avoid waste or to reduce the amount of waste.
The annual emissions report of the exhaust gas incineration plant (AGV) for the Trostberg Chemical Park was published in May 2021. AlzChem thus informs the public about the proper operation of the AGV. As in previous years, the prescribed limit values were continuously monitored in 2020. There were no exceedances of the daily mean values. By operating the AGV, AlzChem ensures the reliable disposal of waste gases and chemical waters at the Trostberg Chemical Park and thus avoids unnecessary transports of hazardous waste.
Energy management system
AlzChem, as an energy-intensive company, strives to further optimize its handling of the resource energy. Energy management involves systematically carrying out energetic assessments of all operational areas, the energy performance indicators, energy targets and action plans for the continuous improvement of energy-related performance.
For more detailed and site-specific information as well as the corresponding goals of our environmental program, we refer you to the environmental statement published annually.
We are committed to our employees and, in addition to offering an attractive remuneration system, we also offer flexible working hours and job security. Social interaction and collegial action are part of our corporate philosophy. Furthermore, we support our employees in shaping their own professional development. Our principles of conduct – reliability, fairness, trust and responsibility – are the benchmark for cooperation within the company, and in dealing with customers and suppliers.
By signing an Equality Charter, AlzChem ensures, among other things, a secure livelihood, life-phase-oriented working hours, equal career development opportunities and equal pay for women and men.
We pursue the goal of attracting, retaining and motivating qualified employees. Furthermore, we want to create a sustainable and stable environment for our employees. We pay particular attention to the satisfaction and commitment of our employees. The level of fluctuation and the average length of service give us an indication of how satisfied our employees actually are. These indicators were 3.5% in 2020 (2019: 3.5%) and 18.3 years (2019: 18.4 years). This is a top score in a Germany-wide comparison in terms of fluctuation (16%) and length of service (11.5 years).
(Source: IWD – Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft and Benchmarking Center Europe, January 21, 2021).
In order to achieve our goals, we have adopted many measures that we will briefly discuss below.
Flexible working hours
We offer family-friendly and employee-friendly working hours: Within a fixed time frame, our employees can largely determine the start and end of work themselves and thus flexibly arrange their working hours. Working time flexibility is also intended to contribute to greater employee intrinsic motivation and higher company loyalty by increasing personal responsibility.
In addition to the tariff conditions, we offer remuneration based on personal performance and position or responsibility. Moreover, our employees receive profit sharing that is dependent on the company’s success. Company and social benefits are an integral part of our remuneration system.
Functional evaluation, which evaluates operational tasks with comparable work assignments, is also intended to ensure that a consistent and fair cross-comparison evaluation policy is in place across all sites for all employees, including with respect to gender diversification. Each employee of our German sites is included in our Group accident insurance, which covers both the company and the private sector in the event of a claim. As an additional benefit since July 1, 2021, CareFlex Chemie supplements the benefits of the statutory long-term care insurance for AlzChem employees – without a prior health check and at no additional payment.
The well-being of our employees is crucial to our mutual success and the resulting improved competitiveness of our company. In addition to professional, intellectual and social skills, their health is the most valuable asset our employees bring to the company. Therefore, the company provides a variety of offers that give them the opportunity to put their own health program together individually, from nutrition and exercise to healthcare.
Medical service (company doctor and paramedic)
We offer our employees comprehensive medical care at our sites in Trostberg and Hart. Occupational and emergency medicine includes all measures to prevent work-related illnesses or occupational diseases, to maintain health at the workplace and to diagnose and treat accidents and acute illnesses. During the COVID-19 pandemic, our employees were able to be tested for the virus free of charge. Our medical service also offered fast and uncomplicated vaccinations.
Operational integration management
Returning to work after being ill is often made easy. In some cases, however, continuing to work to the same extent as before isn’t possible right away. In cooperation with the integration team, measures are being developed that continue to make it possible to provide employment that is suitable for handicapped employees. The measures are varied and can include changes in the content of an activity, personnel support or technical changes in the workplace, for example.
We expressly welcome the ideas that employees come up with. We always have an open ear for their commitment. We encourage our employees to continuously improve our company by sharing new ideas and suggestions for improvement or optimization so that we can respond to changes in operating procedures and new challenges in a timely and practical manner. Our employees’ suggestions for improvement support us in our efforts to prevent accidents and improve environmental protection and sustainability. In addition, active employees contribute to the technical progress of our company through their commitment. Ultimately, this benefits the entire company, whose profitability and prosperity are increased.
Company pension scheme
Our company pension scheme is implemented as a modular system. In the various building blocks, both the employer and the employee pay in monthly amounts that are available to the employee after retirement. Furthermore, we offer our employees a long-term time account, to which they can contribute both remuneration and holidays or retirement. Our employees thus benefit from AlzChem’s working conditions, which manifest themselves in increased financial leeway in old age and more planning security in retirement.
The Demography Fund is a tailor-made instrument for flexibly meeting the challenges of demographic change and working life. It is not an ordinary cash fund managed by a financial services provider. Rather, it is a company-created “pot” in which the demography amounts paid by the employer for the tariff employees are collected. By December 31 of the respective calendar year at the latest, the employer provides a demography amount of EUR 750 for each employee covered by collective bargaining agreements. Increases in collective bargaining agreements have no effect on the amount of the demography amount. AlzChem is expected to provide a total demographic amount of approximately EUR 950 thousand for 2021. The funds from this pot are used in accordance with a voluntary company agreement to finance one or more instruments for shaping demographic change.
In order to be able to continue to maintain our position in our field of activity successfully, we are dependent on a future-oriented, qualified workforce. This is an important prerequisite for the secure future of our company. We take the individual needs of our employees very seriously and thus lay the foundation for filling key positions from within our own ranks. We therefore offer our employees professional training and continuing education in every occupational area, either on the job or in specialized institutions. Our human resources development is focused on identifying and developing potential and talent in the company at an early stage. A wide range of modules in the areas of management development, qualification, knowledge management, health management and corporate culture round off our personnel development concept.
AlzChem is one of the biggest trainers in the region. As part of practical training in the respective specialist departments, we offer our trainees a state-of-the-art training laboratory and ideal training workshops as well as varied commercial training. The high quality of our training is also recognized by international corporations – so much that they have their young employees trained by us.
In order to continue to be perceived as an attractive employer, AlzChem again invited interested school children to this year’s Training Day, which was held as an online meeting due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The effort paid off. On September 1, 2020, 46 young people started their training at the Trostberg Chemical Park in commercial, metalworking, electrical engineering and chemical fields. As in previous years, the trainee ratio in 2020 at the Trostberg Chemical Park is again at a high level of 10%. The average in the chemical industry in Bavaria is 4.5%. We are pleased that we were able to offer a nearly normal start to working life in the past turbulent year as well.
Employee key figures
|Governance and compliance||Share of women in the Supervisory Board||25%||25%||25%|
|Share of women in the Management Board||0%||0%||0%|
|Average length of service in years||19,0||18,4||18,3|
|Number of training days per employee||1,21||1,42||0,49|
|Share of women in management positions2||10%||11%||11%|
1 Calculation of fluctuation rate: departures in the reporting period/average number of employees in the reporting period*100
2 Only above-tariff area
3 Calculation of training ratio: number of trainees/number of employees on the reporting date*100
Our company has set itself the goal of actively shaping social life at its locations. The AlzChem Group is therefore very active in the public sphere. It supports children’s and youth projects as well as school projects and is a member of the non-profit association for the promotion of education and entrepreneurship in Germany, the so-called Wissensfabrik (Knowledge Factory – Companies for Germany; Homepage (January 21, 2021)). AlzChem is also a member of the Trostberg Business Support Group, which has set itself the task of supporting education, art, local history, music and other cultural activities, as well as promoting sports and social institutions in Trostberg.
As a company with regional roots, we assume social responsibility, especially in the direct vicinity of our sites. In 2020, the AlzChem Group continued to be involved in numerous donation and sponsorship projects. The funds provided were used to support numerous projects and measures focusing on social, sports, cultural and educational activities.
AlzChem promotes education
Taking time for young people is a tradition and a priority at AlzChem. As a chemical company with a passion, we are happy to pass on our enthusiasm. AlzChem Group AG sees its commitment to young people as an investment in both its own future and that of the region. We feel a strong bond with the region and our homeland and, in the spirit of good neighborliness, we want to offer children and young people career prospects. It is a lasting concern of ours to convey the fascination of chemistry/science to them at an early age and in this way also to show them the diverse career prospects that the AlzChem Group offers. The AlzChem education initiative not only includes financial contributions to schools in the catchment area of our sites, but also cooperation in the area of scientific learning content.
With projects such as “NaWi – Natural science, how does that work?” we arouse the curiosity of even the very youngest children. As sponsoring partners, AlzChem and BASF have concluded cooperation agreements with kindergartens and elementary schools in the region through an educational partnership. These receive experimental kits and teacher scripts with instructions and background information. Our NaWi team members pass on their knowledge to the teachers at the participating schools. Teachers and students become acquainted with experiments and gain confidence in using the materials. The event is recognized as a teacher training course. The teachers are responsible for implementation. The NaWi experiments become an integral part of the physical education at elementary schools. After about six months, the NaWi team members and the teachers meet to exchange results and experiences from the project and to evaluate learning outcomes and the teaching methodology.
The projects that celebrated their 10th anniversary in 2017 are a successful and proven activity and cooperation of AlzChem Group AG, BASF in Trostberg and the Wissensfabrik. “Wissensfabrik – Unternehmen für Deutschland” (Knowledge Factory – Companies for Germany) is an open platform for all companies, educational institutions and initiatives that promote knowledge and education as the key to more economic growth. Wissensfabrik and we have a common goal: to make the next generation, and thus the location Germany, fit for the future. As a cooperative partner, we see it as our responsibility to provide entrepreneurial impetus to schools and universities, and to support and accompany policymakers in their educational mission.
The term compliance refers to the entirety of all measures to be observed that constitute the compliance of a company and its employees with regard to the legal requirements and prohibitions. In addition, the conformity of the entrepreneurial business is to be ensured with all social guidelines and core values. These include, in particular, the observance of human rights and the fight against corruption and bribery.
The AlzChem Group is also committed to these goals. No employee, job applicant or business partner is allowed to be disadvantaged or preferred on grounds of race or ethnicity, gender, religion or beliefs, disability, age or sexual identity. Any kind of harassment is strictly prohibited and will not be tolerated by our company. Values such as human dignity, tolerance and respect are fundamental values of an open, pluralistic society. They are enshrined in the German Basic Law and consequently guide our entrepreneurial thinking and actions as well as our corporate culture.
In order to achieve these goals, the AlzChem Group has established a compliance system that serves to prevent or limit the damage, detect and terminate infringements and fulfill statutory obligations.
AlzChem Group AG has joined the Code of Conduct of the Federal Association for Materials Management, Purchasing and Logistics (BME). The company is committed to stopping bribery and adhering to ethical principles towards customers, competitors and business partners. All business actions and decisions must be in accordance with applicable law.
Furthermore, AlzChem Group AG has implemented its own guidelines, which summarize the corporate policy principles and standards. All employees must be familiar with these principles, and appropriate action must be internalized. They provide orientation with regard to the basic legal and ethical obligations of AlzChem employees and give them the security they need to act properly on the job.
To strengthen the compliance function, AlzChem has long since set up a whistleblower system with an external reporting office (“Whistleblower Hotline,” e-mail: email@example.com, phone: 089/29097-498). Heussen Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH, an independent law firm based in Munich, is available to AlzChem Group employees, but also to business partners and customers. In addition, anyone with a compliance issue can contact the company’s Compliance Officer. The attorneys at Heussen Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH are subject to a duty of confidentiality in accordance with the professional regulations applicable to attorneys and will treat the identity of the employee and the information provided confidentially, to the extent desired and legally possible, also in relation to the AlzChem Group company. Contacting the "Whistleblower Hotline" or the Compliance Officer will not result in any disadvantages for the employees concerned, unless they themselves have violated laws or the corporate guidelines.
The company firmly believes that the integrity of all actions is an essential prerequisite for a sustainably successful business. As a globally active Group, AlzChem is subject to numerous national and supranational legal regulations – the regulations, laws and directives of the EU, but also the laws of other countries for example. All business matters and processes must therefore be designed in such a way that they comply with all applicable laws and other binding regulations in whose area of application AlzChem conducts its business activities. Our employees are prohibited from issuing any instructions in the course of their business that deviate from this or from our corporate guidelines.
Consequently, any active or passive bribery or acceptance of benefits, or any attempt to do so, is strictly prohibited. AlzChem’s actions are intended to avoid even the appearance that employees are seeking to influence their business partners through extraneous means. For this reason, gifts, favors, hospitality or other benefits may only be granted or accepted in the AlzChem Group if they do not exceed the scope of business customs in the region concerned, do not have an unreasonably high value and are within the scope of what is permitted by law or employment law.
The AlzChem Group is committed to fair competition for the benefit of its own customers and its other stakeholders. In addition, AlzChem respects the independence of public officials. For this reason, any form of corruption, including so-called acceleration payments, is strictly prohibited at the AlzChem Group. Here, all relevant laws as well as our corporate guidelines also form the basis for anti-corruption regulations.
AlzChem treats all business partners in a legally impeccable and fair manner. Suppliers and service providers are selected by the purchasing organization in an orderly process according to objective and comprehensible criteria. Contracts are awarded on the basis of competitive bids wherever possible and reasonable. When selecting suppliers, AlzChem ensures that they act in accordance with the principles of the company guidelines and compliance rules. Incentives such as performance-related commissions, discounts, price reductions or free deliveries of goods must at all times take into account the various legal regulations. Therefore, business incentives in the AlzChem Group must be documented comprehensively and correctly. In order to prevent prohibited actions, payment for deliveries and services is made directly to the respective contractual partner. Payment in cash is prohibited, except in minor cases.
In all other respects, reference is made to the Corporate Governance Report.
The protection of people from adverse effects on their safety and health caused by products, business and production processes, as well as the responsible handling of the environment and natural resources are elementary components of responsible corporate action for AlzChem Group AG. Starting with compliance with laws and agreements as a basis, we work to continuously improve our performance and management system in this area.
As a company in the Trostberg chemical park, we not only want to be economically successful, but also a good partner, employer, trainer and neighbor. Based on this self-image, we also assume responsibility for the safety and protection of our environment and our surrounding area. For over 100 years, we have been operating plants at the Trostberg and Hart sites that are subject to the so-called Major Accidents Ordinance. This ordinance regulates the protection of people and the environment from the consequences of possible incidents in technical plants, in which hazardous substances could possibly escape. A wide range of our own safety initiatives, a well-trained plant fire brigade and the extensive safety precautions in our plants and facilities, which have been optimized in cooperation with the authorities, help to minimize dangers for our employees and those who live near our sites. As a company of “ChemDelta Bavaria” (joint initiative of the companies in the Bavarian chemical triangle), we provide information on safety measures and the proper behavior in the event of incidents in a current brochure. The information it contains can be viewed at any time on the homepage of AlzChem Group AG. Thus, these aspects are also transparent.
The carbide plant in Sweden falls within the scope of the European SEVESO III Directive and is therefore subject to the relevant Swedish laws, which are comparable to the German Major Accidents Ordinance.
Occupational and plant safety/industrial safety measures
AlzChem has implemented an occupational health and safety management system in accordance with OHRIS (Occupational Health and Risk Management System). The long-standing certification was extended by three years in 2018 by the government of Upper Bavaria.
All companies located at the sites operated by AlzChem participate in joint safety work in seven working committees. The Safety Steering Committee is the key authority in safety and health work at the German sites of AlzChem Group AG. The Safety Steering Committee, which usually meets one a month, coordinates the activities of the safety and health program.
Safety audits are an important instrument of our safety management system for avoiding unsafe actions. Their goal is to motivate all employees to act safely on a regular basis and to identify and remedy misconduct and safety deficiencies. We also encourage our employees to report so-called near-accidents. The technical term for a near-accident is “near miss.” There is great learning potential in near miss cases, as they can help us prevent hazards. Problems and accidents can thus be avoided.
Another important pillar of occupational health and safety is the various types of risk assessment. This effort is reflected in the corresponding key figures for occupational safety: The 1,000-employee rate – i.e. the number of reportable occupational accidents per 1,000 full-time employees – was 7.1 at the German sites in 2020 as a whole, far below the average of 19.03 cited by the German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV). Nevertheless, we want to reduce this rate even further. (Source: DGUV homepage, January 21, 2021)
In addition to the 1,000-man ratio, the AlzChem Group determines its own safety performance using the KSUND key figure. KSUND is a key figure for safety and accidents involving external medical care and takes into account not only our own employees, but also employees under the AÜG and contractor employees. The KSUND rate is 14.7 for the full year 2020, which is below the previous year’s figure and below the target of 15.3.
In the reporting year 2020, a key figure on plant safety was collected for the first time throughout the company: the so-called “PSIR – Process Safety Incident Rate” according to the standard of the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI). PSI events are defined as the unintentional leakage of chemical substances or energies above defined threshold values from their initial enclosure, such as pipelines, pumps, tanks or drums. The only incidents considered in these potentially safety- and environmentally-relevant incidents are those that occur during a process engineering operation. The PSI rate (PSIR) represents the number of PSI events during a year in relation to 1,000,000 working hours. The PSI rate for AlzChem in 2020 was 2.4. Starting in 2021, the PSIR will be used at AlzChem as a control parameter for continuous and sustainable improvement in plant safety.
Regular inspections by the supervisory authorities, such as the incident inspection at the Trostberg plant, took place in 2020. In addition, new processes as well as process and plant modifications are examined for their hazard potential. A systematic approach to emergency and incident management has been developed in the event of an alarm. It is good practice that many exercises have again been carried out in recent years in order to be prepared and be able to act in the event of an incident.
Our asset-based information security risk management not only takes into account the technical infrastructure, but effectively involves the entire organization, including human behavior and immaterial damage classes.
In order to achieve the optimal security level for the AlzChem Group, for example, protective zones have been defined for physical security, information has been classified using a so-called “confidentiality matrix” and procedural instructions have been used to achieve an equal understanding of the security process in practice.
Regular information on specific occasions and mandatory training courses ensure that the topic of information security remains in the minds of employees.
The responsible specialist department monitors the implementation of the compliance requirements of the legislator and the AlzChem Group. During the reporting period, the internal control system was expanded and corresponding processes automated.
The operational security – especially of critical IT systems – is constantly being improved through optimized system management. In light of the continuously growing threat situation, we regularly review our protective measures, implement necessary countermeasures on a risk-based basis and continually review them.
AlzChem complies with the legal requirements in the field of environmental protection. In addition to the notices of approval, the Federal Immission Control Act with its ordinances (e.g. the Hazardous Incident Ordinance, 17th BImSchV), the Water Resources Act, the Wastewater Ordinance, the Ordinance on Installations for Handling Substances Hazardous to Water (VAwS) and various laws and ordinances on waste law and nature conservation law set important standards. In order to implement compliance with the legal requirements and to monitor the rules and regulations, AlzChem uses the so-called dialogue system “Law in Operation,” which is updated regularly. In this system, all regulations are checked for relevance and assigned to the respective departments. Changes are entered into the database in monthly updates and made available to the affected departments for information purposes.
A key feature of the AlzChem Group is its vertical integration along the calcium carbide/calcium cyanamide (NCN) chain. This means that most of the company’s products are based on the same starting materials, namely lime, coal and electricity. Many steps in the processing and refining of these starting materials are carried out by AlzChem itself. The integrated manufacturing system allows us to collect and purify the carbon monoxide produced during composite production and reuse it as a raw material for further chemical reactions. This significantly reduces emissions that are harmful to the climate during composite production.
Regenerative waste streams
The AlzChem Group is constantly striving to improve the recycling rate as well as the proportion of recycled materials. Where possible, we return production-specific waste to the production process, recycle internally or reprocess materials into a valuable new material. The following examples provide an insight into our efforts:
- The Hart site produces carbide furnace gas and KOKA granules as a by-product of carbide production. The gas is elaborately purified in several stages, then compressed and transported to the Trostberg and Schalchen sites via a long-distance gas pipeline, where it is used almost entirely as heating and synthesis gas. The KOKA granulate is marketed.
- Flue gases from energy generation are for the most part not emitted, but rather reused in production processes. This approach enables AlzChem to reduce the amount of CO2 emitted annually by approximately 50,000 tons.
- The use of process water in the various manufacturing processes necessarily leads to contaminated process wastewater. Contaminated process wastewater is recycled internally instead of fresh water (if possible in terms of quality and environmental compatibility). Furthermore, the wastewater is treated in the company’s own central wastewater treatment plant (ZABA). As a result, only a small residual amount of process water has to be disposed of as waste.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is increasingly demanded in the global supply chain. For this reason, AlzChem again underwent an independent CSR rating in 2020 through the globally active EcoVadis evaluation platform. This evaluation reviewed the company’s activities in the areas of environmental protection, working conditions and human rights, fair business practices and sustainable procurement. By receiving 68 out of 100 achievable points, AlzChem is well above the industry average and is among the top 4% of companies worldwide that have been audited by EcoVadis to date in this industry.
In the area of purchasing/supplier approval, we ensure that company-wide standards in the procurement of our raw materials are complied with. The procedures for purchasing and for raw material qualification are defined in a procedural instruction with clear responsibilities. Suppliers are audited based on clearly defined criteria; the frequency of audits depends on the importance of the raw material to the supply chain.
Also, as a member of the BME Compliance Initiative (Bundesverband Materialwirtschaft, Einkauf und Logistik e.V. – German Association for Supply Chain Management, Procurement and Logistics), we have committed ourselves to requiring all our suppliers to comply with the Code of Conduct laid down by this initiative and to ensuring this through regular audits.
AlzChem’s German production sites are located in Trostberg, Schalchen, Hart and Waldkraiburg. They are regulated by a very detailed body of legislation, the implementation of which we regularly review together with the local monitoring authorities. An analogous procedure also applies to our Swedish production site in Sundsvall.
Safety is one of the highest corporate objectives. A detailed safety assessment during the commissioning of plants or new processes is just as much a matter of course for us as safe plant operation, which is ensured, among other measures, by a preventive maintenance program and the continuous training of personnel.
AlzChem complies with all relevant chemical legislation of the EU and the Federal Republic of Germany, so that our products are manufactured and tested in accordance with the provisions of the EU Chemicals Regulation, or REACH for short.
Safety requirements for the use of our products are constantly updated and made available to users in our safety data sheets. We thus take our responsibility seriously and expect all our suppliers and contractors to act in the same way. Compliance with our criteria is checked permanently and regularly.
AlzChem has its own testing laboratories. The area is independent of production. The approval of our products is carried out by authorized laboratory managers of the Analytical division. The laboratories in Trostberg are also accredited to DIN EN ISO 17025 and GLP-certified. We take return samples from all production batches and store them under suitable conditions. The ISO 9001 certified quality management system ensures that customer requirements are systematically identified, evaluated and implemented in order to fully meet them.
Our German sites are certified in accordance with the standards ISO 9001, ISO 14001, EMAS, ISO 50001, ISO 27001 and OHRIS. The latter complies with the requirements of OHSAS 18001/ISO 45001. Our test laboratory in Trostberg is accredited to ISO 17025. The certificates mentioned can be viewed on the AlzChem Group AG homepage.