Companies can only be successful if they have society’s trust. Consequently, we take our social responsibilities seriously, especially toward communities near our sites. WACKER strongly supports scientific and technical education for young people. After all, we will need committed scientists in the future to maintain our competitiveness as a research-oriented company. In 2009, for example, we assumed sponsorship of the Dresden region’s round of Saxony’s state-wide “Young Scientist” competition.
The WACKER Silicone Award is one of silicon chemistry’s most prestigious international accolades. 2009 was the thirteenth time this award had been presented. The €10,000 prize went to Prof. Ulrich Schubert from the Technical University of Vienna. His work concerning, for example, metal-silicon complexes, and his material sciences studies on the sol-gel process, are very important economically due to their practical relevance.
The second pillar of WACKER’s social effort consists of projects to help children and young people. Since 2007, WACKER has supported a German religious charity, “Die Arche” (The Ark), which helps children from socially disadvantaged families in several German cities. This charity gives children what they lack at home – daily hot meals and tutoring, as well as games and outings. In 2009, WACKER once again donated €100,000 to this charity. The Munich branch of “Die Arche” now has the funds to address the problems of 12 to 19-year-olds, too. It expects at least 100 teenagers to come when its new extension opens in spring 2010.
Our disaster aid relief fund (WACKER HILFSFONDS) supported two projects in 2009. With a donation of €112,000, it helped finance reconstruction of an elementary school in Fujia Village (central China). The school was severely damaged by the devastating Sichuan earthquake in May 2008. Now earthquake-proof, the school building reopened for its 300 students in December 2009. In Sri Lanka, WACKER’s relief fund has been helping tsunami victims since 2005. WACKER employees’ donations have been used in Kosgoda to rebuild schoolhouses and to finance the instruction of four classes. Although the relief fund is assuming the costs until 2011, WACKER has already pledged to extend its support. The current goal is to fund students until they receive their diplomas. To do so, WACKER launched a donation campaign at its global sites in December 2009.
In 2007, a group of chemical companies (including WACKER) founded the ChemDelta Bavaria initiative. Their aim is to boost the southeast Bavarian chemical triangle’s competitiveness. WACKER’s largest site, Burghausen, is a cornerstone of this region. ChemDelta Bavaria is committed to improvements, such as better infrastructure – including the expansion of the railroad network and the A 94 (Munich – Passau) autobahn. In 2009, the initiative held an exhibition at the Bavarian Parliament to drum up political support for the chemical triangle.