WACKER sees itself as a corporate citizen – and corporate citizenship begins with a good relationship with one’s neighbors. For WACKER that means being open about what goes on behind the plant gates. With hotlines and central contact persons available, residents living near our sites around the world can turn to us with their concerns and receive fast, clear answers to their questions. We inform the public about our sites through environmental reports and other publications, and through open houses and events such as our environmental fair at Burghausen and our annual neighborhood discussions at Nünchritz. WACKER continued its open-door policy during the period under review, as illustrated by the following examples:
- Hosting its first-ever open house in 2009, WACKER’s Zhangjiagang site in China opened its doors to some 400 visitors, who toured the plant and its facilities. WACKER organized this day in cooperation with a group of other chemical companies. One year earlier, the members of this group had signed what was called the “Responsible Care® Beijing Manifesto.” In this declaration, a total of 24 chemical firms had committed themselves to holding China’s first joint “open-to-public” day.
- Our Siltronic subsidiary in Freiberg (Saxony, Germany) attracted a lot of interest when it hosted a Science Night in 2009. Over a thousand visitors came to learn about silicon-wafer production from Siltronic’s employees. An HR team was on hand to answer questions about apprenticeships and internships.
- WACKER regularly hosts open houses for the families of employees. At the Burghausen site, for example, several WACKER POLYMERS facilities organized tours in 2009 for their employees’ families. 2010 saw Burghausen holding tours for the families of all WACKER employees.
We assess the effect of our business activities on our surroundings both on an ongoing basis and prior to making investment decisions. The assessment process includes analyses of parameters such as anticipated emissions, regional infrastructure and impacts on the local job market.
At the Nünchritz site, for instance, WACKER began work in 2008 on the construction of a new polysilicon plant that, by late 2011, will have created around 450 new jobs at an investment of roughly €800 million. We have kept area residents openly informed about the project ever since construction began. When four families living in the direct vicinity of the new plant were particularly affected by the construction work, WACKER purchased their homes – a move that allowed these families to relocate to other nearby areas. Our standards of open, transparent information have helped give the site a very good reputation with its neighbors. Despite the unavoidable inconveniences caused by the new construction, most residents of Nünchritz and the surrounding area have a positive attitude toward the WACKER plant expansion.
At its US site in Allentown (Pennsylvania), WACKER POLYMERS has established new ties with the local community. In 2010, the site began supporting a local charity – Habitat for Humanity of the Lehigh Valley – which builds (or purchases and renovates) homes for families living in poverty. Having already completed over 85 houses, the local Habitat chapter provides beneficiaries with favorable loans and the opportunity to take part in the construction or renovation work themselves. WACKER POLYMERS supports Habitat for Humanity by providing both funding and volunteers to help with painting, finishing and tiling.
Ordering goods and services from local suppliers is another important way in which WACKER supports neighboring communities. The following are just a few examples for the reporting period:
Adrian (Michigan, USA)
In 2010, 95 percent of the site’s suppliers were from the USA, with 28 percent coming from Michigan. The services rendered by these suppliers were valued at about $78 million (roughly €59 million).
Calvert City (Kentucky, USA)
31 percent of the site’s suppliers were headquartered in Kentucky, and just 2 percent of its vendors were from countries other than the United States. The total value of US deliveries totaled $125 million (roughly €94 million).
WACKER Greater China
During the 2009/2010 reporting period, our Chinese subsidiaries procured 84 percent of their technical goods and services within China. The value of these deliveries totaled RMB 842 million (€94 million).
The plant, located in the state of Saxony in eastern Germany, sourced 29 percent of its supplies and services from the surrounding region in 2010 (up from 23 percent in 2009). An additional 6 percent of its suppliers were from other eastern German states (2 percent in 2009). In total, these services were valued at roughly €224 million (€96 million in 2009). Some 1,500 construction engineers and fitters worked on Nünchritz’s new polysilicon facility. Roughly half were employed by firms in Saxony and the rest by Bavarian companies. Employees sent to Nünchritz stayed in accommodations and vacation rentals run by regional providers. Some 80 percent of the construction materials used were sourced in Saxony.
WACKER’s Burghausen site lies within ChemDelta Bavaria, a chemistry research and production triangle encompassing companies that, together, employ some 25,000 people and secure an additional 50,000 jobs in the region.