Introduction by the President & CEO
At WACKER, entrepreneurial success is not based solely on key financial indicators. It also depends on the answer to the question: How sustainably are we performing? Accordingly, sustainable management is one of our five strategic goals. In everything we do, we consider the future. We aim to bring economic, ecological and social factors into equilibrium.
Sustainability has long been central to WACKER’s business model, especially with regard to generating, storing and transporting environmentally friendly energy. Ultrapure polysilicon for the solar industry is an important product in our portfolio. We are convinced that solar power has a great future because it is:
- One of the most cost-efficient and environmentally friendly energy sources on earth
- An unlimited resource
- An important energy source for more and more countries across the globe, with the market growing by 22 percent in 2013 and 13 percent in 2014.
WACKER not only offers solutions for generating and storing energy. It also consumes a great deal of energy. Consequently, energy efficiency is a decisive factor in advancing our competitiveness. We are constantly on the lookout for ways of making more efficient use of raw materials and reducing our energy consumption. Our integrated production system gives us a tremendous advantage, with its closed material and energy loops. We take the by-products of one production step and use them as the starting material for other chemical processes. The same applies to waste heat, which we take from one process and use for later production steps. One example of our energy-efficient production is that we reduced our specific energy consumption in our polysilicon production by a third between 2005 and 2013, despite increased volumes. The Bavarian government honored us with its 2014 Energy Award in recognition of this achievement.
The key engine of WACKER’s success is its workforce. To sustain our success in the future, we are committed as a company to maintaining our employees’ performance and to remaining an attractive employer. To this end, we established a new, globally valid talent-management process in 2013. It enables us to identify our employees’ competencies early on and develop their potential, so that WACKER can fill important positions with highly-qualified in-house candidates in the medium and long term.
We are also adopting future-oriented working-time models. Employees now have access to a variety of leave options and part-time models for personal situations, such as providing care for family members with serious health conditions, pursuing further education or taking a sabbatical. As a result, employees can better harmonize their private plans with their careers. WACKER, in turn, can retain dedicated employees.
Internationalization is an additional WACKER success factor. Our company is active across the globe, with people from over 60 nations working for WACKER. We are increasingly taking account of this in managerial appointments. Our policy in recent years has been to fill regional leadership positions with local applicants. And we want to continue promoting this diversity. Similarly, we intend to increase the number of women in technical and leadership positions.
WACKER achieved a turnaround as regards workplace safety, cutting the number of occupational accidents per million hours worked by more than 40 percent across the Group within two years. Our safety program, WACKER Safety Plus, was bearing fruit. We do not intend to stop here. For us, success is an incentive to become even better.
The same applies to our supply chain. This year we joined the “Together for Sustainability” (TfS), whose goal is for its member chemical companies to exercise global responsibility when purchasing goods and services and to improve the ecological and social standards of their suppliers.
Following a challenging 2013, we surpassed our goals in 2014 and achieved good annual figures. We are particularly proud of this result, as it was in our centennial year. The virtues that enabled WACKER to succeed during its first 100 years are entrepreneurial spirit and the courage to reinvent itself. And we intend to remain committed to these values in promoting sustainable business practices in the years ahead.
Munich, Germany – July 2015
Dr. Rudolf Staudigl,
President & CEO of Wacker Chemie AG