Sustainable Products

GRI 302-5

As one of our five corporate objectives, we emphasize sustainability in the product life cycle – from the raw material to its use by our customer:

Raw Materials

  • for that are not based on crude oil
  • Renewable sources possible
  • Sustainable procurement strategy


  • Designed to save energy and resources
  • Recycling within production

Products for the Industries of Tomorrow

  • Solar and wind
  • Building insulation
  • Electromobility

Creating Added Value for Our Customers

  • Product stewardship
  • Increase the sustainability of customer products

WACKER has a series of products that contribute to sustainability in areas that will be of global importance going forward, such as energy efficiency, urbanization and rising living standards.


The energy sources of the future are the sun, wind, water, biomass and geothermal power. WACKER product lines – including products in line with SDG 7 for affordable and clean energy – will help us use these resources efficiently.

We actively support climate-friendly mobility – whether in battery research or as a manufacturer of high-tech materials for electric vehicles. Specialty silicones can withstand the higher temperatures that arise in car engines which have been downsized to achieve better fuel efficiency. Carbon-fiber-reinforced plastics (CFRPs) with silicone-coated fibers are 80 percent lighter than steel. That makes them a key component in the automotive sector for extending the range of electric vehicles and reducing the fuel consumption of combustion engines.

We have developed highly transparent liquid silicones for lighting systems and support energy-efficient headlamp technologies that utilize LEDs and highly transparent grades of silicone rubber. The tremendous increases in LED performance over the last few years has meant that organic materials are no longer capable of withstanding the heat and light flux. That is why high-performance LEDs are being produced using heat- and light-resistant silicone-based encapsulation and lens materials. In this manner, LED components can now be manufactured in very large quantities with modest plant and process investment.

The generation of safe, clean power from wind also plays a central role at WACKER. Wind turbine blades consist of half-shells of composite materials that are bonded together, requiring the use of special high-impact modifiers for wind power generators. Thanks to its VENTOTEC® impact modifiers, WACKER now offers additives for hybrid products made of and organic polymers – additives that can make these kinds of adhesive layers lasting and secure.

WACKER is among the main suppliers worldwide of for the production of solar modules. In the reporting period, we continued to expand our production capacity for hyperpure polysilicon to meet increasing demand from the photovoltaic industry and to support the switch to renewable energy sources.

Urbanization and Construction

More than half of the world’s population now lives in cities. This creates new challenges for our communal life. We need infrastructure that conserves resources better, construction that is more intelligent, and materials that are lighter. As one of the world’s leading producers of construction chemicals, WACKER is contributing to the development of livable cities in keeping with both SDG 9 for industry, innovation and infrastructure and SDG 13 for climate action.

An example of considerable importance to cities in emerging markets suffering from water shortages is the use of waterproofing membranes based on binders to seal canals reliably and economically, thereby preventing water loss.

ETONIS® is an additive for pervious concrete in which the surface has pores that absorb liquid. The use of ETONIS® as a polymer modifier makes concrete structures last longer in that this additive protects them from mechanical stress and from freeze/thaw damage and road salt.

ETONIS® is also used in the construction of what are known as sponge cities, a concept gaining importance in countries such as China. This innovative road engineering technique plays an important role in preventing floods caused by heavy rainfall, especially in densely populated urban centers, where traditional concrete renders extensive, paved-over surfaces largely impermeable to water. When used in road surfaces, ETONIS® also helps reduce vehicle noise by five to eight decibels.

Dispersible Polymer Powders for Building Insulation

Saving energy – particularly in construction – is going to be an important field of endeavor throughout the world, as climate change will require insulating buildings from heat as well as cold. VINNAPAS® ensures that adhesive mortar sticks to both the wall and the insulation material in . ETICS or EIFS consists of a multilayered composite material in which the addition of a dispersible polymer powder yields a lasting, stable insulation system. The dispersible polymer powder improves both the adhesion and the impact strength in what is known as the embedding coat. Hydrophobizing VINNAPAS® polymer powders are especially effective in protecting the top coat from moisture. VINNAPAS® dispersible powders allow manufacturers to produce insulation boards comprising different materials, including renewable substances such as cork and wood-wool.

There is enormous potential for using ETICS/EIFS technology to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions over the long term. Heating or air-conditioning accounts for more than half of a building’s energy demand. In buildings that are insufficiently insulated, a large portion of this energy is lost through the exterior – an average loss of 25 percent for a free-standing, single-family home. In a ten-story apartment building, 40 percent of the heating energy is lost through exterior walls (data for Germany; (German-language version only)).

Around 20 to 30 percent of heating energy is lost through poorly insulated windows. ELASTOSIL® silicone rubber seals windows, is weather-resistant and withstands temperature fluctuations.

Dispersions for Environmentally Sound Paints

Applications for VINNAPAS® dispersions include their use as binders for interior-wall paints. Particularly eco-friendly dispersions are those made without substances that emit formaldehyde or -based surfactants (alkylphenol ethoxylates), and that contain just minute amounts of . More and more of our dispersions are made without any APEOs, plasticizers or solvents at all.

Dispersible Polymer Powders for Tile Adhesives, Flooring and Insulation Systems

Urban centers are booming worldwide. Wherever space gets tight, the buildings get taller, which puts new demands on materials. Dispersible polymer powders for tile adhesives and flooring systems help make it possible to coat untreated floors more quickly. This is because self-leveling flooring compounds cure more quickly and are ready for the next flooring layer sooner (wood, tiling or carpeting). Polymer-modified tile adhesives make it possible to install tiles of any type or size quickly and easily. Polymer modification also reduces the amount of material used, with little cement needed. Both applications produce few emissions and allow our customers to make environmentally friendly products in keeping with environmental standards such as EMICODE® EC1 Plus or Blue Angel.

Silicone Resins for Lasting Protection of Building Exteriors

SILRES® BS products protect exterior paints and plasters, making exteriors attractive for longer and better insulated, and thus improving their energy efficiency. Silicone resin emulsion paints (SREPs) are permeable to water vapor, which improves the indoor environment. A coat of high-quality silicone resin emulsion paint reduces heat loss from external walls by as much as 40 percent. Heat is lost faster from damp walls – the role of silicone resins is to help keep the walls dry. A SREP coating decreases heat demand by an average of 4.6 percent. The use of silicone resin emulsion paints and plasters extends renovation intervals for building exteriors by up to 25 years. Some listed buildings cannot be insulated with ETICS/EIFS technology, making silicone resin emulsion paints one of the few materials that will improve a building’s energy balance.

Rising Affluence

Affluence is on the rise almost all over the world, increasing expectations as regards housing, food, health and general convenience. WACKER is spearheading innovations to meet these expectations sustainably. We want growth in standards of living – particularly in emerging markets – to be supported by our energy-saving and resource-efficient products, such as polymers, for the paper and packaging industries, and , for foodstuffs.

Medical technology is another area in which we have launched a few products during the reporting period:

  • SILPURAN® 2122 and SILPURAN® 2117 are pressure-sensitive silicone gels that can be used for breathable, skin-compatible wound dressings.
  • We have also developed the WACKER process for Spectrila®, a microbial method for manufacturing biologics that opens up the possibility of cost-efficient production of a leukemia medication for children.
  • FOLDTEC®, our E. coli-based refolding technology, helps manufacturers produce highly pure pharmaceutical proteins without the use of antibiotics.

Renewable Raw Materials

Wood-plastic composites (WPCs) are composed of up to 75 percent wood fiber (sawdust, etc.) and a thermoplastic polymer such as polypropylene or high-density polyethylene (HDPE). WPCs can be molded into the desired form with modern plastic technology processes: extrusion, compacting, thermoforming, and injection and rotational molding. GENIOPLAST® PP is a WPC additive that substantially improves throughput, which in turn increases energy efficiency. Areas of application include floor coverings and automotive interior trims.

Conserving Water

DEHESIVE® SFX is a solvent-free silicone polymer that serves as a highly efficient coating material for label release liners and films. For pulp and paper manufacturing we offer PULPSIL® 968S, a silicone surfactant that improves pulp dewatering, thus reducing water consumption and evaporation costs, conserving energy in the process. Many people still wash their clothes by hand in Asia, especially in the key market of India. During the reporting period, we developed SILFOAM® single-rinse technology – anti-foaming agent in the detergent eliminates the need for more than one rinse step, which saves water.

General term used to describe compounds of organic molecules and silicon. According to their areas of application, silicones can be classified as fluids, resins or rubber grades. Silicones are characterized by a myriad of outstanding properties. Typical areas of application include construction, the electrical and electronics industries, shipping and transportation, textiles and paper coatings.
A polymer is a large molecule made up of smaller molecular units (monomers). It contains between 10,000 and 100,000 monomers. Polymers can be long or ball-shaped.
General term used to describe compounds of organic molecules and silicon. According to their areas of application, silicones can be classified as fluids, resins or rubber grades. Silicones are characterized by a myriad of outstanding properties. Typical areas of application include construction, the electrical and electronics industries, shipping and transportation, textiles and paper coatings.
Hyperpure polycrystalline silicon from WACKER POLYSILICON is used for manufacturing wafers for the electronics and solar industries. To produce it, metallurgical-grade silicon is converted into liquid trichlorosilane, highly distilled and deposited in hyperpure form at 1,000 °C.
WACKER’s brand name for dispersions, dispersible polymer powders, solid resins and their associated product solutions. VINNAPAS® dispersions and polymer powders are primarily used in the construction industry as polymeric binders, e.g. in tile adhesives, exterior insulation and finish systems (EIFS) / external thermal insulation composite systems (ETICS), self-leveling compounds, and plasters.
Dispersible Polymer Powders
Created by drying dispersions in spray or disc dryers. VINNAPAS® polymer powders from WACKER are recommended as binders in the construction industry, e.g. for tile adhesives, self-leveling compounds and repair mortars. The powders improve adhesion, cohesion, flexibility and flexural strength, as well as water-retention and processing properties.
Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems (EIFS) / External Thermal Insulation Composite Systems (ETICS)
Systems for thermally insulating buildings and thus for increasing energy efficiency. These systems have a multilayer structure: adhesive mortar, thermal insulating panels, embedding mortar, glass fiber mesh and finishing coat. VINNAPAS® polymer powders from WACKER POLYMERS ensure that the insulation material bonds firmly to the mortar and finish coat. As a result, the insulating system offers greater durability and much more resistance to weathering and wear.
A polymer is a large molecule made up of smaller molecular units (monomers). It contains between 10,000 and 100,000 monomers. Polymers can be long or ball-shaped.
Alkylphenol Ethoxylates (APEOs)
The primary biodegradability of nonionic alkylphenol ethoxylate (APEO) surfactants meets the demands imposed by environmental protection agencies. However, the intermediate products formed during biodegradation are relatively persistent and much more toxic to fish than are the surfactants themselves.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are gaseous and vaporous substances of organic origin that are present in the air. They include hydrocarbons, alcohols, aldehydes and organic acids. Solvents, liquid fuels and synthetic substances can be VOCs, and so can organic compounds originating from biological processes. High VOC concentrations can be irritating to the eyes, nose and throat and may cause headaches, dizziness and tiredness.
Cyclodextrins belong to the family of cyclic oligosaccharides (i.e. ring-shaped sugar molecules). They are able to encapsulate foreign substances such as fragrances and to release active ingredients at a controlled rate. Cyclodextrins are produced and marketed by WACKER BIOSOLUTIONS.