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 two examples:

  • WACKER participated in the German chemical industry's nationwide open house in 2011, the International Year of Chemistry. Under the slogan, “A glimpse into our world,” some 20,000 visitors to the Burghausen, Freiberg and Cologne sites spent a day at the company looking behind the scenes and learning about the world of chemistry through plant tours, experiment demonstrations and product presentations. 2011 was proclaimed the International Year of Chemistry by the General Assembly of the United Nations to highlight the accomplishments of chemistry and its contribution to the well-being of humanity.

A Look Behind the Scenes

Blick hinter die Kulissen (Foto)

15,000 visitors attended the open house in Burghausen on a beautiful late summer’s day. The site buses took visitors on 90 tours to nine different WACKER facilities – from the WACKER ACADEMY training center to the powder plant and on to our wafer manufacturer, Siltronic. On the big central stage, a lively program was hosted by a well-known local radio DJ. Complementing the program of music were interesting interviews with members of WACKER’s Executive Board on the current development of the site and on topics such as transportation infrastructure, energy production, sustainability and relations with the local community.

  • In 2012, WACKER’s site in Nanjing (China) collaborated with other companies located in the Nanjing Chemical Industry Park to organize an open house. About 400 visitors toured the plant, where they were shown the various facilities.

We assess the effects 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, the regional infrastructure and impacts on the local job market.

WACKER’s new hyperpure polysilicon production facilities at its Nünchritz site officially went into operation in April 2012. Overall, we have invested some €900 million in the facilities and created more than 500 new jobs. The Nünchritz plant was founded as a chemical site in 1900 and became part of the WACKER Group in 1998. Meanwhile, approximately €1.5 billion has been invested in the plant, making it one of the world’s largest and most modern production sites for silicones and hyperpure polysilicon. More than 1,400 people currently work at WACKER Nünchritz. We have kept area residents openly informed about the expansion project ever since construction of the new facilities began in 2008. 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 construction program, most residents of Nünchritz and the surrounding area had a positive attitude toward the WACKER plant’s expansion.

WACKER POLYMERS in Allentown (Pennsylvania, USA) has been cooperating with Habitat for Humanity of the Lehigh Valley since 2010. This non-profit organization renovates or builds inexpensive houses that are sold to needy families. They benefit from loans at favorable interest rates. In turn, these loans are transferred to a fund that is used to build further Habitat houses. WACKER POLYMERS supports Habitat for Humanity by providing both funding and volunteers to help with painting, finishing and tiling.

During the period under review, WACKER’s SILMIX® subsidiary partnered with a local workshop for the disabled. This subsidiary needed help in meeting demand peaks during the production and packaging of silicone earplugs, as well as the processing of related orders. The California Disability Services Association (CDSA) honored the company for its commitment with the “Excellence in Employment Award 2012.”

Disabled Individuals Provide Perfect Service

Behinderte bieten perfekten Service (Foto)

In 2012, a workshop for the disabled started to help WACKER’s SILMIX® subsidiary in providing on-time, perfect service even during periods of high demand. SILMIX® produces specialty silicone rubber compounds in California and at other locations. These compounds form the basis for earplugs, which SILMIX® markets worldwide. “Every so often, there are demand peaks,” explains Kim Liberato, head of SILMIX® California. These peaks are now met long-term by over 300 disabled persons from the Pomona Valley Workshop (PVW), a local charitable institution. It supports people who, despite suffering from autism, Down’s syndrome and other developmental disabilities, are willing to tackle simple assembly and packaging tasks precisely and efficiently, and are capable of doing so. A joint project between SILMIX® and PVW saw the construction of a production facility where disabled workers now make and package swimmers’ earplugs. This business model is a win-win situation for all concerned: SILMIX® no longer has to worry about service bottlenecks and the PVW workers have a job that makes them proud and contented.

Every year, Wacker Metroark Chemicals Pvt. Ltd., based near Kolkata (India), distributes mosquito nets to local families enabling them to protect themselves against malaria and other diseases. In the period under review, the joint venture offered additional assistance to the local community by donating solar lamps to villagers and getting two villages connected to the electricity grid. What’s more, Wacker Metroark Chemicals Pvt. Ltd. funded medical checkups and eye tests for local residents.

Dr. Peter von Zumbusch, former president of WACKER Greater China, was honored with the “Magnolia Memorial Award 2012” bestowed by the Shanghai Municipality Government in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the region’s economic and social development. That same year, Ki-Hong Cho, Wacker Chemicals Korea’s Ulsan plant manager, was distinguished with an award for his contribution to chemical-industry development in Ulsan and South Korea by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy in Seoul.

Procuring goods and services from local suppliers is another important way in which WACKER supports neighboring communities. We purchase over 90 percent of our technical goods and services in the country for which they are intended. Our two biggest sites are good examples of this regional supply chain system:

Burghausen (Bavaria, Germany)

In 2012, the site procured 22 percent (valued at over €160 million) of its technical goods and services from local suppliers. 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.

Nünchritz (Saxony, Germany)

The plant, located in the state of Saxony in eastern Germany, sourced 24 percent of its supplies and services from the surrounding region in 2012 (up from 21 percent in 2011). An additional 4 percent of its suppliers were from other eastern German states (4 percent in 2011). In total, these services from Saxony were valued at roughly €107 million (€92 million in 2011).

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