Social Responsibility

WACKER sees itself as a corporate citizen – as part of the society in which we live and work. That is why we practice social responsibility, especially in the regions where our sites are located.

Social Issues

Neighbors: corporate citizenship is based on good relations with municipalities and neighbors. We speak openly about what happens behind our factory gates. Across the world, our sites address the public’s questions. Local residents who turn to us receive prompt, clear answers to their concerns. That’s why we operate local hotlines and have central contact persons in place.

In our environmental reports and brochures, we publish information about our sites. We hold open houses and other outreach events, including WACKER’s Knowledge Forum, Burghausen’s Environment Information Days and Nünchritz’s annual community meeting. In September 2018, three WACKER sites took part in a Germany-wide open house, where around 200 chemical and pharmaceutical companies opened their gates to the public. WACKER Burghausen alone welcomed some 20,000 site neighbors, interested citizens, and employees plus their families. At WACKER Nünchritz, the visitor count was 5,000. In Munich, some 500 toured our Consortium research facility, which had joined the open house for the first time for its 100th anniversary at its Munich address.

At many of our sites, we offer local communities free services, including health and eye checkups in India and a Household Hazardous Waste Day at Adrian (USA), where neighbors bring in household chemicals that are not allowed in trash cans.

Schools and universities: WACKER wants to get children and young people interested in technology and the natural sciences. Being a chemical company, we will need outstanding scientists in the future. To find them, we pursue multiple strategies. In 2018, we sponsored and organized the Young Scientists competition in Bavaria for the eleventh time.

WACKER supports progressive teaching methods and modern approaches to school management. We are one of the original members of the Bavarian Educational Pact, a foundation with 143 companies and the state of Bavaria as members. Its goal is to modernize the Bavarian educational system.

WACKER places great emphasis on fostering young scientific talent and maintaining close contact with universities. Our researchers are frequently invited to hold presentations and lectures at universities. University groups visit our locations to gain insights into work at an industrial company. Students can write their bachelor’s, master’s and doctor’s theses at WACKER, or work as interns or take vacation jobs.

We started conferring our WACKER Award in 1987. The award-winner in 2018 was Dr. Herbert W. Roesky, Emeritus Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at the Georg-August University of Göttingen. Presented during the ninth European Days, the research prize recognizes Dr. Roesky’s groundbreaking work in the field of low-valence silicon chemistry.

Respect for Human Rights

Respect for human rights, and the elimination of human rights abuses, are fundamental to our activities. We are explicitly committed to the UN Global Compact’s Ten Principles and, thus, to protecting human rights and avoiding complicity in human rights abuses. We condemn slavery and all other forms of forced or compulsory labor. In doing so, we follow the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the ILO Core Labor Standards and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. We are currently in the process of implementing the requirements of the National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights.

Our efforts focus not only on working conditions in our company, but also on human-rights compliance in the supply chain. We expect our suppliers to follow the principles of both the Global Compact and the Responsible Care® initiative. It is a requirement that is anchored in our General Terms and Conditions of Procurement. To check compliance, we conduct assessments and audits in line with the criteria of the Together for Sustainability initiative.

Preventing Corruption and Bribery

Our fundamental convictions also apply to corruption and bribery. Neither have any place in our business model. Our principles on this are contained in our Code of Conduct and all WACKER employees are required to follow them.

Training courses on compliance sensitize employees to specific risks and to the rules of conduct that apply at work. Since 2018, compliance courses have been mandatory groupwide for all WACKER employees. Such courses previously targeted only employees with external business contacts. Recently, a compliance course was launched for all industrial workers in production, workshops, laboratories and logistics.

WACKER’s business activities are predominantly in countries with a low or very low risk of corruption, according to the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) of Transparency International.

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WACKER Germany only


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Sustainable Supply-Chain Management

Since WACKER has production sites in Europe, the Americas and Asia, it procures goods and services from numerous countries. As a member of both the United Nations Global Compact and the chemical industry’s Responsible Care® initiative, we consider it vital to verify that our suppliers fulfill generally accepted sustainability principles. Issues that are potentially critical include working conditions, ethical standards, safety standards (especially for hazardous materials) and local-resource management (e. g. water use and energy consumption).

As verification is vital, WACKER joined the Together for Sustainability (TfS) initiative in January 2015. Launched by the chemical industry, this procurement initiative developed a process for auditing and assessing a supplier’s sustainability performance. Because results are standardized and accessible to all TfS members, the program is also attractive for suppliers.

The results of TfS audits and assessments are integral to our process of supplier evaluation. We discuss results with the supplier, especially if they are unsatisfactory, so that improvements are initiated. Reassessments or repeated audits are used to follow up on progress. Consistently poor results and lack of cooperation have consequences, and may ultimately lead to business relations being terminated. We take a risk-based approach when assessing our suppliers.

Our aim is to use TfS to evaluate the sustainability performance of all our key suppliers. Since joining TfS, we have made good progress along this path. Already, over 65 percent of our key suppliers, and over 80 percent of the procurement volume they account for, are covered by TfS. Overall, more than 60 percent of our global procurement volume in 2018 was covered by TfS – for raw materials and energy, the figure is even around 80 percent. A monthly management report tracks how successfully TfS goals are met.

Further, we expect our suppliers to use a management system that meets the requirements of ISO 9001 (quality) or comparable specifications such as GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice). In the case of industrial suppliers, we also require certification to ISO 14001 (environmental protection).

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.
After oxygen, silicon is the most common element in the earth’s crust. In nature, it occurs without exception in the form of compounds, chiefly silicon dioxide and silicates. Silicon is obtained through energy-intensive reaction of quartz sand with carbon and is the most important raw material in the electronics industry.

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