Sustainability Report 2019/2020

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Creating tomorrow’s solutions

Employees

Status of Goals from 2017/2018

Raise the proportion of women at WACKER’s first level of management to at least 16 percent and to at least 18 percent at the second level.

Corporate entity: Groupwide
Deadline: 2019
Implementation status: The target value for the Executive Board (zero; deadline for implementation: June 30, 2022) has been achieved. The company exceeded its target values for the two management levels below the Executive Board (first management level: 16 percent; second management level: 18 percent) by the deadline set (December 31, 2019).

Bring global occupational-safety processes and standards into alignment with the new international ISO 45001 standard.

Corporate entity: Groupwide
Deadline: 2019
Implementation status: Goal achieved

Workplace Safety

Reduce the accident rate (number of accidents with missed workdays per million hours worked) to at least 1.7.

Corporate entity: Groupwide
Deadline: 2020
Implementation status: At 3.4 accidents per million hours worked, the accident rate in 2019 was higher year over year and, at 3.0, remained higher than the target figure in 2020 as well. We are not satisfied with this accident rate and are continuing our efforts as regards workplace safety to achieve the goal of 2.0 we set in 2019. We do not compare reportable accidents anymore, given that the trade associations no longer use this metric when calculating their insurance premiums.

Reduce chemical accidents with missed workdays to zero and decrease chemical accidents with the potential for missed workdays by 50 percent compared to 2015.

Corporate entity: Groupwide
Deadline: 2020
Implementation status: After eight chemical accidents involving missed workdays in 2019, we registered a substantially lower number of such accidents in 2020, namely three. We thus failed in both years to achieve our very ambitious goal of zero accidents. Although the total number of chemical accidents potentially resulting in missed workdays was lower, we have yet to achieve our target of a reduction of 50 percent.

Health Protection

Health Culture 2020 project: WACKER aims to evolve its corporate health culture in order to improve staff health and keep employees fit for work.

Corporate entity: WACKER Germany
Deadline: Implementation from 2016 onward; sustainable improvement by 2020
Implementation status: Goal achieved. The project – with its four focal points: exercise, nutrition, state of health and prevention – continued during the reporting period. Employees were able to avail themselves of programs relevant to each of these topics.

New Goals

Raise the proportion of women at WACKER’s first level of management to 21 percent and to 20 percent at the second level.

Corporate entity: Groupwide
Deadline: 2022

Workplace Safety

Reduce the accident rate (number of accidents with missed workdays per million hours worked) to at least 2.0.

Corporate entity: Groupwide 
Deadline: 2021

Reduce the accident rate (number of accidents with missed workdays per million hours worked) to 1.75 or less.

Corporate entity: Groupwide
Deadline: 2025

Reduce the number of chemical accidents with missed workdays to zero.

Corporate entity: Groupwide
Deadline: recurring annual goal

Health Protection

No recognized occupational diseases; reduce the detrimental effects on health of poor ergonomics and hazardous substances.

Corporate entity: Groupwide
Deadline: continuously from 2021 onward

Comply with statutory and corporate health protection requirements; develop corresponding work instructions; no audit findings; where necessary, site audits; return to regular healthcare operations after the pandemic.

Corporate entity: Groupwide
Deadline: continuously from 2021 onward

Maintain employees’ work and employment capabilities; effectively manage absences and restrictions on deployment; encourage a health-conscious leadership style. WACKER in Germany: Continue evolving workplace health promotion offerings.

Corporate entity: Groupwide
Deadline: continuously from 2021 onward

Revise the Group’s regulations for pandemics to include experience gained during the coronavirus pandemic.

Corporate entity: Groupwide
Deadline: continuously from 2021 onward

Outlook

At the 2021 Annual Shareholders’ Meeting, Angela Wörl became the first woman to be appointed to the Executive Board of Wacker Chemie AG, taking on the post of Personnel Director.

Our voluntary program – part of Shape the Future, our comprehensive restructuring and efficiency program – was successful. As a consequence, the number of employees will be lower in 2021. The focus of personnel reductions is on indirect functions, with process optimization and efficiency gains meaning less personnel is required.

In 2020, the company and employee representatives agreed not only a reconciliation of interests, the voluntary program and a Group redundancy program, but also addenda to existing company agreements. In connection with the Shape the Future program, the addenda regulate further elements of the agreements on phased early retirement and post-apprenticeship employment.

The temporary supplements concerning phased early retirement take in two further age groups and grant people in indirect functions access to this retirement option. For a limited period, the age groups in question will be able to phase gradually into retirement.

Temporary supplements to the company agreement, which will run until at least December 31, 2023, provide for apprentices, if suitable, to receive a job offer after graduating. Going forward, WACKER intends to intensify its information campaign about apprenticeships and initial training on social media. Since 2021, the company has provided insights into vocational training, dual-study programs and WACKER in everyday life products on its Instagram account for training (@wacker_ausbildung) and is also planning to hold online events for school students and graduates.

The Kompass 2021 training program already contains a large amount of virtual-format content, and Personnel Development is further expanding the company’s digital-learning offerings.

WACKER intends to future-proof and harmonize the company pension plan for future pension entitlements and, to this end, has commenced negotiations with the employee representatives. The goal is the fair treatment of all WACKER employees in Germany by creating a uniform system. Vested benefits will remain in place, but a new model will be developed for future pension entitlements.

Workplace Safety

With our comprehensive safety culture, we have continued to promote workplace safety, even under the exceptional conditions caused by the pandemic. We are developing more and more web-based safety training formats.

Health Protection

Earlier this year, the company began distributing Covid self-swabbing tests to employees in Germany and launched a campaign to inform them about the advantages of vaccination. A vaccination center was set up at the Burghausen plant, where site physicians can vaccinate employees against Covid in accordance with the statutory or official regulations. Some 3,400 employees at the Burghausen site received their first vaccine shot between May and June 2021, with the administration of second shots starting in June. Health Services is organizing vaccine campaigns at the Nünchritz and Munich sites as well. Pandemic management continues to be a priority, especially in terms of getting as many employees vaccinated as possible. Health Services is constantly putting into practice the experience it has gained during the pandemic and updating its groupwide directive for preventing and managing pandemics.

Health Services continues to perform its core tasks – e.g. support with occupational medicine issues, emergency services and rehabilitation – to the customary high standard and, wherever possible, will carry out any preventive health checks or training sessions that have had to be canceled because of the pandemic at a later date. We are optimizing the ergonomics of our production areas and evolving our company health-promotion programs. In this context, Health Services is taking account of the digital transformation of work processes and the higher number of employees working from home or remotely. Health Services launched virtual exercise breaks in the spring of 2021, inviting staff working in Germany to participate in fitness classes that relax the body and strengthen the musculoskeletal system.