Sustainability Report 2019/2020

Creating tomorrow’s solutions

Management Structures

Wacker Chemie AG’s four-member Executive Board oversees the Group’s strategies, resources, infrastructure and organizational structure. Dr. Christian Hartel is the Board’s President and CEO. The remaining Board members are Dr. Tobias Ohler, Auguste Willems and Angela Wörl.

An Executive Board Meeting is WACKER’s highest decision-making authority. Below the Executive Board, there are various committees whose membership spans several organizational sectors and legal entities. These committees ensure that corporate strategies are implemented groupwide.

Coordinating Sustainability at WACKER

Coordinating Sustainability at WACKER (graphic)

Coordinating Sustainability at WACKER

Committees/Departmental Meetings with Executive Board Involvement

Executive Board Meeting

Corporate Leadership Team

Corporate EHS1 Meeting

EHS Strategy Meeting

Health Promotion Steering Committee

Group Innovation Meeting

Consortium Day2

WOS3 Conference

Raw Material Conference

Sustainability Council

Human Rights Committee

Corporate Departments/Other

Corporate Sustainability

Human Resources

Research & Development

Executive Personnel


Group Compliance Officer

Regional Compliance Officers

Group Coordinator for the Environment

Group Coordinator for Health

Group Coordinator for Safety

Group Coordinator for Product Safety

Group Coordinator for Dangerous Goods

Group Coordinator for Export Controls

Legal Officers and Representatives

Sustainability Coordinators

IMS4 Coordinators

Divisional R&D Units

1 Environment Health Safety

2 Research and Development

3 WACKER Operating System

4 Integrated Management System

The Corporate Leadership Team (CLT) discusses strategically important topics, analyzes possible trends affecting markets and our competitors, and discusses key topics not directly connected with day-to-day business. The CLT comprises the entire Executive Board, business-division presidents and corporate-department heads.

The main forums for environment, health, safety (EHS) and product safety (PS) are the annual Corporate Environment, Health & Safety Meetings and EHS Strategy Meetings, led by the Executive Board member responsible for EHS & PS. Personnel policies are dealt with monthly by the HR Strategy Group while employee health is addressed once a year by the Health Promotion Steering Committee – both are chaired by WACKER’s personnel director.

The Raw Materials Conference and the WOS (Wacker Operating System) Conference focus on the Group’s productivity projects and goals and are led by the Executive Board member responsible for Corporate Engineering. The Group Innovation Meeting and  the Consortium Day cover innovation strategies and projects.

Environmental, health and safety officers meet for an international EHS & PS Conference once a year. They exchange experiences and discuss the progress made regarding sustainability topics of groupwide significance.

The regional focus of sustainability management in 2019 was Europe. Our sites at Jena, Halle, Holla, León, Plzeň and Stetten underwent health and safety audits. In addition, environmental aspects were examined at Holla, Plzeň and Stetten. The focus in 2020 was on Asia; due to the pandemic, this relied more heavily on remote audits using digital means of communication.

Sustainability Strategy

The Executive Board has convened a Sustainability Council to monitor and coordinate the sustainability strategy. Its members, who are drawn from the business divisions and corporate departments, rate the company’s sustainability performance. The Sustainability Council coordinates interdepartmental measures and reviews the progress made by the program. The Corporate Sustainability team oversees the implementation of WACKER’s voluntary commitments under Responsible Care® and the UN Global Compact and coordinates our sustainability activities worldwide.

The WACKER Sustainable Solutions program helps us anchor sustainability-related aspects even more firmly in our business models.

WACKER Sustainable Solutions aims to:

  • Promote and expand our existing sustainable business fields
  • Establish new sustainable business areas
  • Identify and minimize sustainability-related risks to our business portfolio at an early stage

Respect for Human Rights

Respect for human rights remains an important concern in society. We are committed to ensuring that our business activities do not violate or have any adverse impact on human rights. 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. We do not use physical violence, mental intimidation or any other form of abuse.

In this area, we follow the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the ILO Core Labor Standards, and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. In the period under review, we continued to implement the requirements of Germany’s National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights.

Our Human Rights Committee is tasked with evaluating potential impacts on human rights at WACKER and throughout the supply chain. It is also responsible for checking existing management approaches in terms of mechanisms that fulfill a protective and monitoring function, as well as for identifying weak points and meeting the need for information. The committee meets at least four times a year and comprises experts in sustainable development, compliance, law, human resources, social sciences, procurement, logistics and sales, as well as human rights specialists. It reviews the results of audits and assessments and, where necessary, takes action to achieve improvements. No direct violations of human rights became known during the reporting period.

One of the issues for which our Executive Board is responsible is CSR, which makes it responsible for human rights as well – an issue also covered by the Sustainability Council under its leadership. The president and CEO signs our statements on the UK’s Modern Slavery Act, as well as our UN Global Compact Progress Report. As part of the Together for Sustainability (TfS) initiative, we involve our supply chain in requirements relating to human rights. We have also signed the German Diversity Charter (website mainly German-language only).

External Assessments

WACKER participates in surveys of the chemical sector on climate change and water security as part of the sustainability assessments conducted by Carbon Disclosure Projects (CDP). Our score in the 2020 Climate Change Report was a B, as it had been the year before (on a scale from A to D, representing the levels Leadership (A), Management (B), Awareness (C) and Disclosure (D)). In 2020, we scored a B in the CDP’s Water Security Report. This achievement rests on detailed process analyses and systematic data collection (previous year: B–). Registered CDP users can download the details.

Our 2020 ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) rating from ISS-oekom was a B–, which corresponds to Prime Status. Our greenhouse gas emissions reduction strategy and the energy efficiency measures we took to optimize our production processes during this reporting period received positive marks.

Sustainalytics rated our environmental management system as “Best Practice” in 2020. Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) gave our 2020 sustainability performance a rating of BB, with special honors going to our reduced emissions during the reporting period and to our Group CO2 reduction goal.

Audits & Assessments

WACKER conducts social audits on the Sedex platform and meets the SMETA (Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit) standard. External auditors inspected the following WACKER sites: Jandira, Brazil; Léon, Spain; Nanjing and Zhangjiagang, China; and Burghausen and Nünchritz, Germany.

A TfS (Together for Sustainability) audit was conducted at the Burghausen site during the period under review. In its 2020 reassessment, EcoVadis awarded the WACKER Group its Platinum Recognition Level. The company’s rating rose from 72 to 75 points. It now ranks among the top 1% of the companies assessed.