Sustainability Report 2019/2020

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Creating tomorrow’s solutions

Waste

In integrated production, we minimize waste by feeding byproducts back into the production loop. WACKER endeavors to avoid waste throughout a product’s entire life cycle. Groupwide, we record the volume of waste we generate according to the criteria “to be recycled” and “to be disposed of,” as well as “hazardous” and “non-hazardous.”

When it comes to solid waste, we prioritize prevention over recycling over disposal. We see it as one of our ongoing tasks to identify new ways of suitably recycling materials within and outside our sites. The Nünchritz site has achieved a recycling rate of over 98 percent since 2010.

It is very important to us that waste is recycled, treated and disposed of in an environmentally compatible and legally compliant manner. To this end, we monitor the disposal companies that we work with for recycling and disposal with regular audits and assess them according to four criteria:

  • Quantity of disposed materials
  • Size of the service provider
  • Potential of disposed materials to cause environmental damage
  • Disposal costs

We complete systematic checklists for our reports when we visit disposal agents. Our German sites can exchange information about external disposal companies via our internal Environmental Information System (EIS).

Waste

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

t

 

2020

 

2019

 

2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

 

200,160

 

175,870

 

182,750

Disposed of

 

88,880

 

64,370

 

49,690

Recycled

 

111,280

 

111,500

 

133,060

Hazardous

 

96,350

 

71,390

 

77,070

Non-hazardous

 

103,810

 

104,480

 

105,680

Solid waste fell groupwide by 4 percent in 2019, with the volume of construction waste, for example, declining substantially. Increased output at the León site in Spain added to the volume of non-hazardous waste requiring disposal. Solid waste rose in 2020 by 14 percent, due largely to the disposal of mineral waste generated as part of an expansion project at our site in Holla, Norway.

Changes in production-related waste streams reflect trends in production-capacity utilization. Operational processes in 2020 were affected by occurrences related to the pandemic. Examples included more frequent startups and shutdowns, fluctuating utilization of production capacity, postponement of maintenance phases and limited shift-staffing options.

Preventing Waste – Recycling Materials

The Burghausen site’s Waste Consulting unit provides information on how to dispose of materials properly and on recycling options. Special disposal of up to 500 kg of waste that is not routinely generated can be registered – via the company’s intranet – with the site’s own waste incinerator, the waste-disposal center or Waste Consulting.

We maintain a chemicals-exchange database. Burghausen site employees can use it to identify surplus substances, either in opened packaging drums, or in their original container. Thus the database provides a practical way of reusing materials that are no longer needed. For larger material volumes, our business divisions can avail themselves of an online portal to advertise unused materials groupwide to avoid disposal.

Corporate Engineering maintains a used goods exchange database for replacement parts that are no longer needed, making them available across sites. These options then appear in our purchasing system for searches encompassing multiple manufacturers.

Initiative for Recycling Release Liners

We collaborate with leading label manufacturers in the CELAB (Circular Economy for Self-Adhesive Labels) initiative for recycling release liners. The aim of the program is to collect and recycle the release coatings and liners that remain after labels are removed from their backings. Under its brand name DEHESIVE®, WACKER manufactures silicone release agents that are used to coat such release paper. We have successfully tested the recycling processes as part of a pilot project at our Burghausen site. A paper manufacturer removes the silicone coating from the collected material and reuses the high-quality cellulose fibers. Also involved in recycling release liners are our Munich-based Consortium R&D facility and the team from DRAWIN Vertriebs-GmbH, a company belonging to the WACKER Group that supplies high-quality specialty silicones from their site in Riemerling, near Munich.