Sustainability Report 2019/2020

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Creating tomorrow’s solutions

Politics and NGOs

In accordance with our code of conduct, we are committed to responsibility and integrity – including in our dealings with political parties and non-governmental organizations.

We represent our political interests in a way that is consistent with the positions we have expressed publicly. In our work with political entities, we focus on concrete issues and are open to dialogue with any democratic parties.

In 2019, WACKER was part of the delegation headed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel on a trip to China, with the aim of intensifying bilateral dialogue.

Dr. Rudolf Staudigl, who was WACKER’s president and CEO until May 2021, was awarded the Bavarian Order of Merit in 2019.

Energy Transition

WACKER takes an active role in trying to influence energy and climate policies. We support Germany’s transition to renewable energy as part of the Paris climate agreement, especially the cost-efficient expansion of solar and wind energy as mainstays of Germany’s future energy mix, and the climate-friendly use of combined heat and power plants.

As a globally active company, we support fair and free trade. As an industrial company with a high gas and electricity demand, we need globally competitive energy prices and a secure power supply. We are committed to the Chemistry4Climate initiative of the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI; relevant webpages available in German only) and to Foundation 2°, in which companies assume responsibility and set the course to limit the impact of climate change.

Politics

WACKER maintains a liaison office in both Berlin and Brussels. We regularly extend invitations to politicians for discussions and tours at our sites. In the period under review, our sites’ guest books included:

  • The State Governor of Saxony, Michael Kretschmer, visited WACKER’s site in Nünchritz in February 2019. The talks centered on the site’s vital economic influence in rural areas and economic disadvantages due to rising electricity prices.
  • In November 2019, German Minister of Finance and Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz gained insights into polysilicon deposition production processes at the Burghausen site. Discussions focused on energy costs, climate protection and the significance of production in Germany as an industrial center.
  • Katharina Schulze, Bavarian parliamentary party leader of Bündnis 90/Die Grünen (The Greens), together with party members, toured our Burghausen site in November 2019.
  • In July 2019, Michigan State Governor Gretchen Whitmer visited our research center in Ann Arbor and informed herself about innovative silicones. One topic of conversation was the expansion of infrastructure that would make Michigan an attractive location for high-tech companies and is required to create new jobs.
  • The then German Family Affairs Minister Franziska Giffey visited the Nünchritz site in August 2020, where she talked to the Personnel Director, site manager and employees. She was particularly interested in the company’s family-oriented personnel policies.
  • Iowa State Governor Kim Reynolds came to our Eddyville site in July 2020. She visited a plant that manufactures beta-cyclodextrin, which is used in antiviral masks and is a component of a pharmaceutical intermediate for producing the antiviral drug Remdesivir.

Work in Industrial Associations

National and international associations – especially Europe’s Cefic (European Chemical Industry Council) and solar association SolarPower Europe, the USA’s ACC (American Chemistry Council) and Germany’s VCI (Chemical Industry Association; relevant webpages available in German only) – serve as a platform for our expertise. Working within these bodies, we examine issues ranging from plant, product and occupational safety and climate, energy, industrial and environmental policies through to sustainable finance. Our experts are active in trade associations such as Deutsche Bauchemie (German construction-chemicals association; website available in German only), where issues include sustainable construction.

Our Executive Board is represented in the leadership of the German Chemical Industry Association’s Technical and Environment Committee, and we are active on the VCI’s Sustainability Board and in its Chemie3 initiative (German-language website only).

WACKER CEO Christian Hartel has held the positions of president of the Bavarian Chemical Associations (website available in German only) since 2019 and vice president of the Bavarian Industry Association vbw since 2020.

WACKER in Burghausen is a founding member of the ChemDelta Bavaria initiative, which champions improved regional infrastructure in that part of Bavaria. Key topics include double-track upgrades and electrification on rail routes, as well as a sustainable, secure energy supply in ChemDelta Bavaria.