Despite the decreasing likelihood of worldwide regulation to address climate change, there is evidence to indicate that greenhouse gas reporting and reduction efforts remain strong, and interest in water usage, efficiency and stewardship is on the rise. In this context, green building is also on the increase, as global trends attest. According to a recently published World Green Building Trends survey, 51 percent of respondent firms committed to incorporating sustainability into more than 60 percent of their work by 2015.
Sustainable development requires the involvement of every participant
Sika’s sustainability strategy has proved its worth: With an increase in energy efficiency of approximately 15% during 2014 and 2015 in comparison to 2013, Sika is well on track. For Sika, sustainability has been a central topic ever since, and the efficient use of resources permeates the whole organization. The goal of sustainable development requires the involvement of every participant along the entire value chain and the identification of shared topic areas of significance to all those involved.
A materiality analysis is included in the sustainability strategy
Underpinning its engagement, Sika repeats biennially the materiality analysis originally carried out during development of the sustainability strategy. The most important internal and external stakeholder groups are contacted to determine which sustainability issues they consider most important and to review whether relevant changes have taken place. A recent survey in 2015 shows that the priorities chosen are still the right ones and Sika's system of targets remains valid.
Water consumption per ton sold was reduced by 43%
Sika is committed to continuously measure, improve, report, and communicate sustainable value creation. Water consumption per ton sold was reduced in the same period by 43% to 0.41 m3. Investments in various energy and water efficiency projects at its plants worldwide paid out. And since 2013, the amount of waste has been reduced overall by 3.3%. The number of occupational accidents leading to lost work time of more than one day showed a year-on-year decrease of approximately 10%.
Improving our environmental and safety footprint
As an example of enhanced safety endeavors, Sika Australia has launched a new country-wide policy of zero tolerance for unsafe practices in all plants, with no budget restrictions for safety initiatives and projects. The ongoing activities and measures include awareness campaigns, safety education, monitoring and alerts, site audits and inspections, root cause analysis, safety week activities, bulletins, and notice boards. Creating and increasing value while reducing impacts – that’s the goal.
Groundwater wells is used in the production process for adhesives and sealants
But Sika’s internal ambitions cover the management of all in-house resources. At Sika US’s facility in Lyndhurst, a large amount of continuous flow cooling water from its own groundwater wells was used in the production process for adhesives and sealants. In 2014, the plant invested into a closed-loop cooling water system, reducing water consumption by 500’000 m3 and improving cooling capacity.
Treating organic waste
At its Rio Negro and Tocancipa plants, Sika Colombia treats organic waste from restaurants, gardening work, sludge reactor admixtures and silo cleaning, thereby eliminating disposal costs and reducing environmental impacts. Compost and humus are being used for gardening activities in the plants and at employees’ homes.
Increasing customer benefit and reducing environmental impacts
Sustainable construction is a worldwide concern: Singapore, for example, has been at the forefront of this development, strongly encouraging developers, architects, and builders to use resource-efficient products. Reducing Portland cement content in mortars by alternative hydraulic binders is proven to increase resource efficiency. Sika’s LCS Optiroc sustainable mortar line includes a range of cementitious plaster, tile adhesives, and floor screeds which contain 20% less cement compared to products with a similar performance and reduce the carbon footprint by at least 15%. As a result, the LCS sustainable mortar line meets the Singapore Green Label requirements and supports Singapore’s builders in achieving their targets.
And what about packaging?
The replacement of aluminum cartridges with customized unipacks for car windshield adhesives will reduce Sika’s customer Belron’s annual consumption of packaging material and polyurethane adhesives by 164 and 170 tons, respectively, thus helping to fulfill the sustainability targets and save disposal costs. A new packaging line was installed at Sika’s US Lyndhurst site to cope with the increased volume of unipacks. The unpack is designed to fit 97% of all automotive glass replacement jobs. The new solution was delivered along with a complete support package including videos and training materials to facilitate the transition for customers.
Looking at one`s private life
This is just a sample selection of measures Sika is taking. Apart from corporate activities such as these, we are all personally called on to adapt our individual lifestyles accordingly and do our bit for the world. This starts with our daily journey to work and ends with which light bulbs we use in our homes at night. Sustainability at Sika is about pioneering the possibilities that technical, scientific and social developments are offering.
Find out more about Sika’s sustainable solutions at www.sika.com/sustainability.