The raw materials that Sika processes into superior-grade products are the Group’s biggest cost factor. This is why they are high on the risk assessment agenda. Almost 70% of the materials used by Sika in production – e.g., polyols, epoxy resins, acrylic dispersions, and polycarboxylates – are based on fossil fuels or their derivatives. Purchase prices consequently vary according to the supply and demand situation for each raw material and fluctuations in the price of oil. To reduce its dependency on crude oil, Sika is increasingly relying on renewable raw materials such as sugar derivatives, bioethanol derivatives, and natural oils. Moreover, recycled raw materials are used wherever possible, and many production plants implement their own or externally operated recycling loop systems. Mineral substances, such as calcium carbonate, sand, and cement, make up the remaining raw materials.
Sika purchases its base chemicals in accordance with strict quality requirements from certified suppliers offering the best value for money. In the case of key raw materials with limited availability or large purchase volumes, Sika mandates at least two suppliers whenever possible. For unique, highly innovative technologies, the Group seeks to manufacture raw materials itself or source them in close collaborative partnerships with innovative suppliers. In respect of all the materials used, compliance with the relevant statutory registration requirements (e.g., REACH or TSCA) is monitored and ensured by a network of global and local specialists as well as external consultants.
Sika’s purchasing specialists and technical experts work closely with suppliers’ technical units to fully understand the raw material flows and continually optimize costs, quality, availability, and sustainability.
Potential suppliers are closely screened by Sika. Before working with the company, they are required to sign the Supplier Code of Conduct, which covers all principles of sustainability.
Suppliers are regularly evaluated by Sika. The corresponding findings are incorporated into the risk assessment, along with the suppliers’ self-appraisals and data available in the public domain. If a relevant risk is identified, Sika will conduct an audit of the supply company in question to ensure the functionality of the latter’s internal risk management system. Potential risks are systematically identified and addressed, particularly in the case of local suppliers.
Raw materials are systematically evaluated within Sika to assess possible risks relating to quality and availability, and to determine relevant measures such as maintaining safety stocks or securing long-term supply contracts.