One cornerstone of sustainable corporate management is the provision of basic and advanced training for employees. The wide-ranging courses deal with raw materials handling, occupational safety, statutory regulations as well as product packaging, labeling and transport.
In 2012, Sika invested some CHF 5.7 million in technical equipment for environmental protection (2011: CHF 6.5 million). Stepped-up efforts over the past few years, above all the increased use of state-of-the-art equipment, have borne fruit and enabled Sika to reduce replacement investments. Current expenditure stood at CHF 20.5 million (2011: CHF 21.9 million). Worldwide, the number of full-time employees in the field of environment, health, safety and sustainability exceeded 100.
Health and Safety
At 12.9 per 1,000 employees (2011: 13.3 per 1,000 employees), the number of occupational accidents in 2012 with over one day’s lost working time was slightly down year-on-year. Due to shorter absences after accidents, the number of days lost per million workdays fell sharply to 866 (2011: 1,050).
Energy consumption in 2012 totaled
1,571 TJ, marking a slight year-on-year rise (2011: 1,505 TJ). Production volumes in 2012 were also moderately higher than the previous year’s level. 48% of Sika’s energy requirement was met by electrical power (2011: 50%). As in the previous year, a further quarter of demand was covered by natural gas, the rest by heating oil, coal and, to a small extent, by district heating. The energy requirement per ton of product sold fell to 560 MJ (2011:
In 2012, CO₂ emissions resulting from the use of primary energy sources (Scope 1) ran to around
47,000 tons (2011: 31,000 tons). This increase is wholly attributable to the inclusion of emissions from the Chinese companies acquired in recent years, which still rely on the country's enormous reserves of low-calorific-value coal to meet their energy requirements.*
2012 is the second year for which Scope 2 emissions have been reported. The consumption of purchased electricity in 2012 entailed CO₂-eq. emissions of around 98,000 tons, a figure roughly twice greater than the direct emissions (2011: 100,000 tons). This assessment is subject to a certain degree of inaccuracy as it relies on unverified statistics regarding the energy mix for electricity generation in the individual countries. Sika applies the Greenhouse Gas Protocol formulae in its estimates.
Despite the slight rise in production volumes, Sika succeeded in cutting water consumption to 1.87 million m³ (2011: 2.0 million m³ ). The cooling water needed by the company is mostly drawn from its own authority-approved wells and is returned, unpolluted, to the water cycle. Cooling water accounted for roughly two-thirds of the Group’s total water demand. The used water quantity fell to around 0.70 m³ per ton of product (2011: 0.75 m³).
Despite the slight rise in production volumes, there was no increase in waste quantities in 2012, unchanged at 49,000 tons (2011: 49,000 tons). With the changed product mix, some 18.0 kg waste arose per ton of product (2011: 19.0 kg). Around 40% of this waste, particularly that from polymer and mortar production, is reclaimed and recycled. Waste from the manufacture of polymer membranes, for example, is granulated and reintroduced into production.
*Compared to natural gas, this fuel generates high CO₂ emissions per unit heat. China's gas supply network is still undeveloped outside the industrial centers and electricity is also produced by coal power plants. Sika has initiated measures to reduce CO₂ emissions. These are for example the use of alternative fuels, the recycling of plastic waste as well as programs designed to cut power consumption.