Sika’s goal is to ensure every employee feels comfortable and protected in the workplace. The number of occupational accidents (lost working days >1) decreased by 8.2% in 2019 compared to 2018. In the year under review, 9.55 occupational accidents per 1,000 employees were recorded (2018: 10.4; 2017: 8.7). In 2019, injuries caused absences, on average, of 21.5 days (2018: 18.4 days; 2017: 22 days). There has been one fatality on the premises of an acquired Sika company. The increase in total number of lost days due to injuries mainly can be explained by the figures from acquisitions.
In 2019, Sika has established and strengthened the regional and area EHS structure by identifying reference Sika EHS Managers. A further measure has been the planning of a worldwide occupational safety program that will be launched in 2020.
Due to the lower energy intensity of the acquired Parex company, energy consumption per ton sold has further decreased in the year under review. Energy consumption per ton sold was 363 megajoules (2018: 424 megajoules; 2017: 450 megajoules), which leads to a reduction of 14.4% compared to 2018.
Sika continued to replace lighting solutions with the latest LED technology. This technology has led to substantial energy savings of up to 70% of total lighting electricity consumption in those locations where the technology was implemented. Furthermore, shorter batch time in production led to a higher output of existing production lines, resulting in increased energy efficiency. The replacement of technical equipment focuses on new energy-efficient installations, such as motors, air conditioning, heating/cooling, and pressurized air systems. Further activities encompass energy-efficient operation of electric motors with frequency converter, leakage detection and fixation of air losses in pressurized air systems, and energy-efficient cooling of process water with use of cooling tower and optimized logistics. The modernization of the vehicle fleet also resulted in fuel reduction. Energy audits and participation at energy networks promoted energy awareness throughout the company. A particular focus has been set on sand drying. A process optimization guideline was set up in 2019, which will be used on a global scale starting in 2020, this will lead up to 30% energy savings.
CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels by all Sika companies, and by its own vehicles, are calculated based on the reported fuel quantities. In 2019, CO2 emissions from the use of primary energy sources amounted to approximately 88,000 tons (2018: 48,000; 2017: 53,000).
CO2 emissions from electricity consumption and leased vehicles, as well as business travel, are derived from the reported energy quantities. In 2019, CO2 emissions caused by electricity consumption amounted to 124,000 tons (2018: 109,000 tons, 2017: 102,000 tons). Leased vehicles and business travel caused additional CO2 emissions of 16,000 tons and 15,000 tons respectively (2018: 20,000 tons and 14,000 tons; 2017: 22,000 tons and 16,000 tons).
In 2019, Sika used approximately 2.7 million cubic meters of water (previous year: 1.8 million cubic meters). The water consumption per ton sold was around 0.34 cubic meters (2018: 0.39 cubic meters; 2017: 0.32 cubic meters). This decrease is mainly caused by acquisitions processed in 2018 and 2019, which were taken into account in 2019.
Sika aims to boost the sustainability performance of its production sites by reducing water consumption and treating water locally. The company implements measures to reduce consumption, or to re-use water, particularly in geographic regions where water is scarce. Efficient production means closed-loop cooling, and switching from public to surface and ground water, reducing the amount of drinking water used in production. By reusing wastewater, Sika aims to reduce its water consumption on a larger scale.
With an increased production volume, the company generated some 112,000 tons of waste (2018: 84,000 tons; 2017: 80,000). This corresponds to 14.1 kilograms of waste per ton sold (2018: 18.1 kilograms per ton sold; 2017: 18.4 kilograms per ton sold), or a decrease of 22.0% (2019/2018).
Overall, Sika could reduce the amount of waste per ton sold by putting in place activities such as the optimization of the production planning, streamlining the production process layout, and the reuse of production waste. In addition, water from cleaning processes (tanks, bulk delivery trucks, and gas scrubbers) was reused. Furthermore, filter dust from dosing and bagging stations was recycled into similar products in mortar production. Innovative warehouse management was also put in place to reduce the quantity of expired products.
With regards to circular economy initiatives, Sika has been working on a project to recycle waste from polyurethane adhesive to be used as raw material in membrane production.
Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)
Sika’s sustainability strategy is closely linked to the corporate strategy and encompasses six targets that cover the economic, environmental and social dimensions. Included among the tactics employed to globally implement the sustainability strategy were the “More Value – Less Impact” campaign, and the introduction at a local level of the target and reporting system in line with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards.
EcoVadis CSR Rating
Sika has been awarded a Gold medal as a recognition of their EcoVadis CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) Rating. The assessment focuses on 21 issues, which are grouped into 4 themes: Environment (ENV), Labor Practices & Human Rights (LAB), Fair Business Practices (FBP), and Sustainable Procurement (SUP).