Disclosure 103-1: Explanation of the material topic and its Boundary
Given that Sika is a chemicals company, stakeholders and communities close to Sika’s production sites have a great interest in how Sika manages waste and water discharge from production as they may be directly impacted through potential water contamination and improper waste disposal.
Waste resulting from Sika’s production amounted to 112,000 tons in 2019, equivalent to around 1.6% of the material volume. The efficient use of input materials for production and the recycling of materials to reduce waste are key priorities for Sika. Water discharge is heavily regulated by local authorities at the Sika locations, and Sika adheres to permit limits and set standards.
As a supplier of products to the construction and transportation industry, Sika also has an impact on the waste production of its customers, through packaging material and in the after-use phase of its products. Sika sees itself as responsible for contributing to a reduction in the waste of its customers through better product durability, application methods, and optimization of packaging material, e.g. foil packs, mini-packs, plastic pails instead of metal, applicator tools, etc.
Disclosure 103-2: The management approach and its components
Through its management approach, Sika seeks to reduce the waste resulting from production as well as products and packaging. In terms of water discharge, Sika complies with national requirements. Sika manages the disposal of waste through management systems to ISO 14001, which are in place at all production sites.
Sika strives to increase input materials efficiency in its production processes. High-efficiency production in this context means reducing and reusing production scrap, reducing and reusing packaging material, improving the packaging design to cut material use, and focusing on sustainable input materials.
Sika strives to reduce effluents by controlling and reducing water inputs. Locally, effluents are managed according to their constituents and parameters, as permitted by the local authorities. For waste, Sika is committed to taking back products for recycling where possible and to increasing the durability of its products.
GOALS AND TARGETS
The revision and further development of the 2014–2018 Sustainability Strategy was the priority in 2019. The target area “Waste” now includes new targets for waste generation per ton sold and the recycling rate of total waste.
Effluents and waste efficiency in Sika’s operations are the responsibility of regional management, which reports to the CEO. At local level, the operations manager is responsible for helping Sika’s waste reduction targets to be met, for setting and achieving local targets accordingly, and for compliance with local requirements for effluents.
- Life Cycle Assessment (LCA): Sika carries out objective, transparent, and comparative assessments of the sustainability performance of its products and systems – not only in manufacture, but throughout their life cycle in accordance with internationally recognized standards. These analyses may pinpoint potential improvements for existing or new products during product development and maintenance. They may also deliver important insights into resource management (raw materials, energy, water, and waste), production processes or application efficiency, and thereby promote innovation and optimize the development of new products and systems.
- Environmental management system ISO 14001: Sika production facilities are certified to ISO 14001, which provides for continuous efficiency improvement.
- Sustainable solutions: Sika seeks to enhance the outstanding and widely appreciated usefulness of its products by optimizing their sustainability profile, and thus to create added value for customers.
Disclosure 103-3: Evaluation of the management approach
Sika evaluates its management approach through:
- Monitoring: Sika measures its effluents and waste on a regular basis. Water use is reported quarterly to the internal Sustainability & Operations Technology team where results are followed up and management approaches adapted accordingly.
- Evaluation of results from LCA: Sika carries out life-cycle assessments (LCA) during the product development process. These serve to quantify energy demand, resource efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions, or water demand during each phase of a product’s life cycle and measure the associated possible impacts on the environment.
- Evaluation of results from environmental management system ISO 14001: Sika production facilities are certified to ISO 14001 and perform impact assessments, target setting and management reviews of the effectiveness of the management system regarding effluents and waste.
- Benchmarking: Sika has started to compare waste generation per product unit internally through factory reporting and to benchmark with other similar companies.
The evaluation showed that although, it is a key priority, Sika did not achieve the target on waste reduction and material efficiency. Programs to reduce waste typically involve process changes, which cannot be implemented in a short period. Sika will enhance the efforts in the coming year to achieve the 5-year strategic target.